Staying Upbeat While Up Unemployment Street

Are you newly graduated, young, brilliant, fresh, and . . . unemployed?

Join the club. This particular club increases its membership every time graduation seasons rolls around again. It’s easy to get discouraged and even depressed when the American Job Opportunity was just added to the endangered species lists of 47 states and Puerto Rico. While staying optimistic may or may not help you get a job quicker, it will certainly make the wait a lot more enjoyable. So how do you it?

Tell yourself a good story — Allow yourself to be optimistic. I tell myself stories all day long. After getting a text from a girl, I might tell myself this story: This girl likes me and wants me to ask her out. Or I might tell myself the following story: Ugh, what does she want now? She only calls me when she wants help on her biology homework. Telling yourself good stories about what happens can help you maintain a positive attitude. There’s no need to be dishonest about it, (thinking, “she’s probably kidding” after receiving a job rejection email might not be the best policy to live by), but by considering the positive possibilities, you will find yourself to be a much happier person.

Stay active — Staying on the job trail can be taxing. Exercising will help you feel better about yourself. As a side benefit, you’ll also look better which (for better or for worse) might have an effect on whether or not you get hired. Being active does not necessarily mean hefting weights for eight hours a day (that actually might be unhealthy, as a matter of fact). It means getting away from your laptop and moving around. If playing the Wii is your cup of prune juice, then by all means have at it. Making use of your cities recreation center can be a good way to stay active, however, don’t discount the advantage of feeling the sun on your skin and the wind on your face.

Network — Believe it or not, this is both a job-getting technique and a good way to maintain an optimistic attitude. Don’t isolate yourself from the social world. Mix and mingle with other peers in your graduating class, old roommates and friends, relatives, distant relations, neighbors, old bosses, etc. Every single job that I’ve had has been earned through some sort of network connection. “Knowing somebody who knows someone who works at–” is a great place to start a job.

Don’t cry over failed interviews — One of the first experiences I had applying for a job was a . . . rather negative experience. The guy proceeded tearing me apart for the way I was dressed, my naivety in coming in that particular day, etc. It was horrible. And now I laugh about it. That interview has no impact on my eligibility to get another interview or (even better) get hired. Learn from your mistakes (I certainly learned a couple lessons from that interview) but don’t let your last interview make you lose your self confidence in the next interview.

Keep balanced — Wake up. Check for jobs online. Eat. Check for jobs. Edit resume. Check for jobs. Write cover letter. Check for jobs. Eat. Go to bed. Is this your life? If so, I am sincerely sorry. The job hunt is important, but it’s also important to maintain a bit of balance in life. Are you married? Take a break and play with the kids or your wife. Go walk the dog. Go walk the roommates. Go do something. Maintaining balance is vital in keeping your stress to a healthy level.

Go Work for Burger King — Having employment of any type will help keep your day organized better. Whether you like it or not, it is probably better to have a morning job to avoid the temptation to sleep in. We are happier when we are working, even if that work is not the job you’ve dreamed about since second grade. Remember this: earning money increases endorphins. That’s not scientifically proven, but it sure sounds good.

About the Author
Derek Gurr is a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online colleges and online courses they can choose from to reach their goals.