Job Search Psychology: 5 Steps to Positivity

Abraham Lincoln once said:

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

These were some of the greatest words ever spoken – how we look at things can completely change our perspective of them.

There are so many things that we don’t even realize we do, and in a job search, we need to pay attention to what we are doing. A job search can affect your mood and your outlook on life – depending on the way it goes. It can make you feel worthy or worthless.

Whether you are searching for your first job or you are an “experienced” job searcher, you still have to focus on the same things – you still have the same goal. If you don’t have the right mindset during your job search, your chances of ending up with a job you don’t like are much higher. Don’t let the common job search troubles overtake you.

Not only will a bad attitude during a job search hurt your chances of landing the job you need and deserve right now, but it can hurt your career. Let’s say you accept a job that you are overqualified for because you think that is “all you can get“…or you are just plain desperate. How will that look when you go to apply to other jobs? You will be stuck in a rut. Do you take chances with a functional resume that is extremely ineffective or do you hope that the person reading your resume will look at what else you have done…even if they rarely do because they are skimming?

Don’t let bad habits win. Acknowledge any flaws (none of us are perfect) and take control – you are in the driver’s seat of your job search. Here are 5 things you should work to improve on…

1) Communication:

Portray yourself in a friendly and positive light. If you are unemployed, it is easy to lose communication with the outside world and that can hurt your ability to communicate with others – even if it was easy before. Stay in communication with others – and make sure these people have a positive impact on your life. If they don’t, it will only hurt. Your communication skills will be influential when you go on interviews…and those communication skills will also show through the internet when you send your cover letter or other accompanying documents.

2) Procrastination:

You have so much competition in today’s market. You aren’t the only one that may procrastinate, but there are people that are in full-on job search mode. Procrastinating will put you much further behind and put the people that aren’t procrastinating in front of you. Don’t hand the job you deserve to someone else. Instead of saying “I’ll apply to that job later“, do it now – later may be too late.

3) Outlook (Positivity or Negativity):

When you listen to the negative news reports about the economy or read negative things about the “horrible” job market, it sticks with you and you take that with you during your job search. If you think nothing is out there, you won’t find anything. There are jobs out there and there is one that is just for you. When you focus on negatives, you will see negatives. When you focus on positives, you will see positives. Your outlook is everything.

READ MORE: Optimistic vs Pessimistic Job Seeker: How to Be More Positive

4) Fear of not being good enough:

Stop telling yourself that you can’t do something. You can do anything you put your mind to. You are good enough. If we always said we can’t do something, we would never get anywhere or learn anything new. When you learned to ride a bike for the first time, you probably had training wheels. Put the training wheels back on and know that you can do it – persistence, dedication, and hard work will make it happen.

5) Aggravation / Frustration:

There is no doubt about it that a job search can be frustrating, but you can’t let that hold you back. Don’t get frustrated because you think you aren’t getting anywhere. Think about changing up what you are doing. Look at your job search strategies and see what you can do to adjust your methods. Apply for more jobs, look at other sites, get your resume redone, etc.

I also want to address another common occurrence that can affect your psyche. When you are searching for a job, everyone will tell you everything that they think they know. Unfortunately, most of these individuals have good intentions but are not experts in job search or resumes. Listening to these people can set you back further than you can ever imagine. Don’t be afraid to consult with an expert. You could be doing everything right and your best friend will tell you it’s wrong because they aren’t experienced – or you could be doing everything wrong and your family member tells you it’s perfect because they don’t want to hurt your feelings…or the most common reason – they just don’t know.

Don’t let your bad habits win…let yourself win. Improving in your job search will help you improve in your everyday life as well. Whenever I let my bad habits take over, I reread something that I grew up on…my father’s “three rules” (which can apply to almost anything):

  1. Get better at doing what we do every day – Constant and consistent improvements lead to constant and consistent improvements. When we do this, at least we feel better about doing what we do.
  2. Do the right thing – When we do the right thing we can feel pretty good about what we are doing.
  3. Enjoy doing what we do – We spend way too much time in our careers not to enjoy them. Sure there will be bad moments, but why have bad days? If it’s not fun, we aren’t doing it right.

Now go find the job you deserve – it’s out there!

Author: Marissa Letendre is the Owner of She is a professional Resume Writer and a former Human Resources Manager and Recruiter.

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