Let’s say you’ve decided you just might possibly (maybe) want to look for a new job. What kind of thoughts go through your head?
“Great! I’ll have my dream job in no time!”
“Let me make a list of all the things I need to do and people I need to contact. Time to get busy!”
“I’m the best person I know for that job! They will absolutely hire me.”
“I don’t have the time/energy/knowledge/contacts to find a new job right now. I’ll wait until something in my life changes.”
“No one’s going to hire me. I don’t have the right experience / I’m too old /I talk funny and drive the wrong car.”
“I can’t do this. It’s too overwhelming.”
If you see yourself in the first list, you are ahead of the game. Because I can assure you that many people struggle with feelings of doubt, discouragement, or dismay at the perceived effort of a job search.
Related: 10 Reasons Happy People Get More Job Opportunities
We often undertake a job search just when we’re feeling at our lowest: when we’ve been fired or laid off; when we’ve had a life-changing event such as a move, a death, or a divorce that’s rocked our world; or when we’ve buckled under the weight of the very last straw in our current job situation.
But even in more pleasant circumstances, such as graduation or when we’re choosing to look for a new career path without an unpleasant catalyst, it can be hard to stay positive throughout a job search. Let’s face it: finding a job is work. And sometimes the payoff for all of our effort seems too far-off and uncertain to seem worth it.
5 Secrets To Staying Upbeat In A Job Search
So, what can you do to stay motivated and upbeat throughout a job search?
1. Keep your eye on the prize.
Remind yourself what you will have after you get this next/better job. More security? Opportunity? Better health? Wealth? Peace of mind? You are going through this process for a reason, and that reason is going to make it all worthwhile.
2. Set goals.
What do you need to do in order to get the new job, the “prize” you’re after? Update your resume? Touch base with those people you know that may know of openings or networking opportunities within your chosen company or industry? Join an organization – Toastmasters is a great one for job seekers – that will help you meet people or learn to present yourself better? Set up some informational interviewing? Find jobs to apply to? List your overall goals and then break them into smaller steps, and soon you’ll be eating your job search elephant one bite at a time.
3. Think positive.
Did I hear you laughing? Yeah, I know it seems odd to tell you to think positive in order to be positive. And, believe me, I know it’s hard to be positive about a process where you could be rejected. I know it’s hard to have so much uncertainty when you just want things to fall into place, and want it to happen within your own timeline. It’s hard, but do it anyway.
Focus on the positive about your situation, and choose to be optimistic. Negativity is counterproductive, because: 1) it will scare away the people that you want to hire you (yes, they can sense your attitude), and 2) it saps your energy, will, and confidence… making it less likely that you’ll make any progress in your job search.
4. Take action.
Remember those goals? Keep your list handy, and choose one thing you can work on today. Tomorrow, do another. Celebrate every step you take to a better future! Everything you accomplish will help you feel more in control.
5. Choose cheerleaders.
You’re bound to get discouraged sometimes, no matter how hard you try to stay positive. Find supportive people you can turn to when that happens, so they can remind you of your strengths, commiserate, or simply lend an ear. One secret technique I use for staying upbeat is to keep a folder of nice things people have said about me or my work, or projects I’m especially proud of. It never fails to give me the boost I need when things feel tough.
Keeping positive can be challenging, but it’s important. Any career change is hard to commit to, but it’s that commitment, forward momentum, and endurance that will help job seekers to reach their goal. Staying inspired, and having a positive attitude, is critical if you are in it for the long haul. And take it from me, reaching that end-goal–and having a career that makes you feel satisfied and proud–is absolutely worth it.
If you’d like help with any of the things on the above list, I hope you’ll reach out to me or another career coach. We care about your career success – that’s what makes us happy.
About the author
Kristin S. Johnson is a TORI award-winning, 6-times certified resume writer, job search coach, and social media consultant. Her approach is cutting-edge, creative, and kind. As owner of Profession Direction, LLC, she works with professionals and aspiring executives across the country.
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