[05.23.10]
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Boxing Up Each Event During Job Search

job seeker, psychology, confidence, focus

If I told you that putting things in different boxes would help you in your job search, would you believe me?

Of course now you’ll ask “what things” and “what boxes”.  And then “why”.

So here’s how I’ll answer that . . .

During job search, a lot is asked of us.  We’re asked to suck it up and stay confident.  We’re asked to be social, fun and interesting.  I’ve even asked you to be memorable.  The horror.

And we need to do all of this under quite a bit of pressure.  Pressure that comes from our friends, family members, former co-workers or anyone who has a job.  They add pressure by asking annoying questions like “how can I help?” or “any news?” or “how are things at home?”.  They remind us where the pressure is really coming from . . .

Ourselves.

Yes, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

So this pressure needs to be reduced.  Cut off and re-directed away for periods of time.

My advice is to box up each aspect of your job search journey and place it on a shelf.  In a secure box.  So it can’t get out and bother you.

When things go especially bad or especially good during transition, the best thing to do is tuck it away somewhere.  Because our reaction to those things can be detrimental.  Harmful.

For example, we hear early on in job search that everyone in our network is ready to help.  Early job leads are pouring in from everyone you know.  And what happens?  We get optimistic.  And there is danger in being an optimist during job search.

Here’s another example:  You learn that networking is now the #1 way to find a job.  And someone you trust suggests you get on the phone with everyone you know and ask for their help.  And also ask each for the names of three others you can call.  That’s a lot of phone calls.  Something that might make you procrastinate during job search.  If you are the type.

Finally, when nothing seems to be going right.  Or when it seems like nothing is happening at all.  Dead water.  The worst days of job search can put you in a funk.  And that funk can sit with you all day.

Through lunch with a recruiter, coffee with a new member of your network or dinner with your family.

So in order to keep all these events, emotions, highs and lows separate from each other.  To keep them from touching each other (kind of like peas and mashed potatoes).

You need to learn to compartmentalize.  To create a place where these things can be stored until you need to deal with them.  Use them or dispose of them.

But it is admittedly hard to do.  Because all of this is important to you.  Something you’ll dream about and have trouble clearing from your mind.

So here are some ways to box things away:

1.  Talk To Others. When we share our best or worst with others, we get something called perspective.  A view from a different angle that may match ours or be totally unique.  And once we have that perspective, our best or worst may become awfully average.  And less something that needs our rapt attention.

2.  Write It Down. When I went through my job search in 2007 I wrote down everything.  Lots of lists.  First reactions.  And I usually found that things on paper are far less combative.  Seems to take the edge off.  And makes the conversation more objective.  Less emotional.

3.  Get Started. A solution started is better than a problem dwelling.  I found that when I at least got started on a task, it made the task a bit less complex.  And allowed me to begin thinking it through in a way that fretting over it would not.  A list of people to call can become 5 calls completed.  Helping you to create a smattering of momentum to getting you done.

If you can keep everything in separate boxes, you can be the person you need to be on interview day.  The confident marketer, IT Manager or Finance Guru.  Instead of someone nervous about the last interview that didn’t go so well.

Set realistic objectives for each day during job search.  So that you are accomplishing big things without leaving a big pile of work.

For your brain to chew on the rest of the day, week or month while you are looking.

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Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Positive Attitude

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