Staying positive during the job search

JodieAdvice, Applications, Final Year, First Year, Graduates, Postgraduate, Second Year

Happy woman sitting at table with laptop

When you’re looking for jobs, it can be hard not to feel frustrated and demotivated, especially if you feel like you’re getting nowhere fast. However, having a positive mindset is crucial to being successful in your job search. That’s why we’ve pulled together these handy tips which will have you feeling focused and on top of things in no time. We hope they’re helpful!

Create a daily routine

Job searching can often feel like a job in itself, so it’s important to set some boundaries so it doesn’t consume all of your time. Creating a schedule will help you feel on top of things and will be better for your mental well-being.

So, if you’re a morning person, dedicate some time each morning to looking on job portals, tailoring your CV, writing a cover letter or updating your LinkedIn profile. If you work better in the evenings, set aside some time then to focus on activities that will benefit your job search.

Set measurable goals

Setting small, achievable goals will help you stay motivated as they will keep you on track and make you feel more productive. They can be daily or weekly goals, as long as they are specific so you can track your progress.

Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Research one organisation each day
  • Apply for one role each day
  • Attend a careers-related webinar each week
  • Connect to one new person in your industry through LinkedIn each week.

Look for volunteering opportunities

If you’re struggling to find a job or placement, why not consider volunteering? Not only will this give you a break from the job search, it could also help you in the long run. The experience and skills you gain from volunteering will be something to add to your CV and talk about in interviews, plus it will be a chance to meet new people – you never know where a connection might lead!

List your achievements

It can be disheartening when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere with your job search. If you need a little pick-me-up, make a list of all your accomplishments, the skills you’ve honed and the experience you’ve gained.

Not only will looking at this list give you a mood boost, it will also keep your professional achievements fresh in your head for when you’re tailoring your CV to roles or being interviewed.

Learn from setbacks

No one likes being rejected. But instead of seeing it as a completely negative experience, use it as an opportunity for growth.

For example, if you don’t get past the interview stage for a role, ask the employer for feedback on your performance. Depending on what they say, they might be able to give you some tangible goals to work towards e.g. improving your confidence when talking to employers or preparing more examples of your skills in action so you can properly demonstrate why you’re the right person for the job.

Perfect your technique

Are you falling down in certain stages of the application process? Or maybe you’re just not hearing back from employers at all? Well, it’s time to do some homework.

We’ve got loads of handy tools and advce on our webpages to get you started. Whether you need to polish your CV until it sparkles, master writing cover letters, nail your interview technique or wrap your head around psychometric testing, we’ve got you covered:

Be kind to yourself

If you’re spending every waking moment obsessing over finding a job, you’ll very quickly feel overwhelmed and burnt out. While it’s important to spend time on your job search, it’s just as important to focus on your other priorities such as your well-being, friends, family and hobbies.

Make time for yourself without feeling guilty about it, whether that’s by doing a spot of yoga, catching up on your latest Netflix obsession or Skyping your friends. Remember, anything that makes you feel good about yourself and helps you maintain a positive outlook on life is worth prioritising.

Get inspired

Visualisation techniques can be really helpful in helping you work towards your career goals. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Create a mood board that keeps you focused on what you want from your career
  • Put up pictures that make you happy and inspire you to keep up with your search
  • Stick up some positive career affirmations for when you need a little boost – you can pop these on your computer monitor or on your mirror so you can read them when you’re getting ready to start the day.

Speak to us

Don’t forget, we’re here for you! If need help finding the right roles or are struggling with various stages of the application process, get in touch with us.

You can contact a Careers Consultant at or, if you’re a second year looking for a placement, you can contact a Placement Coordinator at:

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Jodie, a member of Careers+Placements staff

Written by Jodie Carpenter, Careers and Placements