A job search has many moving parts; your mindset is the most critical part. Tackling challenges, such as a job search, is easier if you have the right mindset.
Job search success isn’t achieved through wishful thinking — how you wish things to be. Success is achieved by adapting to, better yet embracing, realities, not beating your head against walls that won’t crumble down.
The following are three “job search truisms” every job seeker needs to accept if they want to minimize their job search frustrations and mitigate the time it takes to find their next job.
You’re not owed a job, career or even to make a living
With a sense of entitlement being so prevalent these days, I often see bitterness among job seekers (“I’m not getting what I deserve,” or “I’m not getting what I want”). Anger hinders a job seeker, along with increasing false pride, which becomes an insurmountable obstacle.
The easiest way to be disappointed, unhappy, frustrated, angry, or become depressed is to have an expectation you’re owed. You, and only you, are responsible for your job search.
The upside of assuming no one owes you: You energetically help yourself. For many people, this is a massive mind shift. Approaching your job search with an “I’m helping myself” mindset gives you a considerable mental boost, which is to your advantage. As well, such a perspective will carry you through the roller coaster of emotions you’ll be dealing with throughout your job hunt.
Employers own their hiring process
There’s no universal hiring methodology. I brought up the fact, never mentioned by career experts, that no two hiring managers access candidates the same way. This also applies to companies — no two companies hire the same way.
As a job seeker, you need to accept that employers own their hiring process, which is their prerogative. A sense of entitlement has made it common today for job seekers to complain about how employers hire. Complaining won’t change how employers decide to hire.
Many candidates try to circumvent the employer’s hiring process or skip steps. By following the employer’s application instructions, as frustrating as they sometimes are, you’re setting yourself apart from your competition. Being able to follow instructions is a prerequisite for any job. Thus, employers look for this “willingness to follow instructions” in candidates.
Today, networking is non-negotiable
The most decisive route to job search success is to do what others are afraid to do, which is to network.
Networking is creating a fabric of personal contacts that can provide support, feedback, insight, resources, and information. In 2021, and for the foreseeable future, it’ll be raining resumes. Ask yourself: Who’s more likely to be hired, a stranger the hiring manager doesn’t know, or someone they’re somewhat acquainted with, or a referral? Your answer should convince you of the power of networking.
It’s common knowledge most jobs are unadvertised. Undeniable, those who build and nurture a professional network land the plumb jobs. However, many job seekers create excuses (e.g., they’re an introvert, networking feels sleazy, everyone’s too busy to listen to them) to avoid networking, even though networking has proven to be the most efficient way to finding a job.
Whatever your hang-ups (READ: limiting beliefs) are about networking, get over it. As a job seeker, your primary goal is to connect with people who can assist in your job search. Nothing will get you into an organization faster than having an inside person vouching for you.
Here are a few tips to get you started networking:
1. Reconnect with old colleagues and alumni you’ve lost touch with.
2. Leverage social media — connect with people online (LinkedIn, Facebook).
3. Become comfortable talking to strangers.
4. Read: Coffee Lunch Coffee: A Practical Field Guide for Master Networking, by Alana Muller
5. Read: Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, by Keith Ferrazzi
A job search is a huge undertaking. Having a mindset aligned with today’s job market’s realities is key to achieving job search success in the least amount of time. Mindset is everything.
Nick Kossovan, a seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape in Canada, offers advice on searching for a job. Send him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.