As part of my continuing series celebrating my 15th year in business, I’d like you to think about the challenges that often accompany a job search. Challenges can be real, such as pending mass layoffs or perceived, such as not doing well during a virtual interview. Whatever the challenge, it is your response to the situation that will allow you to remain positive.
Look at challenges as opportunities to improve, gain experience, and strengthen your mental attitude during your job search. Keeping a positive attitude during the job search reflects during your interviews with prospective employers and will go a long way towards helping you land that perfect position.
Key challenges that can occur during the job search include:
- Not enough experience – especially true for recent graduates. Offset this challenge by figuring out the skills you need and education that will help you. Fill your time with training, internships, and volunteer work that will enhance your experience. This will show that you are willing to work hard to “fill the gaps” in your skills.
- Demanding job market – if you haven’t looked for a job in 7-15 years, you’ll find that the job market has changed dramatically. You’ll see changes in recruiting methodology, the demand for personal branding, and the need to narrow your target market. Knowing where you are and where you would like to end up will make the job hunt less stressful. Be realistic in your goals and skills. Fill the gaps that you have and remain proactive during the job search. You will find the process less frustrating because you are wasting less of your time and energy.
- Virtual interviews – today nearly half of all screening is completed via phone or video. This may be intimidating to someone who hasn’t had to prepare for this type of process. Alleviate the stress by being prepared. Practice ahead of time. Make sure you speak clearly and that the interviewer can understand you. Speak slower than you would in a normal conversation. Smile when speaking, it comes across in your voice. Have a notepad ready with questions that you want to ask. Make sure you watch out for the “ums”, “you knows” and any other slang. Being prepared and practicing will make this type of interview easier to handle.
- Pending mass layoffs – you can’t control the situation but being prepared and not waiting will help you change this challenge into an opportunity. Start planning by preparing your resume. Proactively approaching the situation helps you maintain a positive attitude and perhaps allows you to secure a position prior to losing your current job.
- Decreasing finances – this can be a major issue, however, planning and saving ahead of time will allow you to choose the position that you want instead of grabbing the first job offer. You want to make sure that you are able to take some time to consider what positions are available in the market.
Remember, challenges are a part of the job hunt. It’s what you do, how you prepare, and how you handle these challenges that make them an opportunity for growth. Celebrate these situations by remaining positive and adjusting your perspective.