Job Hunting: The Glass Half Full Approach
There’s no reason to beat around the bush -- job hunting is hard. It can be overwhelming, requires you to be vulnerable, and is almost always characterized by intense highs and lows. And yet, we will likely all do it multiple times during our careers. It’s why we started Career Cooperative, to offer the much needed support to tackle a job hunt with confidence. We want to inspire a holistic approach to your job search-- one that includes strategy for both career and wellness-- so you can feel good about the ups and downs of the process and can ultimately make a decision that is right for you.
So how do you keep your head in the game when you’re facing the stress of a job search? Here are six tips to help you to look on the bright side of your next job search:
Set Realistic Expectations - Job hunting is an excellent opportunity to practice setting clear, realistic expectations - with yourself! You’re not going to get every job you apply to, and you’re not going to like every job you interview for and that’s okay. Rejection is an important part of every job search, as it helps to shed light on your best case scenario. This doesn’t mean that the rejection won’t hurt, it will sometimes, and you should make space to honor those feelings. Then learn what you can, and focus on getting more strategic in your job search-- Why were you so disappointed that you didn’t get that job? What about your interview experience left a sour taste in your mouth? Remember, all job seekers are facing rejection, and sometimes it helps just to know you aren’t alone.
Cast a Wide Net - Apply to multiple jobs, including the jobs that you wouldn’t consider ‘perfect’ on paper and the ones you aren’t ‘100 percent qualified’ for. The job description only tells a part of the story, and you never know what you will learn about the role and company during an interview that could make it a great opportunity for you. Take some chances in roles, companies, and industries outside of your targeted search or comfort zone.
Don’t be Afraid to Try Something New - There is no ‘one size fits all’ job hunting strategy. If you haven’t gotten a lot of traction, take stock of other ways you can get your resume in front of roles. If you’ve only been using job boards and applying through company websites, try reaching out to your network for referrals and ask if their companies are hiring. We are huge advocates of enlisting your community to job search, learn more here.
Identify Your Allies - You are going to need support through the job hunting process, don’t be shy about asking for help. From your cheerleader friend who you can vent to and then count on to lift your spirits, to a connected mentor or sponsor who can refer you to a role, to a professional career coach who can help you game plan a strategic job search plan (ahem, shameless plug alert), identify and enlist the allies you need to stay positive during a job search.
Practice Self-Care - Don’t let the frustrations of job searching keep you from taking care of yourself. In fact, this is the time to dig into however you take care of your mind, body and soul. Self-care looks different for everyone, and sometimes mean taking a long, hard look in the mirror and having the tough conversations with yourself (see setting expectations around rejection & failure up top). Self-care is also how you discover your shine, which you can find more about here.
Utilize Temporary Fixes to Take the Pressure Off - A job hunt can feel like a full-time job, and what if you already have a full-time, full-throttle position that is sucking the life out you!? If it makes sense for you, explore temporary solutions to lighten your load so you have more energy to put toward a job hunt. For example, can you leave your current role and take a less demanding temp position? You can also work with recruiting agencies to help add additional support and options to your job hunt.
Whether you are just starting to think about launching a job hunt or in the thick of final interviews, we hope these tips will help you focus on the bright side of job hunting and empower you to take control of your career transitions - Happy Job Hunting!