At best, looking for a job can feel like a roller coaster ride. For many people, the longer they search, the more they get discouraged.
So how does a job seeker remain positive throughout the job hunt? Sandra Naiman, author of The High Achiever’s Secret Codebook: The Unwritten Rules for Success at Work points out that while this certainly is a challenging time, there are steps that can help people stay upbeat.
“The key is to engage in activities that provide self-satisfaction and build self esteem,” she says.
She offers the following suggestions:
Engage in activities that make you feel good about yourself. Identify the skills and aptitudes that make you good at your work and also make a list of what you like about yourself, such as sense of humour or empathy. Then find a way to demonstrate those skills and characteristics. If you are good at planning, organize the book drive at your child’s school. If you pride yourself for your ability to put people at ease, volunteer to work in the waiting room for families of surgery patients.
Achieve tangible results. Many job search-related activities do not provide an immediate tangible outcome. To maintain a sense of control, do something every day that does afford concrete results. It can be as simple as cleaning out a closet or waxing the car. It can also be related to volunteer or family activities, such as writing a neighbourhood watch newsletter or making cookies with the kids.
Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. Identify those people who have confidence in you and build your own confidence in yourself. Avoid the people who drain your energy.
Keep promises to yourself. Now is a good time to end a bad habit, take a class that you’ve wanted to pursue, or learn a new skill.
Reward yourself. At the end of each day, chronicle the things you did well and reward yourself with a good book, a soak in the tub, or some other activity you enjoy. As far as job searching goes, pride yourself on the things you accomplished that day, rather than waiting for results before you celebrate what you’ve done.
Follow a healthy routine. Eat well, exercise and take good care of your body.
Allow yourself some down time. You can’t be up and optimistic all the time, so give yourself permission to have a bad day.