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When you are job searching, you need to step into each new day with a positive attitude. How you approach each day will significantly impact your productivity.
Which sounds more appealing:
Waking up feeling confident about what needs to get done and attacking your to do list with positive energy?
Giving in to your negative feelings that eventually lead to diminished confidence and wanting to give up?
I’m hoping you choose the feeling confident option.
Barbara Fredrickson is a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina and some of her most-referenced research proves that positive thoughts and reinforcement helps improve work outlook and productivity.
Her study consisted of 5 groups of people: 2 groups were shown video clips that were joyful and produced positive feelings; 2 groups were shown video clips that evoked negative emotions; and 1 group was the control group who were not shown any video clips at all.
Each person was then asked to answer a series of questions. The groups who viewed the positive videos were more likely to see solutions to problems than those who viewed the negative videos.
In short, the positive group saw more possibilities with their lives. They broadened their minds with positivity and creative thinking rather than narrowing their focus to just the negativity.
Positive Morning Routines for the Unemployed
To embrace this positive way of thinking, first analyze your current morning routine.
Are you hitting the snooze alarm 4 times before finally, sluggishly making your way to the computer to check social media and your email?
Or, if you have morning appointments, are you rushing your way through a shower and skipping breakfast to get to your appointment on time?
How do you feel as you start on your daily routine? If you’re oversleeping or feeling frenetic before an important job search-related phone call, how does that set up the rest of your day?
Every person will have a different, meaningful way to start their morning, but the key to staying positive while job searching is to discover what makes you feel calm, relaxed, positive, and even happy about beginning a brand new day.
Do you need 15 minutes of quiet to enjoy your coffee or do you need a robust, quick-paced work out?
Does meditation, yoga, or exercise help you feel grounded and ready for the day?
Do you need spiritual reassurance, such as from the Bible or other spiritual book?
Do you enjoy reading your favorite mystery novel while you eat breakfast?
Have you tried journaling about your career goals and/or feelings about your job search?
Do you have a written plan of action each day so you know exactly what you have to accomplish?
No matter how you choose to start your day, be consistent, even during stressful times and on the weekends. Developing a routing is a crucial way to find structure in your life, even when facing challenges such as unemployment. Waking up at the same time, making time to workout each morning, and keeping a gratitude journal are a few examples of tasks you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep you feeling calm and happy.
When tiny habits are done consistently, they become a part of your everyday routine and you won’t have to think about them again.
Embrace positivity: Take notes about any changes you make to your morning routine and how it affects your mood and productivity throughout the day.
Watch Your News Intake
As I write this, the world is in the middle of the global Covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted lives in dramatic ways. When the news is filled with negative emotion, it can seem overwhelming and stressful. However, it is important to realize that peace, tranquility, and positivity come from within and can be found even in the most challenging times.
When chaos is going on around the world and there is stress in the air, many of us find ourselves glued to the news. But constant negative news and alarming stories can make the brain feel overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed. More stress and anxiety is the last thing you need when job searching.
It is important to stay up to date with current events, but it is also important to not let it consume you. Many of these negative events on the news are out of your control and after you take the precautionary measures that you can, it is important to step away from the news in order to relax the mind.
Try making a vow to limit your news intake to certain hours during the day and no more. This simple change will reduce distractions and help you remain more positive and focused on your job search.
Get Organized to Stay Positive
Have you ever given thought to how clutter or disorganization affects your mood and your productivity? Some people argue that their desks may be messy but they know where everything is. But if that is the case, why have a messy desk in the first place?
Clutter leads to distraction and distraction is a killer of productivity when job searching. Whether you have set up your job search “headquarters” in a dedicated office, a table in your kitchen, or a corner of your bedroom, notice how you feel when you enter the room. Do you get a comfortable feeling, like you could stay there all day? Or do you want to enter, get what you need, and then leave quickly?
Psychologists have studied the effects of clutter on our well being and brains and it has been proven that looking at clutter weighs us down. making it difficult to make decisions and/or take action.
Not taking care of the clutter or not finding the time to do so can also lead to feelings of depression or lower self-esteem, which in turn can lead to lowered productivity and a longer job search.
So, let’s clean off that messy desk!
Clean Desk, Positive Mindset
One quick and easy way to clean your desk is to take everything off, put all papers into a pile, and clean the top. Now, only put back the items you need then sort through all the remaining papers.
Job searching creates lots and lots of information that you must keep track of. You need systems for dealing with the clutter so it doesn’t overwhelm you again.
Many job hunters create an organized file system on their computer, to try to stay as “paperless” as possible. But, if you have a lot of paper files, try an accordion folder specifically designated for your job search.
Identify your biggest sources of clutter and find a solution. If your children or other housemates contribute to the clutter, move it to their rooms and find a storage solution in there. Ideally, your job search “headquarters” should not be used for anything unrelated to your job search.
Add one thing that brings you joy to your desk. It can be a family photo, a diffuser with your favorite essential oils, or even a small vase of fresh flowers. Create a clean environment where you’ll be happy to work.
Once your desk is cleaned off and you have systems in place, take note of how easy it is to turn on the computer and do your job search work! No more wondering what’s under each pile or demeaning yourself for not finding the time to clean.
Positivity Drives Productivity
The space you have chosen for your job search “headquarters” should be reserved for job hunting work so you can enter and immediately feel focused on the day’s tasks.
Staying positive while job searching can be easier if you incorporate some warmth in this space. To do this, consider framing a favorite inspirational quote on your wall or use it as the wallpaper on your computer screen.
If you have a vision board, frame it prominently in your job search space so you can spend a few minutes each day remembering WHY you’re looking for a new job.
Plan your day the night before. What job hunting tasks must you accomplish the next day? Prepare your mind for it the night before by writing it on your calendar or on a list. Are there phone calls you need to make? Job ads you must act on? Thank you notes to write and send? Planning your day leaves nothing to chance and you’ll never wonder, “What am I supposed to do next?”
Lastly, remember that you are in control of the noise you let into your life. If your social media feeds are filled with nastiness, consider unfollowing certain people or hiding offensive posts. Instead of checking your feeds constantly, reserve time at the end of the day as a reward for completing your daily tasks.
Choose to acknowledge joyful things and your heart and mind will be calmer and ready to work.