10 Tips to Remaining Positive in your Job Search (#1 Stop job searching)

Would you describe yourself as a job seeker? If so, I invite you to stop. Rather than seeing yourself as a person with your hand out hoping for the right opportunity, I want you to see yourself as a person of unique value offering your skills and experiences to the lucky candidate. Stop swallowing your worth and remember that everybody lands in that place of “in between jobs” at one point or another. How you handle your stay there says more about you than when you are comfortably employed.

Tava and I meet a lot of people who have been out of work for a long time. Back in early 2009 when things were very bad for so many of us, I came up with this list to help people stay positive through what was such a disorienting time. One of the things I would tell people is to “Stop job searching!” What?? I know you think I’m probably a little nuts right?  I felt quite vindicated when I read this article by Peter Bregman in the Harvard Business Review.  I think it’s time to re-share these tips. At the risk of sounding too Pollyanna, go and have some fun. You might be surprised by what can happen. Tell me what you think about these tips. What have you done to keep yourself motivated?

  1. Stop “Job Searching” (and get active). Go bowling, salsa dancing or hiking (Find a new group of people to do something fun with via www.meetup.com) Job search benefit: Expanding your network
  2. Listen to Mr Rogers: Get to know your neighborhood again and contribute to your local community. Side benefit: Get to know your neighbors- You never know what you might learn. Renewing a connection with your community can have a tremendous positive impact on how you feel.
  3. Redefine the experience: Be a Participant in the process, not a Victim. You have a way out: A chance to renew yourself and your purpose, rather than remain a victim of the circumstances
  4. Focus on the journey not the destination. Lessen traditional job search methods and focus more on other activities where you will feel more productive and regain a sense of confidence. Take a step back to reflect on where you are, and where you are going, and what you need for the journey.
  5. Don’t go it alone: Find a group to talk with and support you through your  job search!
  6. Volunteer with purpose. Choose a role where you can use your skills, where you have a sincere interest in building knowledge. Side benefits are helping others, keeping active with relevant, productive activity that goes on your resume, you never know who sits on the board, etc.).
  7. Find Inspiration. Read about other peoples road to success: How have others overcome obstacles on their way to achieve success. What motivates them to succeed.
  8. Learn a new skill or game.  Try and get out to the local community center  and meet others. Free online courses available as well as low cost courses available through continuing education in your community.
  9. Choose your own mantra. Find a saying that will get you through each day and keep you motivated for the next.
  10. Talk it through: Any level of negativity or despair will manifest in some way and sabotage your job search efforts, even if you are trying to hold it in.  Don’t hold in your anger, fear, loss, despair: Talk it through with a professional so that you don’t offload it on to your family,  friends, or of course, the hiring manager.

Be a friend and share this if you think it could help someone you know.  I would also love to hear what you have to say. Please comment  below and tell me what has been helpful in your search.

2 Comments on “10 Tips to Remaining Positive in your Job Search (#1 Stop job searching)

  1. Absolutely wonderful post! Being a job seeker is tough work! It requires a lot of energy input from you, but should not entirely consume you! Use the unemployed/jobseeking time to work on those things that you’ve always wanted to improve but just haven’t had the energy for in the past. Make the best of every minute you have.

  2. Hi Lindsey,
    Thanks very much for your feedback and suggestions for jobseekers. It is so tough out there, and I think a lot of people find themselves spinning their wheels and unfortunately not making the most of this supposed “down” time.
    Thank you for your comments.

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