You’ve made a list of jobs you know you’re perfect for, and now you just need to get into your most creative, cover-letter-writing powerhouse state of mind. Here are 10 ways to turn on the switch:
1. Start the day off on the right foot!
Beginning the day groggy and lethargic will only make the process seem that much longer. Instead, get a good night’s rest and then start your morning off with a filling breakfast, a walk around the block, and maybe even your favorite podcast. (If you’re looking for a new one to try, the podcast StartUp is about “what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one.” Listening to someone else’s career journey will get you pumped to get working on yours!)
2. Make your space work for you.
Do you work best with a ton of natural sunlight and opportunities for the occasional people-watching? Set yourself up in front a great window. Are you better tucked away in a corner where you can be sure you’ll go undisturbed? Sneak away to the coziest corner in your apartment. You know yourself best, so create a space that you know you’ll succeed in.
3. Know your goals.
Take out an old-fashioned pen and paper, and write down your goals. It could be for the day, the month, or even the next five years. Committing your goals to paper will give you a clear direction for the day and remind you of that bright, shiny career light at the end of the tunnel. (Plus, a 1979 study showed that graduate students who wrote down their goals were earning on average 10 times as much as their classmates 10 years down the road!) Pin those goals up where you can see them—and be inspired by them—and then get to work.
4. Sift through social media.
Put your expertly-crafted Pinterest skills to use! Create your own inspiration board before getting started, complete with some badass quotes, photos of your career role models, and even that purse you just might have to buy for your first day of work. Not sure where to start? Check out Levo’s “Inspirational quotes” board or even these eight motivational Instagram accounts. Get double-tappin’ on those pics and then hit those applications.
5. Treat yourself with some Starbucks.
While yes, you do deserve an award for all those application forms you’ve been filling out, there’s another great reason you should head on down to your local coffee shop. The caffeine in coffee can improve your attention span, mental performance, and help you buckle down and focus. And a little whipped cream won’t hurt either, right?
6. Get noisy.
Find yourself getting distracted by the cars outside or your roommate’s fave show playing in the background? When music gets to be too much to handle, try turning on some ambient noise to get in the zone. There are websites that will give you everything from the sounds of a coffee shop (you can even specify if you want “Morning Murmur” or “University Understones”) to a fast-paced beat. One site, Noisli, even changes background color to bring you the health benefits of chromotherapy. Pick whatever gets you groovin’ and get back in the work flow.
7. Be a little silly.
We all need a bit of extra support now and again. This motivational penguin (yes, I know how silly that sounds) will give you that dose of adorable and appreciation that can get you through to the next email/application/phone call. We promise we won’t share your new secret to success.
8. Pretend it’s a “Rainy Day.”
Ever heard of a Rainy Day file? Chances are you have one, even if you call it something different. This is that little sparkly email file (or real file!) you have that’s filled with all the sweet notes from your friend and encouraging emails from your former professor or boss. (There may even be a few “I love you” emails from mom thrown in there.) Basically, it’s your go-to place if you want to feel good and confident. Take a second to read through everyone’s kind words before crafting your cover letters. Now you’ll be ready to tell that employer why you’re the absolute perfect candidate for the position.
9. Laugh a little.
Confession: My friends and I couldn’t stop laughing at this BuzzFeed video about one woman discovering the wage gap. Even though it’s satire, it’ll make you want to get in an office, #ask4more, and make a difference. And a little comedy will make those apps fly by!
10. Grab your most supportive girlfriend.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the application process or just think you’d benefit from some teamwork, grab some fellow applicants and work together. Another set of eyes and some additional brain power can help get the ball rolling. Plus, no one knows how awesome you are like your BFF does, so she’ll be sure to keep the morale high and your confidence up!