Everyone knows that it's a tough time in the job market. The news is full of gloom and doom. Stores are closing. Friends and co-workers are losing their jobs or their homes. So how do you keep positive, motivated and on track? Here are some ideas which are simple but powerful.

Give up trying to control your life!
Sadly we can't control what happens. As we all know things happen. We can board a plane and next thing we know it's delayed out on the tarmac before takeoff for five hours, diverted to Toledo or crashing in the Hudson River. What we can control is how we react.

In the previous recession I was freelancing and had no work, but at least I had an expensive flat in London that I couldn't afford and a maxed out collection of credit cards! One day I just said I don't know how to fix this and decided what will be will be! The next thing I knew I was getting a phone call from the U.S. asking me to come and work on a project which was well paid, fun and located in Chicago!

Go with the flow!
I hate writing that. It sounds so new age, naïve and simplistic. But it's also true. In a river, you can swim with the current or against it. It's much easier to go with the current, watch out for the rocks, ride the rough water and find a safe place to hang on to along the way – or tire yourself trying to swim upstream. Take the job you get offered, even if it's less money, rather than fighting for the perfect one.

I coached someone who hated his boring day job and focused a lot of attention on how that was the wrong career for him. He did not see that the job gave him a steady income that enabled him to pay his bills, support his family and provide lots of free time to work on his true career calling. He agreed to go with the flow, and soon began to make serious progress with his passion supported by his day job.

Focus on the positive!
If we think bad thoughts, surround ourselves with people who are jaded or tired, and hang out in unattractive and tough surroundings it will rub off on you. You don't have to be unrealistic or living in la-la land, but why choose to be in an environment that makes you unhappy.

Here's a few tips. Give up watching the news, looking at your 401K or house prices.

Opt for a sitcom or the Comedy or Discovery Channels if you must watch television. Hang out with friends and family who are positive and support and understand you. Avoid groups where people complain, whine and then complain some more. Go to group activities where everyone has a job rather than a group where everyone is looking for work. Go to a support group where there is accountability and a structure - AA for example - rather than Friday night drinks where everyone trash talks your boss, your old company or the world. Find the people who make you laugh, compliment you or support you.

Be nice!
Be nice to other people. Be pleasant to the receptionist when you go to an interview. If you're rude they may pass that on to the hiring manager. Be nice even when you ask for advice and the person gives you information that is wrong or unhelpful. They are doing the best they can.

And be nice to yourself! I spend a lot of time with my coaching clients telling them about the positive qualities and successes that they themselves don't notice. They are often very nice to others yet hard on themselves.

"I haven't done enough networking.” “ I didn't call this person.” “I should have done better in that interview."

They see the clouds, and I see the bright star in the sky! So be nice with yourself. You're doing the best you can. And give yourself a break!

Author's Bio: 

David Couper is a career coach and writer who for the last twenty years has worked in Europe, Asia, and the USA with thousands of individuals and groups. He has successfully coached men and women wanting to change career or develop new opportunities at all levels - including CEOs of major companies wanting a creative challenge, frustrated souls longing to make their dream come true and front-line employees laid off and desperate to get a job. He specializes in helping people find their unique potential. He loves to transform misfits at work into successful misfits with their dream careers. David has a degree in Communication, a postgraduate qualification in education, is certified in a number of training technologies, and has a Masters in Spiritual Psychology. He is a member of the American Society of Training and Development, Society of Human Resources Professional, Writers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television. David has published seven books. His works on interpersonal skills, counseling in the workplace, and management issues (published by Connaught, Gower, HRD Press, Longman, Macmillan/Pearson Publishing, Oxford University Press) have been translated into Swedish, Polish, and Danish, and published in the UK and the USA. He has dual US/UK citizenship.

Additional Resources covering Career Change can be found at:

Website Directory for Career Change
Articles on Career Change
Products for Career Change
Discussion Board
David Couper, the Official Guide To Career Change