As a career coach I find that, often times, the greatest obstacle to a successful job search isn’t a client’s willingness to put in the effort, explain potential employment gaps, or unrealistic salary expectations, but their mindset. The role of mindset in our life is greatly underrated in favor of plodding along at activities that yield limited results. World-renowned speaker, motivational coach, and bestselling author, Bob Proctor teaches that success is 5% strategy and 95% mindset.
Building a strong mindset to withstand a job search in challenging times should be a priority. Stamina is required for submitting job applications, participating in interviews, and handling the inevitable rejection that comes as part of the process is critical to the ultimate success of a job search.
Being intentional about the activities that are often overlooked as fundamental to our well-being and success is not complicated and can actually be fun!
So where to begin?
Go take a hike. Literally!
The physical benefits of outdoor exercise have long been lauded, yet its mental benefits are often overlooked. In a study conducted by Stanford University, walking in nature provides significant mental value and can even ward off depression. Spending time outdoors is associated with reducing stress, improving mental acuity, and enhancing feelings of self-confidence. If you haven’t exercised since the Obama administration and the word “hiking” makes you flee to the cookie jar, have no fear! Simply walking outdoors provides quality physical and mental health benefits that serve to make you feel stronger and more focused for the job search ahead. Think of a job search as a marathon, not a sprint, so a training plan is important to help you finish strong.
Get more sleep
You can’t show up as your best self if you are bleary-eyed because of lack of sleep. Virtual interviews are here to stay for the foreseeable future so looking alert via technology has become just as important as for that in-person interaction. National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep is intended to recharge our body and minds and allow us to function at peak levels. To shortchange ourselves on sleep by burning the candle at both ends will eventually catch up with us and compromise our performance excellence.
Each interview throughout the job search process is critical for communicating your professional value and influencing the interviewer that you are ready to provide solutions to the challenges they face. A full tank of physical energy and mental clarity allows you to look, feel, and act your best.
The longer a job search goes on, fatigue tends to set in and weaken your resolve, causing you to make decisions that may not be in the best interest of your career. Adhering to a set sleep schedule supports mental clarity, physical wellness, and boosts our immune system, all contributors to making optimal decisions.
Add more healthy food choices into your diet
While food choices generally don’t end up making the short list of job search tips and tricks, its contribution to one’s overall health, energy, and wellness cannot be underestimated. As with sleep, excellent nutrition helps us perform at our highest level physically and mentally while warding off illness.
According to Harvard Health Publishing of Harvard Medical School, certain nutrient-rich foods labeled superfoods like fish, nuts, and berries are credited with boosting mental acuity and improving concentration.
Staying hydrated by drinking enough water and avoiding foods containing high levels of caffeine and sugar will help improve physical energy and mental focus, both which will support the demands of high-energy job search.
Focus on what the new job will mean for you and your family
More money, better benefits, relocation to an exciting new city, or the ability to work from home. Make a list of all the ways that the job you are seeking will improve the quality of your life and the lives of the ones you love. Focusing on the end result will help you pinpoint the elements of a job that are important to you and allow you to better filter high-quality opportunities from ones that don’t align with your personal values and professional goals.
The longer a job search goes on, the more likely you are to settle for a position that isn’t really what you want or will require you to make sacrifices you are unhappy about to make a job work. In the end, both you and the employer lose. Knowing your WHY for the goals of your search helps to ensure that you stay the course and get exactly what you want.
Practice the art of positive self-talk
I repeatedly say that job search success starts in the head. State of mind, and belief in our talents and abilities controls the outcome of any of our activities, including a job search. Positive self-talk will make you feel more confident in the value that you offer to an employer, and confidence is like a magnet, drawing people and positive circumstances to you.
Using affirmations daily to reinforce constructive thoughts and create feelings we want to build upon is a great way to begin and nurture the habit of positive self-talk. Download my 52 Daily Affirmations For Job Search Success and Personal Power During Challenging Times at https://www.inspirecareers.com/resources/ to help you get started.
Buddha said, “What you think you become. What you feel you attract. What you imagine you create.” Continue to focus your thoughts and energy on the job you want, not the disappointment you may be experiencing in the moment. Talk yourself into success by speaking about the aspects of the new job you desire and will enjoy. Avoid taking rejection personally and talking about how lousy you felt the last interview went. Instead, look forward to sharing the happy news of landing your new job with your family and friends.
Everyday remind yourself about how fortunate the company that hires you will be because you are the best candidate for the job, and it will become true.
Be willing to try something different to achieve something different
Albert Einstein has been credited with the famous quote, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This applies to a job search campaign as well. Spending most of your time searching online job boards for one or two jobs a week that fit your skills and qualifications will likely yield the same unsatisfying results, leaving you frustrated and demotivated.
Instead, identify companies aligned with your career dreams, personal values, and professional skills, and go after them. Use LinkedIn to connect with people working at the companies you are targeting and build relationships instead of logging unproductive hours of computer time.
Faster, greater success can come from stepping out of your comfort zone into a new world of creativity to separate yourself from the competition. Develop your own forum to showcase your personal brand by starting a blog, launching a podcast, or interviewing thought leaders within your industry.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to conducting a job search, there is no disputing that making self-care the #1 priority makes a stronger, more confident, and capable candidate, and what employer wouldn’t want a piece of that?