Beating the unemployment blues is definitely a challenge. I talk to people every day from every walk of life who present the same frustrations around replacing a lost job. You have enough work experience to know that you are competent and you can perform well in a job setting so it sounds like confidence is not the primary issue. Still, loss of confidence can become an issue after an extended period of frustration.
At this point, I think you are asking the best possible question: how do I keep an upbeat attitude in the face of a complete lack of positive affirmation from potential employers? Here are a few ideas that may be helpful:
- Doing things we enjoy and are passionate about keeps our attitude about life in tip-top condition. Treat your job search like a part-time job. Do the work part of each day but then go skydiving, sunbathe at the local pool, or go for a mountain bike ride. Sitting in your backyard and petting your pet iguana counts too.
- Don’t slip into expecting the worst, but don’t put your heart and soul into every resume you send out either. Think of each resume sent as a seed you have planted. You don’t know which ones will come up and produce but it is important to plant as many seeds as you can.
- Working and feeling productive are an important part of self-esteem for most of us. During this time, it is really important to shift the emphasis of our sense of self-worth. You can derive self-esteem from donating time to causes and organizations you value, accomplishing personal projects (like finally cleaning out your basement!) and from being a good friend, a good partner and a good parent.
Life is always throwing wrenches into our plans as well as opening doors to new adventures. Sometimes both happen simultaneously, like when we are laid off from a job. Continue your efforts but keep nourishing your soul. Your job search and your attitude will be better for doing so.