Barbara Safani 7 Comments

This month the #careercollective is offering advice on how to overcome the negative aspects of job search and stay upbeat if your search efforts haven’t landed you a job yet. Job search is tough and it’s certainly a lot of work; but it doesn’t have to be drudgery. Here are ten suggestions for things you can do to make job search more rewarding, more enlightening, and hopefully more fun.

Eat. No, I’m not talking about pity eating and downing a bag of chips and a pint of ice cream in front of the TV. But meeting a friend for coffee, a drink, or lunch is a great way to combine something pleasant and fun with some power networking.
Write. Journaling is a great way to record how you are feeling during your search and examine the trends that could be indicators of what is working in your search and what is not. Some even turn their journals into blogs to create a following and make new friends and contacts as they chronicle their unemployment experience.
Study. Did you know that The Department of Labor funds job training programs? You may qualify for training in a specific skill or funding to return to school to complete a degree program. Going back to school can be fun.
Volunteer. Find a cause you are passionate about and volunteer for a role that allows you to create visibility in front of the decision makers in this volunteer community. You never know who these people may know and what types of introductions they may be able to make for you. And volunteering helps you feel needed and reminds you of all you have to be grateful for.
Exercise. Aerobic conditioning and weight workouts can help you feel better and burn calories more efficiently during the day. Pilates can help reduce the muscle aches often associated with hours of sitting at a desk hunched over a computer, and many people find that a regular yoga practice is a great way to reduce stress.
Do Someone a Favor. When you were working you probably didn’t have the time to watch someone else’s kids or pet or help someone with a home improvement project. Now that you have some free time, offer to help make someone’s life easier. Your efforts will be remembered and that help may be reciprocated in the form of an important introduction or job lead.
Primp and Pamper. This is not an indulgence. The little details like your hair and nails count during a job search. And it can be rejuvenating to get a new hairstyle or experiment with a new nail color.
Shop. I’m not suggesting a totally new wardrobe. But a new scarf, tie, hair piece, or handkerchief can change up the interview suit you are tired of wearing and give you a renewed sense of confidence.
Read. Books by Harvey Mackay and Keith Ferrazi have provided inspiration for millions of job seekers over the years. Check out some of their titles at your local library.
Reconnect. Get over your concerns about reconnecting with past colleagues and friends. Social media tools like LinkedIn and Facebook have made it fun, easy (and less creepy) to get back in touch with people from your past. Rekindle past relationships and you are bound to find a friend or two that can help you with some aspect of your search.

Be sure to also check out the advice of my esteemed colleagues below.

@MartinBuckland, Job Search Made Positive

@GayleHoward, Job Search: When It All Turns Sour

@chandlee, Strategy for Getting “Unstuck” and Feeling Better: Watch Lemonade

@heathermundell, Help for the Job Search Blues

@heatherhuhman, 10 Ways to Turn You Job Search Frown Upside-Down

@KCCareerCoach, You Can Beat the Job Search Blues: 5 + 3 Tips to Get Re-Energized

@WalterAkana, Light at the End of the Tunnel

@resumeservice, Don’t Sweat the Job Search

@careersherpa, Mind Over Matter: Moving Your Stalled Search Forward

@WorkWithIllness, Finding Opportunity in Quicksand

@KatCareerGal, Job-Hunting in a Weak Job Market: 5 Strategies for Staying Upbeat (and Improving Your Chances of Success)

@ErinKennedyCPRW, Dancing in the Rain–Kicking the Job Search Blues

@keppie_careers, What do do when you are discouraged with your job search

@DawnBugni, It’s the little things

@ValueIntoWords, Restoring Your Joy in Job Search


  1. I particularly love the suggestion to eat! 🙂
    Focusing on the positive aspects of having time to do things that once seemed out of the question is a very nice approach. I think we often overlook the value of helping others…More often than not, it helps the giver as much as the receiver. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  2. That’s a great top 10 list, Barbara! I agree with Miriam that it’s smart to give ourselves permission to do things our schedule might not otherwise allow – volunteer for a cause that has value to you, register for a college class or continuing education courses, or network with colleagues over drinks or dinner.

  3. Exercising is an outstanding idea. It can take your mind away, release all those important chemicals so the muscles start pumping and the brain starts working. A break away will allow the job seeker not only to maintain physical and mental fitness, but also provide the opportunity to separate himself from the drain of continually thinking about the same subjects (interviews, applications, resumes, etc) over and over (which is something job seekers tend to do constantly and which can have such a negative impact on the psyche).

Comments are closed.