How do you strengthen resilience during the job search? When you get knocked down, how do you stay positive and engaged?
It happens to us all during our working lives. We run head first into a stressful or prolonged job search. Ideally, of course, you don’t want to buckle under pressure. However, if that happens, the key is to bounce back into shape in a better place than before. Each time you do, you add a layer of wisdom to strengthen your resilience for the future. So what helps you do this?
Here are four factors proven to strengthen your resilience in the job search:
The job search is an emotional experience. There are plenty of highs and lows. Your mood, mindset and physical well-being can all affect how you approach networking, applications and interviews.
Starting at a low ebb feels twice as hard as when you’re feeling confident in your abilities and good about yourself. You build resilience with positive emotions (“I’ve got just as good a chance as anyone else”) and by reducing negative self-talk (“I’ve no chance as the competition is too great”).
Tip: Adjust Your Language | Don’t undersell yourself through the language you use. You are not just a graduate or only the intern or simply the newbie. Talk about yourself with pride and conviction. How do you want people to speak about you when you’re not in front of them? What impact will you have?
“Live the life you’ve taught people to expect from you.” – Seth Godin
We all need a helping hand at times, even if it’s only to listen to our doubts and concerns. Words of encouragement and praise for what you can do and your qualities as a person matter. They help you overcome a wobble and get that feel-good factor back again.
Someone else is likely to have been through something similar. People you trust will offer empathy, compassion or advice if you want it. Look outwardly.
Tip: Seek Radiators Not Drains | Surround yourself with the five people that radiate warmth. Find those who validate your worth and fill you with confidence and possibilities. At the same time, ditch the drains that judge you and drag you down.
“The most meaningful way to succeed is to help others to succeed.” – Adam Grant
There is a military saying that no plan survives contact with the enemy. Expect the unexpected. You won’t know the answers to every question they throw at you in a job interview. Adapt to changing circumstances without being thrown off course. Additionally, change course if you hit a dead end or roadblock. Often, there is nothing more powerful than a strategic pivot.
Tip: Challenge Yourself | To develop your adaptability, deliberately test yourself in unfamiliar and seemingly scary situations. Leave your comfort zone before it is required of you.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin
Having a clear, compelling goal you really want to achieve will help you persist in the face of setbacks. And it will develop your grit. In the end, being purposeful is about taking action rather than over-thinking. To build your resilience, act with purpose.
Tip: Experiment and Reflect | Take an internship to “try before you buy.” Or volunteer for a cause that matters to you. These experiences will often stimulate a deeper life purpose — and help you form the compelling goals that will keep you going.
“Resilience is something you realize after the fact.” – Diane L Coutu
During a job search, resilience is a major factor. It separates those who want or need from those with a plan and purpose. Starting with these four proven factors, further develop your personal resilience… and see what a difference it makes to your job search and career.
About the Author: David Shindler is the author of “Learning to Leap, a Guide to Being More Employable.” An experienced coach and people development expert, David specializes in developing and accelerating employability. He also runs the Employability Hub (a social learning community and resource center) and the Learning to Leap group on LinkedIn and Facebook fan page. Tweet David, or contact him via his website.