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Don't Let Your Job Search Depress You

Posted by Brooke Lockhart on April 15, 2012

Looking for a new job is not much fun and is seldom easy.  But attitude matters a lot, and it’s important to keep your spirits up.  Priscilla Claman, writing for the Harvard Business Review, says it’s important to manage your feelings. “Becoming negative, cynical, or depressed will work against you. When you get angry with yourself, it shows, she says. “Don't believe you can easily fake energy and enthusiasm. Most interviewers will pick up your real feelings.”

Here are some suggestions for staying upbeat:

Be your own good manager. Since searching for a job is indeed a full-time job in itself, manage yourself appropriately. Bad managers are never satisfied, setting impossible goals and then punishing people for not accomplishing them. Instead, set reasonable weekly goals for networking, researching, or applying for jobs. Reward yourself for accomplishing your goals or doing something difficult. And never beat up on yourself for doing things wrong or not doing enough, the way a bad manager would.

Don't just sit there, do something. This means get out of the house. Take a class. Join a professional group. Volunteer. Check a few things off your bucket list. Do anything that will get you out, teach you something new, connect you with new people, and perhaps become a new line on your resume.

Multitask — don't ride the rollercoaster. Most people put all their eggs in one basket and stop looking at other jobs once they have had an interview. Later, if they are turned down, they become discouraged. They then have to fight an uphill battle to re-motivate themselves. I call this the rollercoaster approach — as the prospects of just one option working out rises and falls, so do their emotions:

Keep to a routine. Manage your time as if you were working. Keep a regular schedule for researching new positions, following up, and volunteering. Work in exercise — you'll look and feel better. A daily and weekly schedule will provide the structure that will enable you to succeed.

Topics: Job Search Strategies