Career Advice

How To Stay Positive During Your Job Search

Posted by Heather Huhman

February 26, 2013

You’ve been unemployed for longer than you expected, and you’re struggling to keep your chin up. These are the times when we’re often our own worst critics. When we’re feeling down and out, some of the most negative and repetitive thoughts are those we concoct and repeatedly revel in.

Searching for a new job is very rarely described as an uplifting experience. Job seekers everywhere are likely to battle with a variety of negative thoughts, emotions, and experiences throughout their journey to a new job.

Expertly managing your negative thoughts and introspective questions during your job search is crucial to overcoming hurdles. While it may seem like a challenge to quiet your mind during the stress and frustration, it’s completely possible.

1. Take Control. Unemployment, the job search, and the current state of employment confidence have created an environment fueled by fear. You’re likely to ask yourself whether you’re qualified, what you’re doing wrong, or you might even be tossing around the idea of giving up altogether.


It’s all too easy to let outside factors influence your view of your situation and of yourself. You’re not alone, but it’s up to you to take control of your negative thought process. You can do this through continued self-assurance and attempting to gain a new outlook on your current circumstances.

2. Develop Your Own Positive Outlook. These thoughts are influencing your job search. If you’re feeling defeated, it will show on your cover letters and in your interviews. This only increases the necessity for adapting your views. Taking steps toward managing the negative thought process often accompanied with job searching requires developing a new outlook.

Confront your pessimism head-on by being direct with yourself and putting your foot down. This isn’t a time to be critical and beat yourself down. While it may seem impossible, you have to look for the positives in what you’re experiencing. Make a point to get up on the right side of the bed every morning and take it day-by-day. When you’re speaking with yourself, focus on kindness and rewarding yourself.

3. Be Goal-Oriented. A more positive thought process is best generated through setting goals. Setting and meeting goals – even small ones – will allow you to experience a sense of motivation and accomplishment. Develop daily, weekly, and monthly goals for your job search and for professional self-improvement. For example, set a goal to network with a certain number of people each week. This is an easy to improve your chances of getting hired while also creating a sense of fulfillment upon goal completion.

4. Gain Support. When we’re left to our own thoughts, we are likely to be harsher. Develop and maintain a strong support system during your job search. These individuals don’t necessarily have to be within your professional network, they just have to be there to reinvigorate you. Seek out individuals who raise your confidence, give you beneficial feedback, and light a fire beneath you.

Don’t ruin your chances of getting hired with a negative thought process. Make motions toward finding the positivity in every situation.