As we all know, looking for a job can feel like an uphill battle at the best of times.
I hear you.
Things might not necessarily be going in the direction you would have liked or had planned.
You started off feeling energized, positive, powerful, and optimistic. But after months of “pounding the (virtual) pavement”, you’re starting to feel frustrated, deflated, negative, and pessimistic.
This is when the mind starts playing nasty games on you and pushes your buttons.
You starting believing “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not successful”, “It’s too hard to find a job”, “I’m never going to find a job”, etc., etc……Not a good place to be.
Despite how impossible the situation might seem, you do have much more power than you might think. That power comes from your mind and your attitude.
You can choose to feel defeated OR you can decide you’re not going to take this anymore and you’re going to kick some serious ass – figuratively, not literally.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Use empowering language
Yes, I know you are technically “looking for a job” and you might “need a job”, but if you refer to it in that way, it’s going to drag you down into the abyss of job search hell.
Stop calling it a “job search”.
That sounds like this long, drawn out process with no end in sight, where you’re wandering around aimlessly trying to find a job to no avail.
How you “language” things are actually extremely important and can make the difference between feeling positive or negative.
For instance, you could rename the job search a i “Career Success Activity” or “Job Success Journey” or “Job Landing Strategy” or “Job Acquisition Process” … or something else to that effect.
Thing about it….
Your end desire is NOT to look for a job.
Your end desire is to GET the interview to GET the job.
Every time you focus on the “search” or “looking” aspect, it’s going to drag you down and keep you there.
If you can shift your language and focus on the desired end goal (i.e to LAND the job), that will help to keep you focused and in a more positive mindset that will prevent you from wanting to rip your hair out in frustration.
Believe you are a valuable commodity
Yes, I know you are technically “looking for a job” and you might desperately “need a job”, but if you keep using those terms, you are selling yourself short.
You will also start to freak yourself out when things don’t happen exactly the way you’d like.
And while the employer might look like they’re the one in control because they have the very thing that you want, you have something of value to offer also.
You are a unique and valuable commodity.
You are the solution to whatever the hiring pain the employer has.
The employer can benefit from having you on their team.
If you could approach your job acquisition journey with that belief, then you will be in a much better position to sell yourself with confidence and ease.
Strike a balance
While you definitely want to UP your confidence game, you don’t want to go overboard and come across as a “know-it-all” or the “be-all and end-all” of candidates.
Nobody wants to interview someone like that, much less work with them.
The key is to establish a balance between rock-solid confidence and humility. It’s a fine line.
One way is to communicate how you would “love the opportunity” to “help” the employer achieve X, Y, and Z by leveraging your expertise in A, B, and C.
Then you would provide some specific examples of recent positive and ideally quantifiable business outcomes that would matter to the employer.
It’s great to be confident in your abilities but if you can’t provide substantive evidence of your unique value, the employer might not be convinced that you won’t be a hiring risk.
Establishing a positive mindset requires you to assume a position of more control during the job acquisition process.
The less control you have, the more stressed out you will become and the less confidence you will have which will be a downward spiral and likely result in no interviews.
On the other hand, the more control you take, the more you will exude confidence and positive energy which will invariably boost your job landing success rate.
You’ve got to take matters into your own hands by being proactive and taking decisive action on a regular basis to keep you moving forward.
Don’t wait around for the perfect job to land in your lap – you could be waiting a very long time.
That means, do NOT rely on applying to jobs online.
That being said, there is no magic elixir that is the guaranteed way of landing interviews. There are multiple ways to do it. I recommend that you do EVERYTHING you can and tweak things and pivot as you go.
For instance, leverage your personal contacts and network on and offline to uncover opportunities. Networking is undoubtedly the most effective way to generate interviews.
It could also mean working with a 3rd party recruiter who specializes in your target field. Now, while recruiters are not going to “help you find a job”, a good one will contact you when the perfect fit comes along.
And lastly, there is applying to jobs online via company websites or job boards. But as I already pointed out, this the least effective way because it’s so hit and miss.
Kick limiting beliefs to the curb
If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.
If you’re suffering from “poor me” syndrome because you’re feeling a little battle weary, you’re only going to set yourself up for disappointment.
Don’t use limiting language like, “I’m too old”, or “I’m too young”, or “I’m not the right fit” for the company culture, or some other belief.
If you are 100% confident you could do the job, then go for it!
The worse thing that can happen is that you won’t get the interview. But you won’t get the opportunity if you don’t put yourself out there.
There’s always the possibility that you will win the interview for a job that you thought was a long shot. But you’ll have to know how to sell yourself for the position which is even more important if you are missing some of the required qualifications.
Don’t give up
I know it can be really hard to not throw in the towel. Trust me – we’ve all been there!
The irony is that when you are at your lowest and you feel like the universe is against you, that’s typically when you are close to making headway or have some kind of breakthrough.
The challenge is the not knowing the when – when you’re going to finally get the interview and land the job.
All you can know is the kind of action you will take. Be in control of what you can in the moment and let things unravel as they may.
Change your perspective
The trick is to see the challenges that you encounter along the journey as opportunities and not problems. You must be able to see the possibilities of what can be.
Besides, there are always solutions. The solution with every job landing process is to keep taking right and decisive action, tweaking things as you go, and not giving up.
While you want to continue to have a positive mindset and to keep taking action, you also need educate yourself on what is a realistic expectation in terms of landing the job in your target field.
If there’s a huge demand for your talent and not much competition (you are the “Purple Squirrel”), then the process will take less time.
If there’s little demand or it’s a highly competitive field, it will take more time.
Generally speaking, it can take about one month for every $10K you want to earn to land the job. So, if you’re a $100K person, it could be a 10 month journey.
The last time I checked, the average time between jobs was 5 to 6 months in North America but that’s probably based on people applying to jobs online which is the least effective way so if you take the more proactive strategy, you could reduce that length of time.
When all else fails and you feel like you’re still struggling and becoming more and more frustrated, you should probably enlist the help of a career professional.
Sometimes it takes an outside observer to see if there’s something you’re doing that you shouldn’t or something you should be doing but aren’t. They can also give you the confidence boost you need to get you back on track.
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Hi! I’m Diana.
I draw from over 15 years recruitment, career/job search coaching, and sales/marketing experience to help all kinds of jobseekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired for their dream job.
Need help? That’s what I’m here for!
Are you in the midst of a job search and not getting the results you want? Or, are you employed and not actively looking but want to “get ready” in case your situation changes and you need to launch a job search?
Don’t get caught in the endless cycle of applying to jobs, hearing little to nothing, and becoming more frustrated.
I offer both “Done-For-You” and “DIY” options to help you overcome the obstacles and get you on the right track to accelerate your job landing success. You choose the level of service you feel you need that fits your budget.