The Power of Positive Thinking: How to stay focused as you search for a job

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focused

by Deb Hadley

You hear about the recession every day. You know how tough it is to get a job. Still, you press on: networking, cold calling, interviewing. It’s hard not to get discouraged. If you’re unemployed, under-employed, or newly graduated and worried about job prospects, consider that 1980s song, “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going.”

The going is tough, so let’s get going on some ways to stay positive and focused as you pursue your career goals!

1. Take care of you. Getting and staying physically fit is one of the most important things you can do. Your health and feel-good attitude are reflected in everything you do. In the job search, attitude means everything – and hey, you might just get “buff” in the process!

2. Have a plan. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? Set long-term goals, as well as smaller daily and weekly goals, and keep track of your progress. Celebrate your successes, even the small ones!

3. Work hard! Your job search can—and often will—be a full-time job. Resources for job-seekers are endless and sometimes overwhelming. Start with one good, general resource and work your way toward others. Try the U.S. Department of Labor’s MyNextMove.org or the Workforce Solutions Golden Crescent’s GCWorkforce.org.

4. Carve out time each day to do something you enjoy. Forget about the worries in your life – fly a Frisbee, walk a dog, turn up the volume on your car radio, and sing along! Spend time with people
who make you happy.

5. Choose to believe that change is your choice. Businesses close and technology replaces people, but in the end, successful job-seekers embrace change as an opportunity to learn new skills and grow in ways they never imagined.

6. Take a break from your computer. Only 10 percent of jobs filled in this country each year result from “advertised” sources; 75 percent are filled through personal and professional networking! Many people confuse networking with publicly
asking for a job, but it’s really about building
relationships.

7. Get involved: volunteer, work part time, take up a hobby. Interviewers like to ask what you’ve been doing with your free time, and “catching up on all 234 episodes of ‘Friends’” isn’t a winning response! Be ready to talk about productive ways you’ve spent your time and how you’ve contributed to your community.

8. Keep your options open. Setting strict limits on the type of work you’ll consider or the hours you’re willing to work might prevent you from finding a great opportunity. Staying flexible and open minded can improve your odds of getting hired. Remember, sometimes the best route to a new destination is the detour you never planned on taking.

9. Be ready. You never know when opportunity will knock. The best job lead I received after I was laid off came during a dental checkup! The hygienist asked how things were going. In my most positive voice (with a mouth full of dental equipment), I told her I was looking for a new opportunity. Turned out her husband was a local HR manager, and six weeks later I was working for him!

10. Stay inspired. In the words of the beloved coach Jim Valvano, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”CF

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