Summer can paradoxically be a good time to job hunt, so if that's where you are right now, take heart.
Summer can be an especially tough time to job hunt. All that fun in the sun! All those fabulous vacations people brag about on Facebook! It’s enough to make anybody long for the depths of winter.
However, nobody loves a Gloomy Gus — and that includes potential employers — so here are a few tips for keeping a smile on your face.
First, remember that it’s OK to feel down sometimes. Your emotions belong to you, and if your mood is less than sunny, there’s good reason for that. You may even find yourself feeling more down than is usual for you. Don’t focus on it; let it pass.
Meanwhile, make a special effort to steer clear of the naysayers. A strange phenomenon of human nature is that while cheerful people don’t necessary make those around them more cheerful, gloomy people definitely can and do depress everyone in the immediate vicinity. You don’t need this right now.
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Step up the self-nurturing. What makes you happy? A long walk, coffee with a friend, playing with your dog, taking your kid to the park? Do more of that, whatever it is.
Seek perspective by asking Grandma and Grandpa how they survived tough times, reading memoirs of people who persevered, volunteering at the food bank and meeting some folks worse off than you. In other words, get out of your own head for a while.
Exploit the mind/body connection. It’s true. If your body feels good, your mind will follow. So stretch, walk, sleep, laugh, eat and dance. Savor your life.
Let go of expectations of what summer “should” be. Just because you’ve always gone to Disneyland in August doesn’t mean you have to do it this year. Be creative and look for inexpensive or free ways to grab a bit of summer fun.
And, finally, here’s the biggie: Keep at that job search. Summer can actually be a good time to look for work. Hiring managers may be in a better-than-usual mood. With employees on vacation, they may be easier to reach. Fewer people are job hunting this time of year, so there’s less competition. These are all strong reasons to keep on keeping on.
So hang in there. And, um, happy Fourth of July.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.