Finding a job can be challenging. The best resume and background do not necessarily guarantee you a short job search. Even extremely talented people with solid work histories are finding the current job search climate to be tough, and on some days it can be very hard to stay positive. Many speak of becoming depressed. In a job search, the one thing you CAN control is your outlook and attitude.
Plan Your “Work” Day
Finding a job is real work. We know many people who have found jobs and most of them have told us that they attribute their success to structuring their day. Watching television, surfing the net anyhow and sleeping late will probably not find you a job. Looking for work is real work. Exercise, shower and be at your job search desk at 9 o’clock each morning, five days a week. Set a schedule for your job search and STICK TO IT. Finding a job is your “job” right now. So, get to work!
Surround Yourself with Positive People
People all have a need to be accepted. We suggest that you surround yourself with positive, successful people. Do you know people who are positive all the time? These are the folks who walk through life and ooze good feelings. How do they do it? They won’t allow a negative thought to stay with them long. A wise man once said, “You cannot control what thoughts go in to your mind, but you can control how long they stay there and what you do with them.” After all, they are just words until you activate them into action. The doom and gloomers are not helping you and can bring you down fast — even if they are well meaning relatives and friends. Seek out and talk with upbeat people often. Their attitude will lift your mood quickly!
If you don’t have someone in your life that truly makes you feel good when you talk to them, join a job search support group, talk to a professional such as a counselor, psychologist or spiritual advisor.
Employers Want People Who Believe in Themselves
Potential employers and recruiters can sense when you are depressed, overeager or frantic and will pick up on your energy. Just as in life, smiles can be heard through the phone lines. The more negative you are about your own abilities, your job prospects, the companies you apply with, and life in general, the less likely you are to land a job. Employers want people who believe in their skills, who want to work, who want to work for them, and people who generally have a positive attitude. Besides, who wants to work with a naysayer? No one!
Take Stock of Your Talents
When you feel yourself getting a little unhappy or need a job search “pick me up,” we suggest that you take some time to identify your talents and honor YOU! Grab a piece of paper and list those areas where you do well. Don’t use this list for only your professional life, but include your personal talents also. Keep writing until you have written everything that you do well. Everyone has talents. If you get stuck, ask yourself why people seek you out … what do they look for from you? When you see your talents listed on paper, this is a good reflection of what you bring to potential employers. Take a moment to celebrate YOU! Celebrate your talents! This is the key to a positive attitude.
Learn From the Past
Instead of blaming yourself and constantly rehashing past mistakes, take the opportunity to learn from the past. Build on experiences to improve yourself and your abilities. If you are on a job search due to a termination for cause, this is a great time to learn from that experience and ensure the situation does not occur again. We are aware there are terminations that are unwarranted, but we also know that everyone has lessons to learn, especially on the job. Using another sheet of paper, write out the reasons for the termination. Take a good long look at yourself and what occurred. Be honest and ask yourself:
- What could I have done better?
- Could I have made changes to prevent the termination?
- How can I ensure that this never happens again?
- Can I see myself in a better job?
Once you take stock of the past, come up with a game plan to learn from what went before and ensure that the future does not include behaviors or events that prevent you from success. You are an amazing being! This is a good time to make sure you have a profitable future without repeating situations that caused difficulties in the past.
Besides listing and focusing on your talents and your day-to-day job search, this is a good time to take up something that motivates you. Whether it’s getting fit, a building project, learning a new skill or finishing some pursuit, achievement is revitalizing. And, why not put a little extra energy towards whatever makes you feel connected to something larger than yourself? Whether it is time spent in a spiritual meeting, volunteer work, meditation, prayer or communing with nature, now is the time to pay more attention to those activities and nurture your Spirit.
Watch Your Self-Talk
It has been said that most human beings speak at least 50,000 words silently to themselves each day. Listen carefully to your self-talk. Make sure that you are speaking in positives and not criticizing yourself all day long. In any case, positive attitude comes from within. Self-talk can be very encouraging too. Imagine what would happen if you spoke nicely to yourself all day. You could not help but be positive!
Do Not Take Negative Responses, No Response or Rejections To
Why aren’t they calling me back?
Don’t they send out acknowledgement cards anymore?
I thought the interview went well and I have not heard back for two weeks.
The recruiter seemed so interested in me, when will I hear from her?
This is a tough one. In this job climate, employers and their representatives are not following up as in the past. It is not about you as a person, but rather about the business of demand and supply. Very few people land the very first job they apply for or after the first interview. Your attitude really depends on how you look at the experience. You can see a job rejection as a personal attack on your abilities or character, or you can view it as an opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself — a “practice interview.” If you find that people are not responding positively to you, you cannot control them, but you can control whether or not you treat them properly. It’s all about managing your emotions, not their lack of response.
In Summary . . .
While it is important to maintain a positive attitude, it is unrealistic to think you will be 100% positive each moment of every day. The real trick is to set a time limit to allow any “negative” thoughts. We suggest you give yourself 30 minutes. Thirty minutes, one day a week, to lament your situation and then get back to the search. Negative thoughts rarely (if ever) will land you a job!
Accept responsibility for your life and your job search. It is not up to your mother, father, girlfriend or boyfriend, or your aunt Doris to find you a job. Although your network can be a definite help, YOU are responsible for the success of your job search.
It is okay to enjoy this time of your job search. This is your year! Keep in touch with those who will move your career forward and stay positive.
We wish you great success in your job search!