I was talking with a friend recently who has been job hunting on and off for a while now.
She’s not hearing any response to her applications and generally pretty disheartened by the whole experience.
We can all relate to that feeling.
It’s pretty rubbish when you’ve put lots of effort into writing a custom cover letter, editing your CV because you’re sure you’re perfect for the job.
You get excited, picturing yourself working there. You’re convinced that this is a no brainer. Of COURSE, you’re getting this job.
And then you hear nothing. It’s deflating. It’s demoralising. You question everything about your skill set, your experience, who you are.
A few rounds of excitement and disappointment and it’s easier to stay in the mediocre job than persist with the job search.
Which is a big reason I think people end up in jobs and careers they’re not that enthused about.
They simply can’t face job searching.
Because it is a skill. And it’s a skill, or set of skills, that goes pretty rusty in between rounds of job searches.
And for most of us, the ‘sell yourself’ element of job searching has a huge, inherent ick factor that’s hard to get past.
We’re not comfortable owning our contribution to results.
Here’s how you shift this whole dynamic so that job searching can be painless and even enjoyable.
You need to separate the job search from meaning anything about you.
Which looks like having pretty solid self belief that you’re a good person, who’s good at their job and has something to offer.
As soon as you tie your value up in how your job search is going, the rejection stings so much more.
It’s harder to pick yourself back and do the next application.
But it also shows up practically.
How are you going to convince someone to hire you, if you’re not even convinced on hiring yourself?
That level of self belief then flows into how you write your cover letter, what information you present on your CV, how you express yourself in job interviews, even what jobs you apply for in the first place.
Your self belief also dictates how you approach your job search.
Are you applying for anything and everything that is remotely feasible because you just don’t know?
Are you afraid of narrowing your focus because you don’t want to miss out?
Basically, is fear and a feeling of scarcity running how you’re approaching your job search?
That fear and scarcity is coming from your level of belief in how much value you bring to a job. How much of an asset you are to a potential employer.
As I said, you’re not quite sold on you, so you’re doing everything you possibly can to offset that.
From experience what happens when you job search from that energy, the opportunities that come along are filled with frantic, scarce energy. This is the territory of bad bosses, horrible colleagues, office politics, anxiety filled days, overworking. All of it.
What you want, and what I want for you, is to land the job where you’re excited to get out of bed in the morning.
It feels like stating the obvious a little bit, but getting that job starts at the job search.
Meaning that having your job search feel one way and expecting the actual job to feel another is nuts. I mean, it must happen sometimes, but it’s very much the exception to the rule.
To stack the odds in your favour, shift how you approach your job search.
The first thing you need to do is build your self belief.
I’ve said this so many times but I’ll say it again. The best place to start with building belief in your career is to write a list of 100 reasons you’re amazing at your job.
List the skills you’ve developed. List the experiences you’ve had (including the bad ones and the lessons you learnt). List how you’ve a great colleague. List the energy you bring to the office. List the perspectives gained outside of your career that give you a different point of view.
If you write the brightest, bubbliest Out of Office message you’ve ever seen, that goes on the list.
If you bake for your colleagues or organised Secret Santa one year or always invite the new person to the pub, that ALL goes on the list.
Once you’ve written the list, there’s a few things I want you to do.
First, notice how you feel. Describe it. Pick a few words. Write them down if you want. Whatever will help you really lock in that feeling.
Now, anytime you do anything job search related, come back to this feeling. Tap into the power, the confidence, the self assuredness. Then complete your job applications or interview prep or even the interviews themselves in that energy.
Second, write some core beliefs about what THAT version of you gets in a job. What do you believe she can have? What is possible for her?
Some of my favourites are:
My dream job comes to me quickly and easily.
The perfect job is waiting for me.
Things work out for me even better than I can imagine.
I am the perfect person for the job.
As you write out your new beliefs about the kind of job you get to have, notice any thoughts that disagree.
With those, I want you to ask “Why not me? Who says this isn’t possible for me? Is this a fact, or a thought I’m telling myself? What do I choose to believe instead?”
And choose one of the thoughts you’ve written.
All of this is about getting you into a place of BELIEVING a great outcome is possible for you.
From there, you job search starts to look more like:
- Setting aside set time everyday to apply for jobs then living your life when it’s done
- Only applying for jobs that you’re genuinely excited by and would love to get
- Reaching out to people in your field to form connections (the thinking here is they win from hearing from you because they get to connect with someone as valuable as you)
You feel calmer, more peaceful, more trusting of a great outcome. You’re not all tangled up in knots of anxiety anymore.
You’re not refreshing your inbox every five minutes to see if there’s a response.
You’re not chasing up every last application, desperate to hear something. You trust the right opportunities will get back to you.
Job hunting doesn’t feel hard anymore. That’s the big win. You’ve stepped off the emotional rollercoaster where your self esteem was tied to how your job search was going. Now you KNOW you’re awesome whether you hear from the job or not.
And you will hear from the right job just for you.