Staying Positive During a Long Job Search

We have often remarked that a job search is more akin to a marathon than a sprint. In truth, job searches can be long, exhausting, and demoralizing.  Even in the best of economic times, job searches average six to nine months. The hiring landscape during Covid has been pretty bleak, although we are seeing signs of improvement on the horizon. About 55 million Americans filed for unemployment since the pandemic began, so you are not alone in your job search woes. Here are some tips to help keep you positive and motivated when a job search stretches on, and on, and on…

1. Focus on the things you can control.
Take it one day at a time, one application at a time. Many people find that it helps to build a daily schedule for themselves. Sometimes job searching can feel like a full-time job, but it doesn’t need to occupy every waking hour. Make sure you are spending time on creating quality applications and seeking help from mentors and advisors along the way. But it is also important to attend to other aspects of your life as well – allowing time for self-care, socialization, etc. In a job search, the only things you have control over are preparing quality materials and preparing for a successful interview. The rest is out of your hands, so try not to ruminate on these external factors.

2.Try not to personalize rejections.
This one is really tough! Remember that everybody experiences setbacks and rejection – you are not alone. A job search is sometimes a numbers game and you are bound to lose out on a number of opportunities until you find your win. It can be helpful to try and seek feedback from these rejections. Was there something that could have been improved in your application? Interview? Use these as learning moments to improve as you go forward but try not to dwell on these negatives for too long.

3. Don’t lose confidence.
This happens frequently to long-term job seekers. You start doubting and second-guessing yourself and all your decisions. Take some time to reflect on your accomplishments. Make a list of all the things you are proud of. Remind yourself that you are capable and remarkable.

4. Persevere!
Whatever you do, keep at it! Many job seekers become overwhelmed or lose hope very early on in the process and stop doing all the things they need to do. Consistency is key to seeing any long-term results, so try to maintain your commitment and momentum. You job search will eventually come to an end; try to keep next steps and the big picture in your mind as motivation.

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