Five Tips for a Happier Job Search

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It would seem that healthcare professionals should be the happiest, healthiest people on the planet. They’ve gone through years of study, testing and certification to become certified or licensed in their field. All those years of education, practicums, research, and application of healthy principles make them experts. Right?


That’s like saying the plumber never has a leaky faucet, or a construction engineer has the perfect house. Healthcare professionals are people with real lives and struggles. Knowledge doesn’t automatically equal perfection. What’s supposed to happen when you follow the rules doesn’t always happen. For example, there are thousands of diet “experts” with books that promise amazing results with just a few easy steps, yet obesity is a growing problem. Likewise, even if you follow every rule or suggestion on how to find a job, it’s going to take time and there may be a few roadblocks along the way.


All this can lead to frustration and discouragement. It’s important to stay positive during a job search. It’s possible to be happy during your search even when your inbox isn’t full of job offers. Sometimes happiness is not a matter of doing something. Instead, consider stopping some habits that can rob you of happiness. A recent Inc. Magazine article, "Be Happier: 10 Things To Stop Doing Right Now," has some tips for making you happier. Some minor adjustments for some of these tips can make your job search happier, too.


  1. Blaming. The article suggests you stop blaming others for your misery and look inward. Sure, your last boss may have been a jerk. What about your job performance? If you want to be successful in your next job, honestly examine your past performance and either get the training or counseling you need to improve your skills and attitude. Then, stop blaming, period. Flip the page and start a new chapter. 
  2. Impressing. Wait a minute. Isn’t getting a job all about impressing a prospective employer with your resume and interview skills? Yes and No. If an employer is impressed with the real you, it’s great. But trying to be something you’re not just to get a job won’t bring happiness. You may get a job and then live in fear that someone will find out you’re an imposter. You’re going to take the real “you” to your next job anyway. You can only fake it for so long. Happiness comes from accepting yourself and valuing your unique talents and personality.
  3. Clinging. So you had a great job, an impressive title and a big salary. You had embossed business cards, an expense account and a yearly bonus. Or, you were the lead technician or top salesperson or whatever. You’ll never move forward until you let go of the past. In order to get to the other end of the money bars, you have to let go with one hand and reach out for the next rung. If you just hang on, you’ll never get anywhere. Letting go of the past is the only way you’ll be able to experience happiness in the future.
  4. Whining. You can’t be happy if you are constantly rehashing the past. Instead of telling anyone within earshot how miserable you are and how everyone “done you wrong,” focus on your accomplishments and what you have to offer. Complaining about a past boss or job is a red flag to a future employer. If you’re a whiner, it could come out in a job interview or cover letter. What’s worse, it could come out during a reference check by a former boss or colleague. 
  5. Fearing. No one can predict the future. If we could, we’d all pick the right lottery numbers, make the best investments and pick the perfect job. Losing a job, followed by a lengthy job hunt, can strike fear in the most positive person. Fear can also become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re constantly afraid of failure, you won’t try or take a risk. Fear drives out happiness. It may sound corny, but the sun will come up tomorrow. Face the future with positive expectations.


The fact that you’re still in the game is a reason to be happy. Letting go of some negative habits can make room for joy, improve your attitude and make each day a little happier.


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  • Maureen L
    Maureen L
    This is my 3rd go around since I elected to "retire" in 2007.My first was fast and easy and stayed within my career, the 2nd was after a most miserable and humbling 3 months of disappointment. This time, I'm calm, energetic and so very's a blessing. "Yea".
  • Mary Nestor-Harper
    Mary Nestor-Harper
    Nick, you are so right.  Funny how people get so upset for you when you "get the shaft."  Starting over is the only thing you can do when a door shuts.   Standing outside, pounding on the door is pointless.  It takes courage and determination to start a new career.  Congratulations and good luck!
  • catherine b
    catherine b
    Good article and all so true.
  • Nick B.
    Nick B.
    "telling anyone within earshot how miserable you are and how everyone “done you wrong,” focus on your accomplishments and what you have to offer."I definitely agree. It's funny, some of my friends will be quick to point out how I may have gotten the shaft before, and wonder how I can even try to start a completely different career.  I told them that, basically, it was the only positive move I could possibly make.
  •  Paige Carpenter
    Paige Carpenter
    Great article! Yes, moving forward and forgetting the past can be difficult but I am a firm believer in looking inward-you can't solve a "self" problem without looking inside and dealing with yourself first-what you think about you bring about and if you focus on what you don't want-you will bring what you don't want right to your door!
    Yes, I agree with the article. But we are only human and fear is in all of us, including the animal kingdom. When one has a job, the world is wonderful with blue skies and sunshine. Its easy to say "get over it" but when one has dedicated their life, as well as personal life, worked like a dog, it not so easy to say, oh well, the sun will rise tomorrow!!
  • Mary Nestor-Harper
    Mary Nestor-Harper
    Thanks for the comment, Margaret.  Letting go is the hardest part.  It's worse if you get a new job and then talk about the "good old days," or how you used to do things a your old job.  You have to close the door tight on the past and walk confidently into the future.  Good luck on your job search.
  • Rita B
    Rita B
    Great article!
  • Eric  R
    Eric  R
    This was very helpful, Thanks
  • Margaret G
    Margaret G
    I thank you on these tips. I think it is easy to fall into that "poor me"attitude. I think the key here is to "let go of the past, and what made us happy once is gone. If you can let go of the past, and think Positive that you will find a job that fits you! You just have to try, and do your best!!  Things will fall in place!
  • Mary Nestor-Harper
    Mary Nestor-Harper
    Thanks for all the great comments.  Glad the article was helpful.  
  • Margaret P
    Margaret P
    I know its a game. but wanting a particular job that I would care about is important also.  Right now the county has a specific job I would love in the tax department.  I know I could balance my personal and professionial life to being a well-rounded competent employee.
  • Mary F
    Mary F
    This article is just what the doctor ordered.It sounds like it was written totally with me in mind.It was very beneficial to me, and it sounds like there are many other healthcare professionals like me who have a hard time letting go.There is hope. If comment needs to be posted,please use only my first name.TX
  • Patricia Powelson
    Patricia Powelson
    Good advice
  • Vicki H
    Vicki H
    Thanks! This is so on point!
  • GAIL M
    GAIL M
  • Mary Nestor-Harper
    Mary Nestor-Harper
    Thanks for the comments.  Letting go can b the hardest thing to do.  I'm glad the information has been helpful.Feel free to pass the article along.Mary
  • Patricia T
    Patricia T
  • Teresa A
    Teresa A
    Masterful piece!  I am very impressed!!!
  • Darwin R
    Darwin R
    Thanks I needed that, I was a whinner but are tring to let it go and move on.
  • Anna-Marie
    This was a nice reminder....thank you for sharing! Sometimes we all need a gentle nudge.
  • amanda h
    amanda h
    Absolutely wonderful article!!
  • Mohammed Shafiqur R
    Mohammed Shafiqur R
  • Mary Annaile C
    Mary Annaile C
    perfect!Letting go of some negative habits can make room for joy, improve your attitude and make each day a little happier.
  • Jennifer N
    Jennifer N
    Very  good advice especially about letting go of the past.

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