It is easy to become frustrated or disheartened during a job search, particularly if you’ve been unemployed or job hunting for an extended period of time. However, it is important to try to remain positive throughout the job search process.
Feeling positive will help motivate you to continue with your job search. Also, your positive attitude will come across during interviews and networking opportunities, increasing your chances of making a strong first impression.
10 Tips for Staying Positive While Job Searching:
1. Create a Daily Job Search Routine:
If possible, treat your job search like a 9 – 5 job. Wake up early, take a lunch break, and end your job search activities before dinner. Creating a regular routine, and keeping your job search organized, will keep you focused and motivated. Also, setting a start and end time to your job search forces you to stop thinking about your job search in the evenings, and spend time focusing on other important aspects of your life, like your friends and family.
2. Find Time to Not Think About Your Job Search:
It’s easy to always have your job search in the back of your mind. However, excessive worry about your job search only increases your stress and keeps you from enjoying other aspects of your life. Set aside time each day to forget about your job search and do something you enjoy, like going for a walk (exercise is an important way to de-stress!) or going to a movie.
Helping others is a good way to help you feel more purpose-driven. Find a volunteer organization that is related to your personal interests, or even to your career. Volunteer organizations also provide an opportunity for networking.
4. Join (or Start) a Job Search Club:
Joining an organization of other job seekers will provide you with much-needed support.
A job club can help you stay on top of your own job search, and may even provide you with job search tips and job leads. Look to networking sites, your local library, or your college career center for possible clubs.
5. Set Reasonable, Concrete Goals:
At the start of each week, make a list of specific, manageable goals that you would like to achieve. Perhaps you’d like to write five cover letters that week, or go to three job fairs. By focusing on small, achievable goals, you will feel more accomplished throughout your job search.
6. Celebrate Small Victories:
It is easy to focus on the negative during a job search, such as the interview you didn’t land or the job you didn’t get. Instead, focus on even the smallest wins. Be proud of yourself for getting a phone interview, even if you don’t get asked for an in-person interview. Pat yourself on the back when you make a new LinkedIn connection or someone comments on your blog post. Celebrating the small wins will help you focus on the positive.
7. Move On Quickly:
If you apply for a job or interview for a position, it is easy to become fixated on waiting for a reply from the employer. Yes, you should keep track of the jobs to which you apply, and you can contact the employer if you do not hear a response in a week or two.
However, if you do not hear any response, or if you do not get the job, move on. Simply cross that job off of your list and focus on the next opportunity.
8. See Everything as an Opportunity:
It’s easy to become tired of writing cover letters, going to interviews, and networking. However, try to think of each activity as an opportunity that will only make you a better job candidate. If you are interviewing for a job you don’t think you really want (or don’t think you will get), try to think of the interview as a chance to network and work on your interview skills. Think of each cover letter as the chance to hone your writing and editing abilities.
Simply thinking of tasks as opportunities rather than chores will put you in a positive mindset.
9. Focus on Your Positives:
When job searching, it is useful to make a list of your best qualities, skills, and accomplishments. This list will help you when crafting your cover letters and when practicing for an interview. Keep this list where you can see it, and review it regularly. Remembering what makes you a successful job candidate and a talented, unique person will help boost your confidence during the job search process.
10. Focus on What You Can Control:
You can’t control if and when an interviewer will call you back, or whether those networking contacts you emailed will provide you with any leads. If you feel yourself worrying about something that is out of your control, do something that you can control, such as writing and sending out a cover letter, or attending a networking event. By focusing on what you can do to help your job search, you will worry less about what is out of your hands.