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How to stay positive during your job search

by Aimee Bateman

How to stay positive during your job search

Staying positive during your job search is tough, no doubt about that. I recently ran a CV coaching session via Skype with a super talented young man who had spent 12 months applying for jobs and had still not had an offer. While talking to me about how he felt, he completely broke down. He told me he was broken and walked away from his computer screen briefly, while I sat there thousands of miles away feeling momentarily helpless and deeply sad.

I know emotions can run deep (for some more than others) and there can be a million things that impact you, but I want to share some advice on how to stay motivated during this time.

Have a plan

It may sound simple, but I have yet to work with a job seeker who had an actual plan. Not an idea of what they want to do and who they need to speak to, but an actual strategy. You wouldn’t set up a business without investing quality time preparing a business plan, yet job seekers approach the market without doing just that. Create a ‘hot list’ of approximately 25 companies you would love to work for and why. Then research the influencers within these industries and focus on building relationships, with your ‘why’ at the forefront of your mind.

It helps to set daily or weekly targets. For example, this week I’m going to begin building relationships with fifteen influencers. This can be done via social media, email, or just picking up the phone (which I’m a huge fan of). I know this isn’t as simple as I have just made it sound. There are so many ways to build rapport with strangers, but I can’t cover that in this article unfortunately, but I’m certain you will find other blog posts on that topic.

You can only control the controllable and having a plan will help you stay focused when everything else around you feels so undecided.

Surround yourself with lighters

Lighters are the people who make you feel invincible. They light up your life and make you feel like you can take over the world. We all have friends or family members who feed off our energy (the people who enjoy drama and negativity). We love these people, but sometimes they can be a drain on our emotional resources. I don’t want to sound harsh, but you are going to need all the positivity you have at the moment, so (if possible) keep contact with these people to a minimum... at least until you are feeling less vulnerable.

Try your best to spend time with a lighter every day and preferably face-to-face rather than via Skype or over the phone.

Subscribe to expert blogs

Reading blogs and articles is a great way for you to ‘top up’ your motivation. I watch a Ted talk on YouTube every single morning, whether I’m on the train or sitting in my office. Even though I work with hundreds of people each month, I don’t actually have any colleagues. I get quite lonely, but I’m self aware enough to know that when I feel lonely and isolated my productivity decreases.

I see blog articles and videos as my injection of energy, almost like a daily training course with industry experts.

Be kind to yourself

This is the most important factor in my opinion. We often feel that we should be a hundred steps ahead of where we actually are and that feeling can be totally exhausting. We often become our own worst enemy when feeling like this. When we are feeling negative it is even harder for us to produce anything positive.

In summary, you may not be someone’s first choice and you may feel awful about that, but that doesn’t mean you won’t go on to have a fantastic career and achieve all your goals. You just need to feel that disappointment for a brief amount of time and then regain your focus.

Remember, you don’t have to be perfect; you just have to keep going because, as Greg Savage says, 'your value does not decrease just because someone else fails to see it'.

About the author


Over the last decade, Aimee has worked for some of the world’s largest recruitment companies at senior management or board director level. She is now an award winning entrepreneur, presenter and coach. Aimee has helped thousands of people succeed in their dream career through her advisory website

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