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Graduate Advice: Maintaining A Positive Mental Attitude When Job Hunting
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Graduate Advice: Maintaining A Positive Mental Attitude When Job Hunting

Imagine this scenario. You have spent 3 or 4 years studying for a degree, you graduate with a good honours degree and then you can’t find a job and find yourself just a statistic among the large numbers of people who are currently unemployed. Of course in the current economic situation that is the reality for many graduates and it can be very dispiriting. Maintaining a positive mental attitude when you’re job hunting can be a real challenge.

Find inspiration

In order to maintain a positive attitude you need things around you that inspire you to remain positive. Some people like to write affirmations, some find it useful to write a list of all the positive things about themselves that they can refer to, some find photographs of good times, or positive quotes. It doesn’t matter what will help you to remain positive as long as you have something that you can see regularly that will inspire you.

Structure your days and weeks

If you’re unemployed for more than a couple of weeks it can be very difficult to keep motivated. Make sure that you have a structure to your days and plan when you’re going to be job hunting.

Remain focussed

It can be very tempting to apply for every job that is available out of desperation. If you do this, the chances are you will keep getting turned down and will soon become very depressed. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be flexible, but you also need to be realistic.

Don’t isolate yourself

There’s nothing worse than finding you’re the only one among your friends without a job. Make sure that you don’t isolate yourself, however tempting it might be. You still need to have a social life and meet up with friends, you’ll have to find ways of doing it more cheaply, like going to free exhibitions.

Brush up your skills

For many people, once they’ve left university the thought of doing any sort of course is horrifying, but it’s important that you keep your skills up-to-date or plug any gaps that you feel you have. Money is obviously an issue if you’re not earning, but check online what’s available for free.

Stay healthy

It’s really important that you keep healthy don’t get run down whilst you’re job hunting. Make sure that you make the time to exercise every day. You don’t have to go to a gym. Even a 20 minute walk will make you feel much better as exercise will act as a distraction, help to clear your mind and help you to maintain a positive mental attitude.

Be flexible

The bottom line is you may not get your ideal opportunity. Even if you have to take a job that is totally unrelated to your degree or you can only get part-time work focus on the positive such as what you can learn rather than any negatives. Make a note of all the experiences you have and how your skills have developed. That information will be invaluable when you apply for jobs.


Job hunting is never easy particularly if you feel that you’re the only one of your friends without a suitable job. It’s important that you do everything you can to maintain a positive mental attitude in order that when an opportunity come knock you’re in the right place for it. If you need further tips in how to have a positive attitude you can find them on my job hunting blog.

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