Staying Positive During Your Job Search

In these turbulent times you may be at risk from redundancy – losing your job and job hunting can be an emotional roller-coaster.

If you have recently been made redundant you may feel shock, anger, sadness, shame or disappointment.

If you are job hunting you may feel that you’re riding high in anticipation of being selected for a job role one moment, and the next minute brought back down to earth with a bump when a rejection email lands in your inbox.

It’s important that you look after yourself and stay positive during your job search and reduce stress too.

Look after your physical self

It’s easy to slip into unhealthy ways when you’re job hunting because of increased stress levels and boredom.

Comfort eating, drinking more alcohol or stopping up late as you don’t need to get up for work in the morning are unhealthy habits that will have a negative effect on your job search.

You need to be fresh and alert in order to concentrate on finding work and applying for jobs, and when you go out to interview you need your clothes to fit as you are out to impress – you need to look and feel your best.

Get some exercise you don’t need to join an expensive gym just take a walk outside in nature for an hour or two a day or go for a swim at the local municipal baths, maintain your work sleep schedule ie in bed by 10 and up at 6, take the time to prepare healthy inexpensive meals and keep your drinking down to weekends only now is not the time to have gin o’clock each day at 5.

These activities will help you feel more refreshed and energised and will make you more productive in your job search.

We all know the confidence we get when we have lost the odd half stone and consistently got the blood flowing this will show increase your swagger when you meet prospective employers.

Obviously if you are the sort of person who eats unhealthily, drinks every evening and is a heavy smoker even when at work then I guess you already know that you have bigger problems than working out where your next pay cheque is coming from.

Look after your mental self

You are exercising which will help but you can also turn down the dial on social media and negative media.

I’m not asking you to go all Pollyanna but you need to feed your mind with positive ideas and thoughts. There are plenty of set improvement books plus why not take the time to learn new skills which will help you in your career.

Which is most likely to make you feel most energised – an hour on Facebook followed by Coronation St or learning how to use Excel or make Sales presentations something that you can use in real life ?

Remember that just like when you are at work you are going to have good days when you make real progress and bad days when your productivity is low, you just need to continue to turn up.

Pro life tip – have you considered meditation it’s not just for swamis in brightly coloured robes it will help lower stress and increase focus both of which you need right now – and in truth throughout life.

Make a plan.

There are plenty of things in life that you cannot control – the weather, the economy, global pandemics etc etc.

But you can control your reactions to these things and make a plan of attack.

When you are at work you probably sit down on a Friday afternoon and review the week before putting together a weekly plan for the following 7 days and then each morning a daily one before you start work.

You need to continue this practice whilst looking for another role.

Examples –

Weekly Action Plan – this week I will

Refresh CV and upload to Jobsite / Monster / Reed.
Get updated photo for LinkedIn plus update profile.
Research using trade press recruiters who work in my industry and get in touch with a least three major players and make appointments for telephone or face to face interview.
Prepare a speculative covering letter for new role at ABC Widgets.
Contact the Human Resources Manager of XYZ Widgets through LinkedIn to find out about possible positions in company.
Exercise at least 3 times including walk, swim and strength training.
Only drink a maximum of two evenings and no more than three drinks each night
Be in bed before 10 pm and up by 6 am each weekday.
Not turn the TV on or look at facebook until after 6 pm.
Read a new business book “Insert name of book here”.
Read this month’s latest trade publications for my industry.

Daily Action Plan – today I will

Go for a swim first thing you did 50 lengths last Monday try for 60 this week.
Go to library and read Widget Industry Trade press on the way home make a note of recruiters in your industry to get in touch with next week.
Tailor CV for role of X at Y company and submit.
Have 3:00 phone interview for role of X at Z Company with Gary Simpson at Simpson Recruitment Services his number is 01283 713832 / 07968 732744 .

Having an outline for your week and days will help you to stay on track and you won’t feel so overwhelmed by what needs to be done.

Crossing off each task as you complete them can also feel very satisfying, help you to feel that you are making progress and is good for keeping up high levels of motivation.

Put your daily task list together the night before and in the words of Brian Tracy “Eat That Frog” get the hardest thing done first – which is why you are going swimming and getting your blood flowing first thing in the morning.

Make notes on your progress.

You will probably be applying for many different jobs so you need to keep notes of your job search activities.

For example, you could have the date that you applied for a role, the title of the job, the contact details, what action is due to happen next etc.

You can use digital or go old school. Personally I would take a 6” x 4” card per vacancy and then arrange chronologically in a folder system.

Example – if I apply for a role today on the internet then put all the details on your card or print them out and then put it in the folder to follow up in 2 days time, by arranging opportunities and call backs chronologically you create a weekly and daily to do list folder.

It’s also another source of motivation for you, as it’s a visual representation of your job search strategy and you will be able to clearly see how much you have achieved and what work needs to be done next. Obviously the more cards in play the more chances you have.