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Career Detour: Relying On Internal Motivation

Whether they’re on the job hunt or in a plateaued career, people too often think that their own internal motivation is enough. Unfortunately, we don’t know ourselves as well as we think we do.

In job searches, weekly – and sometimes daily – rejections come with the territory. This can affect your behavior and frame of mind before, during and after interviews. The problem is that people often don’t even realize this is happening. That’s why you need a plan to keep yourself positive and your self-esteem up. Here are a few ideas:

  • Go to the gym or take regular walks. There are two things happening here: first, you are relieving stress with exercise, and second, you are taking care of your body. It’s a form of loving yourself! And that’s essential as you go through this career transition process.
  • Actively volunteer or participate in organizations where you are giving of yourself. One of the strongest motivations out there is having a sense that you belong – and most importantly, that someone needs you.
  • Make time for yourself and do things you really enjoy. Head to a ball game or visit the art museum. Visit with a good friend over lunch and take in a movie. You can’t possibly be on the job hunt 24/7 without burning out. Balance is the key to running the marathon race that leads to your career finish line.

If you have other ideas or tips, I’d love to hear them! Please share via the comments below.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Carol S. says:


    I highly recommend keeping a gratitude journal and making an entry every day. It is amazing when you are going through difficult times how much you still have to be grateful for – such as your health, family and friends; a beautiful sunny day, a motivational quote sent to you by a friend, a great memory triggered by a song on the radio, etc. Recognizing the good things that are still happening around you despite your struggles and challenges can go a long way.

    Carol S.

  • David says:

    Carol I do agree, All of us have bad days to work through and for me it’s been all the letters and notes from friends and family that transitions me on to hope and belief.