How to use B=MAP to simplify your job search

when you're feeling overwhelmed

For many of us, the best way to improve job search outcomes is to meet goals consistently while keeping up with deadlines. But our fluctuating motivation and skill levels can stop us from actioning more difficult items on our to-do list. If you’re beginning your hunt and want to getting things done, we’ll teach you how the B=MAP behaviour model can simplify your job search.


B=MAP, or the ‘Fogg Behaviour Model,’ is a behavioural science model that helps us understand our behaviours. It explains why we sometimes take action and sometimes don’t, even if we intend to. We can use B=MAP to identify the factors that may help or hinder us while we try to follow through on our intentions.

Behaviour = Motivation, Ability, and Prompt

In the B=MAP model, three factors must be present for a behaviour to happen: motivation, ability and prompt.

Diagram depicting the Fogg B=MAP Behaviour Model. Details of the diagram explained in the paragraphs below.
Based on the BJ Fogg Behaviour model diagram.


There are three core motivators: sensation, anticipation and belonging. Each has a positive and negative side.

  1. Sensation (pleasure and pain)- The motivation to complete actions that are pleasurable while avoiding actions that bring pain.  
  2. Anticipation (hope and fear) – Fearing the consequences of certain behaviours while hoping for the consequences of others. 
  3. Belonging (social acceptance and rejection) – Avoiding behaviours that might result in social rejection by behaving in a way that is socially acceptable.   

Our motivators and their levels are constantly changing. If we want to stay motivated in the job search, we need to embrace the positive side of each one. Hope for better opportunities, enjoy time with yourself and your hobbies, and socialize with the people closest to you for support.


Ability refers to how easy a behaviour is to complete- for this reason, ability is sometimes called ‘simplicity.’ There are five simplicity factors: time, money, physical effort, mental effort, and routine.

Simplicity factors are resources, and they can limit our behaviours. If you have to write a cover letter for an application but don’t enjoy writing- the task isn’t simple. If you have to spend five dollars to get to a job interview and only have five dollars in your bank account- it’s not simple. You can increase simplicity by allocating more resources, developing relevant skills or making that task easier to complete. Breaking down your job search into easily achievable daily goals is the best way to do this.


Prompts are similar to triggers.  When we have the right mix motivation and ability, they successfully trigger a behaviour. There are three types of prompts: sparks, facilitators, and signals.


Facilitation prompts are best when there’s high motivation but low ability. Facilitation for job seekers can be processes or people that simplify the search, like recruitment consultants, auto-fill functions, or LinkedIn’s ‘easy apply.’ It might also be an opportunity for you to use your motivation to build your job-seeking skills to enhance your abilities. These prompts can help you build job-seeking skills and abilities.


We use sparks when there’s high ability but low motivation. A ‘spark’ can be a pep talk with a close friend or finding your dream role in the recent postings. It can also be a short, sharp shock to the system, like the realization that your bills are nearly due.


We use signals when where there’s high motivation and high ability. Even the most effective job seeker will get discouraged or distracted, feeling unmotivated. Signals help us maintain momentum while looking for work. They can be a reminder, nudge, or a simple post-it note. 

Actioning B=MAP information

Looking for work is challenging, frustrating, and time-consuming. Our ability to get things done can change anytime- free time fills up, financial savings dwindle, and skills can need refreshing. 

Job searching is never easy, but B=MAP can give us insight into what we need for success. You can use B=MAP as a roadmap to identify any areas that might need attention in your search for meaningful employment.

The best way to get into action is to create a good mix of motivation, ability and prompt. Seek out training if your skillset needs improvement, find tools that make actions easier to do and break down your goals into achievable tasks.

The Buoyancy app helps you work with your motivation and prompts you to make the small changes necessary for success. You can break down the job search into bite-sized pieces to reduce your mental load. We’ll introduce you to new frameworks that’ll get you closer to conquering your to-do list.

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