A positive mindset is critical to job search success. Optimism and confidence come through in every job search related communication and interaction, from networking to cover letters to interviewing. The winning combination is optimism coupled with action.
Remember the children’s story “The Little Engine that Could”? The engine is famous for saying “I think I can, I think I can”. But simply saying this was not enough to get him up the mountain. The engine also had to take action and work really hard, huffing and puffing his way up. His optimism combined with action got him to the top. There are countless real life examples where a self-belief combined with the right kind of action pays off.
- Professional baseball players must believe they can hit the ball, and they must also practice their swing thousands of times. (Note that if they connect even one-third of the time, that’s considered success!)
- Successful sales people often have a great deal of faith in their ability, claiming they could “sell ice to Eskimos”. However, they also tend to have big sales pipelines, flexible sales pitches, and the ability to bounce back after turn-downs, which are common for most sales people.
- Great composers are said to “hear the music” in their heads. On the other hand, they also spend a lot of time playing with notes and writing down what they discover.
Job searching is the same. It’s vital to believe in yourself, affirm you have value, and be confident you can convey that value to potential employers. These traits allow you to head into each day enthusiastic and upbeat. It’s equally vital to take strategic, thoughtful action. Often that involves hard work: reaching out to new contacts, reworking a resume for the 20th time, practicing interview skills. The combination of the two leads to a winning job search.
Here are five ways to be more optimistic in your job search:
- Intentionally ignore news reports about unemployment and focus instead on what is working and the success stories of those who have been hired
- Give back. Volunteer or mentor to connect with others and keep skills sharp
- Create and use affirmations reminding yourself of your value and abilities
- Reward yourself as you reach goals and milestones along the way
- View each stage of your job search as a growth opportunity, learning from setbacks and improving as you go
Here are five actions to channel that optimism into productivity:
- Set daily and weekly goals, measuring success based on strategic progress and allowing sufficient time each week to meet those goals
- Join a job search group to share ideas and support
- Troubleshoot your job search regularly, looking at where you are stalling and what can be improved
- Optimize each channel for generating leads including social networking and person to person networking
- Practice each job search related interaction from your 20 second pitch to networking encounters to answering tough interview questions.
It’s easy to become discouraged in a tough job market. But, discouragement won’t move you forward. The coupling of optimism and strategic action will!