By John Groth
How to keep motivated and up-beat in an effective career change and job hunt.
Sometimes in spite of our best efforts, things happen to our jobs that we have little control over. A business gets sold, a series of bad business decisions reflect negatively on the business, a well-financed competitor enters your main market, or your job or department is outsourced. Perhaps it’s because your career reaches a dead-end. Whatever the reasons changes are normal and are all around us. It however, doesn’t make it easier when you are forced or you decide to change jobs or careers.
Reactions to this type of change can be like a roller-coaster, up one day and down the next. Yet it has been found that success in job hunting and career change is not so much knowing the nuts-and-bolts of managing a job hunting campaign but staying motivated, keeping a positive attitude and retaining confidence in your abilities.
Here are some critical ideas and questions to keep you motivated and on an even keel in your job hunting campaign or career change efforts:
1. Rejection is central to job hunting and career change. People do not call you back. Your well crafted resume and cover letter are never heard from again. People in your network make promises and don’t come through. You work hard to prepare for a job interview and a month after the interview you haven’t heard anything.
The key here is to not take each rejection personally. For every rejection you have to believe you are one step closer to the desired “yes.” Understand that the more ships you put out on the job hunting ocean the more likely you ship will come in; and sooner rather than later.
2. Are you building a robust career plan? Rarely do good things happen without a well though out plan. Finding a job or changing a career are no exceptions to this rule.
A good strong career and job hunting plan should include at a minimum all of the following: (1) Your value proposition-what do you want and what are you good at?, (2) Where and with whom do you want to work?, (3) Roadblocks to getting the planned career and how to overcome, (4) Job search actions, (5) Daily, weekly and monthly action goals, (6) Career research and options, and (7) Plan to get off to a running start in the new career and new job.
A career change or job search plan should be comprehensive yet flexible enough to adjust to changing circumstances. The format you choose should build and sustain your confidence, and in job hunting confidence is everything.
3. Have you accepted that you are now in sales? Building and planning a job search campaign has with it the realization that you are now in sales. Identifying the right buyers and then finding them can be a new and frustrating experience. As with anyone is sales you have to put together a winning marketing plan. You have to understand the market for your skills and abilities to make the plan work.
Commitment to your marketing plan takes a full press effort. Your full and complete effort to your sales plan will go a long way for turning your marketing plan into the right job or career.
4. Control your worry meter. There are many thing related to a job search or career change that are outside your control. The difficult job market, you age, inane questions in a job interview, key people do not return your calls, appointments canceled in the last-minute, weeks go by with no decisions; all can cause your worry meter to go off the dial.
Over time worry and uncertainty can beat you down and erode your motivation and attitude. If you carefully examine something that is a worry ask yourself, “Is there something positive I can do about this item of worry?” If not don’t waste valuable time and effort but rather move on to something you can impact.
Work you job hunting plan and as you reach daily and weekly goals celebrate your success. As you exercise and stick to you diet, and as you reach you fitness goals this is another area you can control and also celebrate.
5. What are you learning? Many job hunters and career changers worry that as they are out of work their key skills will begin to erode. Don’t believe it, much of what you know is like riding a bicycle, one ride around the block even though it’s been some time since you were in the saddle and the skill comes back.
However, it’s still a good idea to add to your skill sets. Perhaps, there is a roadblock that might keep you from qualifying for a job. Research what is required and plan to overcome this problem through added learning. Moreover, as you add to your skills your confidence will grow.
In addition, in order to keep and build a positive attitude, read motivational books, listen to uplifting CD’s as you drive your car, associate with positive people and plan on helping others. All will keep you motivated and engaged in your job search plan.
6. Adjustments are good and bad. A job search or career change can result in grasping at ideas that have little validity to your job search plan. You hear that someone quickly found a job in your field by printing their resume on green paper, or sending their resume to 250 CEO’s, or showing up for their job interview in a Santa suit.
Don’t adjust your well thought out job search plan based on little feedback or evidence. Gathering new information and researching ideas is always a good idea, but think carefully before making wholesale adjustments. If early in the game you carefully think through the basics of you job hunting plan you are less likely to later make dead-end and counterproductive adjustments.
It’s been shown that employer’s are more likely to hire positive, motivated and can-do job applicants. If you work hard to stay positive and up-beat in your job search or career change you increase the likelihood of finding the right job in a shorter period of time.