How to stay positive in your job search

The process of finding a job is often rather protracted. It takes an average of 15 applications to get one interview and an average of 12.5 interviews to get one offer. Based on these numbers you may need to apply for 187 jobs before you get an offer. Put another way, you will hear 186 "no's" before you get a "yes."

So, what can you do to stay positive throughout this process?

Make your job search a habit. Schedule time every day to work on your job search. Make sure you stick to the same time every single day. Also, set an end time to your job searching each day. Track your work so you can see how much you have done so far and so you can tell where you are in the process with each application. Getting a job is partly a numbers game and if you can see how close you are getting to the 187 job applications it can be motivating. Also keeping track of everything you have done in your head can be overwhelming.

Give yourself a break. Find a job is important, but its also important to look after yourself so you can keep looking. The job search process can also be quite stressful. Often our reasons for looking for a job can be stressful too, perhaps you are in the process of looking for a job because you don't have one at the moment or because there is something bad about your current job. Make sure you take a break every day to do something that relaxes you. It could be going for a walk or going to the gym. It could be playing the guitar or painting. It could be meditating. Whatever it is, make sure you take time to do it. It will enable you to persist for the long haul.

Focus on the positive. Hearing 186 "no's" can be negative for some people. TV news is 99% negative. 2 out of 3 comments we hear from other people are negative. This influx of negativity can be demoralizing in your job search. Avoid TV news for a while. Celebrate the small wins (like getting a response from a recruiter.) Focus on the parts of the job search process that you can control (like your resume and cover letter.) Get a positive or inspiring book out of the library. Remind yourself that if you keep doing the work it is inevitable that you will get a job.

Have a support system. Make sure you aren't on the job search journey alone. Join a job searching club if there is one in your area. Find a job hunters group online. Get your partner or friend to help you. Last, but not least, you can hire a career coach.