Tips for Staying Positive Throughout a Long Job Search

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson

Another day, another job board. After refreshing the page only to find the same results pop up and no new leads, the job search can become draining. Don’t let this get you down! As the wise man Willie Nelson said, positive results come from a good attitude! If you’re feeling down during the search, here are some ways to keep those positive vibes only:

Motivate yourself.

Finding the motivation to start your job search is the first major step to success. However, after the beginning, what are some ways to keep yourself motivated? When I want to kick my workflow into gear, sometimes I give myself a short pep talk. No, I’m not joking – it may sound simple, but this is a really useful exercise!

If you’re thinking bigger picture, research some career role models to find out how they’re reached their goals. Often times, we forget that landing our dream job right away isn’t how our favorites got to where they are today!

Finally, you could ask a close and trusted friend to give you constructive criticism. For instance, maybe you have an error on your LinkedIn profile or a grammar mistake on your resume. You don’t know unless you ask, and who better to help get you kick started than someone who knows you well.

Stick to a routine.

Treat your job search like a typical 9 to 5 gig! The more of a routine you have, the easier it will be to stay on track every single day. According to Northwestern Medicine, having a routine can help with stress, sleep habits, diet, physical condition and effective use of time. Try structuring your day into chunks – one hour of searching, one hour of resume writing, one hour of interview prep and regular breaks in-between. In turn, this will keep you happy and prepared along the way each and every day!

Have a short memory.

Rejection feels a lot like a stab right in the heart. It takes a toll on anyone during a job search! The key is to have a short memory; this was the best piece of advice I ever received while playing sports growing up, and it’s always stuck with me. Don’t dwell on opportunities that could have been because you can’t change the past. Learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward. The sooner you let go of a botched interview or dead-end job lead, the happier you will be.

Focus on what you can control.

Throughout your job search, there will be times where stuff happens that is completely out of your control. Take the job market, for example. If you’re looking for a very specialized job, an opening might not pop up for a while, but you can’t control that. If your ideal position isn’t up on a job board right away, you may need to rethink your search! Identify your transferable skills, research your general industry and see what other jobs you may be able apply for.

Celebrate the small stuff.

Have you ever taken a ride on a rollercoaster? Sometimes, that’s how a job search can feel! Unwarranted twists and loops can turn your search upside down. One second you’re thrilled because you created a masterpiece of a resume, and the next day you’re down in the dumps because the perfectly-perfected resume wasn’t what the employer was looking for. That’s why it’s important to celebrate the small stuff! You created a rock star resume? Give yourself a pat on the back. Reached out to an old contact to find a potential opportunity? Eat some of your favorite chocolate! During a job search, focus on the small stuff to stay positive.

It’s all about the good vibes during a job search! When the going gets tough, try as hard as you can to stay positive, otherwise finding a job will be difficult. Do you have a way to stay positive during a job search that you’d like to share? Brighten our days with your advice below!

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