023: Attitude Check During the Job Search

Attitude Check During the Job Search

I often liken the job search to root canal surgery.

Except they medicate you before oral surgery.

I can’t imagine anyone describing the job search as “fun” or “enjoyable.”

It doesn’t have to be awful, either.

As my coach says, negative things happening in your life are inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with saying “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Think about this: What if I told your brown eyes are mousy, too dark, and just plain ugly?

You know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you have blue eyes.

You are completely confident that your eyes are blue, so what I say about your brown eyes has no effect on you.

On the other hand, if I told you were not a good mother…spouse…employee…might some self-doubt creep in? Might you believe what I’m saying because, on some level, you believe it’s true?

In other words, you begin to feel inferior about that thing I’ve said to you, because you’ve consented (at least a little) to what I’ve said.

Let’s bring this back around to the job search. There are lots of rejections inherent in the job search. Lots of non-responses.

If you believe that these rejections, these non-responses, mean you aren’t adequate as a job candidate, you are likely to either pull back on your job search efforts, or continue with your job search efforts but not show up as the best version of yourself.

Either of these options will reduce your chances for job search success, which will provide further evidence for you to believe that you are an inadequate job candidate.

On the other hand, what if you believed those rejections meant something better was coming along? If those non-responses meant that just wasn’t the right opportunity for you?

You would double down on your job search, knowing that it’s a numbers game and the rejections are the currency you have to pay to get to the “yes” of your dream job.

It’s important to check your attitude—your thoughts about yourself—throughout the job search. Most people go into the job search with high hopes and confidence, but allow the rejections and non-responses to lower their hopes and confidence.

This is optional. Here are my top three suggestions for maintaining a positive attitude throughout the duration of your job search:

  1. Set daily job search goals, and reward yourself regularly for achieving those goals.
  2. Make sure you set SMART goals that are results-oriented. Don’t wait until you get that new job to reward yourself; reward yourself every week for doing what you said you would do for that week.

Celebrate your “failures”.

I used air quotes because I don’t consider the rejections you will get along the way to be failures, but rather just part of the deal. Celebrate the job you weren’t offered but didn’t really want anyway; that interview you aced but still resulted in a rejection. It’s all part of the process.

Regularly evaluate the ROI of the job-search activities you’re engaging in.

I coach my clients to come up with 4-5 job search strategies and 2-3 action steps for each strategy. Periodically, say once a month, evaluate those strategies to eliminate any that aren’t gaining traction and double down on those that are yielding the best results.

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