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If you’ve been in a job search for more than a few weeks you may be experiencing the feelings of defeat and despair, not to mention the urge to give up. It’s been a tough year, and then some, for those who have lost jobs for whatever reason. Interviewing with no second interviews or offers coming in begins to wear thin - very fast.
Here are some tips to keep your spirits up when you’re feeling down during this process.
1. Don’t give up.
You may have heard some of these stories before but they remain inspirational.
Thomas Edison patented 1,093 inventions in his lifetime, but it took him 10,000 attempts to make an electric light bulb work.
Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse series failed to become an instant hit, but he kept trying and in 1928 he added sound and made it an electrifying success.
Milton Hershey failed several businesses before he became the "Chocolate King" and built Hershey town. He even went bankrupt in his first business venture.
These are great “successes-after-failure stories” that couldn't have happened if these people hadn't continued to pursue their dreams. Anyone can give up – that’s easy! The challenge is to pick yourself up after a failure and move forward. That is what will set you apart from “the pack.”
2. Accept the ups and downs
It’s not unusual to have highs and lows during your job search. Some days you may even feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster. Everything looks hopeful one moment with a job prospect ahead, and then it changes to dark and dismal in the next moment when you receive a rejection. Accepting the fact that this is a stressful time you are going through and that a great deal of it is out of your control will help you put things into perspective.
3. Give yourself permission to fail.
It is very disappointing when you feel like you “aced” the interview and then wait for the promised call that never comes. Be realistic - you aren’t going to get a job offer after every interview. Think of it this way, you didn’t marry every date you ever dated (at least most of us didn’t), and you aren’t going to get a job offer after every interview. And maybe that’s a good thing, at least some of the time. Remember, you are interviewing “them” as much as they are interviewing you.
4. Work on controlling stress
Stress becomes a problem when it begins to affect your lifestyle and health. Are you waking up in the middle of the night or skipping meals because you are feeling really down or upset? You may need to talk to someone who is a professional to get some advice about relaxation techniques. Park and Recreation departments in most cities offer relaxation courses of some kind – yoga, pilates, aerobics, or stress control exercises – for a nominal fee, that could assist you in getting back on balance.
5. Continue to get “out there”
Study after study published continues to indicate that “networking” is still the number one way to land a job. Take advantage of every opportunity to be with groups of people. This encompasses everything from your child’s soccer game to a Chamber of Commerce event. Informal networking can happen at any moment and when you least expect it. An example is of a man waiting for a bus. He struck up a conversation with another man also waiting for the bus and ended up getting a job lead and an eventual offer. No one can predict when an opportunity might come your way.
6. Prepare yourself
Preparing ahead of the interview will give you a definite advantage. What this means is getting focused about what you want the interviewer to know about you. You are presenting a picture of you with words. It is important to identify what makes you unique and what added value you can bring to the position. Reading through the job posting you are applying for and getting a sense of what it will take to do this job will help you look at the process from interviewer’s point of view. You want to let the interviewer know that you are the “solution to the problem,” and the best person for the job.
7. Keep in mind - you are not alone
Remember, it is an extremely tight job market and that for every job opening there are four or five equally qualified candidates standing in line behind you. It is essential that you are prepared, focused, and able to tell the interviewer what makes you unique and why you are the best person for the job.
Keeping upbeat is a part of your job right now. When you begin to give into the dark side you will project that to others. You want to stay as upbeat as possible, particularly while interviewing. Bringing confidence and energy to the interview are the two most important ingredients to connecting with the interviewer.
Carole Martin is a thoroughbred interview coach. Celebrated author, trainer, and mentor, Carole can give you interviewing tips like no one else can. Her workbook, "Interview Fitness Training - A Workout With the Interview Coach," has sold thousands of copies world-wide. "Boost Your Interview IQ" has been awarded one of the 10 best career books for 2004. Her most recent book, "Perfect Phrases for the Perfect Interview" and the others mentioned are all available at www.interviewfitnesstraining.com and www.interviewcoach.com