Job-search advice is available to job seekers from pundits, friends, family, and other well-wishers; but the most important factor to success in the job search is the internal fortitude that keeps job seekers going.
Without this inner strength, advice about résumés, interviews, networking, LinkedIn, etc., doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.
To achieve success, one must understand the importance of never giving up, to not admit to defeat.
I’ve often preached the need for hope in the job search. When clients tell me of the multiple interviews they’ve attended and how they’re making it to the last round but lose out to another candidate, I don’t see that as failures. Rather I look upon those setbacks as opportunities that will eventually come to fruition.
You’re almost there I will tell them. Don’t give up hope. Now it’s time to practice your interview skills, I add.
Hope is one of four attributes job seekers must maintain throughout the job search; the other three are optimism, persistence, and enthusiasm. In combination, one will prevail in whatever challenges present themselves.
Those who are optimistic encourage optimism in others around them. It shows on their countenance and is noticeable to everyone involved in their job search. This includes people with whom they network.
One of my favorite clients was out of work for almost a year, until a week came when she had three job possibilities leading to one offer. She remained optimistic in her job search, sometimes lapsing into self-doubt, but saw the potential of success.
This personality trait is something great athletes have. Like a baseball player who is in a slump batting .200 in May, a job seeker goes six months, nine months, or a year without landing a job, but never gives up. He bounces back from rounds of interviews with no job offers, finally landing a job before his unemployment ends. Similarly, the baseball player gets out of his slump to bat .300 in October.
This was the case for one of my customers who was out of work for more than a year. Although he had interviews almost every week, he came up short. His persistence coupled with a positive attitude was apparent in the e-mails he sent to update me on his progress. He is now gainfully employed as a director of human resources and offers help to my customers.
To learn more about persistence, read: 6 reasons why you must be persistent in your job search.
Job seekers who are enthusiastic walk into a room and light it up. I can tell a job seeker will shortly find work by the way she embraces the job search, rather than surrender to defeat. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophesy. I will conquer this challenge, they say, and so they do.
One of my clients who has a physical disability is enthusiastic and confident in her ability to return to management in her prior industry. I recently met with her to critique her résumé. Prior to the critique she had attended an interview. After the critique she was scheduled for a phone interview. The last I heard, she was granted a second interview for both positions.
Better known as EQ, this is the ability to understand one’s feelings, as well as the feelings of others; and to act accordingly. For example, if a fellow job seeker is bringing down the group during a Buddy Group meeting, a person with EQ will bring that person aside after the meeting and tactfully explain that negativity is not helping the groups mission.
Some of the traits job seekers with strong EQ demonstrate are:
- They understand the job search is stressful.
- They let go of their anger.
- They’re empathetic and are willing to help others.
- They also ask for help.
- They know their strengths and weaknesses.
- They don’t blame others.
To read more about EQ, read 12 ways to show emotional intelligence in your job search.
Having hope is one of the four aforementioned traits, optimism, persistence, and enthusiasm. Together, these positive traits contribute to psychological capital, which guides us through the challenges in life. Psychological capital isn’t something that can be purchased, but it is something that can be developed through a positive attitude. Many times we’ve been told to be positive. Never has a greater truth been told.
- Be memorable in a positive way in your job search (thingscareerrelated.com)
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I thoroughly enjoy reading your column. Your advice is right on the mark and your writing style is very readable. I feel like I have gotten to know you through your writing, and I strongly identify with being an introvert/extrovert as you say you are. I, too, am a job search coach, and do a lot of proofreading of my clients’ writings. Just one small comment, on your article about Hope and 3 Other Attributes….you might want to change the word “continence” to the word “countenance.” The word meanings are quite different! I agree wholeheartedly that when people lose hope, they cannot move forward, and become paralyzed. Please continue to be the wonderful encourager you are.
Thank you, Laura. And thank you for bringing up the typo. I wish I were a better proofreader, as I’m always called on mistakes. I feel if I worried more about typos, I’d wait longer to publish my posts. Sometimes all I can do is tell people not to give up hope. Once someone gives up hope, as you say, they become paralyzed and rely on luck.
Well said .