Job Search Motivation: How to Stay Motivated Looking For the Perfect PM Job

job search motivation

Set yourself up for success with tips and tools to optimize your Product Manager’s job search motivation. At some point along the way, you are going to experience the urge to throw your hands up in defeat. We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen. You don’t want to give up on your dream of landing the perfect Product Manager job, right? Well then, learn how to keep yourself motivated when the going gets tough.

How to Set Goals to Stay Motivated

I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of goal setting many times before, but not all goal-setting techniques drive the same results. When searching for the perfect Product Manager position it is important to set your goals in a way that will help you stay motivated. 

The more specific the goal, the more likely it is that you will achieve it. In order to narrow down your goals, you have to start with the big picture. Ask yourself, “where do I want to be in 10 years?”

As frightening as that may be to think about, it is an effective way to boost your job search motivation. Vividly visualize that long-term goal of yours. Write it down with a pen on paper. What are you wearing on your first day at the perfect Product Manager job? How does your morning coffee taste? What is on your desk? 

Now that you have the dream in your mind you can work backwards through each step it takes to get there, starting with the Product Manager job hunt. Break up your big goal of landing the perfect Product Manager job into smaller, more manageable goals such as updating your Product Manager resume and LinkedIn page, researching the companies you’d most like to work for, and preparing for interviews. Each time you complete what seems like a small goal, take the time to acknowledge your accomplishment.

Incorporate Rewards

For the tasks that you dread the most, you may need to give yourself a little incentive. It is okay to keep your job search motivation up by looking forward to a reward — but make sure the reward is not harmful to your progress. For example, if you complete the goal of applying to 5 jobs in one week, don’t reward yourself by taking the next week off and ignoring your emails. You could miss your chance at an interview! Instead, reward yourself by starting your weekend a few hours early that week or spending time with a friend.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Another great way to highlight your job search motivation and accomplish your goals is to share them with others. Your friends, family, and Product Gym community can help hold you accountable. Sometimes just knowing that others are expecting you to get things done is enough to hold yourself accountable. 

How to Build a Plan for Optimal Job Search Motivation

Step 1: Find Your Reason

First, find your “why” or your purpose for what you are doing. This is deeper than just “finding a Product Manager job”. Think about why you are searching for a job. Is it so you can better support your family? Or to reach your highest potential as a human being? Are you searching for a job with a company that is making a global impact you want to be a part of? Once you have established your “why”, write it down so you have it to refer back to when you are losing job search motivation. 

Step 2: Get Organized

Now, it’s time to get organized. Plan out your day and incorporate breaks. Make sure your designated workspace is tidy and decluttered. Only keep what you need for your job search at your desk to avoid any distractions. Bring out your calendar and mark down your weekly goals and deadlines.

A great technique to stay motivated and accomplish your goals during the job hunt is to chunk your time. You do this by creating very specific task lists for each goal you need to accomplish. For example, your task list for updating your Product Manager resume may include things like choosing a well-formatted template, choosing a readable font, and reviewing the content of your resume. By creating small steps and focusing on one task at a time you have more opportunities to check something off the list. Every little victory gives you a sense of accomplishment and that success will keep you motivated. 

Step 3: Stay Inspired

When you feel that you are lacking motivation, search for inspiration. Look people up on LinkedIn who are where you want to be in the industry. Look through their work history and you will likely see that they did not start at the top. Dreams take time and there is no easy way to get to where you want to go. Reach out to some of these role models and ask them for their story and their advice. This could become a great networking opportunity! 

Job Search Motivation Traps to Watch Out For

When searching for the perfect Product Manager job, there will be a few bumps along the way. Don’t fall victim to these common motivation thieves! 

  • Procrastination: The moment that you realize you are procrastinating, start working. You know that the task will need to be done at some point and you will feel so much better once it is out of the way. 
  • Imposter Syndrome: When you start feeling like an imposter, or that you are not good enough for the positions you are applying to, take a look at your resume to remind yourself of your qualifications or spot gaps where you have room to learn. 
  • Fear of Rejection: If you are experiencing rejection during your Product Management job hunt and you are afraid to keep going, remember that everyone experiences rejection. You are not the only one. 
  • Burnout: Be ready to combat burnout. There are breaks scheduled into your day for a reason: stick to them and add more on the days you need them. 

Stay Positive with Internal Motivation

There are two key types of motivation: External and internal. External motivation means we are motivated to do something because we want the reward associated with it. For example, when you increase your productivity to receive a bonus.

Internal motivation means we are motivated to do something because we enjoy it and find it fulfilling. For example, working extra hours to complete a project you are passionate about. External motivation is very common, especially in the workplace. However, internal motivation is actually more effective in most situations.

Your motivation can affect the quality of your work. When you are performing for a reward you are more likely to rush and cut corners just to accomplish the task. When you are truly enjoying the task and taking pride in your work, you’ll want it done right. 

During your Product Manager job hunt you can use both types of motivation to your advantage. Focus on the tasks you enjoy. To conquer a task that is a bit less appealing to you, try to use your “why” as a way to tap into that internal motivation. It is okay to rely on external motivation as well, such as granting yourself a 10-minute break after completing a particularly difficult task.

Be mindful of the external motivation you rely on and always keep it positive. An example of a negative motivator would be not allowing yourself to eat or sleep until a task is complete. This isn’t healthy in the long-run, and likely won’t help your job hunt!

Keep Yourself Motivated

The search for the perfect Product Management job can be a long, hard journey. It is completely normal to have trouble staying motivated. That’s why the Product Gym community is here to support and encourage. Use your phone-a-friend today and schedule a free career coaching session with our team! We will help hold you accountable and keep you motivated in a positive environment.

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