The 5 best ways to stay motivated during your hospitality job search
For those seeking employment, the years since the conclusion of the Great Recession haven’t been easy. In many industries, companies have been slow to rebuild staff to pre-recessional levels—and the nation’s unemployment rate still stands at an uncomfortable 5 percent. The economy has not yet returned to where it once was, but there have been bright spots—one of which is leisure and hospitality.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—the leading experts on our country’s hiring trends—employment in leisure and hospitality has increased by 368,000 jobs in the last 12 months alone. Of course, that doesn’t mean your search for a new restaurant or hotel management, sous chef, bartender, catering or controller position won’t take time—especially if you’re particular (as you should be) about finding the right opportunity.
As the days stretch into weeks—or even months—you may find yourself tempted to settle or give up entirely. Please don’t. Instead, consider these methods for maintaining your hospitality job search motivation.
1. Try setting (small) tangible goals
Many of us enjoy checking tasks off our to-do lists, and top and center on yours is “get a new job.” But what about the smaller steps you need to take before you can cross it off? Setting tangible goals for each week—like “research five potential employers,” “submit three customized resumes,” and “add one new professional to network”—will help you maintain momentum as well as recognize your progress. Concrete proof that you’re taking necessary actions makes it easier to stay motivated.
2. Get a job search buddy
Do you hate running alone? I know I sure do. And having someone else to pound the pavement with often keeps me going longer and stronger than I otherwise would. A job search buddy can do the same for you. Whether you choose a friend or family member who is also looking for a new position or just someone who is supportive of your career goals, it’s motivating to have someone who can keep you accountable while sharing in your weekly triumphs.
3. Improve your skills (or at least stay current)
This is especially important if you’re searching for a job while unemployed, whether that is due to a layoff or a planned career break. Volunteer work and online courses can help you learn new skills and improve old ones—both very motivating results. Staying up-to-date on the latest news in the hospitality industry can also be helpful; you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to impress a potential employer with your knowledge.
4. Blow off a little steam
You’ve heard it a million times: “Treat your job search like a job.” While that can be good advice, it can also be a bit overwhelming—especially if you’re looking for your next position while still employed or juggling family and financial stresses along with your job search. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, it’s tough to stay motivated. It’s also tough to convey your enthusiasm to potential employers when you’re exhausted. Make time to blow off a little steam each day, whether through exercise, a relaxing hobby or fun time with friends.
5. Harness the power of rejection
Whether you’re applying for an entry-level or upper-management hospitality job—or a position somewhere in between—you’re going to be competing against numerous other professionals. Some may be more qualified than you—and some will be less so. You won’t land an interview from every resume you submit; nor will you get a job offer after every interview.
Sure, this can be discouraging—but it can also be very motivating. Take every rejection as an opportunity to learn what you can do better next time—whether that means drafting a new resume, making your cover letter more captivating, enhancing your skill set, practicing interview question responses or other adjustments to improve your desirability as a candidate.