Autumn is traditionally a very popular time of year to look for a new job.
Often because we’ve had a chance over the summer break to evaluate what we want.
Also, employers frequently hold off on new recruitment initiatives until schools are back and the majority of people have returned from what might be their longest break of the year.
So lots of opportunities are around in the autumn. And if you feel ready to take the next step and want to make the most of the opportunities out there, read on as I’ll share some reflections on experiences of clients over the years who eventually got their dream jobs.
But they could have done so much quicker and with much more enjoyment along the way!
There are two obstacle points that commonly appear and make the process not just longer, but also much more challenging to get through. Both of which can be avoided with a little bit of awareness and preparation! They are:
1. Not applying for the job in the first place!
This is not about getting into the interview room but to get the actual applications out there to even be considered.
It’s so easy for time to fly and suddenly another week, month or even year has gone by and you’re no closer to achieving that dream of a new job!
But not because the CV is poor, your experiences are not right or nerves got in the way at the interview. But simply because you never put yourself in the ring as a contender in the first place.
Yet, you really do want a new job!
2. Applying but feeling unable to get that much desired job offer.
Maybe a couple of applications were submitted and then you gave up. Or you’ve kept going and the list of applications feels endless… This is likely to drain your motivation and your confidence and self belief. Which eventually may reduce the number and quality of applications and therefore your chances of getting to the end goal – that great job!
In either case, it’s easy to make things worse by beating yourself up, feeling like a failure and like you should simply be able to “get over yourself” and get on with it.
My experience tells me that this is not only ineffective in terms of actually “getting on with it” but also wholly unfair to yourself!
Because your own personal strength in this process is present even when you don’t see it, and contrary to how it often feels when we’re in the process of applying for jobs, YOU can make sure your self belief is left intact and your chances of success are maximised. Even in a tough job market.
You do, however, need to find a way to firstly acknowledge this and then utilise it fully. And the only way you can do so is by raising your awareness of the unhelpful things you tell yourself, which, if left unchecked, act as powerful barriers. Resulting in the points above – avoidance of applying for jobs or a diminished motivation and even self-confidence when success is not found quickly.
Let’s have a look at some common examples:
– If I apply I run the risk of being rejected.
True of course. But remember that it’s rarely that personal. Someone else simply had more matching experience. Or aced their performance on that particular day. Or even reminded the panel chair of someone they really like (a well known bias in interviews). The important point is to be aware that none of these reasons are about YOU. Don’t make it more personal than it needs to be. One day you’ll be the one who hits the right buttons or remind the panel of that colleague they all love and miss…. Sadly perhaps, the interview process is no more scientific than that!
– Starting a new job means entering the unknown.
Also true of course. However, the unknown is not equal to actual danger. Even if it feels like it.
Be honest with yourself. What could be lurking midst the unknown in the worst case scenario? Not a life threatening issue, right? Probably more likely to be about disliking the role, the organisation or the people? So perhaps not dissimilar to the reasons you’re looking for a new role now? And after all, if you don’t end up enjoying it you can leave. And by that time you’ve already proven that it’s possible. As you will have successfully landed the role you then look to move away from. That will leave you way better armed for the next round of job hunting.
And besides, the chances are really good that you’ll enjoy it!
– There are others that are way more suited for the job than me.
This is particularly common for those who want to change career or sector, or are at the beginning of their careers.
And of course, in these instances, this barrier is likely to be true also.
However, there’s ALWAYS someone more experienced or, on paper, better suited for a role.
Even established champions lose – this summer Andy Murray left Wimbledon in the quarter finals and only last month, Usain Bolt lost his final individual race. Their opponents wouldn’t have achieved their wins if they only focused on the champions track records, rather than on what they themselves had to offer. And certainly, both Murray and Bolt are still admired and recognised for their successes.
Comparing yourself to others, and particularly fictional others as in the case of hypothetical applicants, will never get you to the confident place you need to be.
Knowing and focusing on what you have to offer, rather than what someone else might be able to that you feel you can’t, allow you to see and get across the value YOU would add. Only then can you put the spotlight on the things you want to highlight and trust in yourself, and then communicate and convince the panel of.
- Self doubt or fears (such as those above) means you feel a sense of overwhelm or dread.
When this happens you’re likely to get that across to the recruiter.
If you find you often enter recruiting organisations and get a negative vibe you may be projecting your own feelings onto the people you meet.
Or your own nerves get in the way of your thinking and ability to answer questions in the best way.
The key here is to shift your mindset BEFORE you get to the interview.
Try using affirmations in the weeks or days running up to an interview that help you get the right focus.
“I deserve to get this opportunity.”
“I’d make a real difference to any organisation.”
“They’d be lucky to have me.”
Make them relevant to you and then repeat them. Use them to interrupt yourself when self doubt creeps in and have them available and visible for regular impromptu reminders.
Also, remember the power of your body language. On those around you, but also importantly, on yourself. Smile, hold you head high, maintain eye contact. They’re all proven to have a positive impact, both on your own self belief as well as on the impression you make on those around you.
I’ve seen all of these being experienced by clients. And I’ve seen the power and positivity when they’ve overcome them. Same person, same experience, same abilities – just a different mindset making it all a much more enjoyable and fruitful experience!
All the best of luck in your job hunt this autumn!