By Susan Pines, Shy Job Seeker Blog
When it comes to job searching, is your mind in a bind? Do fears and insecurities kick in when you apply for jobs? Do you feel as if you’ll never get hired? Do you stop short of applying for dream jobs because you’re sure you will fail in job interviews?
Job searching is a mind game. If your attitude is poor, if you fear rejection, or if you can’t take steps that are uncomfortable, you most likely will be looking for a long, long time.
So here’s my list of 15 ways to boost your job-hunting mindset. Jot down the tips you’d like to put into effect.
- Be single-minded in your job search. Focus on your job hunt as if it’s the only thing in your life. Spend as much time as you can seeking the right jobs, researching employers, reaching out to contacts and employers, and rehearsing job interview responses. Spend less time watching TV, hanging out, shopping, following Facebook, reading, checking your phone, sleeping, and doing chores. You can catch up on all that stuff later, after you get your dream job.
- Think like an employer. Make your job hunt about your next employer, not about you and your needs. In every communication, resume, cover letter, phone call, email, meeting, social media post, and job interview answer, be ready to show the employer you are what he or she needs in an employee. Make sure you give examples that tell the employer you are qualified, hardworking, dependable, trustworthy, competent, friendly, efficient, and more.
- Wake up ready to take action. Before you get out of the bed, create your job search plan for the day. Think about the actions you want to take, what you need to follow up on, what new opportunities you will pursue, and how much time you will put into your job search today. Don’t wait until you feel like taking action in your job search. Be methodical and consistent in your approach.
- Put some good feeling into it. If you plod through your job search, it will be tortuous. Instead, decide to bring energy and enthusiasm to every task. Have an “I can’t wait” attitude when you need to apply to a new opening, tailor your resume and cover letter to a job, schedule a job interview, and follow up with an employer.
- Believe. Never waver in your belief in yourself and in the fact that you will get a job if you are conducting an active and diligent job hunt.
- Get a little uncomfortable. Sometimes in your job search you need to make a phone call or reach out to someone you don’t know. For shy and introverted people, these actions are especially difficult. But you need to face the discomfort and fear, take a deep breath, and take action. Writing down what you want to say and rehearsing the situation may help build courage. Remember that even the most uncomfortable job search step will probably be over in a few minutes.
- Don’t give up. It’s easy to throw up your hands during a job search. You will not hear back from employers. You will not get an offer after a great interview. That’s how, unfortunately, the job search process works. But don’t raise the white flag and stop searching. Don’t give up incrementally and find yourself in the cold world of a half-hearted job hunt. Vow to keep going to get the job.
- Don’t take it personally. You will get rejected in your job search. Reframe rejection as a good thing—you don’t want to work somewhere that isn’t as good a fit as you thought. Move on.
- Consider everything you do to be progress. Every day you spend job searching is one day closer to your next paycheck. Job searches take time. Know it and consider everything you do to be progress toward getting a job.
- Pat yourself on the back every day. Review what you did in your job search at the end of the day. Congratulate yourself on every job application, every person you talk with, every new opportunity, and every follow up.
- Remind yourself of your strengths and skills. Know that your skills and background will be a great fit for the right job and the right employer. Make a list of your best skills and traits and review it to remind yourself of everything you offer.
- Don’t complain. Never let a discouraging word cross your lips. OK, maybe one or two, but then get back to your job hunt and keep your energy and attitude in a positive place.
- Be accountable. Find someone who will help you be accountable in your job hunt. Tell this person what you are going to do, and then make sure this person asks you later if you did it. By committing to job search activities and sharing them with a friend or mentor, you will be more likely to do what you say you will. This person will most likely be positive and supportive, which is very helpful during a job hunt.
- Show you want the job. Some job candidates act is if they could care less whether they get hired. Sad but true. Maybe they are petrified. Maybe they don’t really want the job. Their lack of interest in an opportunity is an opportunity for you. Be enthusiastic and be sure to tell the employer you want the job. Your passion will be very persuasive when an employer makes the hiring decision.
- Reflect. Take some time to reflect on your job search. What is going well? What can you do better? In what areas do you need help? Where have you made progress? This reflection time can help keep you on course or adjust your course.