Going through a protracted employment search can drain the best and most positive of us. The ups and downs of the process and the uncertainty can play on your mind, but there are some surefire ways to keep your spirits up until you do land that great opportunity!
1) Stick to a Routine
Get out of bed at an appropriate hour, shower, and dress in something more than pajamas. Have a “Start time” and “Stop time”, and stay disciplined in meeting each. Keep a “To-Do” List (i.e. Follow up with your recruiter, contact people in your network, send out resumes, etc.) and work on those items. Checking items off of a To-Do List will give you a sense of progress and forward momentum.
2) Stay Up-To-Date
Stay Up-To-Date on the happenings in your industry – Do not fall behind on the goings-on in your industry just because you are not working. With so many means of communication nowadays (Google, industry blogs, trade journals, etc.), it is easy to stay up-to-date on the happenings of your trade. This will also be beneficial when you are on an interview and are competing for a position.
3) Take a Class
Take a class in your industry or on something that you have always wanted to do. Maybe it is a good time to take that photography class that you have always talked about. Being involved in a class will get you out of the house (though there are also great online courses), keep your mind sharp, and give you enjoyment. You may also find another career pursuit!
4) Take Care of Your Body
Exercise is one of the best stress relievers there is. Get up and get moving. Whatever your choice of work out is, it will help to rejuvenate your spirit, clear your mind, and give you the energy and discipline to continue on your job search with enthusiasm.
There is no greater joy than helping someone in need. Whether through a non-profit, homeless shelter, youth club, church, hospital, etc., give of your time to the less fortunate in your community. It will give you a positive sense of contribution.
6) Keep a Positive Attitude
Knowing the traits that employers place a high value on will help you in preparing for your interview, and give you a competitive advantage over candidates that are not focused on demonstrating them.
7) Avoid Negative People
Negativity has no place during this time (or any time). Distance yourself from those who are negative and try to bring you down, too, even if unintentionally. A positive attitude during this process is too important to be around those that have, or may be about to, give up. Try to be a positive influence, but do not allow yourself to get the “downer” spirit.
8) Remember That You Are Not Alone
You have a family and friends that want the best for you. Use this time to stay, or get back, in connection with them. A phone call or meeting for coffee, or a meal, will lift your spirits. In addition, due to the economic downturn, there are many people in the same boat as you. There are many support groups of folks that meet online, or in person, to keep each other’s spirits up!
9) Don’t Give Up!
Though this time may test your ability to stay positive, employing the actions listed above will help you to remain confident, moving forward, and ready to take on your new job with gusto and enthusiasm!