How To Keep a Positive Attitude During Your Job Hunt
Finding a job can be challenging. Even candidates with a great resume and background do not necessarily find a job right off the bat. Even extremely talented people with solid work histories are finding the online search climate to be tough, and on some days it can be very hard to maintain a positive attitude. In a job hunt, the one thing you can control is your outlook and attitude. Here are a few new techniques to keep you on track.
Plan Your “Work” Day - Every Day
When you've been unemployed and engaged in a long job search, it can be discouraging to continue looking for a job. Look at finding a job as your new job. Many people who have found jobs attribute their success to structuring their day. Set goals and work toward them as you did on the job; new LinkedIn connections, informational interviews or new application submissions for example. Exercise, shower and be at your job search desk at 9 o’clock each morning, five days a week. Set a schedule for your job hunt and stick to it.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
During your job hunt, surround yourself with positive, successful people. Do you have friends or acquaintances that are positive more often than not? You may wonder how they do it. The key to a positive attitude is not allowing a negative thought to control them. You may not be able to control what thoughts go into your mind, but you can control how long they stay there and what you do with them. People with negative energy are not helping you and can bring you down fast — even if they are well-meaning relatives and friends. Seek out and talk with upbeat people often. If you don’t have someone in your life that truly makes you feel good when you talk to them, join a job search support group, talk to a professional such as a counselor, psychologist or spiritual adviser.
Believe in Yourself
Potential employers and recruiters can sense negative energy. They will pick up on your moods when you are depressed, overeager or frantic. Smiles can be heard through the phone lines. Employers want people who believe in their abilities, who want to work hard, who want to work for them and people who generally have a positive attitude.
Take Stock of Your Talents
When you feel yourself getting a little unhappy or need a job hunt “pick me up,” we suggest that you take some time to identify your talents and acknowledge yourself. Take the time to list the areas where you do well. Don’t use this list for only your professional life, but include your personal talents also. Keep writing until you have written everything that you do well. Everyone has talents. If you get stuck, ask yourself why people seek you out ... what do they look for from you? When you see your talents listed on paper, this is a good reflection of what you bring to potential employers. This is the key to a positive attitude.
It can be easy to get caught up in a job search and allow it to affect your attitude. The key to landing a job is maintaining a positive attitude.
Learn From the Past
Take the opportunity to learn from the past. Continue to build on experiences to improve yourself and your abilities. Everyone has lessons to learn, especially on the job. Reflect on prior situations and aspects of your former job that you particularly liked or disliked. Be honest with yourself and ask:
- What could I have done better?
- Could I have made changes to my demeanor or skills in this role?
- How can I update my attitude, education or skills to serve me better in the future?
- Is this the right job for me? Are there better positions out there?
Once you take stock, create a game plan to learn from what happened before and ensure that the future does not include behaviors or events that prevent you from success. This is a good time to make sure you have a promising future without repeating situations that caused difficulties in the past.
Besides listing and focusing on your talents in your day-to-day job hunt, this is a good time to take up something that motivates you. Whether it’s getting fit, taking a class, learning a new skill or finishing some pursuit, the achievement is revitalizing. And, why not put a little extra energy towards whatever makes you feel connected to something larger than yourself? Whether it is time spent in volunteer work, community projects or neighborhood issues, now is the time to pay more attention to those activities and nurture your Spirit.
Watch Your Self-Talk
Listen carefully to the things you say to yourself. Make sure that you are speaking in positives and not criticizing yourself all day long. In any case, a positive attitude comes from within. Self-talk can be very encouraging too. Imagine what would happen if you spoke nicely to yourself all day. You could not help but be positive!
Set Your Expectations
It can be easy to feel negative if you don’t set your expectations for feedback in a modern job search. Often, a negative response, lack of response or rejection may be the new normal. Don't spend energy beyond a little self-assessment on:
- Why aren’t they calling me back?
- Don’t they send out acknowledgment cards anymore?
- I thought the interview went well and but it’s been two weeks already.
- The recruiter seemed so interested in me, but then communication stopped?
This can be very difficult, but in this job climate, employers and their representatives are not following up as in the past. It is not about you as an applicant, but rather about the business of demand and supply. Very few people land the very first job they apply for or after the first interview. You can see a job rejection as a personal attack on your abilities or character, or you can view it as an opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself — a “practice interview.” It’s all about managing your emotions, not their lack of response.
Even though it is important to maintain a positive attitude, you will have negative moments too. No one can maintain a positive attitude 100% of the time. Give your negative feelings 30 minutes of your time, one week a day, and then get back to your search.