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Keep Your Chin Up

How to Stay Positive During a Long Job Search

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Losing your job can be devastating. You have to deal with loss of income, loss of health insurance, and the feeling of rejection. Of course if you find a job quickly those feelings may all be alleviated. However, in a tough job market, finding a job can be difficult. Extremely talented people can be out of work for months at a time. Hopefully a combination of your severance package, unemployment insurance, and your savings will sustain you financially. COBRA (The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) will help you continue your health insurance for a while. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will help you continue your health insurance if your insurance from your employer expires before you find a new job.

The hardest part of being out of work for an extended period of time will be keeping a positive attitude when a job search turns from weeks into months. And it's imperative that you keep a positive attitude, both for your own emotional well-being as well as for the impression you give to potential employers. Here are some things you can do to keep your chin up when your job search seems to be heading downhill fast.

  • While you should spend a respectable amount of time on your job search, you should take time away from it too. Find something you enjoy doing and spend a few hours a week doing it.

  • Take the time to do things you don't have time to do while you're working, i.e. spending time with your children during the week instead of only on weekends.

  • Take on household chores you didn't have time for when you were employed.

  • Volunteer. Find a project that can use your skills and talents and spend some time on it. Just be sure not to abandon it entirely when you find a job.

  • Learn a new skill. There are some free online courses available as well as low cost courses available through continuing education in your community.

  • Go to a movie matinee. The crowds are much smaller and the prices are usually lower.

  • Join a job hunting support group like the ones listed on the Riley Guide. Share your experiences with others in the same situation and network.

  • Meet friends for lunch.

  • Take long walks.

  • Read. Borrow books from your public library.
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