Everyone knows the danger of having bad habits- smoking, drinking too much soda, obsessively checking your phone. Most people make an effort to curb those habits, at least at the start of a New Year. But even more important than getting rid of bad habits is cultivating good ones, and for the jobseeker this is no different. Job seeking can feel like climbing a mountain that grows taller with every step for even the best candidate, but if you can build these 4 habits of mind that mountain won’t feel quite so steep.
Job hunting is hard and often discouraging. If you are going to be successful then you are going to need to stick with it for the long haul. This means doing a lot of grunt work without much initial gratification. In fact the whole idea of delayed gratification is key to a successful job search. You’ll need to be mentally prepared to be patient. Persevere even when things look hopeless. Because they are not, it just feels that way when you’re in the midst of it.
2. Letting go
Disappointments will come. You’ll tailor your resume and cover letter perfectly to the ideal position. You’ll make it through that initial screening. You’ll have a brief phone interview. They’ll say they’ll let you know soon about coming in for a face-to-face. And then days, and weeks, will go by and you’ll hear nothing. What happened? This is the hard part- you’ll probably never know. But you can’t beat yourself up about it. You need to keep pushing forward. Let go of the things outside your control. Focus on what you can do, and that is moving onto the next application, the next interview. Always forward.
It is so easy to get lazy if you are actually out of work and looking for that next job. The first week or so your are amped up and you do all the things. You write your resume, you get busy reading every job seeking article on LinkedIn. You start combing through the job boards sending off application after application. But inevitably after a week or so your ambitions falter and Netflix looks like a great idea. You can always network tomorrow, right? But here’s the thing, jobseeking is a full time job in and of itself, but it is one where you are the boss and lone employee. If you don’t do the work no one else will. You need to plan your weeks just as if you were an entrepreneur. Live by a schedule. Can you plan on some down time and fun? Of course, but only after you’ve put in the day’s work.
4. Putting in the time
This habit is closely aligned with the one above. Plans are all well and good, but they are only successful if they are followed. If you are unemployed and looking, you should be spending close to 40 hours a week on the hunt in one form or another. If you are employed and looking then the hours drop to 15. (You still have to sleep after all). This can look intimidating, but remember, the goal is to find the next step in your career. The one that will not only bring you greater financial freedom, but also greater personal satisfaction and self worth. Isn’t that worth a month or two of hard work?
Develop these 4 habits of mind and the whole job seeking process will become a little less of a mountain to climb.