By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Staying constantly motivated and being able to handle rejection easily are the cornerstones of success with any kind of job-search. This is more so, for the mature worker seeking post-retirement employment, wanting to re-enter the workforce after a gap, or simply choosing to change their field of work.

Nothing puts your self-esteem more in jeopardy than a job search. Any job search can lead to self-doubt on a regular, daily basis. And this is especially true of job search at an older age, when you might doubt your own capabilities, your new market knowledge and may have to compete with younger fresher candidates. On the other hand, hiring managers, while they may value experience, are looking for cheerful and positive people. As a result, being visibly motivated is doubly important. If you are not motivated, the lack of motivation may be visible, and this self-doubt can lose you a good job opportunity.

Some things that you can do to help you maintain a positive attitude are:

• Spruce up your resume. Get help if necessary to polish and create a truly impressive, interesting resume. Rather than chronological, try a thematic approach; group type of work and responsibilities together rather than giving a simple date-wise list of employers. Once your resume sparkles, you will have much more self-confidence and find that you actually look forward to the job search.

• Remember to schedule “downtime.” Even when you are making 30 calls a day, sending any number of resumes, and checking every possible online jobsite, set some time apart, to do the things you enjoy. Go see a movie, take a trip with your spouse, or go out with friends. This will rejuvenate you for another day in the trenches.

• Make a ‘to-do’ list. Most people tend to work better with a set of specific guidelines. Writing down a list of the tasks you want to accomplish, not only helps you to organize your day, but also can be a morale lifter. Crossing the accomplished items off the list can give you a small morale boost each time.

• Tackle the fear. Most lack of motivation or procrastination comes from fear of rejection. Ask yourself what is the worst that could happen? On a call, for example, the worst is that they might hang up on you. A few hang ups, or “no thanks” are a small price to pay for the leads you can generate by regular networking and follow up.

• Post a picture of your children, your dream home, the yacht you want to buy, right next to your computer, reminding you everyday, why you want to work.
Alternatively, put some kind of an action figure symbolizing the county sheriff who wants to auction off your house if the bank forecloses.

• Remember that networking is a numbers game. Every single phone call or enquiry is not going to give you a lead on a job. Keep making those calls. Get out your Rolodex and make as many as six calls an hour, five hours a day. At the end of each all, ask them for references of people you should be talking to. This will generate more leads and increase the size of your network.

Anna D. Banks, a passionate advocate for baby boomers in exploring their priorities, planning and setting goals for the next stage of their lives. Assisting her clients to attract and build a professional and personal life consistent with their values is not just a goal of Anna’s, it’s her passion. Her diverse work experience in business, education and financial services enables her to help the diverse population of baby-boomers with their life, career, and personal finance coaching needs. Anna is currently Adjunct Faculty at Essex County College, where she teaches Career Development & Management.

Author’s Note:
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