Get your Head in the Job Search Game
You are finally ready to take the leap: find a new job or try to move within your existing company. Getting to this decision may have been a journey, but what do you do now? Before you do anything, you need to get your head in the game – the job search game!
We can all agree that the job search process is hard. It’s frustrating. It’s challenging. Sometimes we get depressed. It can be hard to wake up every morning and keep going and going. It’s not just unemployed people who have these feelings; employed but searching, or even looking within your company can trigger these terrible, negative emotions.
You realize that your potential new employer has all the power. They are the decision maker. They are the buyer with multiple applicants to choose from. This can leave job seekers confused because you don’t know what they’re looking for. In the job search world, only one applicant gets chosen. It might remind you of grade school and waiting to be picked for a team, hoping not to be the last one standing.
Job Search is Not Transparent
Does this sound familiar? You send in your résumé and wait. And wait. And wait. You don’t know if the recruiter has even received your application or your résumé. You wonder if it was looked at by a robot or a person or if it’s lost in a black hole.
Even if someone does look at your application, you won’t know why you didn’t get chosen for the interview. It’s all blind. If you don’t get the job, you won’t ever find out why. Many times, you won’t hear back after an interview. It just gets worse and worse. As a job seeker, all you can do is ensure you do the right things during your search.
Keep Your Head Up and in the Game
All these situations can be obstacles when job searching. The job search process is not designed to make candidates feel good. And the fact of the matter is, this most likely won’t be your last job search either. You’ll face this every time you look for a new job or seek to move up the ladder. Some tips for keeping your head in the game:
- Remember that you are not alone. Millions of people are searching for their next job right along with you.
- Don’t waste your energy. Sure, someone got that job, but you shouldn’t spend your energy worrying about who won it or why. Just accept it and move onto the next opportunity.
- Stop being a victim. You simply are not going to hear back from all the hiring managers and human resources people, but don’t use the time waiting as an excuse to do nothing. Stay on the offensive and keep sending out applications and résumés.
How to Stay Positive
Your job search is a process. It takes focus and stamina. One way to keep your head in the game is to be accountable to yourself and family or friends. Give your job search a name. Write it down and refer to it whenever you begin to lose your way. Tell at least one friend or family member the name. This will help keep you accountable. If someone else you know is also seeking their next professional chapter, buddy up with them to talk regularly.
Now, write down three to five positive phrases about the journey you are about to begin or the one you’re about to restart. They may say something like: “I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to give it my best effort. I’m not going to get frustrated. I’m going to be optimistic.” Use them as your go-to phrases of encouragement when you need a boost to keep your head in the game.
Move to a new, quiet place to conduct your job search steps: The library, nice building lobbies, hotel lobbies, somewhere you can concentrate and take calls, if necessary. Notice I did not list a coffee shop as a good location.
Become a learner. A student. Learn the brand–new techniques of job search success. What you thought you knew is either out of date or was flawed back then! And you don’t know what you don’t know so you could be missing important steps or making huge errors without even knowing. Following a system will speed up your job search since you can be job-searching while learning.