16 Ways to Stay Motivated in Executive Job Search

by Meg Guiseppi on August 1, 2011

everything is possible

Job search isn’t easy, especially at the c-level and senior executive level.

For every job seeker, at any professional level, there’s so much to do … so much to know … so much to worry about.

If you’ve been at it for a while, you may find yourself getting discouraged, and wondering how you’ll persevere until you land that job.


Here are some things you can do to keep yourself moving forward:

1. Bolster your confidence. Revisit your career marketing materials – the notes you compiled to create your resume, other documents, LinkedIn profile, etc. Remind yourself of your great past achievements and the value you offer your target employers.

2. Reach out to other unemployed friends and colleagues. See how they’re doing. Share a great tip, resource, book or lead to help them. Do this with no expectation of reciprocity.

3. Co-mentor with another job seeker. Find someone you can connect with frequently to share successes and strategies, and support each other through failures.

4. Join a job search support group. You’ll be among people going through the same ups and downs, who will share techniques that work and those that don’t. They understand what you’re feeling in a way that your family and friends may not be able to. Check out Job-Hunt.org’s list of over 800 networking and job search support groups by state.

5. Avoid negative people. You know who they are. “Half-empty” types and chronic complainers can drain the energy out of you.

6. Stay connected and reconnect with fun people. Refrain from dumping your negativity about your job search on them. Stay upbeat and re-energize yourself through their positivity.

7. Research job search strategies. Google things like”executive job search”, “executive networking”, “executive interviewing”. Try a new technique. My ebook covers the job search basics and will be helpful.

8. Build your network. Try to reach out to several new people each week. Go into it with a “give to get” attitude. Don’t ask them for help. Determine how you can help them.

9. Volunteer your time. If you have a favorite local charity or group, find out how you can help them. Approach this with a purely philanthropic intent. But know that people who volunteer sometimes fall into good leads.

10. Nip negativity in the bud. Do something to distract yourself and shift your thoughts. When you feel it creeping up on you, make yourself think of something nice, before negativity takes hold and pulls you down that dark path. Sometimes this works.

11. Plan for the worst case scenario. What will you do if the worst happens, whatever that may be for you? Having a plan can soften the blow if the worst actually happens, and can help you switch off the fear if you find yourself worrying too much that it will happen.

12. Forget about job search for a day. Take a week day off from job search every now and then, and do something for yourself. Go on a day trip with your spouse and/or family or alone. Spend the day reading a light novel, playing your favorite sport, tooling around with a hobby, or learning something new. Make yourself NOT think about job search at all.

13. Keep moving. It’s just too easy to spend all your time at the computer or on the phone. Refresh yourself by getting up and out. Take several renewal breaks every day.

14. Eat right. Especially eat a good breakfast every day. If you have an unhealthy diet, learn how to improve it. Learn how to cook and save money over going out to eat. Cooking itself is also a satisfying and positive diversion from negative thinking.

15. Sleep well. Even though you may not have to get up in the morning to go to work, try to keep “working hours”. Keep your body in the rhythm of going to bed and getting up at the same time. If worries are keeping you from sleeping, try meditation and deep breathing before you go to bed to empty your head of negative thoughts. Try keeping a pad by your bed to write down those thoughts or problems making you toss and turn.

16. Set realistic, but aggressive, daily job search goals. Keep at it until you complete your goals, then reward yourself by taking the rest of the day off.

Related posts:

How To Land an Executive Job in 2011

LinkedIn Guide for Executive Branding and Job Search

Twitter Executive Branding Strategy: The Beauty of a Retweet

photo by pedro.desousa

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg Guiseppi August 8, 2011 at 8:52 am

Thanks for commenting, Rita.

I’m hoping that, along with laying out some steps to get energized in a protracted job search, this post will affirm that indeed today’s job search can be trying and daunting, and that job seekers are not alone in experiencing disappointments and setbacks.


2 Rita Carey August 8, 2011 at 8:44 am

Meg, these are great recommendations. I think that numbers 1 – 4 can result in what I call an energy surge. Just reviewing materials, looking for dropped contacts, and something I have not seen mentioned before – #3 – sharing ideas and resources with another – can be a great energy boosters

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