Finding a job can be a long process. You apply for a job, maybe hear back, and a month later you go in for an interview. The worst part? There's no guarantee any opportunity will pan out. So, how do you stay positive when you're going through so much job search stress?


It can be easy to lose confidence in yourself as time passes and you're still without a promising job lead. But, losing confidence will only make it worse.

Here are a few things you should tell yourself when the going gets tough:

1. "No" Doesn't Mean "Never"

Woman applies for more jobs during a tough job search

When you don't get offered the job even though you aced the interview and did everything right, there's a good chance you did do everything right.

The hiring process is complicated. The employer might've had another person in mind even before they began to interview for the open position. Or, it was a toss-up between you and another candidate and the other candidate just so happened to be the one to get a phone call.

You will never be able to know what a potential employer is thinking. If you don't get offered the job, don't think of it as a loss or a missed opportunity. Think of it in positive terms. You got more interview experience, you met new people, and you're one step closer to finding the right job for you.

And remember, a "no" doesn't mean never. It simply means "not now."

2. The Right Opportunity IS Out There

Man applying for a job during a tough job search

If you're putting your best foot forward during the hiring process and you're actively learning from your mistakes, you'll find the right job for you. But that requires patience and perseverance.

The key to keeping your confidence up is believing the right job for you is out there. When you remind yourself of your end goal, it puts the job search process in perspective. You walk into every interview believing this job could be the one—but if it isn't, that's okay, too. You will try your best, of course, but also accept that you can't control everything about the hiring process. It will take some of the pressure off.

Take responsibility for the things you can control and accept the things you can't. Acceptance is the key to maintaining your confidence.

3. Everything Happens For A Reason

Woman keeps a positive attitude during a tough job search

When all else fails, sometimes the best thing to tell yourself after not getting a job offer is that the job just simply wasn't meant for you. If you don't believe this right away, chances are you will later on.

As you move on to the next interview and apply for more and more jobs, you start to feel better about the initial rejection. You realize that new opportunities are popping up every day and it really isn't the end of the world after all.

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If you still feel uncertain, that's okay. Staying positive during a long job search isn't easy. Just know that your mom is right: all good things take time!


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