Top tips for staying motivated while applying for jobs

Guest BloggerAdvice, Applications, Assessment Centres, Final Year, First Year, Graduates, Guest Blogger, International Students, Interviews, On Placement, Part-Time Jobs & Volunteering, Postgraduate, Second Year

Finding motivation throughout your final year at uni can be hard enough but, add on top of that the stress of job hunting and, of course, Covid-19, students can find themselves feeling disheartened about the future.

I know I can speak from experience, having spent what felt like a lifetime applying for jobs, there were definite peaks and troughs and felt like the process was never ending.

The spreadsheet keeping track of my progress with applications was my most visited document and I’d reconfigured my CV multiple times to suit each application I was submitting – it’s an exhausting process and can feel incredibly lonely. So if you’re reading this and it sounds familiar then you are not alone! Chat to your friends and family about it, help them to understand the situation you’re in so they can support you in whatever way you need. Alternatively, motivational videos are always a good thing to fall back on. I discovered Simon Sinek, an inspirational speaker, whilst applying for jobs and his idea about finding the ‘why’ in everything was a great motivation for me in times when I was feeling less resilient.

Anyway, enough about me, I wanted to give an insight into what helped me through the gruelling process of job hunting and how I prepared myself, too.

Allocate your time

As tempting as it may be to apply to any and all jobs that you encounter, sometimes, as the saying goes, less is more.

Now I’m not advising to only apply for a handful of jobs – definitely not considering how competitive the grad job market is and the employability market as a whole! Instead, dedicate your time to applications that genuinely interest you so you feel motivated and enthused throughout the process. This enthusiasm will definitely shine through and that’s what employers want to see.

If you apply to all applications you come across, you run the risk of feeling even more demotivated and the spark that so many employers look for just won’t be present in your application, interviews or assessments.

So that’s my first tip: dedicate your time wisely to applications that you’re excited by – something that I wish I had known at the very beginning of the process

Understand why you’re applying

Understanding the why behind what you’re doing is so important. Finding that purpose for what you’re doing gives you a whole new motivation and drive towards the end goal of getting your dream (or close enough) job.

So, when you’re making your application, or preparing for an interview, keep asking yourself WHY you are excited by this role, WHY you’d like to work for this company, WHY you are the perfect candidate. If you can’t convince yourself then you certainly can’t convince your prospective employer.

Asking these questions will drive you towards your purpose and enable you to understand the process you’re going through in a much clearer way – again, another thing I wish I had done during my applications. I’d recommend, with every application you complete, writing down some short answers to the 3 WHYs above to fully comprehend your purpose in that specific application.

See the thing you want, not the thing standing in your way

This final tip is all about mind-set and the video below explains it perfectly.

For some, this last tip could involve completely changing the way you see the world. Instead of seeing the thing that is standing in your way and fixating on that, you need to shift your mind-set to a more optimistic outlook by pursuing the thing you want.

This shift isn’t going to happen overnight, but it’s all about taking baby steps towards the end goal of always seeing the thing you want.

In the case of applying to jobs, the process is long and gruelling but it’s important not to see this as standing in your way. Instead, as hard as it may be at times, you have to keep focussing on your end goal and strive to achieve this at all times.

There are definite peaks and troughs to this process, and it’s completely normal to feel deflated at times, especially after rejection, but keep in mind your end goal and you’ll slowly make that shift towards always seeing the thing you want, rather than what’s standing in your way.


I hope this short blog post has given you a bit of an insight into ways you can stay motivated and driven throughout applying for jobs. Remember, you’re not alone in this process, everyone has good and bad days (sometimes more bad than good) and, if in doubt, open up to someone you trust so they can help or support in whatever way you need.

Most importantly, keep that end goal in sight – you will get there!

Blog post is written by Melissa Clough (Aston Graduate now working at Babcock International)