In my years as a career coach, and even before, I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who has actually enjoyed the job search process.  Unless you’re a star professional athlete and have your choice of multi-million dollar offers in various glamorous cities, searching for a new employer and finding the right job fit for you is most likely an unpleasant experience and something that can easily get your spirits down.

So what can you do to stay positive and fit during a time when you’re unemployed and looking for work? 

I’m going to share some suggested tips on how to maintain a positive attitude and outlook during your job search.  In Part 1 of this two-part blog, I’ll focus on actions you can take, the physical things you can do, that will help you stay positive. 

PART ONE: POSITIVE ACTIONS

EXERCISE

The importance of exercise can never be overstated.  Regular exercise has been proven to:

  • Sharpen the mind and keep it focused
  • Lift your outlook and help with positive moods
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve physical appearance and self-esteem

These benefits can be extremely helpful in a job search.  You’re more likely to be proactive and energetic, which means you’re apt to put more effort into a job search.  You’ll be more positive, think more clearly, look better, and feel more confident, which will also surely help you put forth a better impression in job interviews.

A DAILY ROUTINE

Without the structure of a job, you probably won’t have a regular schedule.  So make sure you find and maintain a daily routine that works for you.  Try to start and end each day at the same times, and be efficient with your time in between. 

It’s also important to build some timed and enjoyable breaks into your schedule.  I like to practice yoga or meditate or listen to music.  Maybe for you, it’s running, or hanging out with your child, or playing with your pet?  Whatever brings a smile to your face for 15 minutes will boost your resiliency factor.

THE THINGS YOU’VE “ALWAYS WANTED TO DO”

This can be the perfect time to get to things you’ve always wanted to, but have been restricted because of work.  Maybe you’ve wanted to take a dance class, or get started on that book you’ve wanted to write.  These types of things can provide you with a great feeling of personal accomplishment.  Although it’s tough to not have a job, we all know that there are other important things in life and other more personally satisfying things that can be crucial to our happiness.

Key here: Don’t let these activities take up more than 20-25% of your time or you won’t focus on the job search. 

VOLUNTEER

Volunteering your time for a worthy cause can have a three-fold effect: 

  1. It’ll make you feel good to help people
  2. It gets you out and socializing if you’re feeling isolated
  3. You can end up making important connections that might help you in the future

Not sure where to start? Ask around in your network.

JOIN A JOB SEARCH GROUP

Joining a job search group in your area will not only give you another reason to get out of the house and meet new people, but will also give you an opportunity to work on presenting yourself.  You can practice your elevator pitch and conveying your brand story.