24 July 2009

Maintain a Positive Attitude in a Long Job Search

I’ve been in a job search for over one year.  In this time i’ve tried to maintain a positive attitude.  Sure research claims there is a bonus to my job search.  If improving your search is the reason you got here keep reading.  I have been trying to maintain a positive attitude because i feel better when i do.  I like to be in a good mood.  The fact it improves my chances of getting a job is not something i’ve concerned myself with.  I have learned some things in my time that i thought i’d pass along.

  • Set a schedule and stick to it – On days i sleep till noon (usually from staying up all night) i feel i have wasted the day.  I job hunt in the morning; read or study in the afternoon; and exercise at night.  This is the basics.  My schedule is more detailed than this.  The reason for the schedule is it leaves you feeling like you have accomplished something (because you have).
  • Play games – Find a sport or two that you enjoy.  Then find somewhere to do it.  For me this was Ultimate, Tennis and Basketball.  Because i chose sports that are fun it is not a chore.  Plenty of team sports are played all over the place.  Hit up a newsgroup or other online forum looking for where groups play.  Also renew interest in  board or card games.  In addition to being fun they can replace more expensive entertainment (reducing stress over money).
  • Maintain your faith – If you are religious in any way hold on to that.  It will give you strength.  I believe that God will provide for my family.  He has so far.  He will continue to do so.  Your church may even have employment services to help you find work.
  • Learn something new – Find a subject you want to learn more about.  Find an area you can improve in your current or desired field.  If there are certification programs study for them.  If certifications exist in your field they often make a difference at some level.  Develop or find a self-study course for the certification and get started.  Stating “I’m in a certification program for x” during an interview is almost as good as having the certification.
  • Clean house – There are two aspects to this.  First get rid of stuff.  If you have ever watched the show “Clean House” or “Clean Sweep” you know how much better the people feel after getting rid of stuff that complicates their life.  The second is to organize and keep your dwelling clean.  Knowing where things are reduces stress.  Being clean lifts your spirits.
  • Read – Add some fiction into your life.  You probably should balance out your studying somehow.  The imagination required to see characters and places will take your mind off of your troubles.  It might also help you think differently a find another way out of joblessness.  Non-fiction is good but often does not give me the same level of escape as fiction.
  • Give Service – Focus on other will help you realize that you are not as important as you think you are.  It does for me.  Seeing people in worse situations than you will also help you see that things are not as bad as you thought.
  • Do something you enjoy – Hobbies are a great thing.  Find one to further take your mind away from problems.  It may even grow into a job.

There may be other things you can do to maintain or build a positive attitude in a long job search.  These are the ones that have worked for me.  Some things i’ve left off because i don’t feel they work (non-play exercise) or they don’t seem to work for me (focus on a better diet).

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