Rejections are an unavoidable reality during a job search. You’ll talk to many companies before you find the right fit. It’s discouraging, especially when you thought you had the job and you’re surprisingly passed up without reason or feedback. It's okay to be disappointed, but set a limit on how long you’ll sulk, and then move on.
An important part of your job search will require you to evaluate yourself. While you won’t win them all, one of the most important aspects is to recognize the possibility that there may be something you can change, and if so, be open to it.
Recruiters can all attest to the frustration that some job seekers convey in their initial contact. Hiring managers are keen at sniffing out negativity, desperation, bad attitudes, and emotional imbalance. Simply being aware of the negativity and making a concentrated effort to focus on the positive can completely turn around a job search gone bad.
Here are seven ways to stay positive during your job search:
1. Take responsibility. How often do you let others control your happiness? Happiness, bitterness, and frustration are all choices. How you decide to react to any situation in a job search is up to you.
2. Reward yourself. Celebrating the small successes along the way helps keep you focused on the overall goal. Maybe it’s not a job offer, but a second round interview is a step in the right direction. Even if you aren't selected for the job, it means your resume is communicating the right things to a potential employer.
3. Surround yourself with positive people. Finding people who are also engaged in the job-search process and understand the challenges will help you shake the feeling of flying solo. You can help keep each other motivated and positive, too. Negativity is contagious.
4. Set goals. Take your job search seriously and search every single day. Set daily goals and track your progress so you have a good idea of where you are heading. Monitoring your progress will give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.
5. Find time to do things you enjoy. Keeping your life balanced will help you stay positive and keep things in perspective. Explore a new hobby. Catch up on your reading list. Eat healthy and exercise. Stay engaged with your family and friends.
6. Consider exploring a cause you are passionate about through part-time volunteer work. Volunteering can quickly lead to possible job leads and new connections in your professional network. It’s also a great way to add structure to your days and contribute to a good cause, which in turn leads to positive feelings.
7. Focus on the long-term benefits of a job search. You meet new people in every interview and networking event you attend. Even if you don’t end up working for those people’s companies, the connections could lead to valuable, career-enhancing connections in the future, when they change companies, have other opportunities in their current company, or become a client at your future employer.
Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs, a niche job board for public relations, communications and social media jobs. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.