How to Stay Motivated in Your Job Search During a Cold, Dark Winter

Staying motivated in your job search can feel challenging in any season. But, it becomes increasingly difficult when the temperatures drop and the sun goes down at 4PM.

The days feel short—yet long at the same time—and you don’t want to do anything but camp out on the couch and hibernate until the weather improves. However, that’s not exactly an option when you’re job searching.

Instead, you need to stay focused and continue to dedicate yourself to your search, no matter how much you’d like to curl up until spring. Easier said than done, right? Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself motivated in your job search—even during a cold, dark, seemingly endless winter.

1. Create a Schedule

There’s no denying that the change in daylight can wreak havoc on your time management skills. So, it’s best if you take the time to plan out and jot down a formal schedule that you can follow for your job hunt.

Will you complete job search tasks for an hour each day after work? Will you dedicate time on the weekends? Will you aim for so many hours every week?

Creating a schedule will help to ensure that you have a plan you can actually stick to. Plus, it’ll keep you motivated and accountable in those moments when you’d rather do anything else.

2. Set Smaller Goals

It can be tough to stay motivated when your end goal is something as large as, “Get a new job.” That task seems so daunting, you’ll never feel like you’re making any real progress.

This is why it’s so helpful to set smaller goals for yourself within that big objective. For example, perhaps you want to submit applications for five jobs by the end of the week. Or, maybe you want to revamp your resume by the end of today, and your cover letter by the end of tomorrow.

Setting these smaller, bite-sized goals for yourself makes the whole process seem more manageable—meaning you’re that much more likely to keep moving forward.

3. Get Out of the House

Cabin fever runs rampant during the winter months. So why not use your job hunt as a much-needed excuse to get out of the house?

Whether you want to set up shop in your favorite coffee cafe or spend some time in your local library, changing your scenery can give you fresh perspective and some newfound focus on your job hunt.

Even better? It’ll help you keep work separated from your personal life—so, when you finally arrive home, you can truly kick back and relax.

4. Give Yourself Downtime

We all deserve a little downtime every now and then, and it becomes especially important when the brutal weather threatens to send our moods on a constant downward spiral.

So, no matter how committed you are to your job search, don’t neglect to reserve some time for the things you enjoy.

Whether it’s curling up with a good book or heading outside for some winter sports, leaving adequate time for your passions and hobbies will help you avoid feeling like your job search is taking over your life—and will also help to make the long winter months that much more bearable!

5. Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Winter can send us all into an emotional funk—it’s called the winter blues for a reason, after all. And, that negative attitude can only be compounded when you’re stressed with a long job search and those inevitable rejection emails.

Yes, that can be discouraging. But, always remember to keep your sights set on the end goal. At the end of it all, you have an awesome new job (and, of course, spring!) to look forward to.

Stay zoned in on the light at the end of the tunnel, and suddenly those dark days of your winter job search won’t seem so bad.

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Kat Boogaard

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Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer covering topics related to careers, self-development, and entrepreneurship. Her byline has appeared in numerous outlets and publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, QuickBooks, Business Insider, and more. Find out more about her on her website, or connect with her on Twitter.

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