You’ve created so many résumés you can’t decide which one to submit for this new job. You can’t see your wall anymore because it’s plastered with all your cover letters. You’re up early, feeling like you’ve never worked harder, and you’re exhausted. It feels like it’s time to turn the lights off, put on Netflix and curl into a ball…
What you're experiencing is the struggle of the job hunt. But you’re not alone. Nearly every single graduate faces a time of uncertainty upon graduation. It can be a stressful and trying time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and it’s not uncommon to be anxious. But the ultimate goal is just ahead: Finding a job that makes you happy and advances your career.
How do you manage this stress and stay focused on that goal? Here are 10 ways to stay positive during the job search.
1. Create tangible goals and write them down.
Whether you put them on your phone, jot them on a to-do list, or paint them in a mural on your walls, having goals is important. Figuring out your priorities and working toward them gives you some stability and motivation when it’s easy to be completely open and unfocused.
2. Put a certain amount of time toward the job.
Whether you want to dedicate one hour or eight hours, you need to spend a defined period of time each day dedicated to your job search. You can break up your days into résumé days, cover letter days, etc. or you can focus on one job application at a time. Identify the most productive time of day for you, and focus on your job search during that time.
3. Treat the job search like a full-time job.
In order to find a full-time job that will utilize your skills, experience and passions, you need to consistently put in work toward your goal. What type of organization do you want to work for? How can you improve your résumé and cover letter? How are you preparing for an interview?
4. Practice interviewing and discussing your skills.
Most medical companies post their mission, vision and values on their website. Use this information to help you shape potential answers to interview questions. Go through your experience and pick out everything that could possibly be relevant. And don’t forget about what many employers call “soft-skills.” (These are skills that help you do your job well and get along with co-workers.
5. Network — in person and online.
There are job fairs, roundtables and happy hours all the time that are useful ways to meet new people. In addition, you can network online. Facebook, Meetup, LinkedIn and other online networks will give you all sorts of leads.
6. Ask for help.
Even though it’s easy to feel alone during this time, you most certainly are not. It can be difficult admitting you feel lost and confused, but there are probably thousands of people within a few miles of you who have experienced the same thing. Finding someone who has been there and done that can give you new perspective on your problem. You can also ask your school or academy if they have career services available to help you find a job.
7. Push forward if and when you receive a rejection.
You finally got into the office of the perfect company or medical office. The interview went great. Everyone shook your hand and smiled. Then they told you that they’re going in a different direction. The feeling can be brutal, crushing even — but don’t let the defeat end your enthusiasm. You just have to keep your head up and tell yourself that you’re going to keep working even though you’re feeling down. More opportunities will come your way, but you’ll miss them if you sink into a post-rejection funk.
8. Always have a new prospect that excites you on the horizon.
All of us need something to look forward to, so do your best to have new interviews and opportunities lined up. If you get rejected from one job, then at least you have another chance straight ahead.
9. Take care of your body and mind.
While it’s necessary to spend time and focus on your job hunt, it’s equally important to step away from it. Staying healthy, active and pursuing hobbies and passions is the best way to make sure you stay positive during this trying process.
10. Spend your energy wisely.
You only have so much time and energy. Don’t spread yourself too thin. If you’re up all night stressing about every little thing that could go wrong the day before an interview, your interviewer will notice. Find a balance between work and the other parts of your life that are important to you and work to maintain that balance.
Hopefully these top 10 tips help you stay focused and positive during the job search. It can be a long and sometimes complex process, but finding your dream job will undoubtedly be worth it!