Positivity is a solid foundation for any job search.
When you've been on the job hunt for a while, every rejection letter can feel a bit soul-crushing. Hearing nothing at all can create just as much job-search frustration, especially when you've gone to great lengths to tailor your applications to each position.
But while it's only natural to feel job-search frustration when things aren't going as planned, maintaining a positive outlook can help you become more resilient, which means you'll be better able to bounce back from negative events and regulate our emotions.
Of course, a positive attitude isn't something you can just turn on, but there are some things that can help. Here are a few tips for staying positive and maintaining job-search motivation as your search progresses.
1. Settle into a daily routine
Developing and sticking to a daily routine can be beneficial to your mental well-being. In fact, daily rituals are known to reduce anxiety, increase confidence, and even alleviate grief.
To help you maintain your job-search motivation, try to settle into a daily routine that helps you find consistency, like getting up at the same time each morning and working towards small goals. For instance, you could start the day by having your breakfast, meditating or going for a run, and then designating time for job-search tasks like tailoring your resume, writing a cover letter, or updating your LinkedIn profile.
2. Set measurable goals
Setting small, measurable goals will help you stay motivated in your job search even when things aren't moving as quickly as you'd like. You can set daily or weekly goals, but make sure they are specific so you can track your progress. These goals can help you avoid frustration by keeping you on track and helping you feel productive.
For instance, you could create a list of companies you'd like to work for and then make it your goal to research and apply for one new position each day. Or if you're interested in expanding your network, you could make it a goal to connect with one new person in your industry each week.
3. Make a list of your achievements
If you're experiencing job-search frustration or feeling down about your current situation, reminding yourself of all the things you've learned and accomplished in your career can give you a boost of confidence. Start putting together a list of all your major career achievements, from specific problems you solved at work to major projects you assisted with.
As an added bonus, having all your professional achievements lined up can also make it easier to include your most impressive work experience on your resume and discuss your career highlights in job interviews.
4. Look for opportunities to volunteer
If the lack of action is making you antsy, you may want to consider getting involved in volunteer work. Not only will this keep you busy until you land a new job, but it will also look great on your resume and give you something new to talk about in job interviews.
Volunteering is also a great opportunity for networking and skill building, especially if you're able to find a position that matches your career interests. Sites like Catchafire and VolunteerMatch can help you identify volunteer opportunities in your area.
5. Focus on the things you can control
When searching for a new job, there will inevitably be some things that you have no control over, such as the job market, economy, industry trends, or even your location. To keep up your job-search motivation, try to subdue your stress about the things you can't influence and instead focus on what you can do to improve your situation.
Some of these things include enhancing your resume, strengthening your online presence, and learning new skills. You can even enlist the help of a professional interview coach to help you prepare for upcoming interviews.
6. Take a step back
Spending your every waking moment obsessing about finding the perfect job can quickly lead to frustration and ultimately, burnout. If you're feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and remind yourself of all the other important things in your life, like your friends, family, and personal interests.
You don't have to do everything at once, and while you should certainly prioritize your job-search activities, it's equally important to keep things in perspective. Don't feel guilty about spending time with your friends, reading a good book, or anything else that helps you maintain a positive outlook on life and feel good about yourself.
Above all, remember that your situation is temporary and things will eventually fall into place, even if takes a bit longer than anticipated.
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