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How to Stay Positive and Motivated during a Job Search: 5 Tips

Aug 15, 2023
How to Stay Positive and Motivated during a Job Search: 5 Tips

Changing jobs can be a trying process. It's easy to become disheartened and frustrated by a string of rejections—or radio silence—from potential employers after a prolonged job hunt and composing hundreds of cover letters. Indeed, when this happens, staying positive during job searching can become extremely difficult. Even so, it's important to move forward with a positive attitude, which is why we are sharing five tips to overcome job search frustration in this article. 

Building Positive and Combating Negative Thoughts

When you are dealing with a stressful situation like searching for a new job, it is natural to feel some uncertainty and experience negative thoughts, doubt, fear, and worry about what may happen. Negative thinking can make your job search seem even more difficult and stressful, increasing its length and stress. When you are negative, your subconscious mind will come up with excuses to avoid putting effort and time into finding a job. All of this may seem overwhelming, and at this point, you might be wondering how to stay positive during the job search.

Successful people all have one thing in common: They have a positive outlook on everything. This means first and foremost you must believe in yourself. Your success depends on your mindset, so it’s imperative to focus on the positive aspects of the situation and minimize the amount of mental real estate you give to the negative. Remember that the job and the company you work for do not define you; you are free to look for—and find—your place in this world. Also keep in mind that anytime you decide to change something in your life for the better, you will grow from the experience.

Tip 1. Revise your routines.

Establishing a daily routine can greatly benefit your mental well-being and help you stay motivated while seeking a new employer. By creating daily rituals, you not only reduce your stress but also enhance self-confidence and add structure to your day. To start, begin by organizing your job-search materials, which includes doing things like updating your resume and LinkedIn profile. Afterward, set small goals for your daily routine, such as waking up at a consistent time, having breakfast, and dedicating time to job-search-related tasks. By adhering to a daily routine, you can increase your likelihood of success and feel more organized throughout the job-search process.

Tip 2. Set SMART goals.

Another tip on how to keep positive during job searches is to set goals in the right way. You should format each goal according to the SMART principle: it should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and will make a big difference in your ability to execute your plan during such a stressful time. By creating specific daily or weekly goals, you can easily follow your progress and stay on track even when things aren't moving as quickly as you'd like. For example, you could make it your goal to research and apply for 20 new positions each day or connect with one new person in your industry each week. Completing these tasks might seem like not very much progress, but it will make you feel productive and help you avoid frustration throughout the job-search process.

Tip 3. Track your progress.

When feeling frustrated or discouraged about your job search, it can be helpful to take stock of your accomplishments and expertise. If you’re applying for a non-entry-level position, it might take some time to compose a decent cover letter, but once done you will have moved one step closer to your goal. Take time to make a list of your major career achievements, such as successful problem-solving or participation in significant projects. This can serve as a reminder of your value and also aid in highlighting your strengths during interviews or on your resume. 

Instead of dwelling on negative outcomes, try to recognize and celebrate even small successes, like getting a phone interview or receiving positive feedback on your work or resume. Focusing on the positive can help you maintain motivation and perspective.

Tip 4. Focus on what you can control.

Moving on with tips for staying on track mentally during a job search, it’s important to be aware of what you can and cannot control. When searching for a new job, it can be easy to feel discouraged by factors outside of your control, such as the job market or your location. Instead, focus on the things that you can do to improve your chances of success. 

Make sure you update your resume regularly, build your online presence, and learn new skills. Anything you do to move forward will feel good at this stage. You might also consider contacting your Careerist mentor for additional practice for upcoming interviews. Focusing on the things you can control and taking proactive steps to improve your situation will help you stay motivated throughout the process. Ultimately, it's important to remember that there will always be aspects of the job search that are beyond your control. 

Tip 5. Don’t focus too much on the job search itself.

It’s always good to consider a job hunt as another routine, not as a full-time job. It can be easy to get caught up in the search for the perfect job, but focusing on this too much can lead to frustration and burnout. If you're feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to reflect on the other important aspects of your life, such as spending time with loved ones and pursuing personal interests. Remember that you don't have to do everything at once. While it's important to prioritize your job search, it's equally important to maintain perspective. Don't feel guilty about taking time for yourself, whether it's spending time with friends, pursuing hobbies, or anything else that brings you joy and positivity. Above all, remember that your situation is temporary and things will eventually fall into place, even if it takes longer than expected. Take care of yourself and strive for balance in all areas of your life.

Summing up

When searching for a job, staying positive is crucial. You may encounter obstacles and setbacks, but don't let them get you down. Remember to prioritize balance in all areas of your life, including spending time with loved ones and pursuing personal interests. Careerist offers mentorship to all of its graduates to help them get the most out of their job search, including assisting with interview preparation. If you are searching for a new job right now, keep in mind that your current situation is only temporary, so be positive and make a commitment that things will eventually fall into place. We hope this article brought some light on how to stay sane during job searches and how to stay focused on the good. After all, maintaining an optimistic vision of the future is the first step toward personal growth and a better life.

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