3 Ways to Stay Positive While Looking for the Perfect Job

How do you deal with resume rejection? What do you do when you don’t get the job after what you felt like was an awesome interview? Do you get down, or do you stay positive?

In June, Glassdoor released its Why is Hiring Taking Longer? report, which analyzed 344,250 interview reviews spanning six countries to find out how long it’s really taking job seekers to get hired, and why. The results? On average, the hiring process in the U.S. takes 22.9 days.

Obviously, the more positive you can stay, the more effective you’ll be as a job seeker, but that’s not always easy when slow hiring processes make your job search drag on forever.

Whether it’s not hearing back from a company you applied to for a few weeks (or ever) or making it to round three of the hiring process and finding out you didn’t make the cut, long hiring processes mean a longer job search. And the longer a job search takes, the harder it is to stay positive.

Here are three strategies that will keep the positivity flowing during a long job search and help you find the job of your dreams:

1. Focus on learning from every experience.

The longer a job search gets, the easier it is to shut down and simply go through the motions. But new research shows that actively learning from every aspect of your job search could be the solution to landing a job.

In a study published in the November 2014 edition of the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia found job seekers who focus on “learning” from the job search process are more successful in the long run. Strong “learning goal orientation” helps you stay positive when things aren’t going your way and focus more energy into the search rather than scaling back and going through the motions.

The more you try to learn from the different challenges you face during your job search, the more positive and optimistic your outlook will become. The more positive your outlook, the easier it is to knock down the mental walls that pop up during a long job search.

2. Stay healthy.

Job searching can be a pretty sedentary task. You sit down in front of the computer in the morning, and before you know it you realize you haven’t stood up in hours. Combine that with the mental stress of a prolonged job search, and you’ve got a recipe that makes you more prone to depression.

The solution? Make time for exercise and eat healthy to keep your spirits — and your energy level — high during your job search.

This may not be surprising, but research has shown that moderate exercise helps prevent depression and gives you more energy to help you get through the day. Schedule time throughout your day to take a walk, go running, ride your bike, or hit the gym. You’ll have more energy and a more positive approach during the long hours of your job search.

3. Know what to expect before you apply.

What’s worse than expecting to hear back from a hiring manager within a day or two and not getting an email until two weeks later? Nothing.

Want to avoid that feeling?

Research more than just the the company culture before applying — research the company’s hiring process as well. Search for the company in Glassdoor’s “Interview” section to get the scoop on the questions you’ll be asked, the time the hiring process took, and more. Not only will you get insight into what other candidates went through, but you won’t be surprised when you don’t get emailed back a day after you send in your resume.

Already have your interview scheduled? Discuss the hiring process with your interviewer so you know what to expect going forward. Doing so will help you plan your job search and keep you from thinking negative thoughts while you’re waiting to hear back.

What do you think the most challenging part of staying positive during your job search is? How do you stay positive when you feel like you’ve been job searching forever?