Maintaining a Positive Mindset During Your Job Search
May 26, 2016
Do you know someone who is looking for a job? Recently, I was asked by the Vice President of Experience Unlimited (EU) – Pasadena Chapter to give their members advice on how they can maintain a positive mindset during their job search. EU is an organization where executive, technical, and managerial professionals meet and network to pursue employment opportunities. Thank you Pasadena EU for the warm welcome. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be of service.
In an effort to help more people, I have decided to share my script with all of you. I hope it can help you or someone you know to stay positive during this challenging time.
(Beginning of Speech)
Last month, my wife and I watched our daughter perform in her Kindergarten school play. The play was about Noah’s Ark. She was one of the colors of the rainbow. The curtains opened and I saw her immediately on the top row of the stage, glowing in her orange full body costume. But something was off. Her hands were restless. She was fiddling with the skirt that was over her pants. All throughout the play, I could see her holding up and trying to tie her skirt over and over again. My wife and I were very anxious and worried about how she would handle the situation. When it was finally her turn to come in front of the stage, the skirt was still loose and actually fell to the floor. Despite the wardrobe malfunction, she carried on with her lines and actions without freezing. My wife and I breathed a sigh of relief, and we were proud of how she maintained her poise in the face of adversity.
You’ve had speakers talk to you about resume tips, cover letter strategies, and interview do’s and don’ts. All of that knowledge is extremely important, but it’s useless unless you have this one crucial element.
Can anyone guess what that one thing is? A positive mindset.
You may have the best resume in the world and even the best pitch, but no one is going to hire you when they sense desperation, negativity, or a lack of enthusiasm.
Finding a job today is more difficult than ever. It’s so frustrating to work hard on your resumes and cover letters, but not get an email back for an interview. You’ve tried to ask your connections for help, but still no response. Do you feel like what your doing is not enough?
Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, and expecting different results.”
If you want something to change, you need to do something different. It all starts up here. (I’m pointing to my head.)
Some of you have been looking for a job for a month. Some for 6 months, and some for over a year. Feeling frustrated is completely normal. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be human.
I’m here today not to stop you from feeling frustrated, but to help you bounce back from that frustration whenever you feel it. I will give you 6 exercises that can help you maintain a positive mindset.
- 1. Be grateful for at least one thing everyday. I want you to either write this in a journal or notebook. If you’re feeling up to it, share this with friends, in a blog or Facebook.
- 2. Perform a small act of kindness once a day. You don’t have to buy something. In fact, I recommend that this be non-material in nature. A sincere compliment, a word of encouragement, and even a thank you note goes a very long way.
- 3. Be productive. Sending resumes all day long can get tedious after a while. Finding a part time job, starting a side business, and volunteering for a non-profit can help you feel good about yourself, make connections, and can even help you earn some extra money.
- 4. Read the right books and surround yourself with positive people. What you watch or read and the people you hang out with will influence your beliefs. Your beliefs dictate your actions. Your actions shape your future.
I’m going to give you 3 book recommendations:
First, “Mindset” by Dr. Carol Dweck. She is one of the world’s leaders in the research of motivation. In her book, she contrasts a fixed mindset with a growth mindset.
Second, “What Color is Your Parachute?” by Richard Bolles. This book will give you a lot of great tips to improve your chances of getting a job.
Finally, “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. If you’re not a fan of reading. This book is short. It will help motivate you to keep a positive mindset.
- 5. Constantly improve yourself. Take a class, tinker around with new software, or join a group like Toastmasters to improve your speaking skills. If you improve even just a little everyday, over time, you’re going to be so valuable that someone is going to want to hire you.
- 6. Tap into a higher power. Not all of you may believe in a higher power, but for those of you that do, trust that you can get through this challenging period by channeling your God’s strength. A well-known author, Jon Gordon says, “You don’t know that God is all you need, until God is all you’ve got.”
Going back to my daughter’s story, she could have chosen to panic or lose her cool, but she didn’t.
You too have a choice. You can choose to see this challenging time as a good thing or a bad thing. You can choose to see this time as a period of transition and growth or a burning hell. You can choose to see yourself getting a job soon or forever unemployed.
Henry Ford says, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right!”
We see rainbows everyday even when it’s sunny, from the light that passes through our car windows to the light that passes our glasses of water. Every time you see one, I want you to remember of my daughter’s choice to keep on going no matter what. Like her, you have control over how you see your circumstances.
I have given you 6 exercises to help you maintain a positive mindset. Will you believe that no one’s going to hire you, or will you believe that a good job awaits you? The choice is yours.
(End Of Speech)
One book I forgot to recommend in my speech is “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho. This is the book that ignited the fire within me to believe in myself, do whatever it takes, and realize my dreams. It’s a short book and a very easy read, since the message is delivered in story form. If you’re not used to reading non-fiction books, I would start reading this one first.
I wish you the best of luck in your job search, and I know that you will get through this. You just have to believe in yourself.
If you know someone in the middle of a career transition, please share this article with them.
If you know someone in the Pasadena area who needs help looking for a job, please refer them to EU’s website: http://www.eupasadena.org/php/index.php
If you know someone who needs advice with their 401k investments during a job transition, please let them know that I’m happy to help.