Are you dissatisfied, discouraged, frustrated or feeling unfulfilled in your career and considering looking for a new job? Before you write the résumé and refresh your LinkedIn profile, you must first work on getting in the right mindset to succeed. It is easy to complain about your boss and co-workers and tell everyone around you that you are going to get out of this prison of a job. It is much harder to put the dream into action.
Here are eight ways to develop the right mindset to start the interview process with confidence and enthusiasm.
1. Stop talking, complaining and take immediate action right now!
We all waste so much of our precious time hoping for things to magically change and make our lives better overnight. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but it doesn’t work like that. In reality, rather than grumble about your current boss and job, you must initiate change and make the bold decision to pursue your dream. Push yourself to get off the couch, put down the phone, turn off Netflix and make it happen. There is no need to obtain anyone else’s permission or blessings to seek out a new job that offers more money, intellectual challenges and better opportunities for growth.
It is easy to follow the herd mentality and wait until after the summer to act. Your friends and family may even encourage you to delay your dream, so that you could spend more time with them on the beach. Yes, you could wait until September, but then you will come up with an excuse to push it further down the road. There will never be a perfect time. Well, there is one great time to start and it is now. It is very simple; all you need to do is get serious and hyper-focused about making a change and actually decide to start.
2. Write a game plan to find a job.
If you go on a road trip, you follow the car’s navigation system, quarterbacks call the plays that the coaches have prepared beforehand and home builders have architects draft blueprints for their clients’ dream homes. It’s the same with your job search. Draft a quick and easy game plan for yourself that you could put into action on a daily basis.
Include building, enhancing and tailoring your résumé to fit the jobs that you are applying to. Enhance your LinkedIn profile and start networking on the platform by connecting with recruiters, human resource personnel and LinkedIn members who could help you land the next job. Scour the job boards for appropriate positions and email your résumé. Find recruiters in your space and meet with them in person. Set time to practice your elevator pitch about yourself. Network with colleagues, former co-workers and others who can help guide you.This is not just a game plan anymore, but rather a plan of action that you will follow every day without fail. Yes, there will always be obstacles and setbacks. There will be haters that would love for you to fail. Ignore all the naysayers and impediments to your forward momentum. Mentally prepare yourself for hardship, failures and rejection. It is all part of the game. Promise yourself to fight through them with strength, courage and dignity.
3. Avoid the negative people and surround yourself with a like-minded, motivated group.
Most people lead small, petty lives and are miserably unhappy. Instead of being happy for you, they secretly desire for you to fail and join them in their misery. If these are your friends and family, decidedly separate yourself from them for a while. You don’t have to disown them, just keep a healthy distance while you are actively pursuing your goal and living your best life.
Life is too short to be surrounded by toxic people who whine, complain and only see the problems and dead ends. Instead, seek out like-minded people. Find others who share your passion and drive. If you know people who are also looking for a new job, offer to take them out for a coffee and share notes about your progress. Brainstorm strategies, share and receive ideas. Meet with successful recruiters and pick their brains to find out what works. Join networking events and meet-ups. You will be invigorated by their energy. You will learn new interviewing techniques. You could deconstruct why you may have not received that job offer and work toward making positive changes to your interviewing style and approach.
4. Focus on taking care of yourself emotionally, mentally and physically.
The interview process can be long and exhausting. View yourself as a top professional athlete. Eat right, sleep well and exercise. You must have a healthy diet and workout routine. Go to sleep early and wake up early. Stop drinking, smoking and consuming any drugs—even prescription medicine that you know you really don’t need, but it makes you feel good. You need to be in peak condition to manage all the emotional highs and lows, rejection, discouragement and stress associated with the interview process.
5. Replace negative feedback loops with positive self-talk.
We all have negative self-deprecating thoughts run through our minds. We are our own worst enemies. Our loved ones will encourage us, but the little nagging voice played on an endless loop in your head fills you with self-doubt.
Often these thoughts tell us that we can’t achieve certain goals and success will never happen. It is amazing how critical our own inner voice can be and how harsh we are to ourselves. If someone else talked to us like we think about ourselves, we would disassociate ourselves from that person for being so rude. For some reason, we accept the negative, critical and restrictive abuse we heap onto ourselves. It doesn’t have to be this way and you can change the internal conversation in your mind. It is possible to alter the negative feedback loop to a positive, internal monologue. Immediately replace any negative self-talk with positive and encouraging thoughts. Remind yourself of all the times you succeeded and overcame the odds. Remind yourself of past accomplishments. When you are feeling the negative feedback loop, quickly substitute with a story of one of your successes—no matter how inconsequential. Will yourself to succeed. There are enough negative people out there; you don’t need to be brought down with your own negative thoughts of failure.
Also, close your eyes and visualize yourself in that new job or at least not in your current role. The idea of getting away from a heinous and toxic boss is one thing, but to picture how great it would be is another. See yourself in a new office, surrounded by great people, having an easier commute to the work and feeling appreciated. Hold onto to that vision. Replay it in your mind when times get tough.
6. Know your weak spots and find help to fix them.
We are all good at some things and pretty bad at most things. Focus on your core strengths and abilities. When it comes to your weaknesses, don’t feel bad; seek assistance. If you are an introvert, seek a career coach or a good recruiter who could help you become more comfortable with interviewing. The recruiter could help you craft an elevator pitch in which you could sell yourself. They could also work with you to improve on how to answer challenging interview questions.
7. Don’t obsess over the big dream of a new job, but focus on each small, incremental step.
Having a big, audacious goal—such as getting a new job—could be daunting and overwhelming. It could look so large and scary that you become paralyzed into inaction. To make it easier on yourself mentally, break up the big dream into smaller, easily-achievable pieces. Return to your daily game plan and focus on each small part.
Since it is challenging to stay focused and motivated working toward an ambitious goal in the face of obstacles and setbacks, take the time to congratulate yourself and celebrate all the small milestones along the way. By celebrating the triumphs, you will gain more confidence. You will recognize that it is possible to succeed. Most average people sprinkle their achievements everywhere and pile up their failures. Consequently, they see a mountain of failures and can’t find the success. You are not average; you are better. Sprinkle the failures and pile-up the successes high. Each little victory spurs you onto bigger victories. It will keep you psyched-up, confident and motivated.
The ultimate goal of finding a new job will then happen on its own without all the worry and anxiety.
8. Think of a reason, purpose or deeper meaning why you are searching for a new job.
When you are working on behalf of something larger than yourself, the likelihood of success intensifies. There is something hardwired into us that if we are acting on behalf of a meaningful endeavor that will help others, it makes us unstoppable and invincible. It could be because you want to earn more money and the chance to improve your career to create a better life for your spouse and children. Maybe it is to get out of an untenable situation with a horrific boss. Continually remind yourself, especially when things look bleak, about the reasons for looking. Use it as a mantra that you tell yourself throughout the day. When things look dark, remind yourself that “I am doing this for the benefit of my kids and I will do whatever it takes to move forward. They deserve the best and I will do everything in my power to make their lives better.” Clearly, you can substitute your own personalized mantra. By doing this, it will give you the internal strength to forge ahead. When you do things for others that are bigger than yourself, you can achieve greatness and overcome any obstacles in your way.
Based upon my experience as an executive recruiter, by following these tips, you will become confident, empowered and emotionally and mentally prepared to start and ultimately succeed in your job search.