Many job seekers went into 2018 with high hopes and fresh resolutions to finally land that perfect career. But now that the New Year rush is over, if you’re still on the job search path, you’re probably discouraged — to say the least.

Keeping your hopes up when you continue to run into rejection is a challenge, but it can be done. Here’s how you can turn your attitude around and infuse your difficult job search with fresh motivation to succeed.

Refuse to give up

This sounds like such a simple idea. And if you’ve been looking for a job for months with no luck, it might even seem impossible. However, making this one small adjustment to your outlook can have tremendous positive effects.

Whenever you run up against an obstacle in your job search, whether it’s a failed networking connection, a shortage of positions to apply to, or a rejection after a third interview and weeks of waiting, remind yourself that you’re not going to give up. Things might not have worked out this time, but they will eventually — and you’ll be ready when they do.

This slight mental shift can give you the motivation you need to take more positive steps toward getting a job.

Think about how you got through past challenges — and do that again

Everyone has faced multiple challenges in their lives. If you’re struggling with a difficult job search, take some time to reflect on obstacles you’ve faced before, and recall how you talked yourself through them. What worked to get you ready for a high school competition, or past a painful breakup, or through a trying time in your career?

Sometimes, the simple act of reminding yourself that you’ve overcome struggles before serves to fuel your belief that you can do it again. You can also review the strategies and self-talk you used to get through difficult times, and apply them to your new situation to help you cope with the challenges and continue moving forward.

Focus on what you can control

In any job search, there will be aspects that are out of your hands. You can’t control whether a company’s resume scanning software will reject your submission packet, or having your recruiter call you with an opportunity for the perfect job, or whether an interviewer will decide to hire you on the spot. Instead of spending your energy hoping that good things happen, it’s better to take charge of the things you can make good.

Take a few minutes to write down every aspect of your job search, and separate the items that you can impact or influence through your actions alone. Some of the productive things you can do might be working on building up your LinkedIn presence, or calling the friend of a friend who works at your dream company, or taking a class or two to sharpen or expand your skill set and make you a more attractive candidate.

Make your job search a game

Playing games is fun. So if you turn your job search into a game, you’ll not only have more fun looking for a job — you’ll also trigger your natural competitive spirit and work harder to land the position you want.

Think of your job search as a game board or playing feels, and set up mental checkpoints that you can work toward. Every time you achieve one of your checkpoint goals, treat it like a victory. To go the extra mile, you could even give yourself points for reaching your goals or treat yourself to small rewards, like a half-day off or lunch out with a friend.

Ask for help

Difficult job searches require a lot of stamina, and they can be truly draining. One of the best ways to recharge is to remove some of the burden — and often, the only way to do that is to ask for help. Keep in mind that your job search shouldn’t be a solo endeavor. Ask for support from your family or friends, and give them specific ideas about how they could help you get through this challenging time.

Beyond those close to you, another option is to seek help from a professional. Consider working with Strategic IT Staffing to share the load, and use the valuable resources we can provide to increase your chances of success.

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