Searching for a job can be a long, arduous task. Second-guessing yourself is a common pitfall, so is depression. Do your best to remain on the sunny side of the job search. It’s worth the effort to remain upbeat and hopeful, as both your first impressions and your interviews will be more positive as well. Here are a few tips on how to shine some optimism on the darker spots in your journey to the next stage of your career:
Rejection. It’s hard to hear that you weren’t right for the job you wanted. The truth is, you are looking for a great fit, one that works wonderfully for you and your new organization. It’s much better to wait a little longer for the perfect fit, than to be placed in a job where you won’t be happy or comfortable. Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t skilled or valuable, it just means your job is still out there, waiting for you.
Waiting. If there’s one thing every job search has in common, it’s the waiting. Waiting to hear a response to your resume, waiting to hear from hiring influencers, waiting to find out if you got the job, and more. The wait between one step and the next is time you can spend looking for the next position, recruiter, network connection…just keep moving forward. Use that waiting time wisely and not only will you get more done, but you’ll find the wait feels shorter.
Control. It’s hard to feel like you have control over this job search process when you are waiting to hear back from others, hoping someone chooses to hire you, and working to make a good impression on those with the power to accept or reject your application. You actually have all the control. You control who has access to your resume, which jobs interest you, and which connections to make. You have the final choice of whether or not to take a job that’s offered. Focus on the control you do have, and suddenly, you’ll realize you are an integral decision-maker of the job search, not a powerless pawn.
Connection. Using your network during a job search does mean you’re asking people for help. That can start to feel unbalanced, maybe even a little humiliating. Take a deep breath and examine your connections with a new perspective. What can you offer your connections? Is there a job that didn’t fit you, but would be perfect for a former colleague? Let them know. Did you hear about an opening outside your expertise? Phone your recruiter contacts, give them the information as a thank-you for their work on your behalf. All this adds to your own value as a connection, and makes sure you are top-of-mind when your connections hear of a job that’s just right for you.
Settling. The urge to take the first position you’re offered is strong. The desperation to be working (and earning) again can be overwhelming. Step on the brakes and carefully evaluate the offer. Is it a great fit? Does it advance your career? Does it meet your needs? You might even want to consult a Career Coach or a mentor to help you evaluate whether this position is the right step to take. If you can set the relief aside, you will be able to make a better choice for yourself and your career.