Staying positive during your job search is critical because “positive attracts, negative repels”. So here are six strategies to help you do just that because you need to attract the right people to network with, the right opportunities that will be shared with you, and ultimately, this positive attitude will be evident when you are interviewing for that job!
1 - Practice self care: This means getting exercise every day and getting the endorphins going! Even if it's just 30 minutes a day - it means a tremendous amount. This also means keeping yourself looking good and getting dressed each day, even if you are staying home. Staying in your PJs and watching tv all day will spiral you down to somewhere you don't want to go.
2 - Keep a Daily Schedule: You need to put aside 3 - 6 hours per day for your job search. So keep your calendar scheduled for this amount of time every day. Do other things, but do not let those other things take time away from this very important effort. You are unemployed, but you do have a job: it's to find a job. You just aren't getting paid for it - but it's vitally important time that you must dedicate every day.
3 - Network: This is critical. Networking is not about asking for a job. Networking is about creating mutually beneficial long term relationships of give and take! With an emphasis on the give: make connections with people you meet. Send holiday cards. Send articles they may be interested in. Attend professional trade events whenever possible and meet as many new people as possible. Even if you are not feeling "up", act like you are because this will attract and not repel people. Have a natural curiosity for everyone you meet - ask them how they got into their professionals. Ask what their "best" day in that profession was. Everyone loves to talk about themselves and then you look like a very intelligent person for asking, and they will introduce you to others. Everyone knows roughly about 250 people. So impress a person and you will have access to their 250 ... see the power of network?!
4 - Read/Stay Current: Read the latest information about your profession - stay current with what is happening around you. This includes your trade journals, the papers, and you should do a "google alert" which will bring all information about any topic directly to your email. This ensures you stay an expert in this area especially.
5 - Start a Hobby: You can look for a job for 4 - 6 hours a day, but not for 12 - so pick up that hobby that you always wanted to try. There is something about learning something new that makes you feel really good - so maybe you want to learn a language, a musical instrument, or take some cooking classes. Now is the time.
6 - Volunteer: No matter how bad it can get during a job search, there are always people less fortunate than you are and helping them will make you feel better. So volunteer and help others out that are not doing anywhere near as well as you!
Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio is the co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com), a career coaching firm that partners with individuals through every stage of their job search. Connie (firstname.lastname@example.org) and her partner built this business upon their 40 years of experience at companies such as Goldman, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Pfizer and Time Inc. Since they have literally hired thousands of individuals over the years, they know exactly what employers want and this experience and knowledge is shared with their clients so they can find their dream job. Connie also teaches at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, as an adjunct professor of Career Development.