If the pandemic has left you feeling demotivated and unsure of what your next step will be then you’re not alone.

Adapting to the threat of COVID-19 has changed all our lives in unexpected ways, with many of us facing a whole new range of life challenges, from working from home, furlough and additional childcare responsibilities to cancelled travel plans, isolation and separation from valued support networks. With all this taken into account it’s not surprising if our personal and professional development has been put on the back-burner.

Although we’re are not out of the woods yet, the gradual easing of the lockdown rules has given us some much-needed space for a breather and to think about our options. But with the economy and job market in uncertain flux, it can be difficult to motivate ourselves to make those positive steps forward.

So, we’ve put together 5 easy ways you can give your motivation a boost and get you moving in the right direction

  1. FIND INSPIRATION IN OTHERS

We’ve all met those special people who inspire us. Whether that be a leader in your industry, a prominent voice in a cause you believe in or just someone who is on your wavelength. Finding inspiration in others is a great first step in boosting your motivation, and right now it’s easier than ever.  

The quality and accessibility of online events has moved forward in leaps and bounds during the pandemic, with many traditional in-person events moving online and therefore giving you access to speakers from all over the world on a wide range of subjects. You can search for online events on Eventbrite and as most of the events are online you are no longer limited to just events in your area. If the arts is more your bag, The List can direct you to the latest Q&As with your favourite creators.

If you are looking for a more personal touch, you could consider finding a mentor on the online alumni hub, From Salford. The platform makes it really easy for you to connect with a fellow Salford graduate in your industry and you can chat via the platform or set up a separate video call.

2. CHALLENGE YOURSELF

If you have spent lockdown catching up on your knitting, tackling a cross stitch or picking up the paint brushes you are in good company. UK based arts and crafts retailer Hobbycraft have reported a 200% rise in sales during the lockdown period. It seems we have been taking the opportunity to get creative!

A creative hobby can help you to improve and manage your mental health, as well as help you to expand your mind and interests. It allows you to maintain a healthy life balance and many hobbies come with new social circles. Taking time out from your usual activities and interests and taking on something new can really boost your motivation.

If you want to take your hobby to the next level, you could even enrol on an online course at FutureLearn, many of which are free.

3. ASK QUESTIONS

Many of us are still afraid of asking questions. Even though Albert Einstein famously attributed his success to his curiosity rather than his talents, sometimes our shyness or fear of asking the wrong questions can get in the way of us acquiring the information we need.

According to a 2018 article in the Harvard Business Review, asking questions ‘spurs learning and the exchange of ideas, it fuels innovation and performance improvement, it builds rapport and trust’.

An easy first step in getting the answers you need, but in a safe and friendly environment, is on From Salford. You can use the directory to search for fellow alumni who are engaged in the sort of activity you are interested in, or may be able to open doors for you, and send them a question. Many of our alumni have indicated they are ‘happy to help’ on their profile so will be expecting your questions. 

4. ORGANISE YOURSELF

Taking the time or organise yourself can be a huge help when trying to find the motivation to tackle your growing tasks.

Mindtools offers a range of articles and tools to assist you in making the most effective use of your time. It offers a range of career resources, including project management tools and other resources to help you manage your workload. It sounds simple, but just taking some time to organise your ‘to do’ list can make you feel a lot less overwhelmed and able to take on each task at a time.

Rearranging your workspace can help you to feel more productive too. With many of us working from home in less than ideal set ups, now more than ever we should be ensuring our environment is as clear and comfortable as possible. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a home office, so even if you are perched on the end of a kitchen island or in one of the kids’ bedrooms, do what you can to make it work for you. Creating a dedicated workspace will help give you the mindset that you are ‘at work’ when you are in that area – and somewhere to ‘leave’ at the end of the day. And make sure to take plenty of breaks.

5. EDUCATE YOURSELF IN SOMETHING NEW

If you feel unmotivated in the field you’re in then maybe it’s time to explore something new. Taking time to educate yourself about something you’ve previously not explored can widen your perspective and increase your motivation.

With so much information at our fingertips it is fairly easy to research an interest, whether it be that non-fiction book you never had time to read or a documentary on Netflix, there is always something to pique your interest. A new interest adds a new string to your bow and you never know where it might take you.

Don’t forget that on From Salford you can access a arrange of online journals and e-books ranging from academic papers to news articles and CPD resources. It’s a really useful way to broaden your reading and find out more about any subject of interest

We hope these tips to boost your motivation have helped you in some way. It’s important to remember that whether you’re making huge strides or taking baby steps, you’re still going in the right direction.

If we can support you in any way please let us know. The University offers a careers service for life and you can access a range of resources at From Salford.

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