One of my clients recently went through three interviews with a company. He was confident that they were going to hire him. Every signal was positive. Then he did not hear from the company for more than two weeks. When he followed up, he learned that they had hired another candidate.
He called to tell me the bad news, and he added that he couldn’t find any good jobs online. I asked him about networking. Again, he gave a negative answers. We talked for about five minutes, and everything he said circled back to the job he did not get. He was grieving a loss of something he didn’t have, a fantasy. We all do this at times. But doing so is deadly to a job search, especially in the current job market where jobs are harder to get and it takes longer to get them.
Every job search is filled with frustration. We hear “No” again and again. How can you keep yourself motivated in such a negative process? First, don’t look back except to look forward. Take what is positive from the past and learn lessons, but don’t relive what you cannot change. Second, recognize what you have achieved. In getting three interviews, my client proved that he was a serious candidate, the kind of person another company will want to hire. Finally, be aware of your moods and how they impact your actions. If you feel down and unmotivated, get yourself restarted with something simple that will have a positive result. For example, research two companies you might want to work. Don’t send a resume yet. Just learn more about those companies and how you might fit their staffing needs. Count that as a success, and prepare yourself for the next challenge.
It’s natural to experience frustration and disappointment during any job search. The real problem occurs when these minor setbacks take over your mood and outlook on the future. Find ways to keep yourself positive and motivated. If you are having trouble motivating yourself, find a friend or a career coach who will help you while holding you accountable. Success in never easy. It’s impossible if you give into defeat.
Postscript: Tim Mushey of the blog “Sell, Lead, Succeed” has a great one day program to pick up your confidence.