The secret to a successful job search is optimism. Initially, this is easy. Filled with hope, you send out resumes, make calls, go on interviews, but if you haven’t landed a job yet, self-doubt and negativity set in. Stress will sabotage your job search, subtly and subconsciously seeping through your tone and body language during your interview. To go the distance according to a study from Georgia Tech a person “has to have the ability to stay energized and keep negative emotions under control over time.” Ruth Kanfer, a psychology professor at Georgia Tech and one of the study’s co-authors, emphasizes the important role of self-management during the job search process.
Self-management makes great sense because if you can manage yourself, cope with stress, during this difficult journey, you will be able to manage your work load and colleagues. And this journey is difficult because as this study emphasizes, you basically don’t get feedback. You either get a job or you don’t. How can you tell if you are improving and getting closer to your goal?
4 strategies to keep job motivation high:
- Find a role model to keep you inspired, someone whose struggles you can identify with and who has achieved his or her goal. Their story can be your story. Their journey, even if it is fictional, will allow you to rehearse in your imagination like a parallel simulation. Your “mentor” can be a historical figure, a fictional character from a novel or a movie, an athlete, or a figure from the Bible or mythology. Ask yourself when you feel dejected, “What would my role model do or say? How would my role model find it within?”
- Share your feelings with your friends to tap into positive energy. Good moods are contagious. Also, get their opinions and evaluations. Establish accountability for continuing your job search.
- Boost your confidence by practicing for interviews. Read about the company, learn the information and ask yourself tough questions for which you prepare quality answers. Write your own script and rehearse it with friends and family. Maybe practice doesn’t make perfect, but practice does lead to improvement.
- Get your stress under control which includes a voice that trembles, a posture out of alignment and either talking too much, or too little. Exercise to move stress out of the body and improve your focus. Breathe deeply (10 rhythmic breaths inhaling 2 counts and exhaling 4 counts) to center yourself. Visualize successfully completing the interview which means getting the job.
For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show