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What are the ways to maintain positive attitude during job search? Like many thousands of other people, you have been thrust into a situation that you probably didn’t want to be in. For many, it can be a devastating experience. If you find yourself struggling to cope with unwelcome emotions of fear and hopelessness, explore how to maintain positive attitude during job search.

How to maintain positive attitude during job search

Written by Catherine Adenle

Regardless of how tough your job search is, it’s absolutely important that you maintain positive attitude during job search. This article explores 20 ways to maintain a positive attitude during job search. It introduces you to several key concepts which will help you to use your innate power to walk through this period in order to achieve incredible success and it illustrates unique ways to harness, focus on you, your personal inner calm and your power.

To know how to navigate the long arduous journey of searching for a job and maintain positive attitude during job search, you have to realise that a major feature of unemployment is that it is one kind of cross-roads in your life. However, you are the only  who can choose which direction you take. There are very few opportunities like this in your life. Paradoxically, while you may not have chosen the redundancy or lay off situation, it has delivered the opportunity for you to now choose your future direction. However, realising this is crucial because you have to first maintain positive attitude during your job search period and use the same positive attitude to decide on the best path for you.

Reach out to that wonderful positive place inside you where no one else has control of and bring it to the surface and let it radiate through your being.

While a way for you to maintain a positive attitude during job search is vital to a successful job hunt, there will be times when you will get discouraged. It may seem impossible to revive that positive energy level as time goes on with a job. But there are many things you can do to bring good outlook back to your life and keep in good shape.

Think of the following tips on how to maintain positive attitude during job search as a crash course in how to perform job search CPRCheerful, Positiveness, Resuscitation.

1. Remember to feel good about yourself.

This is the key for you to maintain a positive attitude during job search. This will allow and help you to feel good about yourself. No one can feel good for you. Reach out to that wonderful positive place inside you where no one else has control of and bring it to the surface and let it radiate through your being.

2. Talk positively about yourself and your abilities.

Don’t talk yourself down. Be very positive about yourself. Think about all your achievements in the past and be happy about them. Be proud of yourself and let it show in your talk, walk and the way see life. You know the story about the little engine that could, right? What you believe about yourself is the foundation of all your future actions.

3. Take charge!

Only you can do it! Only you cam make the decision to maintain positive attitude during job search. Roll up your sleeves and take charge. Be present, be accountable and be ready. Accept  full responsibility for your life and your job search. It is not up to your partner, mother, father, girlfriend or boyfriend, or your aunt Tania in God knows where to find you a job.

Although it is important that you expand your circle of influence by networking like there is no tomorrow and your network will be a definite help, but YOU are responsible for the success of your job search so learn to be a superstar job seeker.

See 10 Sure Fire Job Search Strategies

Maintain Positive Attitude During Job Search

4. Let go of regrets about the past.

Instead of blaming yourself or anybody and constantly rehashing past mistakes, take the opportunity to learn from the past. Build on past experiences to improve yourself and your abilities. Waste no time on unproductive thoughts and things. Be pragmatic and live in the present with a focus on a new beginning.

5. Stop worrying about the future.

While you don’t want to live in the past, you also don’t want to live in the future. Worrying is a habit, and you can change the habit if you really try. If you find yourself stuck in a negativity rut, shovel yourself out by focusing on your hopes and dreams rather than on your fears. This is one of the best ways to maintain positive attitude during job search.

6. Flatter yourself.

The job search period is no time to be humble. Make a list of every positive feedback that you ever received and why. Read every complimentary thing about yourself that you can find. Letters of praise, past awards, performance appraisals, or any other positive recognitions you have are good ways to remind yourself of your worth and talents. Paste these things on a wall or a bulletin board in your work area at home to boost your spirits whenever you feel a little down.

7. Start each day on a positive, upbeat note.

To maintain positive attitude during job search, the start of your day will set the tempo for everything that follows. So it is important that you do something every morning that will put you in a good mood, whether that is taking a walk, walking your dog, listening to some upbeat music, twittering, blogging, running, doing a crossword, or just relaxing with a good cup of coffee or tea.

8. Get physical!

Don’t vegetate on a sofa with a remote control in one hand feeling sorry for your self. You’ve heard the saying, “healthy body, healthy mind.” Keeping yourself healthy and in good physical shape. This will boost your energy level and make it easier to maintain a positive mental attitude.

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Chill out with positive friends and not the ones that will talk your emotions down.
  • Turn the volume of your music up and dance but don’t disturb your neighbours.

9. Create a schedule and stick to it.

Knowing what you are supposed to do each day can prevent you from feeling lost or bored. Sticking to your schedule as closely as possible will provide focus to your job search.

See Made Redundant at Work? 25 Best Ways to Earn Quick Money

10. Keep up appearances.

Turn your cool and professional swagger on. While nobody expects you to wear a suit and tie every day on your job search, try not to dress too casually.  Keep your work space and living space neat and tidy. Set a positive framework for your job search.

See Be a Superstar Job Seeker

11. Take a team approach to finding a job.

Even if the team is only two people, it is helpful to have somebody else to share ideas with and to review your progress on a regular basis. Talk to your former colleagues and share tips. Talk about what success will look like and how to get there. Go for a drink and discuss in a happy environment.

12. Accept your cycles.

While it is important to maintain positive attitude during job search, it’s unrealistic to think that you will be 100% positive forever. The trick is not to get down on yourself when you get down. Set a time limit on how long (15 minutes, for example) you will allow yourself to stay down when you feel a little negative.

13. Join a professional group.

If you are looking for a job in a certain profession, join LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. ‘Follow’ the company, ‘friend’ them and ‘like’ their products. Comment on their recent developments and follow their news. However, be professional at all times. Joining an association can be an excellent way to keep up to date on developments and trends. It will help you develop your network and put you in contact with people that have interests similar to yours.

See 35 Ways to Snag a Job in This Digitized Era

14. Keep growing.

Continue to develop your skills and knowledge while looking for work. Do this by:

  • Taking a class.
  • Attending free webinars
  • Taking part in Twitter (professional) chats
  • Attending conferences, workshops and seminars.
  • Reading pertinent articles on the web
  • Creating a blog of your own
  • Subscribing to RSS feeds
  • Subscribing to trade magazines.
  • Reading the newspaper and other current-affair magazines.
  • Doing volunteer work that uses the skills and knowledge you want to use in your next job.

If you are not immediately successful in finding work, you might start to question your skills and qualifications. Keeping on top of the skills, knowledge and trends in your field will make you feel positive about your ability to do the type of work you want to do.

15. Don’t take rejections personally.

Very few people land the very first job they apply to or are interviewed for. Your attitude really depends on how you look at things.  You can see a job rejection as a personal attack on your abilities or character, or you can see it as an opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself. The latter yields dividend if you want to maintain positive attitude during job search.

16. Do it now, don’t delay.

Procrastination is a sure way to lower your self-esteem. Nobody actually considers putting things off as a positive trait, do they?  The more you delay, the more depressed and negative you will be when you realize all the things you have left to do. On the other hand, doing something every day will make you feel like you are putting in a real effort and you will feel good about yourself.

17. Attitude is contagious.

Surround yourself with supportive and positive people. To maintain positive attitude during job search, you need to walk away from nay sayers, or emotional vampires. Don’t let them drain you of your positive energy or dull your sparkle.

See 12 Ways to Make a Dazzling First Impression

18. Reward yourself.

Make sure you take time out to relax after a day of job hunting:

  • Go to a movie with a friend or watch a movie at home. Have your favourite snack at hand.
  • Read a book.
  • Take a walk.
  • Do anything else that you find enjoyable and relaxing and that will take your mind off job hunting.
  • Chat on your phone
  • Spend time with a loved one

19. Talk to someone.

You might feel really burned out, angry or frustrated after a long, unsuccessful job search. Or you might reach a stage where you want to give up looking for work altogether. At this point it might be a good idea to talk to a trained professional, such as a the Citizens Advice Bureau, a psychologist or a counsellor that can help you sort out your feelings.

20. Keep a smile on your face.

You might feel like there is nothing to smile about atimes but make an effort to keep a smile on your face. Life is good because you are still alive and kicking. You can walk about and look for jobs, you are not defined by your current situation. It is just a phase that will surely pass. No one can get you down except yourself. Cheer up and love life!

Now that you have explored 20 ways to maintain positive attitude during job search, how else do you think one can maintain positive attitude during job search? We are happy to hear from you.


Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

Latest posts by Catherine Adenle (see all)

15 thoughts on “20 Ways to Maintain Positive Attitude During Job Search

  1. Thanks for the advice. This is exactly the kick that I need on the backside. I have been down in the dumps for a while. I am going to find my inner positivity straightaway. Love your blog, please keep it up. I have subscribed to the feed.

  2. I must say that this is the best advice I have read so far. Thank you for doing the post. I feel better already knowing that I am not the only one feeling so down about my job situation. I like your simple way of writing.
    Thank you.

  3. If you want to make your job search easier, then you should check out Adzuna – we aim to help you find the right job locally! You can categorise your job search depending on where you are in the UK or by what you want to do. Have a look – there are still 442,112 jobs available. I hope this helps!

  4. Baseless positivity is just as damaging as negativity, especially when reality kicks in. If positivity as indicated was all thats needed, we wouldnt have 2.8M unemployed and as many again non economically active. i would be very cautious about this american style falseness.

    • Thanks for your comment, Jon. Being negative gets you nowhere – negativity coupled with the feelings of hopelessness will get you down the more. A positive person will get a job offered to them faster. A negative person will be too down in the dumps to even seek job. Out of the 2.8M unemployed, I bet hundreds get jobs daily.
      Finding a job can be challenging enough, but add an aura of negativity and you will find it mega challenging. The best resume and background do not necessarily guarantee you a short job search. Even extremely talented people with solid work histories find the current job search climate to be tough, and some days it can be very hard to stay positive. In a job search situation, the one thing you CAN control is your outlook and attitude. If you stay positive, it helps you. If you stay negative, it doesn’t and may get you depressed.

  5. thanks for the reply

    I hope this helps

    Such mantras seem to go against all reality. If we really could all manufacture the physical laws and universe of our own reality, then we would be in a universe of all pleasure, peace, happiness, and no pain. Plus, it would also mean that those with nothing but kind positive thoughts toward everyone and everything would never suffer misfortunes, for the reality they create could only be good and positive. But the fact is that they are still victim to accidents and misfortunes resulting in injury and even death.

    Therefore, even the most elementary logic refutes this strange mantra that so many persist in. It’s all part of the new “American pseudo-wisdom” which embodies popular mantras among new age hippies and attitude fanatics such as “you create your own reality”, “thought creates reality”, “no one is a victim” etc. It’s more an American thing though, as the New Agers and hippies in other countries don’t tend to spout such mantras. The strange thing though, is that such mantras don’t have much basis in reality, yet many persist in them.

    These attitude fanatics tend to be strongest on the West Coast (New Yorkers don’t like them either), where the whole culture is all about exuding fake optimism and a positive attitude, which most of them believe in. It’s especially popular in California, where attitudes and fake smiles are supposed to fix everything, as though having one’s head in the clouds compensates for all. There, they’ve even commercialized the slogan “attitude is everything”. There is this crazy notion in the West Coast culture of America that if one is not constantly positive and optimistic 24/7, then there is something wrong with that person and that no one will like him/her. In other countries though, people do not have such unrealistic and unnatural expectations of others. Hence, you can be yourself; no need to be fake. As such, “true positivity” is allowed to bloom. It is my theory that when a positive attitude and fake optimism is constantly contrived, that a greater chance of backlash is created, resulting in more negativity to compensate. It’s too bad the fake West Coasters are too shallow to see that. Though pessimists tend to consider themselves “realists” rather than “pessimists”, the West coast style of optimism is more a fad than a case of having a healthy spirit.

    As for me, I am neither a perpetual optimist or pessimist, but a realist who tells it like it is. West Coast Americans don’t like people like me who tell it like it is. Instead, they like people who are optimistic and positive about everything and everybody 24/7. However, I don’t believe in pretending that I like something I don’t just to appease attitude fanatics and politically correct drones. I simply don’t believe in being fake. And I will not lie to avoid their condemnation. I would prefer to be “negative” and honest, rather than “positive” by lying.
    Naturally, since these attitude fanatics believe that we create everything that happens to you, they have a “victim-blaming” mentality, which is that all “victims” are to blame for their circumstances cause they must have “chosen” them, for no one is a victim. It doesn’t matter if this is a false claim or that it doesn’t fit the facts, for this weird mantra makes them irrationally think that way. They seem to insinuate that nothing bad can happen to you, unless you expect it to! What imbecile logic!

