We’ve all been there – searching for a job is stressful, a true test of patience, nerve wracking, and quite honestly, can bring out the worst in all of us.
“I don’t have enough experience”
“They’re going to hire someone internally”
“I accidentally spit on my interviewer”
Aside from the last one (I hope), I’m sure these are all thoughts that have crossed your mind at some point during the job search process. And although it can be difficult to stay positive when your bank account is dwindling and you’ve almost watched every movie on Netflix due to an overwhelming amount of free time, there are ways to stay optimistic during this trying time. And trust me, it’ll make the process a whole lot easier too.
- Remember your Star Stories: Star stories are the small stories you’ll tell during an interview that really make your skills stand out. However, making a mental collection of these tidbits before you even land an interview can definitely help you maintain a positive outlook, since they’ll force you to think about all of the times you succeeded. But here’s the best part: when you finally get that interview, you’ll already have your star stories memorized and ready to go!
- Keep on Smiling: It’s a natural known fact that people are more attracted to visibly happy people. So although you may be feeling extremely stressed out during your search, keep a smile on your face, and more importantly – stay social. Though you may want to stay cooped up in your room, applying to as many jobs as possible, don’t! Put yourself out there, attend networking events, show off your personality and…who knows, you might just meet a potential employer that can make all of your unemployment woes disappear.
- Don’t Take it Personally: We all work extremely hard to pump up our portfolios and write the best cover letters, but sometimes our application can still get lost among the hundreds of others the company receives. If you don’t land an interview, or sometimes even more disappointing, if you don’t land the job after having an interview, it’s human nature to think critically about what we could have done better. But sometimes there’s nothing you could have done – you can’t control your competition after all. So chalk it up to a learning experience and keep your eyes peeled for the next opportunity.
- Find a New Hobby: Instead of drowning your sorrows in the latest season of House of Cards, use your free time to try something new and make a hobby out of it! The people you meet, the skills you develop, as well as this new interest, will keep your mind occupied while at the same time, giving you new resume material! And remember: you never know who you’ll meet.
- Treat Yourself: A new haircut, a fresh manicure, a slick new outfit – all of these things can give you a confidence boost when you’re feeling like the cards are stacked against you. Remember to keep your budget in mind when springing for these little luxuries, but a new blazer or killer blowout will give you the push you need to be confident enough to deliver an application in person, or ask that CEO for an informational interview at Starbucks.
Katrina Owens is a 3rd year Communications student at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. She’s passionate about all things PR, and takes pride in being a young and fashionable professional who can’t live without a good yoga sesh. For more of Katrina, check out her blog trineowens.wordpress.com, and follow her on twitter at @KatrinaOwensPR.