Staying positive during your job search

How do I stay positive in my job search? After getting rejected from a couple of jobs that I thought I should have gotten I feel like I go into interviews expecting to be rejected. I’m worried that it’s becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy. What should I do?  - Anonymous

Excellent question. It’s really easy to let frustration with the job search process affect how you present yourself. In fact, you might not even realize that you’re wearing the stress and rejection of the job search process on your sleeve. And fair or not, how you show up in your job interviews has a huge impact on whether you get the job or not. No one wants to work with someone who appears negative, self-defeated, etc. The good news for you, Anonymous, is that you already recognize that this might be happening. 

On this topic my advice for all job seekers is really simple: Be kind to yourself. 

You’ve probably heard the cliche that you can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself first. Well, the same applies in the job search process. If you want to convince an employer that you’re a great hire, you first have to believe it yourself. 

So, how the heck do you “be kind to yourself”?

Well, first, try not to take the rejections and non-responses personally. Even though it feels like personal rejection, it’s not. The truth is most companies and managers are terrible at hiring. Getting rejected from a job has less to do with you and your worth, and everything to do with how crappy the hiring process is at most companies. After each rejection you face, force yourself to say, “Too bad. Their loss.” Then move on and don’t look back.

The second thing to remember is that each new job you interview with has no idea about your past frustrations. In fact, the people interviewing you are facing their own problems. Try to treat each interview as a new beginning, a chance to put your best foot forward and make a strong first impression. Rather than focusing on how you feel, focus on smiling. In fact, do that right now. Force your mouth into a smile… Now… let out a little laugh. If you’re feeling real bold, try laughing hysterically. Feel better already? There’s evidence that smiling can affect how you feel.  Before every interview, let your mind go blank and smile. 

Speaking of letting your mind go blank, check out some other resources we’ve compiled that might help you maintain a positive attitude during your job search here

There’s a lot more that can be written on the topic of being kind to yourself. The bottom line is that even pretending to relax and have fun in your job search process will help you weather the ups and downs. 

Good luck! I’m pulling for you. 

Gregory Rutty
CEO, PERFECT LOOP

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The Career Coach blog is PERFECT LOOP’s blog full of the career advice we wish we would have had. Submit your questions here