Use this job-search motivation test. Following the test we have six tips for you to improve your job-search motivation score. As a finale, we'll give you four high-powered psychological job-search techniques to turbo-charge your job-search drive.

Instructions

The job-search motivation test consists of six items followed by three answers: not me, sometimes me, like me. Score zero for "not me," one for "sometimes me," and two for "like me." Print out the test. Mark the answer that best describes how you see yourself now.

                                                                                                         Not me  Sometimes me  Like me

1. I set goals for getting a good job.       ____            ____             ____

2. I plan how to achieve my goals.          ____            ____             ____

3. I see a job search as a challenge.      ____            ____             ____

4. I refuse to get sidetracked by moods.  ____            ____             ____

5. I focus on achieving results.                ____             ____             ____

6. I keep up a realistic momentum.          ____              ____             ____

Improve your score and you've put yourself in a better position to get hired. Work first on improving your score on items you mark "two," then work on those marked "one." Then retake the test and see where you stand.

How to Score with a New Job

Here are six tips to improve your motivational test tally and score with a great new job:

1. Set achievable goals. The goals you set make a difference. Performance goals are reasonable, measurable, and achievable. You may have to stretch for them but you can reach them. A performance goal, such as making three network contacts a day, is measurable and achievable. A goal such as doing a successful job search is, however, too general, and can be a procrastination trigger.

2. Make a plan. When you have goals but no plans, this is like having a destination and not knowing how to get there. A basic plan may be good enough: what will you do first, second, third? Now you have a map. Knowing what to do and how to do it gives you a psychological edge over those who wish for what they want, but have no map to get there.

3. Adjust your attitude. View a job search as difficult, threatening, and uncertain, and you've already backed yourself into a corner. See the search as a challenge that you'll work to meet, and you can extinguish the emotional flames of threat thinking. This new attitude fits with a relaxed feeling of motivation. This type motivation makes a difference. See May 21, 2010 blog: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201005/top-tips-job-hunters-start-the-right-frame-mind

4. Don't wait for the right mood. Waiting to get into the right mood is a form of procrastination. Frankly, there are many uninspiring parts of a job search and even some filled with drudgery. If you don't feel like engaging a critical element in your job search task, tough. Push yourself to do it anyway. Motivation can follow action.

5. Keep your eye on the prize. You'll face many distractions while on your job-hunt. You're human, so sidetracking is normal. But if you do a little better in staying on track, you are likely to find that staying on track is motivational.

6. Time and pace your effort. There is a big difference between typical and maximum performances. Most job-search actions take typical performances where you persist by pacing yourself with reasonable consistency. Like most things in life, the right timing and pacing makes the difference. (In Aesop's fable, the fast rabbit lounged too often and the turtle finished first.)

Four Key Motivation Enhancement Techniques for a Successful Job Search

Add wind to your motivational sails. Using a language of commitment. See how to generating a passion for your search. Leverage your efforts. Optimize your performances and get that job.

If you believe you will prevail in your search, then you are more likely to persist than if you tell yourself that the job market is too tough to manage. The first self-statement is a confidence builder. The second is a downer. The language of commitment helps erase "downer thinking." For example, "I'm determined to succeed" is a strong commitment. "Maybe I'll get around to a search when I feel like it" is a commitment to procrastinate. Talk to yourself in the language of affirmative commitment and you can confidently act on that belief.

Do you have a passionate purpose for following through on your search? Name this purpose and you give yourself an incentive to persist. For example, you are not just looking for a job. You are looking for a category of work that fits with your interests, temperament, and economic goals. Use this power of passionate purpose to harness your drive to achieve your work goals and to gain prosperity. See June 1, 2010 blog: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201006/top-tips-job-hunters-how-find-the-right-job-you

Go for the easy way and you can sabotage your search. That is because the easy way is often the hard way. Finding ways to take it easy and feel comfortable with a job search may work when you have all the time in the world. However, avoiding discomfort is often a formula for flopping when it comes to finding meaningful work. Get past short-term comfort urges and you position yourself to work for the bigger prize, which is the right job for you. Here is a crisp message: leverage your efforts by keeping the locus of your focus on what is basic for you to accomplish. You are more likely to feel positive emotions and less likely to get sidetracked.

You have readied yourself to describe your job knowledge and skills (declarative knowledge). Employers want to know you can do the job. So, how do you act to impress? Kick into a high quality presentation gear by using an optimal performance technique. This two-step motivational enhancement plan follows.

Start by thinking pleasant thoughts that you associate with feelings of relaxation. When you feel relaxed, imagine a time when you operated at your best. This is your mobilization phase. The combination of positive relaxation and mobilization can give you a lift at the right time just before an interview. (You can use this optimal performance approach at any phase of your search, including charging yourself up to do your homework to find where you have the best job opportunities.)

If you want to learn more about these four motivational enhancement methods, see chapter three in Fearless Job Hunting on optimizing your job search efforts. For a description of the book, see: http://www.amazon.com/Fearless-Job-Hunting-Psychological-Strategies/dp/1572248343/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277131848&sr=1-1

Dr. Bill Knaus & Dr. Russ Grieger

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