Staying Positive During a Job Search

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Hope is wishing for a thing to come true; faith is believing that it will come true. 

–Norman Vincent Peale

As a creative recruiter, I speak with jobseekers all day long. Recent graduates to the most senior-level executives. And while finding a new job can be exhilarating, the road to a new role can be bumpy to say the least.

If you have kids in college and you’ve been out of work for three months…if you’ve met with a company five times and they ended up hiring someone else…the uncertainty and rejection that come with most job searches can be incredibly hard on your ego, drive and spirit.

All that said, I try to impress upon jobseekers that keeping an optimistic outlook and demeanor, as difficult as it may be, isn’t simply a nice-to-have in a job search. It’s an imperative. Particularly to land the job you really want.

I encourage anyone feeling defeated in a job search to try and change their thinking. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Upon waking up every day, say to yourself aloud, “Today is going to be a wonderful day.” Believe it. And make it a habit. Stating a positive intention out loud can actually impact the course of your day for the better.
  • Another “to do” when you first wake up—imagine the good things you want to happen that day. Really picture (like a movie) how you will succeed at making those things happen. When a negative thought comes in, replace it with a positive
  • Give thanks for all you have every day. In your mind or out loud, acknowledge all the things you are grateful for in your life, and say, THANK YOU. Writing a gratitude list can be helpful as well.
  • At the end of the day, put the events of the day in the bin. It’s over. If you’ve had a day plagued with annoyances and irritating challenges, file them away in the, as I call it, the “Oh, what the heck” folder. I like to picture wading up any of the minutia that’s bogging me down into a ball and tossing it into the trash.
  • Take some time every day—even if it’s just ten minutes—to be still and quiet.
  • Plan on it all working out. This can be hard, but literally plan on things falling into place. This goes a step beyond positive thinking; it’s really believing. Visualize your positive outcome regularly.  

I learned these techniques from studying Norman Vincent Peale. I’ve tried them myself and can tell you they work. Change takes time and effort, but so does a job search. Commit to these steps for a week and see what happens.