Go to top of page

How to stay motivated

The high unemployment rate in South Africa has an impact on all its citizens, the youth is one of the most affected groups. Some individuals possess skills and qualifications required to be active participants in the South African economy but are unable to participate due to various reasons. This can be a very challenging point in your life, it is very difficult to stay motivated and to keep pushing. Here are a few pointers you can consider to help you stay positive:

Stay motivated

Being unemployed can be frustrating and depressing. However, if you can keep yourself busy and focus on doing things that motivate you; you can improve your general feeling of well-being, which can even make you a more appealing candidate when you do get that job interview. Bear in mind that when you are angry and frustrated because of your unemployment situation, it is likely that potential employers would pick up on this when meeting or speaking with you, and hesitate to employ you. Do not jeopardise your chance of getting a job.

Skill yourself for self-employment

The Department of Higher Education together with Swiss-South African Cooperation Initiative have recently published career opportunities in the artisanal sector which are considered to be in demand. The document comprises 15 trades which form part of a list of occupations in demand which is updated in each with the last one being published by the Minister of Higher Education and Training on the 19th January 2016. Try to look at skills you are interested in which can allow you to work as a freelancer. You can even look at the skills you possess currently and find a way to use them in order to gain income.


Networking is one of the most effective skills you can use when looking for work or even advancing your career. Interact with people who can motivate you or introduce you to some opportunities that you are not aware of. Attend free workshops or seminars. Just get out there and meet people, you may never know you whose path you will cross. The last thing you want is to isolate from your friends, family and community.


Participating in community projects is not only about giving back to your community but you will also be acquiring some skills that will assist you in your job search. Think of offering your skills at you church, community centres, police service and many more. Not only will this keep you busy but it will give you a sense of achievement because making a difference in another person's life is a great way to boost your morale.

Celebrate small achievements

It is not easy to stay positive when you are unemployed but celebrating small achievements such as attending an interview can be encouraging. Some interviews will be good while others will be horrible, celebrate the fact that you were called for them anyway. Being called to an interview shows that there is progress and your chances of getting a job are increasing. So, whatever small progress there is celebrate it, learn from it and allow it to help you stay positive


Exercising even if it is for 30 minutes a day will improve your energy levels. You do not necessarily need to join a gym for you to keep fit, you can jog/run every morning or use skipping rope just to keep your body energized and healthy.

Eat healthy

Avoid eating junk food as this will not do justice to your mind and body. A good balanced diet feeds your mind as much as your body. You need a healthy mind to be focused on the job hunt.

Stay away from negative people or negative news reports

When you're struggling to find work, the last thing you need is to fill your mind with negativity. Avoid being with people who do not motivate you, instead surround yourself with people who inspire, encourage and support you. Get involved in motivational activities, read motivational books, keep yourself in positive spaces etc.

Maintain Positive Thoughts

Thinking positively at a time where it seems like nothing is working out can be quite a challenge, that being said it is something you need to do. You need to always try to keep your thoughts pure and positive, do not assume there is something wrong with you or you are cursed or anything like that. Focus on the strides you have taken to get to where you are, remind yourself that you are able to achieve anything you set your mind to and be confident in your abilities.

Don't compare yourself to others

Comparing yourself to others can be the biggest motivation killer. It can make you feel miserable, like an under achiever or like you are being left behind. It is very important to understand that we all have our own paths in life. We are not all destined to take the same path. Some things may happen quicker for others, some might take time for others and that is fine. When your time comes you will excel and catch up to those you feel are further ahead of you. Just keep reminding yourself that your time will come too.

Get a drivers' license

If you can afford it try to keep yourself occupied by getting a drivers' license. A drivers' license can help increase your chances of getting a job because some jobs mention it as part of the requirements.


Get in touch today:

086 999 0123
072 204 5056
National Khetha Walk-in,
123 Francis Baard Street,

Our Partners

To become our partner, a formal agreement in the form of a Memorandum of Agreement or Implementation Protocol with DHET Career Development Services is required. For more information click here.