How to Regain Enthusiasm During a Long Job Search

job search
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The process of looking for a job can be long and somewhat soul-crushing. Most candidates face a lot of rejection.

In fact, recruiters spend as little as six seconds reviewing job seekers’ resumes before deciding whether to pass, according to a 2012 study from The Ladders. It’s easy to understand why it can be difficult to stay positive when you’re looking for work.

Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help maintain the right mindset.

1. Appreciate the importance of positivity

First, it’s important to understand how and why cultivating a positive mindset could help you to get hired. Negative thinking causes stress, which can limit your decision-making skills and undermine your confidence.

“Strain causes a person to be cognitively, perceptually and emotionally impaired,” said Richard Boyatzis, psychology and cognitive science professor at Case Western Reserve University, to CNN. “[I]f you’re under pressure and stress at work, then you can’t think outside the box because you can’t see the box.”

Bringing the right mindset to the table allows you to stay engaged and active during your job search. Many experts even feel that a positive mentality could be more important than work history during the interview stage.

2. Know that it takes time

Conventional wisdom states that finding a job should take about a month per every $10,000 you hope to earn. So, if you’re aiming for a salary of $50,000, it should take roughly five months to land a gig.

Hopefully, this knowledge can help you to relax into the process and accept that it takes time. If you do get to a point that your search process has extended far beyond this range, you might want to consider reworking your resume or even meeting with a career coach.

3. Learn from rejection

It can be hard to stay fully engaged in the job search process once your enthusiasm has started to wane. Negative thinking could make you want to turn your attention away from those rejections.

But, that won’t help you get hired. Alternatively, staying hopeful and enthused will allow you to learn from interviews that don’t go well, make improvements to your resume, and consider new options.

Remember that every rejection brings you one step closer to the job that’s right for you. Just because you haven’t been hired yet, doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress. Staying positive allows you to learn and grow through this experience, not just suffer because of it.

4. Take care of yourself

You’ve probably heard the expression that looking for work is the toughest work there is – and there’s something to be said for the old adage. Trying to find a new job can be especially difficult if you’re currently working. It takes a lot of mental energy to balance it all, not to mention a lot of time.

So, be sure to take extra good care of yourself during your job search. Exercise, get plenty of sleep and spend time in nature once in a while. Take time off to relax with friends and family.

Taking care of yourself will help you to feel energized for the job search, and that should help you to stay positive and enthusiastic.

5. don’t take yourself too seriously

Looking for a new job can be overwhelming. You may ask yourself a lot of heavy questions, like: What will you be doing in the future? Will you have to move? When all is said and done, will it be satisfying? Will you make enough money?

However, whenever possible, try to take the process seriously without taking yourself too seriously. Adopting a lighthearted approach can be really helpful. It should allow rejections to roll off your back with greater ease and help you to make clear-headed decisions.

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