Stay Positive While You Search for Your Ideal Job

I have a candidate whom I’ve known for what seems like forever. He’s one of those people who can see a ray of sunlight even on the darkest day (a skill I have yet to master). When he started job searching a few months ago, I was excited to represent a person I was so proud to know. I had to move fast because I knew someone else would quickly snap him up with his credentials, experience, and charisma. Plus, I wanted to help him find his dream job.  

An unexpected turn of events  

After doing a quick check of the local market for prospective employers with fitting roles, I sent him a text to let him know I didn’t see anything new for him just yet. His response wasn’t what I expected: 

I was floored. My glass-is-98%-full candidate was falling victim to the crippling discouragement that befalls so many amazing people while they’re on the job hunt. 

After five years of helping professionals ride the job search rollercoaster, as a recruiter, I could simply tell him that all will be well, the right new job and employer will come along at the right time, we will remember this moment with the clarity that you only get when you look backwards, yadda, yadda, yadda. But those would have been the easy things for me to say when I have a steady paycheck from a company and job I love. 

No, this candidate and every candidate deserves more from an advocate, career coach, and mentor during a job search. You deserve the truth as you navigate the job market looking for new opportunities and I’d like to share what that means. It’s about how to stay positive.  

The right mindset will see you through to your dream job  

So, what career advice do I give my candidates when they begin to experience the burnout of job searching and feel like a failure? Here are my unvarnished answers. 

  1. Don’t try to argue yourself out of how you feel. When I spoke at DisruptHR a few years ago, I talked about giving yourself time to grieve. Attempting to argue or shame yourself out of experiencing the emotion of a job loss, a tough job market, or unfulfilled opportunity really devalues you and your experience. It’s okay to step away…and just feel it.  
  2. Remember that every day is an act of faith. This is my recruiting mantra because I believe the hard times eventually become good and I think this applies to job seekers as well. Don’t give up when it seems all is lost. You must push through and believe there is a place for you in this world where your skills, ideas, and passion will be viewed as assets, not liabilities.  
  3. Surround yourself with people who encourage and empower you – and limit your time with the naysayers in your network. There’s a video of Denzel Washington speaking at a graduation ceremony where he says, “If you hang around a barbershop long enough, sooner or later you’re gonna get a haircut.” Where we invest our time and who we interact with impacts us. On our career paths and in life, we must decide what we want those influences to be and just say no to negative contributors.  

Take it from someone who knows where you are  

I could draft a blog full of inspirational quotes and say things like, “If you wanna have sunshine, you gotta put up with the rain,” but that’s incredibly dismissive of people who need to work or are struggling to cope with a toxic work experience or environment. What I will say is that I’ve been there. I’ve felt the humiliation of career failure. I understand the fear of not being able to make ends meet and the frustration of repeatedly hearing “no” when looking for a new job. 

So, believe me when I say that I’ve been in your shoes – more than once. I can also tell you that if you stay positive, have faith, and stay close to a good recruiter and mentor, you will find your place and the right job! If you’re reading this and need someone to advocate for you in your job search, the team at Goodwin Recruiting would love to meet you and hear your story. It’s our mission to help our candidates find where they truly belong on their career paths. The job market is full of great opportunities that many candidates do not find on their own. Let us be your bridge to your next job.  

Contact us today and let’s explore your future!