How to stay positive when job searching

June 28, 2023

Looking for a job can be difficult — both mentally and financially. But remaining positive and staying focused is key to success during this uncertain time.


Searching for a job can be a difficult and taxing experience, especially during a time of economic hardship. While the financial strain is an obvious worry, the emotional and mental strain are just as important to acknowledge and manage. We've got tips to help you stay positive and remain motivated throughout your journey.


Step #1: Get focused

You may feel as though your only focus right now is applying for a new job. While that’s a giant piece of the puzzle, it’s not the only important one. Get laser focused in every aspect of your life: physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and of course, professionally.

  • Physically: Staying healthy can prevent insomnia and distract you from feelings of hopelessness that can negatively impact your mental health. Challenge yourself to do something physical every day: maybe it’s going for a walk, bike ride, run or lifting weights. 
  • Emotionally: Begin mindful daily check-ins to reflect on how you’re feeling. This can be a powerful way to gauge your mood and whether you need to take some time for yourself or to call a friend to help you get motivated or for some positive encouragement for wavering self-confidence. You might also consider finding an accountability partner you can trust to share open and honest feedback. Tap into your circle of friends, circle of trust and circle of influence. They can be a teacher, mentor, or someone in your life who guides you when you’re weathering this storm. 
  • Spiritually:, It’s important to realize that we’re all in this together. Trusting in a greater process and knowing you’re not alone in your position can play a huge part in staying motivated and staying organized. 
  • Financially: Be smart about the choices you’re making when you have limited income or no income. Prioritize what’s important for your family. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of buying something that will make you feel good in the moment, but when you get the bill, you’ll probably feel even worse. 
  • Professionally: Identify skills that make you stand out. Maybe you’re incredibly organized, very committed or a great leader. Remind yourself of your strengths and remember who you are as a person. Review your past accomplishments and hold onto those as motivators when morale is low. And an easy task? Make sure your LinkedIn profile and resume match! Employers go to LinkedIn all of the time.


Step #2: Implement “start, stop, continue”

A helpful exercise to practice is “start, stop, continue.” Evaluate the things happening in your life right now. What are the things you need to start doing? What are the things you need to stop doing? And what are the things you need to continue to do to be successful? These three elements are important to focus on because they can steer you in the right direction when you’re facing significant challenges.


Step #3: Reach out to your network

This is the time to reach out to friends and former co-workers and bosses. Don’t be embarrassed or shy when it comes to networking. You might be surprised by the willingness of others to advocate for you and help you find your next position. If you’re looking for a career or opportunity, make that clear when you’re speaking with your contacts. And be open to opportunities that come up. Sometimes you have to take a detour and accept a job that you weren’t expecting but that can lead to a great opportunity in an organization.


Step #4: Attend or create a virtual networking event

Search for networking events happening in your area, either in-person or virtually. You may be surprised by how many people, businesses and peers are participating in them. If you don’t find a virtual event that pertains to your career, network or area, create one. Your peers may be impressed with your initiative and motivation, and potential employers can see your face, determination and understand if you’re a good candidate for a job based on your virtual meeting.


Step #5: Don’t let your circumstances define you

The job search can be daunting and difficult. Through it all, don’t forget the value you’ll bring to a future job or career and remember that any period of unemployment is a temporary situation. It can be hard but remember not to let your circumstance define you or confine you. Stay focused, humble and flexible, and don’t lose sight of the end goal or what you want to achieve.


Looking for mroe information about navigating you career? Explore ways to build and manage your professional future.

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