Tips for Staying Positive During the Job Hunt

Career Blog
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Published: June 15, 2023 by Hannah Nguyen

The process of searching and applying for, interviewing, and following up on available jobs can be exhausting. It feels like a part-time job and requires a lot of energy and attention. If you haven’t landed your dream job yet, or have experienced some rejection, it becomes very easy to feel defeated. Here are key tips to help you avoid burnout and maintain an optimistic outlook.

Set Boundaries

Job hunting is time-consuming, but it is important to make sure it isn’t all-consuming. Determine how much time you can afford to spend each week on searching for jobs, editing your resume, filling out applications, researching prospective employees, and connecting with your network of colleagues. Setting clear boundaries should help you avoid fatigue and focus your energy on the most productive tasks. Boundaries look different for everyone; it might involve abiding by an hourly schedule, or making a to-do list and stopping once that list is complete. All that matters is that you give yourself realistic expectations and try to stick to the plan.

Reward Your Hard Work

Make sure to celebrate victories both big and small. It is easier to maintain a positive mindset if you recognize that the end-goal (getting a job) is not the only goal. Editing your resume and crafting a new cover letter takes determination and should give you a sense of accomplishment. Receiving an invitation to a test or initial interview shows that you have skills and qualities that piqued someone’s interest. Participating in an interview can be nerve-wracking and takes grit, so you should feel proud of yourself, regardless of the outcome.

Accept That Frustration is Part of the Process 

Everyone experiences difficulties while looking for a new job, it is unfortunately part of the process. Remember that there are hundreds of factors that go into candidate selection so when you experience rejection, it is not a reflection of your value as an employee. As much as you can, try to view each disappointment as an opportunity to grow. Every interview helps you develop your communication skills and build a new professional connection, every cover letter helps you improve your ability to write, edit, and share your story. It may help to reach out to your network and talk to others who can relate as a reminder that you are not alone in this.

Take Care of Yourself

Focus on sleep, hydration, moving your body, and doing activities that bring you joy or peace. Anything that helps take your mind off stress is worthy of your time. Try to avoid negative self-talk; it may help to make a list of your best qualities that you can refer to when you need it. Job hunting can take a toll on your confidence, so try spending some time doing something you know you are good at.

Remember That You Are More Than Your Job

Most of us got into librarianship or archives work because we love the work and identify with the mission. Loving what you do is fantastic, but it also makes it easy to equate your self-worth with your career – don’t do that! Tim Hererra wrote for the New York Times “It’s more important than ever not to tie your entire identity – and, in particular, your life satisfaction – to the thing you do for money.” Your passion can certainly be used to make a positive impact on the field of librarianship, but it is also important to realize how much value you have outside of work.

Additional Resources:

Two More Things…

Here are a few job opportunities on Handshake that might be of interest!

Also, remember that internships can be an especially valuable part of your learning experience at the iSchool while also helping you when it comes time to look for jobs. Learn more about the iSchool’s internship program here, where you can check out the INFO 294 Student Handbook as well as the Internship Sites database.


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