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Looking for work can be extremely frustrating. You wake up, make some coffee, search for job postings, send out some resumes, and wait around for responses that simply might not come. Persistence is key, but how do you keep your head in the game when you’re constantly being hit with rejection or flat-out indifference from potential employers?

In a great post for the Daily Muse, freelance writer and marketing coordinator Julia Corbett outlines “5 Ways to Stay Motivated In a Frustrating Job Hunt.” Hers aren’t the most obvious tips, so keep reading to get some great tips on ways to buck up, stay positive, and increase your chances of landing that dream job.

1. Make Specific To-Do Lists — According to Corbett, you’ll feel much better about your job search when you’re accomplishing specific day-by-day goals. Don’t simply strive to network or redo your resume for the umpteenth time; tell yourself you’re going to apply for two jobs or schedule a pair of informational interviews by the end of the week.

2. Research Role Models — You might not think you have the experience to land the job of your dreams, but as Corbett writes, people take circuitous routes to their careers, and by going on LinkedIn and researching the people who are doing what you want to be doing, you’ll be reminded “there is no straight path to success.” You might even reach out to some of these people. (Why not make doing so one of your specific tasks from No. 1?)

3. Get Constructive Criticism — Friends and family members can be super supportive, but they can also be great sources of constructive criticism. Chances are, you know the areas you’re weak in, and trusted pals can help you become a better resume writer or interviewee. “Based on their knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, they can give specialized, honest advice (that you’ll be much more motivated to put into practice than the generic tips you’re reading everywhere),” Corbett writes.

4. Make a List of Your Goals — If you’ve been on a job interview recently, you’ve no doubt answered that question about where you see yourself in 10 years. It’s something worth thinking about, and as Corbett writes, actually making a physical list of your hopes and dreams can be super motivating and inspiring. What’s more, seeing it all laid out on paper might give you new ideas about how to connect the dots and make each of these dreams a reality.

5. Take a Break — In the same way that burnout can occur in the workplace, the job hunt can leave you completely wiped out and devoid of hope. Corbett advocates taking a day off every now and then and recharging your batteries. “Pre-determined free days—where you get some time off from thinking about resumes, cover letters, and interview questions—can alleviate all those job-search frustrations and help restore your drive,” she writes.


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