The Job Search is one time when attitude and outlook about the future are at risk of hitting rock bottom. This is especially true if being in this situation is not your choice. “Job Search mode” can be one of the most stressful times in any person’s life. When there is external chatter about the economy turning around and jobs are plentiful but you are not finding a job quickly, the pressure mounts with an even greater weight. This can put even the most positive thinker in the dumps.
I personally experienced being in the place of unwanted job searches twice in my career, once in 2007 and again in 2012. A wise man once told me that “you can’t always control what happens, but you can control how you respond.” Thanks Dad. He went on to say (often) “if we can manage our response to circumstances correctly, we will succeed and be happy.” It is with this mantra and with my own real experience that I arrived at the “10 P’s to Managing Yourself and Your Attitude when in the Job Search World.”
Once I dealt with the Eight Emotions of the Job Loss (Shock, Disbelief, Fear, Anger, Sadness, Stress, Confidence, Doubt), I came to realize I had to focus on my plans to move forward and NOT on the situation at hand. With this realization, I dedicated myself to finding the next yet to be determined opportunity. Through this journey, I discovered ten critical aspects to this process which I call the “10 P’s”. I share them below. They helped me find and land a great position, not once, but twice. So here they are. Please leave your comments below as well as any tools and techniques you recommend for anyone in the same situation to also use to stay strong and drive forward.
Positive – Stay positive about yourself, your search and everything in your life. Know that a positive attitude attracts positive people and experiences. If you are positive, people take note and in return are likely to be positive towards you.
Persistent – Keep at it. Go one more step than you think you need to then go another step. Remember that it takes many “no’s” to get to a “yes.” A positive and persistent approach will show serious intent and focus.
Pragmatic – Develop your plan for your future. There is an old saying, “plan your work and work your plan.” Map out the key steps and actions that you must take to get you where you want to be.
Professional – In everything you do, act in a professional manner. Be professional with everyone you meet from the receptionist to the CEO, from peer to peer. Even with the company from which you just separated. You are always making an impression on others – make it a professional one. You never know who you might run into. (See number 1 above).
Prepare/Predict– Practice your interview in every possible way. Know something about each person you are meeting with. Expect obstacles and prepare to deal with them. Time can be your friend. If an interview requires an airline trip, make your plans to travel the night before so that you will have the opportunity to deal with delays and other issues. Expect the traffic delay, the cab to be late, etc. Early is always better than late.
Passionate– Whatever you choose to pursue, be passionate about it. Invest time being honest with yourself about your passions. Your energy will be most effective when deployed around your passion. It is contagious. It separates you from others clearly. Find it use it, and cherish it.
Pliable– Be flexible. Stay mindful that very few plans work out exactly as planned. It has been said “you can’t push a rope”. Have a lift in your step but don’t be in too much of a hurry. Know there will be setbacks along the way. Stay the course, be true to your passion and your plan and you will get there. If you expect kinks in the plan, you will stay positive when they occur.
Philter (Filter)- Look beyond the surface of situations. Decide how you will interpret information, an interaction or an experience. Make the most out of everything possible. Try to see the upside where it might be easier to see the downside. Remember, we get to choose. (Expand a bit- maybe just one more line of explanation). Follow these “P’s” and you will be victorious over the negativity around us that wants to distract us from reaching our goals.
Pieces– Be patient and award small wins. Acknowledge the success of getting the callback from the first interview. Remember the preparation and persistence that got you the contact into that dream company. Celebrate the little successes required to get the big victory.
Photographic– Close your eyes and visualize your success at every step. See the firm handshake from the hiring manager after your interview. See him/her telling you that you are perfect for the position and asking you how soon you can get started. See yourself nailing the interview because of your positive attitude, professionalism, passion, preparation and persistence. Picture yourself reading the negotiated offer letter. See good things for yourself and be positively expectant.
These are lessons I have learned from my personal experiences, observing other successful professionals, and from the commitment to live a positive life full of wonderful outcomes.