Sometimes I get comments from readers that offer so much practical wisdom I just have to share their words. Mack wrote to tell us he’s been laid off since January and has been a finalist for TWELVE different jobs since then – some definite “no”s but a few held up for one reason or another. It takes a lot to keep your attitude up when you can almost taste the job and then it is either pulled away or disappears completely.
As Mack puts it:
“Between coming in second place in most of these jobs and being in limbo for the rest, it’s just a drag on the psyche. (The process is also a reminder of why so many stay in jobs even if they despise their managers, their colleagues, even the work itself; job hunting sucks.)”
Well said, Mack.
Luckily, he has a previous job search experience that reminds him sometimes you just have to keep going:
“I always have to keep in mind that I’ve been through this before for an 18-month spell [and he got the job], and that I’ve at least gotten to the final round for some of the jobs for which I’m applying. And that in each situation, there was probably someone who is applying for the same job who has gone through the same tiresome process for a longer time than I — and he or she may have been due for their “yes”. Doesn’t always make me feel better, but it keeps things in perspective.”
Adopting an Owner’s Mentality
So what does Mack do to keep going and still keep his great (and yet realistic) attitude? Here’s what he says about having an “owner’s mentality.”:
The uncertainty of the hiring process is one reason why I’ve long ago adopted an owner’s mentality. That is, instead of looking at this as the desperate attempt to get some company to hire me for a job, it is a chance to match up my talents, skills and ambitions to a firm that wants to partner with me for a time (and is deserving of them). In many ways, it is adaption to economic reality: No job is permanent; no employer is [guaranteed to be] loyal (if this was ever the case); and you are merely a full-time equivalent whose talents are only as valuable to the firm as they fit into its mission, goals and financial condition.
This reality is as true for each of us as it is for the companies on the other side of the transaction: If an organization doesn’t provide you with what you desire for your life (from benefits to career success), then you shouldn’t stay with them.
Such a mindset isn’t exactly comforting, especially when you need the check to pay the bills; but at least it is clearheaded and allows you to stop falling in love with every opening for which you apply. And while it doesn’t keep me from falling into occasional bouts of despair, I can at least keep my head above water. Or at least try.
I thought that was well worth sharing with all of you because of what he says and because so many people can relate! While the company of course calls a lot of the shots, you are the one in charge of your own job search. You can change your resume. You can network. You can snoop for openings not advertised on jobs search engines. You can brush up your interview skills. You can network some more. And most of all, you can remember that you are still the same, strong capable person no matter how many rejections you get. Your “yes” may be just around the corner.
I think it helps to remember that.
So what do you think? How can you make an owner’s mentality work for you?