It can be really hard to stay upbeat in a job search, especially if you’ve been out of work for any length of time in this difficult economy. You can stay motivated by setting realistic goals that aren’t activity-based, but are instead performance-based. And what I mean by that are actions that get you interviews.

If you’re not getting interviews, you need to be reaching out to professionals who can help you: career coaches, resume writers, profile coaches for LinkedIn, industry experts, and functional experts who can give you insight on how to be more strategic and more successful in your job search. Be proactive. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else. Reward yourself for your successes along the way.

Have a realistic plan. I don’t think your job search should take 8 hours a day, like some would suggest. If you keep that up for a couple of weeks, you’ll be crushed. Instead, spend 5 hours a day on your job search and spend the other 3 on something that will enrich you, like learning a new sport or an instrument, or reading up on the industry or taking a class…something that will better yourself and make you a stronger person than you were before.

For instance, I got a letter from a candidate who, after he was fired, joined a gym and lost 50 pounds. In addition, he signed up for a resume service, and bought some Career Confidential products so that he could have cutting-edge tools for his job search. He had a new job within 3 months—and it was a better job than the one he lost. And he looks better and feels better than he did before.
If you can identify the areas where you can improve and grow, and take action, then you can have this kind of success, too. So instead of being a negative experience, your job search can be a positive, opportunity-filled one.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McKee has over 15 years of experience in sales, sales management, sales recruiting, and career coaching. Her website, Career Confidential ( is packed with job-landing tips and advice as well as the practical, powerful, innovative tools every job seeker needs to be successful.
Learn more about what it takes to get the job by signing up for Peggy’s free webinar, How to Get a Better Job—Faster! It’s an hour-long class absolutely packed with what you need to be doing in your interview to make a great impression and get the job.