As a professional writer, I face rejection virtually every day. I keep certain anecdotes and statistics in my mind to help me forge ahead when I feel disheartened.
- Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie would never have been published if his wife didn’t pull the first three pages out of the trash.
- Louis L’Amour was rejected 200 times before carving out a career as a best-selling author.
- Thomas Edison went through 10,000 prototypes before designing a lightbulb that worked.
Whether it’s crippling self-doubt like Stephen King experienced or thinking you nailed an interview and never getting a callback, there are few things more disheartening than an unsuccessful job search.
Positive affirmations can actually make you feel worse if you don’t believe what you’re telling yourself in the mirror, studies show. But even if you can’t convince yourself that you’re “smart, successful, and people like me,” (just like Stuart Smalley) you can still find ways to stay upbeat when your job search drags you down.
Sending a thank-you note after a job interview may not land you the job, but the interviewer may remember you when there’s a referral opportunity or another position. Even more importantly, it will feel good to do so.
When you’re done writing thank-you emails (or even better, sending a handwritten note), experts recommend taking your “attitude of gratitude” a step further: Spend time thinking about all the things you’re grateful for. People who “count their blessings,” as detailed in an interview with researchers from Harvard Business School and Wharton, were more attentive, alert, energetic, and even happier.
Dress for Success
You probably know that you should dress for the job you want – not necessarily the one you applied for. But even on days when you don’t have an interview, take the time and effort to dress for success. It’s okay if “success” today means washing your hair, throwing on a load of laundry, and updating your social media profiles before you browse the job ads.
Job-Hunt Likes It’s Your Job
You’ve probably heard that looking for a job can become a full-time job. But did you know that treating it like one can improve your perspective? You don’t have to put in 40 hours a week, but get an early start in the morning, get dressed, and follow a specific set of tasks that will keep your job search moving forward. Not sure where to start? Create a spreadsheet to better organize the process.
Cross Items Off Your Bucket List
You don’t have to spend eight hours a day surfing job boards. In fact, take advantage of your temporary freedom to pursue something you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time. Maybe you want to learn a foreign language, take a cooking class, or sign up for kickboxing. Community colleges and local high school may offer adult education courses, which can also help fill the gap on your resume.
Check local deal sites for discounts on activities you’ve always wanted to try. It’s hard to be down if you’re constantly in motion, and by getting outside and meeting others, you may even find job hook-ups. It might be hard to justify the expense if you’re not working, but think of it as an investment in your future.
Build Up Your Resume by Helping Others
Find ways to fill that ever-growing resume gap with volunteer opportunities, which will boost your mood, expand your web of connections, and give you something interesting to talk about in your next interview. Research shows volunteering may make you happier and healthier, making it a win/win/win for you and those you help.
A “Lightbulb” Moment
It’s not easy to face rejection time and again, but imagine how many great works of art and literature, not to mention scientific developments, we’d have missed out on if some of the world’s most successful people gave up.
Keep on keeping on with your job search: Let CareerCo help!