It is common to become frustrated and disheartened if you’ve been looking for a job for a long time. However, it is essential to remain positive and keep yourself energized. A positive point of view will help keep you motivated if the search turns out longer than you expected. Additionally, your positive attitude might spill over during interviews which can only help!
Guidelines for Staying Optimistic During a Job Search
Here are a few things to keep in mind during your job search. Keep your chin up!
Take your time getting prepared for the actual job search. You don’t want to blindly start applying to jobs before you get all your items in order. Whether it’s your LinkedIn profile, resume, or cover letter template that needs updating, start adding in the most recent and relevant information. You should also reach out to a few former colleagues or managers to see if they’d be open to being your reference if you need them down the road. If you need a new outfit for an interview, time to go shopping or dig out that old shirt!
Spend sufficient time getting prepared before you start if you haven’t started job searching yet. If you’re in the middle of a job hunt but have not found much, set aside time to make sure your CV is up to date and attractive to potential companies.
Set a Schedule for Job Hunting
If possible, treat your job search like an actual job and look for new postings in a systematic way. If you don’t have enough filters, it’ll feel like digging through a mountain of dirt for the right job. Make sure you are only looking at relevant job listings that were posted within a set time frame so you’re not looking at the same jobs over and over again. It’s easy to fall into the trap of incessant searching, especially if you are unemployed. However, it’s probably more helpful if you spend time outside of job-searching on your mental and physical health. Keep up your exercise routine and talk to your loved ones while you’re on the hunt. It’s important to have a support group and clear balance while job hunting.
Making a routine and keeping your job search structured will help prevent burnout. Also, setting a start and end time to your job search forces you to discontinue thinking about your job search in the evenings and spend time centering on other essential features of your life, like your friends and family.
These tips will bring relief to make the best use of the time you have to devote to your job search.
Step Away from the Job Search When Needed
It’s not good to have your job search always in the back of your mind. Unnecessary anxiety about your job search only raises your stress and keeps you away from being present in other aspects of your life. Set aside time each day to review your job search and do something you love, like going for a walk or a movie.
Focus on the Positives
Employers often ask what aspects of your professional life you could improve on. That’s great and all but we think it’s helpful to focus more on the positives. What do you bring to the table? When job hunting, it’s helpful to make a list of your abilities, projects, and potential. This will help when writing cover letters or preparing for interviews as it keeps you in a positive mental space. We would go as far as suggesting you write these positive assets somewhere highly visible to you so you can remind yourself of your strengths.
Set Sensible, Realistic Goals
At the start of each week, make a list of clear, handy goals that you would like to achieve. For example, perhaps you’d like to write five cover letters that week or go to three networking events. By focusing on small, achievable goals, you will feel more productive throughout your job search.
Devote Some Time Networking In-Person
Even though you can exclusively network online, in-person networking has its own set of benefits. A cup of tea with a former coworker, client, or friend may get you job leads that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about. Frankly, don’t be shy to share about job searches with them. The more people who know you’re seeking employment, the better your chances of getting appointed in no time.
Helping others is a respectable way to help you feel more purpose-driven. Find an organization that works with volunteers that is related to your particular interests or even to your profession. Volunteer organizations also offer networking chances. This also helps beef up the interests and experience section of your resume. Even if you’re not working full-time while job-searching, volunteering shows initiative in doing things you care about.
Become a member of Job Search Club
Joining an organization of other job seekers can offer some much-needed support. In addition, a job club can help you stay on top of your job search and offer job searching tips and job principles.
Celebrate Small Successes
It is easy to fall into the trap of negativity during a job search, such as the interview you didn’t secure or the job you didn’t land. Instead, it’s more helpful to focus on the small wins. For example, be satisfied with yourself for getting a phone interview, even if you don’t get asked for an in-person interview. Likewise, pat yourself on the back when you create a LinkedIn connection or someone comments on your blog post. Celebrating the small wins will help you through challenging times.
Bouncing Back from Rejections
Unless you are one of the luckiest people on earth, you’ll likely need to apply to more than one job before hearing back from a recruiter. It is easy to become obsessed with waiting for replies from companies but it’s best not to dwell on them. Some people say job hunting is a numbers game. You need to reach out to a lot of companies before filtering down to ones that are actually a good fit for you, and eventually, one that finds you a great fit as well. If you wait on each and every response, it’ll be taxing on your mental health. It’s best to not invest too much energy until you do get asked for an interview or you’re several rounds in already.
Treat Everything as an Opportunity
It’s easy to become exhausted from writing many cover letters, attending interviews, and networking with others. However, attempt to think of each action as an opening that will only make you a better candidate. If you are interviewing for a job you don’t think you want (or don’t think you will get), try to think of the interview as practice. Tackle each cover letter with a new perspective to refine your writing and editing capabilities.
Focus on What You Can Control
You can’t control whether or when an interviewer will call you back or whether those employees at your dream company you emailed will offer any clues. Avoid beating yourself up on things outside of your control and do something that you can control, such as following up with recruiters.
By concentrating on what you can do to help your job hunting, you will have less anxiety about what is not in your control. Even though it might feel like you’ve been on the job hunt forever, persistence is key and it will all work out eventually.