The grind of writing cover letters, preparing and sending resumes, going on interviews and all else involved with a job search can be exhausting. Because of all the work involved, it is easy to feel negative, burnt out and overwhelmed. But there are things you can do to make sure that you keep your chin up and outlook positive during your job search.
First, consider doing some volunteer work that is personally meaningful to you.
If you love animals, walking dogs at a local shelter might be the ticket, or if you’re passionate about reading, volunteer to read to children at the library or the elderly at a nursing home. If you choose something that has personal meaning, it will both keep your mind off your jobs search a bit while focusing you on helping others.
If you are looking for a job and don’t currently have another, volunteering can help you gain valuable work-related skills. As well, volunteer organizations are a good place to network with other volunteers. You never know who might share a passion with you that also might have a lead on a potential professional position.
Part Time or Temporary Work
While most people are out looking for a full time position, you might consider a part time or temporary work situation. Having some employment gives your days structure, and you might find you are more productive towards your job search when you have other responsibilities.
Temporary assignments help you build contacts and professional skills. Often, either part time or temporary work can turn into full time work, if you do a good job. Always be mindful of those opportunities, and be sure that if you have completed work successfully on a part time or temporary basis to ask for references and referrals.
Also, be sure to take good care of yourself. Eat well, get on a regular sleep schedule, work out, and all the things that keep your body healthy. Keep your mind alert by reading in your field, or even just for pleasure.
By being disciplined in your life, you’ll stay disciplined in your job search as well. When you do get the job, you’ll be mentally and physically ready, and used to a schedule.
Don’t Take Rejection Personally
When someone tells us “no,” it is difficult for this one little word not to feel very personal. However, many hiring decisions have to do with factors that just aren’t personal. A decision may come down to specific experience or a needed skill.
It’s so easy to let the rejections feel personal, but more often than not, they’re not meant to be. Learning to have a thick skin and move on to another opportunity is one important lesson, because it allows you to focus back on doing what you need to do to keep looking.
No one job, no matter how good it sounds, is an end-all, be-all opportunity. Remembering this when faced with rejection is tough, but can be the thing that keeps you grounded.
Hang Around Positive People
There’s an old saying: you are who you run with. And this applies when trying to stay positive, because if you surround yourself with positive people, you tend to also have a positive outlook.
A good support system of people who keep you thinking in a positive way can help tremendously when on the job hunt. Likewise, while it might be easy to grouse and complain with other job seekers, it might not be the best thing for your frame of mind. Once you find a job and land the position, be sure to be supportive of others looking to keep their negativity in check by being a positive influence for them.
Remember the search is a process, not just the result.
While the goal of the job search is to obtain gainful employment, it is also about the process of finding the right fit. It might be easy to accept a job that just isn’t right for you simply because you feel you need one. However, focusing on the process of finding the right position is very important to your ongoing job satisfaction and career trajectory.
While no job is 100% perfect all the time, finding work that you enjoy and feel good about at the end of the day will probably result in your work being stronger and better. In turn, this will help you move up or gain a more favorable position elsewhere. It all starts with thinking of your job search as a process.
Take time to craft individual cover letters, and tailor your resume. Ask for help from people you trust and admire. Practice interviewing and engage regularly in networking. All these things are part of the process.
The most important part of keeping positive during your job search is taking on the personal responsibility to staying positive. Understand what motivates you and make it a part of staying positive.