Job Searching: You Gotta Have Faith
Eight ways to stay positive during your job search
-Tory Johnson, WomenforHire.com
Looking for a job is hard – and it’s hard on your self-esteem most of all. But don’t let yourself get depressed: There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Depression can indeed creep up, and it’s important to stay positive and focused. Remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous line: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Here are eight steps you can take to ensure that you keep your spirits and your self-esteem up during your search.
1. Don’t panic.
Freaking out over your current inability to find a job only causes more stress and headache, two things you really don’t need. It’s important to stay calm and in control of your emotions, because a levelheaded job seeker is more successful than a frantic one.
2. Rise and shine, baby.
Don’t fall into the trap of sleeping late and lounging around in your PJs. Wake up early and start your day as if you were reporting in for a full-time job – because job hunting is your job now. Waking up on a regular schedule, even if it is an hour or so later than normal, will keep you motivated and make you feel like your time is valuable.
3. Don’t become a hermit.
Socializing, also known as networking, is a critical piece to your success. Tell everyone you meet that you are in a career transition right now and ask if they have a good connection for you. Remember the old cliché that it’s who you know, not just what you know. Your friends and acquaintances can be the best source of job leads.
4. Find a partner in crime.
The best way to feel like you’re not alone in your job search is not to go it alone. Go out of your way to find other motivated women who are in the same boat, and commit to doing this together. Impromptu brainstorming sessions with this support person or group can lead to new ideas and new opportunities. Just like a gym buddy, a job-seeking pal helps keep you going.
5. Do it daily.
It’s important to schedule job-hunting time into your calendar, especially if you are working full-time or part-time, or if you tend to procrastinate. We recommend at least three hours a day – whether it’s working on your resume, making networking calls, scanning online job boards or meeting potential connections.
6. Let’s get physical.
Pounding the pavement shouldn’t be the only exercise you get. This is definitely a great time to start or step up your regimen. Exercise is a great deterrent to depression. From an hour at the gym to an extra walk for the dog, the message is keep moving – an adrenaline boost can do wonders for the psyche.
7. Avoid strangling your parents, husband, partner, or children.
Concerned family members (to put it mildly) want to know why their angel isn’t having much luck. Parents have spent a pretty penny on your education, or they know you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread – maybe even both. Perhaps an unsympathetic significant other grouses about the bills that are piling up. The anxiety and pestering can drive you nuts. Instead of screaming at your loved ones, enlist their help. First, have a calm conversation in which you explain how difficult this transition is on you, and while you appreciate their concern, it’s also distracting to deal with. Then ask them for contacts and suggestions. You may be surprised at who they and their friends know.
8. Reward yourself.
Looking for a job can be a long and arduous process, so it’s important to enjoy small achievements along the way. Set goals and assign an affordable reward for getting things done. How about a manicure for every ten resumes sent or a night at the movies for each informational interview? And remember, no cheating!
Tory Johnson is the CEO of Women for Hire and the Workplace Contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America. Connect with her at womenforhire.com.