For any job search to be successful, motivation is key.

As the Great Reshuffle lumbers on and millions of Americans leave their jobs in pursuit of better opportunities, chances are that you have considered following suit. If you have been spending a lot of time feeling discouraged and dissatisfied with your current career, it is only natural to think about making a change. Still, it is easier to think and talk about searching for a new job than it is to actually start looking for one. Sometimes, we all just need a little push to get that ball rolling. 

In this post, we will explore six motivation tips that can help you start a job search the right way, with clear goals, a solid vision, and a positive mindset. So, set aside any fears, doubts, and negativity; it's time to devise a strategy that can help you get motivated to make the job change you need for greater career satisfaction! 

1. Take time to figure out what you want

Before you do anything, make sure that you give this initial tip the attention it deserves. Too many people make big life-changing decisions without taking the time to assess where they are and where they want to be. Without a firm understanding of why you want a change and what you hope to gain by landing a new job, you may struggle to find the motivation you need to succeed. Worse, you may try to move forward without clear conviction, and eventually decide to just settle for what you already have.

Start by taking stock of your current job. Create a list of all the things that are frustrating you, including issues like compensation, job duties, work flexibility, and interpersonal relations. This self-assessment can help to put your reasons for leaving in sharper focus and fortify your desire for change. 

With that list in mind, create a second list of everything you hope to gain with a new job. Do you need a higher salary, flexible work hours, or some type of hybrid work environment? Would you benefit from being part of a different type of corporate culture, or a new employee-manager dynamic? Explore all these questions and more to help you better define the ideal job role you need to enjoy greater work-life balance and career fulfillment. 

2. Develop an action plan to reach your goal

Those self-assessments can help you to understand your goals, but they cannot help you reach them. To do that, you will need an action plan that guides you in your job search journey. What steps do you need to take to enable you to move forward in your search? For example, when do you plan to search for a new job? After all, if you have not yet left your current job, chances are that you will need to find time to search for new positions, submit your resume, and follow-up on those submissions.

Again, put your plan in written form, detailing important steps like: 

  • How many hours a day you plan to search for your new job. Be conservative in your estimates so that you do not overcommit—especially if you will still be working full-time during your search.

  • Which resources you plan to use to locate opportunities and research prospective employers.

  • How you plan to balance other life concerns, like childcare, home chores, etc.

  • Your estimated time frame for locating and securing a new job.

  • Additional training or skills updates you need to qualify for your desired position.

Keep in mind that you can update and modify your action plan as needed. Experience is always the best guide, so do not be afraid to adapt and evolve your plan to meet your job search needs. Also, be sure to consult with others in your household if your job search efforts will require changes in their routine. Few things are more motivating than knowing that your loved ones are all supportive of your efforts. 

3. Connect with your network

Now is also a great time to ensure that you have a strong network in place to back you as you begin and follow through with your job search. Check in with old colleagues and co-workers, former supervisors, and industry contacts. If possible, take the time to enhance your network while you are at it. That effort may even help you to identify opportunities that you might otherwise never see. Commit to tapping into this network as you conduct your search, and do not be afraid to ask for assistance. 

4. Get your resume in order

Never underestimate the motivational power of a solid, well-crafted resume. While a shoddy resume can leave you questioning yourself and your abilities, a powerfully written and compelling resume can fill you with confidence. Make sure that your resume is designed to sell your value to employers and makes the best possible impression on every hiring manager who sees it. 

Thanks to the widespread use of applicant tracking systems, and the sheer volume of candidate submissions companies receive, it is vital to ensure that your resume is the best it can be. If you have any doubts about your resume's effectiveness, you may want to consider using our free resume review option and get the help you need from our team of expert resume professionals. 

5. Commit to a positive reinforcement strategy

Negativity can utterly destroy your motivation if you are not careful. Unfortunately, all of us have people in our lives who spread fear, uncertainty, and other negative emotions. If you want to get motivated about your job search, you will need to commit yourself to spending time with people who can provide a positive, supportive feedback loop. That doesn't mean ignoring loved ones who tend to be more negative, of course, but it will require you to look to others for that positive reinforcement. Avoid negativity! 

Your own mindset will be vital to this effort. The good news is that you have the power to create the positive mindset you need to achieve almost anything you desire. Write down a list of your best attributes and recite them to yourself several times a day. Find inspirational quotes, print them out, and post them around your home and work area. Locate positive videos and music that you can watch and listen to during your downtime each day. Finally, make sure that your lifestyle empowers that positive mindset by taking time for healthy eating, physical activity, and those you love. 

You should also learn to picture yourself in your new job and life. Visualization techniques are a powerful way to train your mind to focus on the positives. They are so powerful that many professional athletes use these exercises daily to visualize themselves making that perfect tackle, hitting that game-winning shot, or scoring that home run. By learning to visualize yourself achieving your goals, you can teach your brain to expect and accept success more readily. 

6. Be prepared to take it one step at a time

Our last key to getting motivated to start your job search is also extremely important: commit to being patient. It is not enough to prepare your tools, get your mind right, and make concrete plans. You also need to be prepared to take the journey one step at a time. Set micro goals to help you stay on track, recognizing that smaller goals are just steps on the way to your destination. If you focus only on the end goal, you may find yourself discouraged along the way, especially if it takes more time than you had expected. Instead, have a daily game plan that you can track, and celebrate every small milestone as you work toward landing those interviews that lead to the job you desire. 


No matter how much you might think you want a new job, your ability to successfully complete any job search and secure that new employment will largely depend on how motivated you are when you start. These six motivation tips to help you start a new job search can be a powerful and useful way to begin your journey.

Does all of this advice sound like more than you can handle? Remember, one step at a time. Allow our TopResume Experts to help you create an impactful and inspirational resume that you can be excited about! 

Recommended Reading:

Job Search Motivation: 6 Ways to Stay Positive During the Hunt

7 Tips to Keep You Motivated During the Job Search

6 Simple Tips for Staying Thankful During a Tough Job Search

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