    You’d think the obvious absurdity of this would prevent reasonable educated people from becoming attitude fanatics. Yet it is surprising how many intelligent and well-meaning people in America think like this, despite its obvious flaws and fallacious reasoning which goes against logic, reality and common sense. It remains a popular way of thinking among the New Age movement, motivational speakers, and self-help gurus. However, what these folks don’t know is that it seems popular only in the spiritual movement of America. In other countries, the spiritualists, mystics, and esoterics aren’t as into this fallacious and “victim-blaming” type of reasoning, fortunately. So I don’t know why America is so deluded about “attitude” being the building blocks of reality.

    This victim-blaming mentality is very narrow and judgmental. It’s their way of condemning someone they find annoying, but it has nothing to do with reality. Complaining about some result doesn’t create the result in the first place, as if the post-complaint somehow somehow went backwards in time to create the result it complained about. Yeah right. The result led to the complaint, not the other way. To claim it’s the other way would be like saying that a baby caused its mother’s pregnancy. It’s nonsensical. This tactic of the attitude fanatic annoys me because they focus on something unrelated to the heart of the problem at hand. In short, they are always pointing the finger at the wrong cause.

    In the attitude fanatic’s world, attitude is the cause and solution for everything. Anytime someone complains about going through bad circumstances, they tell them that their “attitude is the problem” as if it’s the magical solution to all. There are a number of problems with this.

  6. I find the comments by @Jon a bit disturbing. His outlook to things is not currently good. Although we are not in a universe of all pleasure, peace, happiness, and no pain, yet I think we should be grateful and happy because we are still alive and capable.

    We all suffer from misfortunes once in a while but in third world countries where nothing is abundant, why are people happier there than the people in developed countries where they have everything? The answer is simply the positive outlook people there attached to everything. They are grateful for their family, their existence on earth etc.

    When we have everything, we still find the time to moan or be negative. Of course those with nothing who are kind and positive still suffer misfortunes, but their outlook to life and other things do determine if they sink or swim! No one in this world can go through life without challenges; the imperative here is how one decides to deal with the challenges. Whatever happens in life, only a positive outlook can get us out of it. Negativity will only compound it.

  7. Perhaps actually addressing the points raised, rather than ignoring them, thus avoiding any intellectual rigour, and just re-stating an obviously flawed mantra, might move your thoughts forward to a more realistic place, and help yourself and others.

  8. I am transitioning from the Atlanta Georgia area to Houston. I have had good and bad days in my search. It’s best to keep a positive attitude. It just makes the job search easier.. I have made some connections but when people realize I’m in Georgia the offer doesn’t materialize. On the other hand I don’t want to move without securing a position first

    • Thanks for your comment and for sharing your current job status with us, Shellie.
      As you are not currently located where you are searching for a job, you can consider these 4 things:

      1. Plan a visit – It’s hard to score a job from afar, so make plans to visit the area where you’re relocating and set up an interview with few recruitment agencies while you are there. If you can give them a time frame of when you’ll be available to meet in person, they’ll be more likely to take your application seriously.

      2. Register with the recruitment agencies or your local staffing firm – Do this in your current city and the new city that you are moving to and let them know that you are available to move any time. Recruitment agencies are extremely helpful in job searching especially when you’re conducting it from hundreds of miles away. Many recruitment agencies have offices in cities nationwide and therefore, have knowledge about hundreds of job openings you might not know about otherwise. Also confirm your availability for interviews and the numbers of days’ notice that you prefer.

      3. Target your search – Try two things: First, search for the type of work you’re interested in and see what cities come up first in your results. On, for instance, if you search for “nursing,” Phoenix, Dallas and Houston are listed as the cities with the most job postings for that keyword.

      4. Continue to expand your network in the new city – Remember, it’s not what you know, but who you know. If you don’t know anyone in the city where you are job hunting, turn to your social and professional networks for help.

      Although a long-distance job search can be trying, expanding the scope and keeping things positive will provide you with new opportunities, new contacts and will hopefully move your career in the right direction. Good luck!

  9. Searching a job is a very difficult thing and sometimes job seeker frustrated and do the mistake and don’t success in your job search. I have an idea to search job through QuikHiring job search app. It has best features for job seekers and also for recruiters. I am sure you have positiveness while searching job.

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