Finding a new career opportunity can take an emotional toll on even the most seasoned job seeker. It is a time when we feel vulnerable, and multiple rejections can occur before landing an offer. We often base our identity on our career, and an uncertain future raises anxiety; yet staying positive while searching for your next job is critical to your success.
Six keys to staying positive while job searching
How does one maintain a healthy and upbeat attitude during the process? These tips will help.
Acknowledge your emotions
What are your feelings regarding your job search? “Whatever you’re feeling,” writes Katherine Brooks in an article on career transitions for Psychology Today, “I can guarantee you others feel the same way, so there’s no need to allow those feelings to stop you, or to assume that there is something wrong with you.” Brooks advises candidates to simply identify their emotions without judgment and tell themselves they are normal.
Take care of yourself
What does self-care look like for you? The basics include eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and maintaining an exercise routine. Positive self-talk is also an important form of self-care. Encourage yourself as you would a friend — would you tell a good friend the same things you tell yourself?
Being kind to yourself can go a long way toward staying positive during your job search.
Surround yourself with support
Connecting with others is an important form of self-care. Hopefully, your support network includes family and friends who believe in you and will remind you of your strengths. Be intentional about spending time with positive people who will be your cheerleaders, but who will also listen when you need to talk. Don’t hesitate to invest in yourself — making an appointment with a mental health specialist can provide invaluable insight and support.
Brooks says, “Not feeling in control makes us feel vulnerable and unsafe. What parts of the search can you control?” Research each prospective employer and their hiring process so you will know what to expect. Set goals for yourself such as the number of people with whom you network and the number of resumes you send out. Treat your search like a full-time job, or at least a part-time one if you are still employed. A regular routine will help maintain equilibrium.
Keep things in perspective
“Your job search should be on the front burner when you are in transition, but your life is not your job search,” says April Greene writing for Idealist. Maintain other interests and remind yourself that your self worth is not diminished when you are between employers.
Visualize your desired outcomes
What is your ultimate goal? How will you achieve getting from here to there? “See yourself in the role you desire and do whatever you can to focus on actions you can do now to prepare for that role,” advises Brooks. “The clearer your vision, the more likely you are to move toward it.”