Strategies for Job Seekers – Part 1: Staying Positive

This is an update to an earlier post in October 2010.

No doubt these are challenging times if you’re a job seeker.  I know.  I’ve been there.  

Finding a job is a job in itself.  It’s easy to be overwhelmed with all of the steps involved in a job search. If results don’t come quickly it’s easy to lose your enthusiasm. My next few posts will provide strategies that kept me focused, tenacious and moving forward on my job searches until I succeeded.  

First, maintain a positive attitude and focus on the bright side. If there’s a 12 percent unemployment rate that means there’s an 88 percent employment rate.  A client I know just hired two people. A friend was remarking about all of the jobs posted at on-line job sites. Here are some tips for staying positive until your job comes through: 

  • Know and affirm the perfect job is out there for you. 
  • Believe that if you’re putting energy out there and staying focused and active all of your hard work has got to pay off at some point. Either you will a job or it will find you.
  • Take note of the positive things going on in your industry, where you live, or the job market in general.  
  • Nothing is more attractive than a positive attitude. One way to stay positive is to practice smiling every day.  Have you ever noticed when you smile at people they usually smile back? Why not start a positive feedback loop by smiling at someone? (See what happens!) 
  • Start a gratitude journal.  Write every evening what you are grateful for in your life.  (Even if it’s hard to think of things at the beginning you can be grateful you can breathe, see, walk, talk, write, etc.)
  • Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who are encouraging and keep you upbeat.
  • Record on a calendar the actions that you are taking and the little miracles that occur. I used a beautiful wall calendar and wrote every interview, every phone call I received back, every referral to another source. It was a visual confirmation for me that I was putting energy into my search and that the energy I was putting out was flowing even if it didn’t feel like it.
  • Use a daily affirmation like the ones in this video: 
  • Find someone who is doing what you want to do and interview them about how they landed their job.
  • Let all of your friends and family members know what kind of job you want and what type of environment you excel in. (If you aren’t clear on the type of job you want or the type of environment that would be best for you, seek out a career counselor or coach like me to help you get clear so others will know how to help you).  

Please leave a comment if these tips inspired you!    

Linda Hardenstein, MPA, PCC, helps college graduates and professionals find careers they’ll love and gain more satisfaction from their work. You can reach her at