We’ve all been there: day after day spent filling in job applications, an inbox full of polite rejections, the odd interview if you’re lucky.
Chances are most of us will go through a long, drawn-out job search at some point in our lives. It’s easy to become disheartened and lose motivation when it feels like you aren’t getting anywhere.
Staying positive is the key to pushing through those tough times and landing yourself a job. Not only will it make you feel better, you’ll also come across more enthusiastic in interviews if you have a positive attitude.
Here are six ways to stay positive while job hunting…
Give yourself a routine
When you’re unemployed, it’s all too easy to get sucked into a spiral of waking up late, mooching around the house in your pyjamas and napping in the afternoon.
Just because you’re not working nine to five, doesn’t mean you can’t stick to a schedule.
Treat your search like a full time job – wake up in the morning, have a shower, get dressed and get hunting.
Make sure you have regular meals, and give yourself a reasonable finish time at the end of the day.
Structuring your day like this will allow you to be more productive and will keep you motivated and focussed.
‘Clocking off’ at the end of the day will get your mind off your job search and let you focus on other elements of your life, like friends, family and hobbies.
Celebrate your achievements
Sending out CV after CV and hearing nothing back can be demoralising and frustrating. Understandably, your self-confidence may take a hit.
At times like this it can be helpful to remember your past achievements. Keep a list of accomplishments you’re proud of, and remind yourself of them whenever you feel dispirited.
The achievements could come from any area of your life, and will demonstrate your strengths and show what you can do when you’re at your best.
You can also draw on this list when applying for jobs, choosing the most relevant achievements for each application.
Talk to people and ask for help
An extended job search may leave you feeling sad, distraught or hopeless. It can be immensely helpful to talk to a friend or family member at times like this.
Take time out from your job hunt to see people you love and trust. As well as being a great pick-me-up, it will remind you that they don’t see you any differently because you’re unemployed.
Don’t forget there are countless other people in your position. Look for online jobseekers’ forums, or join a local group or meet-up for unemployed people.
As well as offering support and advice, this could provide a welcome diversion from the monotony of job hunting.
Look at yourself objectively
As your job search drags on you may find yourself becoming mired in negative thoughts, self-doubt and low self-esteem.
We’re always more critical of ourselves than we are of others. If you feel this way, try to think about yourself from an outsider’s perspective.
Think about a time when a friend or family member was unemployed. Did you think any less of them? Did it change your opinion of them at all?
Chances are you answered ‘no’ to both those questions – so try to apply the same thinking to yourself. Nobody else thinks less of you because you’re unemployed, so neither should you.
Spend time doing things you enjoy
Schedule in time every day to do the things you love doing.
It could be as simple as listening to your favourite music or cooking your favourite meal, but make sure you take the time to switch off and forget about your job search completely.
Exercise is a great way to energise yourself and clear your mind. Whether it’s a ten-minute walk, a game of tennis or a yoga class, exercise will give you an instant shot of endorphins – the ‘feel-good’ hormones.
Remember that things will get better
When you’re buried deep in a pile of job applications it’s easy to feel like you’ll never claw your way out again.
Never forget that you WILL find a job. Even if it feels like it’ll never happen – it will! Try to remind yourself of this whenever you’re feeling hopeless.
Don’t set yourself a time limit to find a job. There are countless factors affecting your job search, and it’s not your fault if it takes you a while to find one.
Imagine yourself in ten years’ time, looking back on this period in your life – it won’t look so bad from there, will it? Try to keep this image in mind when you’re despairing.
Follow these six ways to stay positive while job hunting, and most importantly – don’t give up!