I often hear from readers who have been looking for a job for months and even years. And I can’t help thinking that no matter how talented you are, when you can’t find a job and that continues far longer than you ever imagined, you start to edit your own memories of how good you are.
If no one wants you (or so it seems) then maybe they know something you don’t. At least that’s the kind of self-doubt that begins to creep in. Even normally confident people start to question their value – and wonder if they’ll EVER get a job again. (You will.)
Have I been there at some point in my own career? Absolutely. (More than once in fact. ) And I’ll bet most of you have too.
A prolonged job search starts to eat at you. The longer you go without getting an actual offer, the harder it is to walk into that next interview brimming with self-confidence and an aura of success. And if you are feeling any of this, please just know you are not alone.
The other thing I want you to know is you are just as talented and capable and job-worthy as you were before all this began. Maybe even more so now because you’ve learned tremendous patience and how to cope with ridiculous business processes.
Job search takes time, creativity & then some more time
There IS a job out there with your name on it.
Amazingly talented people go a year or more without finding a job nowadays. Sometimes it’s about hanging in there and continuing, as an actor in a play does, to find the excitement of the moment even in your hundredth performance…er…interview. Sometimes it takes looking beyond the boundaries of our original idea as to what kind of job we’re looking for, so we open ourselves up to new contacts and fresh possibilities. (A reader just did that and I’m so proud of her for discovering a new path she hadn’t even considered before.)
I’ve included some posts below to help provide you with ideas to get those job hunt juices flowing again. And maybe to see if there are indeed job search/interview skills you need to strengthen or revisit. But there’s something even more important to work on.
What you really need to land (and keep) that job
Your strongest assets – both in job search and as an employee – are the attitude you carry with you, the energy you project, your willingness to be open to new possibilities, and your belief in yourself. So in the meantime, if you need a little booster shot:
- Think back to times in your life when you succeeded. Include any success memories since they are all about YOU. Solutions you found. People you helped. Ideas you had. Things you learned. Things you created. Friendships you’ve made. Barriers you overcame. Projects you took on and finished.
- Write down these memories – as many as possible. They are all important and, even if not at first obvious, form the basis of good job skills.
- Now ask yourself how you might successfully apply these same skills in your next job. Really let yourself think freely w/o letting doubts creep in – and if they do, boot them out and get back to the good stuff!
- And then without stopping to think any further, write yourself a free-flow paragraph or two (don’t worry about grammar or punctuation) about ALL your strengths, your talents, things you bring with you to any job, and the reason you would make a great employee and co-worker. Why you’d be great to work with, what you are willing to offer your next employer, what you’ll accomplish, etc. (If it helps, make up a job – and just let the words flow!)
- Now create a one-page takeaway using the paragraph(s) you just wrote along with your list of success memories (from the first step).
- Prescription: Take one-page booster shot as often as needed!
And whenever you do feel doubt creeping up, apart from rereading your takeaway, just remember we all go through this. Tell old Mr. Doubt you are NOT going to let him get the best of you – no matter how long it takes and how determined you have to be in finally landing that new job.
No matter how many “nos” you get, you only need one YES…and it’s coming. It just likes to take its own sweet time getting here.
Some job search articles to help:
And to help you stay sane:
About the author…
Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, Career Nook and on Google+.