Staying positive during your job search

By Alex, Work It Out Coach • 15 October 2021

Work It Out Coach Alex shares some tips for staying positive during your job search.   

Staying positive during a job search can be hard. Who actually likes job hunting? No one I have ever talked to, and I talk to a lot of people! Even those who are lucky enough to already be in jobs they enjoy, can struggle with the stress of career decisions. It can be even tougher, of course, for people who are job hunting for the first time, have been out of work for some time, or who face particular barriers to work.

Being capable of getting on with it

But it depends on what you define as staying positive. Young women that I speak with often come up with the same kind of explanation.

“It is not like you would wake up and think whoopee, another day of filling in forms, but I would wake up without that feeling of dread. I would just feel like I was capable of getting on with it.”

I think the differences that we notice when we feel like we are capable of ‘just getting on with it’ are key. When we are in that state of mind, we tend to approach things in a calm and rational way. We tell ourselves helpful things like ‘I have done my best’. We notice our sense of accomplishment when we complete even the small tasks required and we keep hold of our sense of self-esteem. When we feel like we are capable of ‘just getting on with it’ we stop procrastinating. Most of us can recognise how much better that feels, how the reality of the task is often less difficult than we thought it might be and that lovely feeling of being able to enjoy something else afterwards.

Try this exercise to help you stay positive

So, here is an exercise that you might like to try to help you get in touch with your own amazing ability to just get the hard stuff done.

Take 10 minutes and a pen and paper. Writing it down really helps, otherwise your useful thoughts can end up getting lost, like ingredients in soup!

Think of any time in your life when you have already noticed that feeling of ‘being able to get on with it’. Maybe a time when you had to meet a deadline or a challenge that came up when looking after your kids that you took in your stride.

Then list 10 things that

  • You noticed about yourself, that you were pleased to notice at that time
  • Your partner a family member or friend might have noticed
  • Your pet (if you have one) might have noticed

When you are listing these things think about what you did, rather than what you didn’t do. Then, think about how, not why you did it.

When you look at that list

  • What does it tell you about yourself?
  • What do you notice about your strengths and resiliencies?
  • Which of those qualities, skills, or strengths that you notice do you think might turn out to be the most useful to you in the next few weeks or months?

Now imagine if those qualities, skills and strengths were to somehow get even bigger, even more clear and important in your life.

  • How would you know?
  • What would show you?
  • What might you notice about yourself then?

Make another list of at least 15 things (remember the soup!). Then, gently look out for those moments when they occur to help you stay positive during your job search.

Join Alex at our free webinar on Thursday 21 October to find out more ways you can stay positive during your job search.

Sign up for staying positive during your job search webinar