4 tips for staying positive while searching for a job

Photo credit: John McGovern, Creative Commons/Flickr
Photo credit: Jon McGovern, Creative Commons/Flickr

Searching for a job can be a formidable task, and whether you’ve been looking for a job for a few weeks or a few years, it’s easy to feel discouraged. However, there are ways to counter self-doubt and make effective strides in your job hunt. Try these four tips for staying positive while looking for your next opportunity.

Create a daily routine.

For many people, losing the daily routine that comes with a job can be one of the most unsettling aspects of unemployment. If you find yourself struggling to stay organized or motivated, or becoming easily discouraged or anxious, implement new routines using your job search as a base. Setting up even a basic routine—perhaps a daily cocktail of one part surfing the want ads, one part networking, and one part researching your field, with a sprinkling of fresh fruit breaks and walks around the block—can really help keep you grounded.

Also, consider devoting a little time each day to journaling about your job search activities. In particular, write about what you do well and how you feel engaging in all aspects of the search. Look for patterns that help you predict when you might feel particularly stressed or down. Note the activities that give you positive energy and incorporate more of them into your routine.

Connect with others.

Think of a few people you know who have recently taken a new job and set up time to chat with them about their experiences. Even if they looked like they navigated the process with casual ease and confidence, you will probably hear a different story. If you ask your friends if they ever felt unsure of themselves, you’ll likely hear some tales of insecurity, worry, and self-doubt. Talking about these experiences can help you remember that a job search is hard on everyone, but that if you maintain a focus on self-care, you’ll be able to get through it. Also consider a job search support group to share your experiences, or even volunteering to develop and maintain new relationships while helping others.

Keep an eye on your health and stress.

It can be tempting to forge blindly ahead despite physical and emotional symptoms of stress, and transition is a time when stress can sneak up and deplete your reserves before you’re aware it’s happening. There are obvious reasons for experiencing stress during a job transition: dwindling finances, pressure from family to get a job, and mounting self-doubt about the chances of future employment. So be proactive: monitor the quality of your sleep, diet, and exercise and talk about the issues that are worrying you. Also, be kind to yourself: it’s not easy trying to put your best self out there, day after day, in difficult circumstances.

Remember that your life is more than your job search.

Your job search should be on the front burner when you’re in transition, but your life is not your job search. Support, discovery, adventure, and connection should be key elements in keeping your life balanced. Remember to stop, take deep breaths, and invigorate your mind along the way. Think of your career transition as one big exercise in self-improvement.

How do you stay positive while job hunting?

Tags: ,

Related Posts

April Greene was an editor at Idealist.org.
One Direction, resume help, and Echoing Green fellowships: What happened this week? Community Question: Should you disclose your salary history in a cover letter?


    • Aviva
    • February 25, 2013

    This is exactly what I needed to read at the moment. These are great reminders. I have certainly been losing sleep and collecting unhealthy stress in the past month or two, and I am actively working to maintain my personal wellness routine so that I can stay above illness brought on by the stress and lack of rest.

      • April Greene
      • February 25, 2013

      Go, Aviva! It can be hard to stay on top of self-care during a job search, but good health is the path to an easier and smoother search process, so your investment will definitely pay off.

        • Greta
        • February 25, 2013

        I appreciate the article. It is difficult to stay positive ,but a plus of my search is I’ve been forced to learn new skills that I put on hold when I was working,such as (1) finally learning about blogging and establishing my own blog about my non-office activities and loves (2)learning about social media and establishing contacts(3)discovering what training is available free on the web and through public libraries–even courses on foreign languages…..

    • Sonia
    • February 25, 2013

    Thank you for your article. Even if we all know this, it’s so important to be reminded of keeping grounded and well-balanced and that, as you said, our job search is not our lives. I try to give myself a set of goals to do every day/week which helps, but it’s easy to get dis-encouraged and loose track.

  1. Pingback: Staying Positive When Job Hunting | Alexandrea J.

    • Victoria
    • February 25, 2013

    This piece is reassuring and reminds me to maintain my positive attitude throughout this transition. It’s certainly a period of self-improvement and discovery, a real blessing in disguise. Thank you, April!

  2. Pingback: The Search Begins: Job Hunt | Broke in my 20s living in New York

    • Jonae
    • February 26, 2013

    Stay connected with your other unemployed friends too! 🙂 Share resources as well as hunting tips….

  3. Pingback: Seeking meaningfulness after losing my job | Idealist Careers

  4. Pingback: » How to Get Your Dream Job UC After Cruz

  5. Pingback: 4 ways to stay optimistic when searching for a job | Idealist Careers

  6. Pingback: 3 quick ways your friends can help you find a job | Idealist Careers

  7. Pingback: A few tips and tricks for staying positive while searching for a new career | Paul McCaughen's Portfolio

    • Vijay Kallugudde
    • November 21, 2013

    Loved it..
    (1 create a daily routine)
    good advise.. its a good habit to make it a routine to apply for jobs,
    at one point what happens is when we dont get response for the jobs applied I get dishearted & stop searching for some time.. then again I start.. who knows when i had stopped searching at that i time i would had a chance for the right job.. better to shedule a time daily to for job search (as i have set time to write dairy, read books daily)

    (2 connect with others)
    good advise.. usually what happends is I tend to get away from people when i am having a rough time or when things are not going right for me, may be because of inferiority or setting a target as.. ex: l”:et this happen then i will meet them.”
    its not necessry that we should get connected to people from whom we can expect help but with friends in general or with people whom we like to be with.. because we never know from when we can get help !!
    biggest challenge is what happens often is when we meet people who have good & satisfied job i tend to think that ” I am not good enough” need to realise that may be they were at the right time & at the right place to have the right job.

    (3 health & stress)
    i have stopped eating since i am dissatisfied with my work, no propler sleep, always dreaming about the job i want to be in, have put on lot of weight..
    health & job to different things.. if I am not healthy how can i do the the others things in life ?
    its a good idea to buy a jogging shoes or a track suit, bicycle deliberately & went I see that i feel like using it.. i have bought a jogging shoes & a aerobic dress though i didnt had the money to buy. i got a seconds from a sale.. i have to strart using them soon..
    one good things doing this is.. who knows i may make new friends or meet someone special at the park or at the fitness club who may bring a positive change or help directly or indireclty to find a job…

    thanks again April Greene for sharing such lovely thoughts
    i want to shed 10 kilo’s atleast !!! & get fit


  8. Pingback: How to stay organized while job hunting | Idealist Careers

  9. Pingback: The 20-20-60 approach to job hunting | Idealist Careers

  10. Pingback: How to stay positive while searching for a job | Idealist Careers

  11. Pingback: Unemployed and Discouraged Job Seekers | Serenity Amidst Frustration

Comments are closed.