If you’ve been in a job search for more than
a few months, you already know that one of the greatest challenges
is maintaining a positive attitude. Without it, going through the
motions can feel as demotivating as running a race in lead boots.
You begin to think “What’s the use? I’ve already
sent out 50 resumes this week with nothing to show for
If you find yourself in an emotional slump, here
are three things you can do to regain a positive, optimistic
Write out a job-search action plan including these four
* Search and respond intelligently to online and
print job openings. To optimize your results take the time to
customize your cover letters to each opportunity.
* Research potential employers to contact
proactively in search of not-yet-posted job leads. Make sure your
research includes contact names of key executive within the
organizations. Again, customize your cover letters to illustrate
your interest in their company and/or industry.
* Contact members of your personal network of
friends, former colleagues and professional association members to
let them know of your search. Continually build your network
through new professional associations, job fairs, trade shows and
business networking events. Involve yourself with others who will
tell you of job leads in the “hidden” job market.
* Invest in an online resume distribution service
that allows you to target your resume to employers and recruiters
most likely interested in your qualifications. You’ll see
quick results, allowing you to jumpstart your interview activity
Once you have your action plan, schedule these
activities just as you would if employed on the
job.Plan your work and work your
Choose an accountability partner and support
These are essential to keep you motivated and on
track with your action plan and schedule. An accountability partner
helps you reach your activity goals. A live support group (vs.
online chat group) keeps you actively involved with others who
understand your situation and can lend emotional support. Caution:
avoid negative groups of job seekers who will drag you down by
their pessimistic outlook.
Allow yourself to enjoy simple pleasures.
Spend an evening with a great book. Take a walk on
a sunny afternoon. Play football with your son. Meet a friend at a
coffee shop for a long chat. Often job seekers think they
don’t deserve any fun until they’ve found a job. The
truth is there is more time for simple pleasures while unemployed
than any other time in life. Once you’ve put your job-search
action plan into practice and you’ve spent your time wisely
in productive activities, reward yourself a little. You deserve