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Fed Up With Job-Hunting? How To Stay Positive And Motivated

Written by: Kris de Jong, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Looking for work can be tough. You’ve applied for dozens of jobs but with no luck. You’ve been to a few interviews but always seem to miss out on final selection. Your confidence has taken a hit and you begin to doubt your abilities. You start to wonder if it’s all worth it. It all seems a bit futile. Here’s how to boost your positivity and motivation while finding the right job for you.

Watch your mindset

It’s ok to be feeling more anxious and fearful than usual – these are difficult times for everyone. Accept your emotions – negative feelings are normal. Don’t try to ‘fight’ your feelings, but rather acknowledge and observe them, while taking care of yourself physically and mentally through regular exercise, healthy eating and staying connected to friends and family.

Try to be conscious of what you’re telling yourself – your self-talk. Are you stuck in a fixed mindset or nurturing a growth mindset?

A fixed mindset keeps you stagnant and feeds your negativity. This may be reflected in thoughts and beliefs such as, “I’ll never get a job” or “There aren’t any roles in my area of expertise”. These thoughts aren’t helpful to you.

Feeding a growth mindset isn’t denying reality, but involves asking a lot of ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions that get you moving forward and taking action, such as, “What’s one thing I can do today to improve my chances of getting a job?” or “How can I add to my skill set?”

Performance Inhibiting Thoughts, or PITs, hold you back and feed your self-pity. Performance Enhancing Thoughts, or PETs, help you to move forward and take action. Make a conscious effort to have fewer PITs and more PETs.

Remember, there’s a difference between worrying and planning. Worrying is ‘fortune-telling’, where you assume bad outcomes for future events without evidence. Planning is taking practical steps toward your goals.

Staying positive and motivated

It’s important to know what your priorities are at the moment, and to set your goals accordingly.

It may be that your immediate priority is to just get through this and survive financially, so your goal may be to get a job as soon as possible, even if it’s not an ideal fit for you. You can still learn new skills and gain experience in that job that may be valuable when better opportunities come along.

If you can afford to be out of work for a while, your job goal may be more specific and more relevant to your career aspirations.

Once you know what you’re aiming for, write down and schedule smart strategies and actions that will maximise your chances of landing a position. For example: updating and re-formatting your CV, contacting relevant people in your industry, registering with recruitment agencies, practicing your interviewing skills, researching areas of interest, or gaining extra qualifications online.

It can be useful to think of ‘looking for a job’ as your current job, as this may help you to get into a consistent routine and to be more productive with your days. Make your strategies habitual, so they become just something that you do every day without thinking. Motivation and procrastination tend to become irrelevant when you have good systems in place.

Keep things in perspective

Know that you’re not alone, and that many people around the world are in the same boat. Remember that even though you don’t know for sure how long this situation will last, it is temporary and you’ll come out of it sooner or later. Dismiss fortune-telling thoughts such as “What if I never get a job?” or “I’m going to end up on the streets”, as unimportant. Instead, identify those things within your control, and then focus on process.

Consider pivoting

In times of crisis, there are always challenges, but also opportunities. Some industries are still struggling and won’t be looking for people at the moment. This makes it tough if this is where your work experience lies. However, now may be the time to look at pivoting into a new and exciting career.

What other work can you do that may suit you? What are you good at and what do you enjoy? Many skills and attributes are transferrable to other jobs. Have you thought about contracting, freelancing or even starting your own business?

Covid disruption is forcing companies and individuals to adapt to new paradigms and ways of working that will continue long after it’s over. This means there’ll be all kinds of opportunities out there if you look for them.

Keep going

A big factor in becoming successful is tenacity. Those that have it in spades are the winners. Learn from your mistakes, do things differently, keep building your skills and knowledge base, always look to improve. Keep going - you’ve got this.

Visit to book a free consultation, and follow Kris on LinkedIn.


Kris de Jong, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kris de Jong is an experienced and certified Executive Life Coach living in Auckland, New Zealand. He studied at the University of Waikato, completing a BSc in Biology and Psychology, and was later certified in Cognitive Behavioural Coaching and Professional Life Coaching. He's also a Certified Practitioner of the Global Leadership Assessment 360 (GLA360). Recently he's become a co-founding ambassador for, a global virtual knowledge exchange platform.

Kris has managed large and diverse teams over the years while building his coaching and mentoring skills. His experience in HR, recruitment, performance, and people management allows him to optimize employee coaching for organizations looking to improve workplace wellbeing.

He's written over 100 articles, published in national news outlets, and featured on national radio.

After achieving financial freedom at 40, Kris started Eclipse Life Coaching and is passionate about coaching and helping people to get what they want in life.



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