Staying Positive in Your Job Search

Sunflowerby Genevieve Ward

Equipped with a fabulous resume and a well-written cover letter, you’ve been busy submitting applications for that perfect job, but frustratingly the phone isn’t ringing.  When you’re in-between jobs or returning to work after a break, seeking employment can test one’s patience and feel disheartening.

So, how do you manage to stay positive in your job search?  Here are my top five techniques:

  1. Make job hunting your job.  Structure your week by setting the times to work on your search.  Consider how many hours per day and what times of day suit.  This forms a routine in your week and can give you a sense of “working”.
  2. Record your activity.  You may wish to keep a diary or spreadsheet to track your job search tasks.  These may include:
    • Checking press and websites
    • Applications sent
    • Networking calls and meetings set
    • Social media activity (such as Linked In)
    • Research / Reading (industry, companies and roles / current news)

    Keeping a record will validate time spent and progress as well as keep you motivated by having a visual list of daily achievements.

  3. Set goals with realistic time frames and re-visit these each week to keep on track with your actions. Taking the time to plan your career goals can help you keep focus in turning your career goals into reality.
  4. Get together with like-minded people.  Explore volunteering opportunities in your field of work or join an industry group where they hold information sharing and networking events.
  5. Accept the low days.  Acknowledge there will be days when you feel flat or de-motivated.  Go with these feelings and give yourself permission to have a day off to enjoy doing something just for you.

Think positive and positive things will happen.  Your optimism will show in your body language and conversations with others, and this can only be a good thing! Also remember that activity helps overcome disappointment where a favoured opportunity does not proceed.  I share these tips when I counsel people in my work and often at our next meeting they bring news of a call to interview or a fantastic job opportunity.

What strategies do you use to stay positive?

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