[12.15.09]
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How Is Your Psychology This Week?

This post is about job search psychology during your job search. It really matters.

job search psychology

Next to having a solid strategy, your job search psychology is critically important to your effort.

What do I mean by job search psychology exactly? I mean the interaction that’s happening in your mind and the link to specific behaviors it carries out on your behalf.

And when during job search is it most important? Well, it’s hard to imagine a time when it is not critical.  But let’s say that all is probably working better in the beginning. Mostly. In that your early days tend to filled with a bit of extra confidence.

And some of us are optimistic in those early days. That can lead to a complacency. In other words, the brain takes in the environment and says: “We’re good.” And instead of aggressively building a network, we ride the early waves hoping they’ll take us to shore.

So why is your job search psychology so critical?

1.  Every Action You Take

Everything you do during your transition will be shaped by the mindset you have while planning it. And while doing it. If you are hurt or angry about a lay-off. If you are brimming with confidence after a week of small victories. If you are frustrated with a lack of response from an employer.

So before you sit down to write or update your resume, pay attention to how you are feeling about that task. About your personal brand. There are better days than others to complete certain tasks. Before you pick up the phone to call that important new networking contact, be aware of your confidence meter.

That call needs to be made by a “strong you”. Not the “tentative you” or “selfish you”. And before you walk into a networking event, take a personal inventory and make sure you are all there. Ready to be interesting. Upbeat. And full of smiles.

2.  Every Reaction You Have To Events

Let’s remember that job search is an up and down time in life. And while we never want to expect bad news, it will come at some point to most of us. Someone will disappoint you along the way. Sometimes the road does not always rise up to meet your feet. So you have be prepared for the possibility that there will be bad days.

Not “expecting them to the point that you stop thinking positive”, but having an open mind and a structured mindset ready to go. When the days arrive. That way your reaction is: “Yep, Tim said there would be days like this. Now, how do I work through it and build a plan for next week’s effort?” I think there is value in recognizing those bad days or weeks. Come up with a name for them (e.g Gremlins).

There are also slow days or weeks when absolutely nothing happens. Dead time. So in addition to having a plan for reacting to the bad days, you need to be ready for the slow days. Kind of like a snow day. I wrote up a nice long list once of 101 (other) things you can do during your job search. One or two of these might help you on an upcoming snow day.

3.  The Way You Treat Others

How would you grade yourself as a fellow job seeker? Are you open to new friendships? Are you willing to share leads? Do you only talk to the people who can help you? Or are at what you consider to be the right level to help you?

Of course some of this has to do with who you are in a larger sense. How you were brought up. And potentially your level of relational intelligence. But I will also tell you that a confident and prepared person treats others differently. Being confident allows your “self” to come out and play. Like the small child that hides behind mom’s legs when meeting a new person. You smile more. You speak up when giving your elevator pitch to a room of 50 people. You are more interesting.

Of course you can be over-confident too. A topic for another day . . .

4.  The Way Others React To You

If someone mistreats you or dismisses you.  Your can have one of two reactions.

1. You can internalize it. Finding a number of ways to blame yourself for what happened.

or

2. You can shine a big bright light on it. Figure out objectively what happened and move on.

Perhaps you did something wrong. Perhaps the other person misspoke or handled something in a way that you did not expect. Learn something from the experience and move on. But you have to move on.  And your psychology is critical to your ability to do so.

So, let me say that this is not easy some days. I have been where you are and I remember my bad days. I remember not always reacting to situations in the perfect way each and every time.

And I remember how I felt on those days. So the focus today is on paying attention. To what is happening in your mind.

And how how your behavior is reflecting it back onto the world around you.

So, how is your job search psychology this week?

Thanks LilyRose97 for the photo via Flickr.


Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Positive Attitude

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