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How to Stay Positive and Thrive during your Job Hunt

Normalise that stress is part of the process

UX/UI Design
5 minute read

Many intricate steps are woven into the job search process including building a portfolio, networking, continuously learning, looking for hands-on experience, researching companies to work for, continual resume tailoring and cover letter writing, interview preparation...I could go on. It can be difficult to remain positive when you’re on the receiving end of a rejection email.

The purpose of this article is to attempt to normalise that stress is part of the process. I hope to share some insights on how you can infuse positivity into your job search and provide a buffer for these intense feelings. I will also share some ways you can use rejection to help you grow, focus on your strengths, and techniques to help build your confidence throughout your job search journey. Let’s jump in!

Infuse Positivity

When we think of positive emotions, we tend to focus solely on happiness, but positive emotions are much more nuanced than that. Love, serenity, gratitude, awe, joy, interest, hope, pride, amusement, and inspiration are just a few positive emotions we can experience. While happiness is a desirable emotion, it doesn't paint a complete picture of how we can cultivate positivity.

Positive psychology teaches us that negative emotions are more vivid and memorable, making it challenging to maintain a positive outlook. By embracing and reflecting on the many nuanced forms of positivity, we can stimulate our nervous system to enhance our well-being and help us navigate ups and downs with greater resilience.

I like to call a friend or loved one and share the positives of my day. What exercise can you implement to hone in on the range of positive emotions we experience?

Making Affirmations and Using Visualisation

Another way to stay positive during your job search is to use affirmations. These positive statements can help you stay motivated, focused, and optimistic. Whether you start your day with a few, repeat them to yourself whenever you need a boost, or post them on sticky notes around your computer, they can make a huge difference in your overall mindset.

Here are a couple of affirmations you can use, or feel free to create your own:

  • “I am a skilled UX designer with unique talents and strengths that set me apart from others.”
  • "I am making progress toward finding a meaningful career in UX design."
  • “I am confident in my abilities and trust that the right job opportunity is coming my way.”
  • “I am attracting opportunities that align with my values, interests, and goals.”
  • “Every experience, whether successful or not, brings me closer to my ultimate career goals.”
  • “I radiate positive energy and enthusiasm, making me a magnet for exciting job opportunities.”

By using affirmations like these, you can remind yourself of your strengths and progress. You'll be better able to handle any setbacks or rejections that come your way, and be more confident in your abilities as a designer.

Visualisation can also be a powerful tool for positive enlightenment. By walking through the motions and imagining yourself in your ideal job, you can tap into the positive energy and motivation you need to make it a reality. Start by picturing yourself in the role you want. Imagine the tasks you want to do, the people you want to work with, and the impact you want to make. If seeking a remote position, visualise yourself enjoying the extra time with your loved ones without the long commute.

Make this visualisation a regular practice, and replay it as you go through the job search and interview process. By keeping these visions in your head, you can stay focused on your goal and motivated to make it a reality.

Preparation, Confidence, and Staying Organised

A navigation system is essential for a long road trip, just as having a clear job search strategy is crucial for success. Begin by conducting thorough research on the company's products, services, and mission statement. Check out LinkedIn profiles and social media postings and study the job description. I would even suggest engaging in their most recent posts on LinkedIn. Craft an elevator pitch that aligns with the job requirements and practice it out loud. Role-play with a friend or record yourself on Zoom to improve your performance. It’s helpful to watch yourself back to identify where you can be more precise or improve your presentation. Have your answers to all the most common interview questions ready to go.

As you become more prepared, your confidence will grow and reflect positively in your conversations with interviewers. Acknowledge and celebrate small successes such as productive video interviews or getting invited to a second round. Celebrating these wins will help you stay motivated and focused on the positives, giving you the energy to succeed in your job search.


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Struggling to Keep Track of your Application and Progress?

Organisation during a job search can be daunting but tools like Notion, Teal, or Huntr can help you stay on top. These platforms allow you to track jobs applied to, the status of your applications, and the contacts made along the way. They also help you keep track of any questions during interviews and the feedback received. With everything in one place, you can easily manage your job search and stay on top of your progress to focus more on the job search itself.

Use Rejection as a Tool

Let’s face it, rejection is part of the process. This can be difficult to swallow as humans are hardwired for acceptance, not rejection. I love what Natalie Fisher says in her podcast on rejection, “It’s normal to feel bummed out if you don’t get an offer because we all want to be accepted as humans.” She talks about building up our rejection muscle so that it doesn't bother us when it happens. One of our biggest mistakes when getting rejected is automatically thinking that something is missing in our inherent value.

Rejection doesn't diminish your value or experience. It's important to remind yourself of your accomplishments and strengths. People have different preferences and tastes, and it's okay if someone doesn't like what you have to offer. Fisher goes on the add “One of the most amazing things is that you also get to reject things. You, as a human, have the right to reject things that are not the right fit for you.” We can still acknowledge, process and move on. She encourages us to walk our path with honesty and courage. You can see rejection as a part of the process and know that when it happens, it also means you went for it - you put yourself out there, and that is courageous.

In this process, Fisher also suggests asking yourself several questions when faced with rejection or ghosting:

  • How are you interpreting the rejection and is it affecting your self-worth?
  • How can you use this experience to grow?
  • How can you learn from this experience and reflect positively about what could have been done differently?
  • How can you control your mindset and be kind to yourself?

When you're in the midst of a job search, it's easy to become so focused on finding the right opportunity that you neglect basic, yet essential, self-care routines. Listen to your body and prioritise taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally, during this process. Eating a healthy and balanced diet, making time for exercise and physical activity if you are able, and getting enough sleep are all crucial for maintaining a positive attitude and being alert during your job search.

Additional ways to infuse a positive mindset and build sustainable routines for your brain and body during your job search:

  • Find your community: Build your support system. Connect with other members of your bootcamp, or people going through similar experiences on LinkedIn. Finding a community and sharing your experiences with others can help you stay motivated and engaged during the job search. Even if this means you take a few moments to discuss your hurt or grievances - it provides a sense of hope and calm.
  • Make space for gratitude: Carve out time for gratitude by reflecting on the people who have supported you in your journey. Consider sending a brief email to a mentor or supporter to express your appreciation and recognise the interconnectedness of your experiences.
  • Embodiment practice: One way to reduce stress is with embodiment techniques such as yoga, meditation, and regular physical activity.
  • Journaling: Journaling is a powerful tool to help you process and externalise your thoughts and emotions. It can provide a new perspective and help you gain clarity. It also helps you identify patterns, triggers, and to reflect on your personal growth.

Final Thoughts

The job search can take a lot out of you. It’s an overwhelming and stressful process but it is possible to remain positive and thrive! While stress and rejection may still be a part of the process, these techniques can help you stay motivated, focused, and optimistic. Trust in your skills, believe in yourself, and know that the right opportunity is waiting for you.