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How to Stay Positive while Job Hunting

positive, happy, optimistic

Let’s face it. Job hunting is really tough these days.

Unemployment is rife due to the global economic climate, especially in South Africa where youth unemployment is at an all time low of 53%.

Job searching is a daunting task and can be frustrating at times. Especially when faced with constant rejection.

The only way to beat the job hunting blues and stay sane is to be positive!

Turn that “No!” into a “Yes!”

You spend your days carefully crafting unique cover letters and sending out your CV en mass to potential employers.

You hope this ‘spray and pray’ method will get you noticed and hired. Instead it seems futile when people say “No” and slam doors shut in your face.

This can be discouraging and cause doubt; leading to a lack of confidence, which can be negatively perceived by potential employers.

It’s time to face the music.

Job seekers know work is hard to find. It is a full-time job in itself.

It however doesn't have to be. According to Modern Job Seeker.com, “You’re the CEO of your own job search.”

You choose how to think or react in any situation.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy:

Don’t despair or dwell on the negative aspects of your job search. Instead rather focus on the things you can control.

Learn how to write a brilliant cover letter. Polish up your CV. Better yet tailor-make it to suit specific jobs.

Or practice your responses to possible interview questions. This will help ease any anxiety or doubt you may have.

Concentrate what skills you do have and not on what you don’t have. Focus on your achievements.

Don’t Take it Too Personally:

Don’t take things too personally when you don't get the particular job.

Maybe you didn’t meet the specific criteria for the job or you weren’t what the company was looking for.

Evaluate the Situation:

Be objective! Evaluate the situation.

Rather focus on how you can improve.

Prepare well for the next interview. Do your best.

Practice and preparation makes perfect.

Manage Expectations:

Be realistic. Manage your expectations.

Channel your frustration into motivation. Then, focus on moving forward.

Set priorities. Concentrate on small, manageable goals which you can achieve each day.

Find Support:

Asking for help is a sign of strength. Reach out. Find a support group.

Remember that job searching is hard for everyone. You are not the only one struggling to secure a job.

Find other job seekers like you who can offer their advice.

Avoid negativity. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people.

Speak to friends and family. Who knows one of your friends can help you polish up your cover letters and CV.

Maybe a friend or an acquaintance knows of a job opportunity before it is even advertised.

Network and connect with successful seekers who have just got a new job. Share experiences and advice. Talking about these experiences can help


Don’t let unemployment get you down. Be proactive.

Volunteer at your local charity or non-profit organisation.

This makes you feel like you are doing something worthwhile which benefits those in need.

It also provides good experience for your career and many networking opportunities.

Explore New Careers:

It’s never too late to learn something new. Explore alternatives and new career possibilities.

Consider other options such as new job hunting methods.

Ask yourself these questions:
 What other job or career can you use your skills?
 What other companies can you approach for employment?
 Or, what other job prospects can you follow up on?
 Are there any alternative ways in which you can approach employers?

Be Informed:

Keep yourself informed about news and trends happening in your industry.

Don’t give up!