How many times have you heard that job search is a job in itself? Probably a zillion times! Add one more to that number.
To start a search for a job is a full fledged endeavor and you need a proper job search mindset for it to be successful. A casual approach to job searching will at best land you a casual job and at worst keep you unemployed. So, all the â€˜expertsâ€™ would tell you to undertake this journey â€˜seriouslyâ€™. I, for one, would like to change your anxious state of mind by replacing the word â€˜seriousâ€™ with â€˜committedâ€™ to describe an attitude one should take when looking for a job.
I use that term because it not only makes one realize the responsibility associated with the job search process but also lends a certain confidence to your mind set. It also adds a certain dignity any unemployed person must feel about himself but is mostly falling short of. Believe me, I have been unemployed in life and gone through the painful throes of uncertainty. Fear, hopelessness and depression are available in abundance at such a juncture in life. This lethal combination makes you behave in a frenzied way that you would like to call a committed search but which, in fact, is desperation and it starts producing counterproductive results.
By now you have read enough negative words to raise your heckles, so lets discuss how we can make looking for work a constructive and positive exercise culminating in you landing a job and getting a regular pay check.
Before actually embarking on your search, consider the following 5 steps outlined to get you into a job search mindset for success:
1. 9-5Â Office-like Schedule
Since we all agree that looking for a job is a job unto itself, letâ€™s treat it in the same way. Make an imaginary nine to five schedule for job search complete with lunch and coffee breaks and then give it practical shape. Remember, there is no use lying awake at 11 at night in your bed and mulling over uncertainty. All offices and work places open in the day, mostly 9-5 and thatâ€™s when your job search should be at full steam.
This process also gives you a sense of constructive work being done and starts getting you results. Plus as soon as you get hired, there is an easy transition to the work schedule as you were already adhering to it. However, the key here is to stick to this schedule honestly.
2. Develop a Positive Outlook/Mindset
Whether you are starting to look for employment for the first time or going through a career flux and changing a job, you have to consciously develop a positive mindset. Easy said than done, I know. Well the other choice is being depressed and unemployed.
Fortunately, we live in times of an information boom and you have plenty of resources and tools of positive psychology available to you. I strongly suggest that you should turn to one of these sources like a book, video, YouTube or a friend or counselor each day to keep your spirits up. A positive outlook would not only help you to get through the unemployed period but also quicken your success in landing a job.
3. Avoid Negative People
It is inevitable and necessary for any person looking for employment to turn to any related resource leading to a job lead. One such source (actually one of the most important) is other people â€“ like friends and family among others. It is here that I would strongly suggest using your judgement in associating with positive people and avoiding the negatively inclined.
For example, your friend Stephanie who got hired last year and always spurs you on all the time, assuring you that you would find something somewhere soon, and also suggests some job leads, is the person to call every other day or so. On the other hand, your gloomy cousin Grumpy, who is always rattling out figures about how 600 people got laid off by XYZ Corp. in Minnesota is the person to have lesser contact with these days. Once you land a job, all relationships will return to normal, but right now you are understandably vulnerable. (Also, after you land that job, please don’t forget to thank Stephanie!)
4. Never Miss Meals or Overeat
Whatâ€™s a health tip got to do with a job search? Turns out – A lot!
It is common knowledge that during trying times, like being in an unemployed status, the level of stress shoots up like that Stratosphere ride in an amusement park – only it’s not amusing to you at all. As a result, the first casualty is our appetite or, in some cases, an urge to overeat apart from us getting irritated towards our kids or spouse. Both missing meals and overeating are recipes for disaster.
I and you might not be doctors, but we both know the importance of having a regular daily schedule like regular meals etc, as when everything was (and will be) normal. Common sense and common knowledge tells us how our bodies and minds are affected with the kinds and times of meals that we consume. The timely and quality food intake releases certain chemicals in our brain to pep us up. You can ask your local physician to confirm it. The result: more upbeat moods, more constructive job search.
5. Entertainment – A Must
Keeping in tune with a 9-5 routine mentioned above in Step 1, donâ€™t start giving up on your small entertainments. I know fully well how difficult it is to even think of entertainment at such a period but you got to force yourself. When you are watching that exciting hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks (my team actually), watch your adrenalin rush – whether your team is winning or is behind a goal â€“ and you would be able to keep your mind off worries for a three hour period. Or donâ€™t skip on that movie or an episode of your favorite soap. These activities keep you in a normal mode of mind helping you to accelerate your job search the next day.
If you have kids, please donâ€™t stop spending quality time with them. Their happy mood and playfulness will rub off on you and it’ll affect your mindset positively. Turn this boost in your morale into a motivating factor to grab that position advertised on the weekend. Also, it keeps children away from unnecessary stress and trauma as when they see their parents in a downbeat situation.
In order to be successful in any activity or project in life, we all know, a total focus is needed on that activity or project. It is even more true of your job search. Being in the proper and focused job search mindset will open doors for you that you never could have expected in normal circumstances. Good Luck!!