Updated: Nov 12, 2018
Looking for a new job can be exciting, but it can also be very daunting. Depending on the circumstances as to why you are looking for a new job, it can really dictate the mood of your mind-set.
Maintaining a positive mind-set when looking for a new job is really important to ensure that you remain motivated during your job search. It also helps you make the right impression with a prospective employer and the right decisions for your future. In fact, your positive thinking matters more than your job history. Your previous experience will qualify you for specific job roles however, employers are seeking out achievers and motivators and those that can make a difference to their business. Walking into your interview with an optimistic, confident energy will get you noticed. But, let’s be honest, maintaining a positive mind-set throughout your job search, is far easier said than done.
So, knowing how important it is to adopt a positive mind-set, how can you achieve it?
What will make you happy?
Before you are tempted to hop on-line to see what job opportunities are being advertised. STOP! There is some preparation you need to do first. It’s important before you begin your search to really clarify your preferences to ensure you start off and stay on the right path.
So, as a suggestion;
On a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle and at the top of one column write ‘likes’ and in the other column write ‘dislikes’
Reflect through the companies and jobs you have had in the past and write on the appropriate side of the list which ones you enjoyed the most and the ones you enjoyed the least.
Consider what aspects of your previous roles you enjoyed the most and why and record these too.
Why are they a ‘thumbs up’ or a ‘thumbs down’ by also drilling down with each job into the salary, the location, the travel and parking and any other benefits such as holiday entitlement, bonuses (if applicable), etc.
What about the environment, the culture, the company values, career advancement, learning and development opportunities? What aspects of these will be important to you in your next job?
Very importantly, also reflect on the styles of management you have previously experienced that brought out the very best in you and the opposite too. What style of management will best suit you in your next job? (Autonomy, flexibility, structure, etc)
The teams you were part of. Fun, social, heads down, quiet
Walking blindly into your job search is highly likely to send you down the wrong path leading to disappointment and rejection. Instead, protect your positive mind-set by connecting with what makes you happy and fulfilled. This will lead you along a path that is aligned to your values, desires and preferences.
What’s your 'super power'?
Now consider all of the things that you have accomplished, where you have added value and when you have felt most successful. What you have done that has made a difference?
Things to consider;
What professional skills have you always received praise or compliments on?
What past projects have gone exceptionally well for you and what was the specific impact you made?
What particular skills did those projects involve?
What adjectives have your peers or previous managers used to describe you?
By asking these questions, it will allow you to step out of yourself and pull out your strengths and characteristics that you can weave into your CV, your application and also your interviews. Not only that, it will give you a boost of confidence.
Appreciating it is hard to remember all these things all at once, keep this list as a working document and as things pop into your head, record them.
Create a daily routine and take control
If you are currently not in work, still get up at your normal time. Have a shower and create a sense of purpose by setting yourself some goals for the day. Decide on how much time you will spend looking for work, perhaps 3 to 4 hours a day? Apply for a couple of jobs a day, if they are the right jobs for you. Don’t go crazy and apply for loads, ensure that the ones you choose are aligned to your preferences and spend the time on making those applications count.
Spend the rest of the day doing something for you.
Watch influential videos. Ted Talks are fabulous. You can choose specific topics that that appeal to you, relevant to your industry and your personal development.
Keep yourself educated. Keep up-to-date with changes in the industries that appeal to you. Being knowledgeable about an industry in your interview could set you apart from other candidates applying for the same role.
Consider a short course to increase your strengths and the value you have to offer.
Do something energetic and makes you feel good. Go for a walk, a run or to the gym if you are a member.
Spend time with people who make you feel great and help to keep you positive.
Look into networking events or even consider setting up a job search club. Push yourself out of your four walls to meet people who could help you. Networking is one of the most common ways people secure new employment.
Volunteer or consider temporary work to enhance your experience and to maintain social interaction.
View every setback as an opportunity
It is perfectly natural to view every setback negatively such as the interview you didn’t get or the job you weren’t offered. Give yourself time to deal with your feelings and then try to shift your perspective by reframing the scenario. “Ok, I didn’t get that job but what can I learn from the experience that will help me next time?” This way you’re always preparing for the job you are truly meant to have.
Above all remember that your situation is temporary, and things will eventually fall into place. Sometimes people secure new jobs very quickly but other times, most times, it can take a bit of time. This doesn’t mean you're worth any less it just means you haven’t found the right job yet.
Pop on those positive pants, be patient and persistent and keep going.