By Clyde Lowstuter
Power and patience are the yin/yang of the job search. You need power to feel confident in your skills and patience to help you step back – so you can deeply reflect and choose the right next step. The future might seem uncertain, but ultimately you are in charge. You determine your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Only you control how you present yourself, what you say, and where you focus. If you tell yourself, “It’s a tough job market out there,” you will find it exceedingly difficult to network and land the perfect job. If every day, you remind yourself of the value you have contributed to an organization, you will be more confident and self-assured, while seeing a multitude of possibilities in the market. It is easy to get derailed and frustrated during your search. Take heart, we have all been there. Here are some strategies to help you regain your footing.
1. Manage Your Emotional Roller Coaster:
It’s not the lack of technical competency that will derail your search; it’s those strong negative emotions that dominate your thoughts and rob you of a positive, motivating frame of mind. Focus on what you are thankful for. Let your gratitude influence your attitude. See R|L Blog Article: Gratefulness Buoys and Motivates
2. Strive for Networking Mastery:
Networking is a process that is both an art and a science. It’s interwoven with heighten common sense and driven by courageous resourcefulness. Bottom line: if you are not receiving at least 2 additional names from each of your networking sources, something is amiss. If you find that your contacts are hesitant to open up their contact list, your approach might be experienced as presumptuous or overly demanding. Alternatively – you might not be positive or confident enough to generate interest or enthusiasm for your search. R|L Blog Article: I’ve Heard There’s a Recession: I’ve Decided not to Participate
3. Entitlement Mentality:
If you find yourself outraged that you were terminated, welcome to the world of entitlement. When I got zapped a number of years ago, I was the poster boy for a victim operating with a high level of entitlement. “It’s not fair!” was my sole mantra. Until I had my epiphany in which I realized that it was absolutely proper for my boss to terminate me, I was zigging and zagging in our relationship. Once I took complete responsibility for how my life and career looked, only then did my search efforts take off. I invite you to look deeply into your life and identify those dimensions in which you feel that you entitled to a “Get Out of Trouble” pass. See R|L Blog Article: Martyr No More
4. Interviewing Savviness
There are myriad nuances to interviewing. If you are not prepared – You. Will. Fail.
Minimally, you should know the details of your credentials backwards and forwards. You also absolutely need to confidently and positively articulate why you left, the results you achieved, and how you can contribute to this other organization. Put yourself in the interviewer’s’ shoes – ask yourself the questions, he/she would ask.
Do your research on the company, its competitor, and major trends that might influence the company you are interviewing. Do ask open-ended questions that demonstrate your interest and the depth of your business acumen. Don’t talk more than 40%; the impression you make by waxing ad nauseum is never positive. See R|L Blog Article: Interview Impression.
5. References and Reason for Leaving:
References are worth more than your weight in gold. They provide a glimpse of who you are, what you can do, and your core values. Faint praise from a reference is damaging praise because it raises red flags that might knock you out of consideration. If you feel that your relationship with your former boss is rocky, fix it. Take a minute to get your head on straight and, if possible, pay him/her a visit. Take complete ownership for your exit. Express your gratitude for the opportunity to work there. Be specific about the things you learned and the skills you gained. Elaborate a bit on your vision for the future and your career trajectory. Share your goals in a confident and enthusiastic manner. Get them excited about your future endeavors. Then, discuss the references process. It is critical that you and your boss be aligned with a reasonable explanation of your exit. Anticipate, prepare, and practice discussing this in a positive manner with zero defensiveness and a rational explanation. Chapter 10 – Your References are Like Gold – Worksheets 33-37
Don’t rush; take some time to think about what you want and where you want to go in the next five years, ten years, fifteen years. Passion is contagious. If you can envision your future you will become enthused. Layer this enthusiasm with the ROI of your past successes and you will have the ideal presence for your search.
You’ve got this.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi.