In part one, we looked at some initial tips that will have prepared you for your job search. In this part, we are going to drill down into some more detailed advice to help you get into the right mindset to look for your next or even first job.
Are You Feeling Too Overwhelmed To Enter The Job Market?
After a significant break from work, or if you have finished long years of academic study and are now having to put that degree to work and find your first job, you may well be crippled with indecision and sheer sense of being overcome with paralysis. A good way to shake off this inertia is to reach out. Your biggest fans can also be your most helpful critics – if you are prepared to ask them to be.
That supportive former co-worker, professor who believed in you, and friend who knows and appreciates your full potential and is not afraid to give you pointers on how you could improve. So, if you are feeling like you are not getting off first base with your job search, try asking them for some constructive criticism.
Identify where you are struggling, whether it is with resume formatting or interviewing, and ask for advice from the appropriate people (that former professor who pushed you to do your best public speaking, for example). Based on their knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, they can give specialised, honest advice that you will be much more motivated to put into practice than the generic tips you’re reading everywhere.
Are You Willing To Try Something Different?
If you are really stuck, there are ways you can train your mind to ‘click’ into a positive mindset that actually works. One of them is visualisation. This technique, also known as mental rehearsal, is a powerful psychological strategy used by many people in varied settings, from top athletes to artistic performers and it can help you be prepared for your job search.
The idea is to find some time and space to quietly create mental images of going to the interview, performing well and feeling good afterwards. The visualisation should not be rushed and should contain as many details as you can muster – details such as the clothes you will be wearing and things you will be saying. It should always be positive – you do not want to rehearse anything negative! It is well worth researching visualisation and using this technique for situations such as interviews, presentations or other performances.
If done properly, the brain reacts as though you have really had these positive interview experiences. In addition, research also shows that mental rehearsal decreases stress and increases confidence.
Now, this may sound just too ‘out there’ to be taken seriously, but there is plenty of research to show that it works if you allow it to. If you’re still sceptical, do some more reading on visualisation here.
And Finally – Persevere!
At the end of the day, searching for a job can be a real chore. But if it were easy, we would have zero unemployment. Some things are just hard work. And even if you have got those applications out, or even landed an interview – and still not landed that role – do not despair.
We have given you some solid guidance on how to make life a little easier and be prepared for your job search, but if there is one thing that will see you through, it is dogged perseverance. Had a rejection letter? A failed interview? No response at all? It is understandable to feel disappointment, but the mark of every peak performer is to move on from this quickly and continue to use positive thinking to keep your confidence up.
Note the things you felt you did well, and make notes of those things you felt could be improved. Be your own best critic. You may ask the employer for feedback and take it on board, but do not take a rejection personally. It may not be about you, but simply that there was someone else more suitable for whatever reason. See the experience as valuable practise that will serve you well in the next interview.