How to Stay Positive When Unemployed

Applying for what seems like an endless stream of jobs and getting rejected or sometimes not even hearing back, can start to get you down. In particularly tough times like these, when levels of unemployment are high and competition for fewer jobs is even higher, remaining optimistic can seem like a mission in itself. As someone who started a wedding videography business a little over a year ago, as well as working in the TV industry on the side, I know all too well the impact that Covid-19 has had on different industries as well as personal finances. But try not to despair, here are a few ways to help you stay positive and see the good in a difficult situation!

Girl at desk looking at watch trying to stay motivated

Change your mindset

Instead of looking at your temporary unemployment as a career hinderance, try and see it as an opportunity. Use the time to explore your options and think about what you really want to do. Scrolling through jobs websites may seem tedious, but each post you look at is informing you about what roles and companies are out there, and helping you figure out what suits you! You may find a job that you’ve never heard of or thought about doing, but that seems perfect for your skillset and interests!
Take the time to understand your emotions. You may be feeling sad, frustrated worried or lonely, but this is completely normal. You will have dealt with tough situations in the past, so think about what coping mechanisms have worked for you (whether that’s heading out on your daily walk or trying meditation apps such as Headspace) and it will help you to deal with these emotions in the future.

Mental health - be happy

Get to know yourself better. Work is not the be all and end all in our lives. You don’t only need to figure out what you want to do, but also who you are. Get to understand your strengths and what really motivates you, and also what you can work on. Becoming a more confident person who knows yourself and what you want, can help you stay positive, feel better and more self-assured and could also help you express yourself better in interviews.
Enjoy yourself (on a budget)! Socialise with friends and family and make the most of having some time off work! Those who know you best may also be able to help you see things a bit more clearly too!
Don’t compare yourself to other people. Stay off social media if you find it’s bringing you down. Or try to change your perspective and see other people’s successes as goals for you, and know that if they can make it, then so can you!

Be Proactive


Take up a hobby that you’ve always wanted to do. Things like meditation, mindfulness and exercise can really help you to stay positive, focused and motivated during difficult times. But equally, if you have always fancied learning to knit or bake or even code, then go for it! There are loads of courses online or videos on YouTube that can get you started! Plus, you could end up with a new side venture!
Set yourself some small achievable goals – whether that is a number of job applications you’d like to send off a week, or just getting out of bed at a certain time each day. You could also set some goals unrelated to job applications, but that will help you with your career such as generating some great content for your portfolio, meeting a new person in your desired industry or teaching yourself a skill such as Photoshop. Make a vision board or write down your goals and stick them somewhere you will see them every day to keep the dream alive!
p32_Be_Proactive white backgd

Keep applying for jobs. Although you may feel like you want to give up, it is important to keep going! Maintain some structure in your life, but make sure it’s a balanced routine that includes exercise, socialising and fun! That’s all important to keep you motivated.  So, treat your job search like a job itself, dedicating at least a few hours a day when you are really focused and productive. Writing yourself a to do list can help – stick it somewhere you can see it and tick off as you go – make sure you reward yourself for your achievements, however minor – it’s all progress!
Take constructive criticism from job rejections. Always try and ask how you could improve, whether it’s your application, CV or interview technique. You could also show applications to your friends and family and see if they have any suggestions. Or practise your presentation skills on them!
Think of ways to make extra money or save on costs, to alleviate the pressure. Perhaps consider moving back home if you need to, or apply for Universal Credit to make ends meet. You could apply for temporary or part time jobs to get you through, sell your unwanted clutter, or start your own little side hustle for a bit of extra cash.

Side hustle 3

If you feel you need to be doing something more fulfilling with your time, perhaps do some volunteering. This also looks good on your CV, allows you to meet new people and get out of the house!

Take Care of You!

Look after yourself! Although munching on snacks while you watch reruns of Friends or having a bottle (or two) of wine a night to drown your sorrows can feel like a good idea at the time, too much sugar and alcohol will not have you feeling your best or doing your best! Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need to keep your brain working well. Taking a break and getting some fresh air, even if just for a walk, can be like hitting the reset button and make your body a little happier and willing to work for you again.
Whilst I have been out of work and waiting for my industries to pick back up again, I have been refreshing my website and brand for my business, continuing to find ways to generate content for my social media profiles, such as working on Trade for Print shoots alongside other wonderful wedding suppliers, and practicing and perfecting my trade. I even spent some time helping out at my grandparent’s garden centre to pass a little time and to get some fresh air!
Take solace in the fact that you really are not alone in your unemployment, or your feelings. Always talk to people if you are feeling down. If you can’t talk to your friends and family, click here for some amazing online services and charities who are particularly good at helping and supporting young people.


Find out more:

Find out if you’re entitled to financial support

Tips on writing an impressive CV

Good sources of help if you’re feeling low