Looking for a job can be disheartening. With high unemployment rates, there are far too many people for too few jobs. So how do you stay positive when you send out resume after resume and get no responses? How about when you’ve gone on 20 interviews with not one job offer? What about the financial hardships of having to use your 401k to pay bills, and barely being able to pay for the mortgage?
With no prospects of a job in sight for many, people can feel a range of emotions from frustration to disappointment to despair. So how do you stop the job search blues from taking over? One way is to become consciously aware of certain virtues you can practice that can help fight negative emotions and move you closer to finding a job. Focusing on these virtues will help place your attention on what’s possible for you instead of on your troubles. Here are six virtues that, if practiced, will become more of a way of life.
1. Perseverance – As months pass, and even years, the will to keep job searching may get harder and harder. You also may feel that you can’t look at one more job board or type one more cover letter. But the mindset it takes for a hiker to climb a mountain like Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro at 15,100 feet, is what it takes, particularly in this market, to land a job. Keeping your eye on the goal, and becoming unstoppable in the quest to reach the top can mean the difference between success and failure. No matter how many times you get rejected, or how much financially you are suffering, or how fed up you become, persevering will get you a job.
2. Courage – Maya Angelou said this about courage: “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” Think about the courage it takes to speak the truth to someone even though it may hurt his or her feelings, or to be kind, even if you think it might offend someone. It also takes great courage to keep sticking your neck out there to find a job, when the results seem futile. But practicing courage helps you to press on and face the next interview and the next one, and the next one to eventually achieve your career goals.
3. Confidence – When a job loss happens, your confidence is shaken, understandably so, and while the job search continues and more rejection follows, confidence can suffer even more. But knowing that rejection is part of the process and not personal can make you stronger and more resilient. It’s easy to lose sight of your talents, strengths and experience when you receive little validation or acknowledgment. Focusing on your abilities and the value you will add to potential employers will boost and maintain confidence. Posting daily reminders or saying affirmations relating to your abilities, or visualizing yourself in your next job happy and fulfilled can help you to stay motivated.
4. Hope – Without hope searching for a job would be next to impossible. Hope is the fuel to keep you going in the darkest of times. Hope that your next job is right around the corner and it’s just a matter of time. Remain hopeful by thinking about what’s possible for yourself and your career and not on what’s not happening for you. Every part of the job search has value even if it doesn’t feel that way. Through the practice of hope, our journey can become lighter as we shift our focus from our hardships to our wishes.
5. Faith – Faith that you will find a job and really believing this in your heart, even when there is no evidence that this is true, is an enlightened way of thinking. Having faith is the understanding that whatever happens there is a good reason for it, even if you don’t know it at the time. Who would have thought that when you got laid off from your last job, that it would lead to a more fulfilling and joyful career? Or catapult you into your own business? No matter how much we may not like something that has happened to us, having faith in the journey of life and what it may hold for us helps to release worries and fear.
6. Gratitude – The practice of gratitude can have a significant impact on a person’s well-being. There is always something to be grateful for in life. It isn’t always easy to see this, especially during hard times, but being thankful for the many blessings and simple pleasures in life will make us happier. Grateful people, according to scientific research, experience higher levels of positive emotions, cope better with stress, recover more quickly from illness, and benefit in greater physical health. Having an attitude of gratitude, as the term has been coined, shifts our mental focus from negative to positive. Positive thinking, as we well know, has transformative powers. Practicing gratitude in life and during the job search is a powerful tool we can use to help prevent negative emotions, focus our thoughts on what is working in life, and make positive change.
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe