If you want to start the new year off in a new job, then get busy. After Thanksgiving, it’s harder to schedule interviews. People take vacation days or are busy trying to meet their year-end goals. No matter when you start job searching, it’s important to stay PEF.

What is PEF?

It represents three attributes you need when job searching – positive, enthused, focused.


If you’ve ever searched for a job, you know how hard it can be. Job searching is a process. Sometimes this process can be short – right timing, right place, right connection. Other times it can go on for days, weeks and even months. The only way to move forward and endure the drudgery of going through this long and unpredictable process is to stay positive. Be prepared to hear a lot of NO’s before you hear a YES (just think, the longer it takes the sweeter it will be when you land “THE” job).

How do you stay positive?

Start your day with a motivational quote. Check out our Facebook page where we post a motivational quote every week day.

Create your support group. Select several family members and/or friends to help you stay positive when you start feeling down.

Remind yourself daily it will take time to land a new job but IT WILL HAPPEN.


Do you realize your body language and tone of your voice conveys your attitude? When interviewing – even if you’re tired of interviewing with gatekeepers – be enthused. Your positive attitude and enthusiasm will go a long way – face it, who wants to hire someone who is negative and unenthusiastic?

How do you stay enthused?

Prepare before the interview. Learn about the company and get yourself excited about the job opportunity.

During the interview (even if it’s a phone interview) smile as you respond to each question. Having a smile on your face adds enthusiasm to your tone. Record yourself saying a sentence with a smile and without a smile – can you hear the difference?

Develop a mantra (phrase) to repeat before each interview. It could be as simple as “Stay PEF – this could be it!” It’s a way to become psyched for the interview.


Job searching is HARD work. Sometimes we drag our feet by procrastinating – whether that’s revising our cover letters and resume for the hundredth time or even attaining more certifications because we think that will help us land “THE” job. Yes, we come up with all types of “excuses” to procrastinate, even though we convince ourselves it will help us land our next big opportunity. But it won’t. At the end of the day, staying focused on your objective to find a job will land you your next opportunity.

How do you stay focused?

Write down what you are looking for – this description becomes your ideal job definition. Specify industry, responsibilities and benefits. Keep in mind this definition is ideal – it is unusual to find a job that will meet 100% of your requirements. Use this description every time you speak with your connections. Use this description to determine whether or not to pursue an opportunity. It becomes a checklist for you to stay focused on what you are looking for in a new job opportunity.

Sift through the noise. Everyone will have an opinion about how you should revise your resume. Make impactful edits then move on to the next step. If you must edit your resume, allocate no more than 1 hour a week to make changes.

Track how much time you spend on your job search doing productive tasks. Updating your resume for the hundredth time is not productive. Meeting with connections is productive. Going to networking meetings in your industry is productive. If your job search is taking longer than expected, then increase the amount of time you spend on productive tasks.


Job searching takes time – it’s a process. Embrace each interview as part of the journey. Just remember to stay PEF!


Niv PersaudNiv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter and as a financial adviser. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”