How to Stay Positive During Unemployment

Unemployment might be near record lows these days. But that doesn’t mean everyone is having an easy time finding a job. How can someone who is unemployed and having no luck in their job search maintain their positive attitude? How can they boost their chances of finding a position?

Damian Birkel deals with those questions daily in his role as founder and executive director of Professionals In Transition, a nationally recognized non-profit serving unemployed or under-employed people.

“Maintaining a positive attitude is a choice that you make every day of your job search,” stresses Birkel, who says a man named Bob stands out among the thousands he has worked with over the past 27 years. “That’s because he created a sign and put it on the wall that said, ‘Today Is The Day!'”

“Every day Bob would say — and believe — that this was the day he was going to find a job. Bob was out of work for a number of months, changed careers, and graduated from PIT. He eventually built a very successful real estate business … His positive attitude was the key to his job search and career success.”

Of course, being that positive is easier said than done. Birkel offers the following suggestions to help anyone who is currently unemployed increase their chances of finding a position:

–Establish a daily routine. That will make each day at least somewhat predictable. As Birkel notes, “Without a daily routine, life can drift quickly into panic and chaos.”

–Don’t be consumed by the 24/7 news cycle. World events can create and feed anxiety and help create a negative attitude. Turn off your television and stay away from news sites during the day. In addition to creating a negative attitude, watching news of any kind while job searching (during the day) is a huge distraction.

–Exercise more and regularly. Increasing your exercise level will have immediate benefits. It will boost your endorphins and enable you to deeply focus on one task. “Energy and optimism are by-products of exercise and may help you remain calm and cool as you move forward,” Birkel says.

–Get away from the computer and into the community. Birkel believes getting out of the house for at least three to four hours a day is critical. Consider joining a volunteer organization — it’s a step that will align you with like-minded people and help you meet ‘influencers’ within the organization. Also think about joining a support group “where you can get valuable information and vent your feelings in a safe and confidential atmosphere,” Birkel says.

–Network. It’s no secret how important this step is! As Birkel says, “Each time you make a connection, it is an immediate boost to your self-esteem … Because one networking connection builds on the other, you are constantly meeting new people which is fun, exciting and builds your base of knowledge.”


(Article written by Kathleen Furore)