Keeping a positive frame of mind during an extended search for meaningful employment is difficult. However, there are a variety of strategies that you can employ that will mitigate negative feelings as you search for the next wrung on your career ladder. Ten things that will help maintain hope, positive thought, and motivation:

1. Set a Vision and Work Towards It – Knowing that there is a larger purpose, you’ll be incented to sacrifice and put in the hard work necessary to land that career.

2. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals and Achieve Them – Holding yourself accountable will help you celebrate the small successes that lead to the ultimate success of landing the dream job.

3. Build a Formidable Online Presence – When you type your name into a Google search, what do you find? Create meaningful content on social media and a blog that displays your character and skills, landing you on the first page of Google searches.

4. Learn Continually – We’ve moved out of an industrial economy into a knowledge economy, so stay current with happenings in your line of work so that you can be an expert.

5. Network Multiple Times per Week – This should be one of your S.M.A.R.T. goals; attend two or three per week and build meaningful relationships with people who you can help.

6. Add Value to People in Your Network – Instead of thinking “What can they do for me?” think “What’s in it for them?” Find out what others need/want and provide it to them.

7. Stay Involved in Professional Organizations – Association with the entity will lend credibility to your name, it will also make you visible. Being visible and credible builds trust. Trust in your ability to contribute will get you hired.

8. Volunteer with Charitable Organizations – Not only will it feel good intrinsically, you’ll be keeping your work skills fresh., And, someone might see your good deeds and dedication as a sign of a great employee and offer you a job.

9. Work Per Diem or Part Time – Even if it’s not in your ideal position, having the income and interaction with people will keep your spirits high.

10. Be an Entrepreneur – If the fear of failure is hard to overcome, envision yourself in a place of prominence, the universe will rearrange itself in such a way that you may learn that you can help others in a more meaningful way and collect income at the same time.

Bonus suggestion. Surround yourself with people who are in the industry/job you desire.  As Jim Rohn stated, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Spend as much time as you can with people who have what you want. It doesn’t matter if the time is spent personally or professionally, it’s spending the time that matters. You’ll be exposed to new connections, ideas, and job opportunities that could significantly shorten your journey back to employment.

Don’t lose hope. This short clip from the newly released movie, The Hunger Games, will remind you that you were meant for a life of significance.

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”