Job Search: How To Stay Positive

Job Search: How To Stay Positive
by Lauren McGoodwin
Photos Joe Kathrina | September 05, 2014

“I’ve been actively applying to jobs for about three months and haven’t even landed an interview. What advice can you give to help me stay positive during my job search?”

- Michelle, St. Paul, MN

Searching for a job is an arduous task that most people want to avoid for as long as possible. However, the reality is that having either a bad job or no job at all are usually sufficient motivation for tackling this task.

Whether you’ve been looking for a job for a few weeks or a few months, your emotions have almost undoubtedly felt like a roller coaster ride. However, it’s super important to stay positive, because positivity will keep you focused and motivated to continue. Just like any other project, consistency is key!

Here are three easy tips to help you stay positive when the job search is getting you down:


As with most goals in life, creating a routine with manageable steps is a great way to keep yourself organized, accountable and motivated. I recommend that you set up a daily routine that is one part job search and one part something you like. Back when I was on the hunt, I would carve out one hour on three weekday mornings to search for jobs, drink tea and leave my phone/email out of sight. Then, every Sunday I would apply to my list of jobs before heading out for my day. It’s important to incorporate something you like into your routine to balance the stress of searching and applying.


Before you start Yelping the best happy hour deal in your city, let me redefine this as “job search happy hour.” Job search happy hour is about finding people you know who recently got a new job or are actively looking for a job, and connecting over shared experiences. However you choose to connect is up to you, but the great thing about sharing job search stories with others is that you are reminded that it’s a process that can be hard on everyone. In addition, you also can get ideas from you connections’ job search stories and incorporate them into your own strategy!


Set weekly and monthly goals for your job search and reward yourself when each goal is met. Maybe the reward is just giving your brain the night off from thinking about job searching, or maybe it’s something more active like a pedicure with your mom. Regardless, it’s important to celebrate the progress you are making, and remind yourself that you are moving forward even if you don’t have an offer letter in hand.

Good luck with your search!