Keeping Yourself Psyched
Your Jewish Fairy Godmother’s 10 Commandments for Job Hunting, Career Transitions, and Other Seemingly Endless Periods of Your Life When You’re Waiting for the World to Discover How GREAT You Are
Looking for a new job or changing your career can be exciting, but it can also be
a time of stress and anxiety, especially because you don’t know how long will last. It’s a
period of opportunity, of growth. Your future is filled with new challenges and
adventures, unpredictible experiences, chances to learn and excel, new friendships and
successes you haven’t even dreamed about yet.
But first you’ve got to land the job.
You know how good you are and how much you’re worth hiring. But as days and
weeks go by without someone else noticing, without plucking your resume from the
stack, calling you for an interview, saying “You’re The One we’ve been waiting for!” and
handing you a benefits package and a paycheck, it can be harder and harder to keep
yourself psyched. And if you’re not psyched about yourself, it’s a lot harder to convince
the hiring committee that you’re the greatest possible choice they can make.
When you’re looking for work, your first and most important job is keeping up
your self confidence. If you can do that successfully, your next job is much closer than if
you just coast along hoping someone will notice you. This ranks right up there with
having a good resume and sending in applications.
So what’s the trick? How do you keep yourself so stoked that you look like the
prize everyone wants to win?
Each of the ten commandments below is a different tool in your self-esteem
toolbox. They’ll help you network, help you interview, help you keep yourself mentally
ready and psychologically prepped. You may not use each of them each every day or at
every interview, but if you remember to remember them, you’ll be able to keep your
energy and your confidence higher.
Commandment 1. Ask for What You Want:
When you’re leaving an interview, don’t be shy about taking one extra minute. Say in your most sincere voice, “Thanks for taking this time with me. I really want to work with you. You’ll always be glad you selected me.”
Commandment 2. Think Strategically:
You could get hired tomorrow, but maybe not. Plan how to make your money (or credit) stretch to some unknown time. Budget for interview clothes, transportation, for rent, phone, and postage.
Commandment 3. Treat Other People Well:
It’s easy to feel grumpy if you’re not getting calls or feeling appreciated. But remember to be friendly, whether it’s to your mailman or people whom you call to ask about work. Practice being likable. Your attitude will show in interviews.
Commandment 4. Keep Asking Questions:
If there’s a company name on a job listing, call the Human Resources department. Get a name on the other end. See if you can establish a relationship as well as learn more about the specific job. Ask about as-yet-unposted positions too.
Commandment 5. Work Every Angle:
You never know who knows about a job. Tell everyone you meet that you’re looking and what you hope to find. Sound enthused, not depressed. Be the catch that they can call up their friend and say “Your worries are over. I found you just the right person.”
Commandment 6. Use Charm and Chutzpah:
Put something clever on your resume, a quote, an anecdote, something to make it stand out from the pile of applicants. Be the person they want to meet, to learn more about, to have in their office.
Commandment 7. Say What Needs to Be Said:
When you get into the interview room, make the interviewers like you. Have some good stories that show up your strengths. Make them laugh. You want them to feel good about meeting you, as well as thinking that you’re qualified.
Commandment 8. Enjoy the Ride as Much as the Win:
Changing jobs is a rare opportunity to take some time for yourself. Yes, your job is looking for your next job. But it’s also a time to go to the park and talk to some trees, to take some time to think about what you really want from your next job.
Commandment 9. Make Your Own Good Luck:
Take a piece of paper and write down all your fears about unemployment, low pay, bad working conditions. All of them. Now burn it. Toss the ashes in the trash. Do the same for all your hopes and dreams. Keep this list in your wallet and add everything to it that you think of and want. Read it at least once a week.
Commandment 10. Believe in Yourself:
Remind yourself regularly how good you are at what you do. Write a list of your accomplishments. Ask friends to send you positive messages and email. Every night before you go to sleep, visualize yourself successful and happy in your new job. Say to yourself “The right job will find me and appreciate me.”
You’re the best person for that job. And soon it will be yours.