Updated: May 28
In order to get the best out of yourself when searching for your next career opportunity, keeping a relaxed state of mind will ensure you remain on it at all times. We explore some idea's to help you get there.
1. Begin with end in mind
Just a great strategy for life really. Before you start your job search, do you really know what you want? It's important you nail this down at the very beginning so you know where you are going. This will relax your mind and free up some much needed space to get on with the plan.
2. Focus on one thing at a time
Taking a scatter gun approach to your job search will only lead to stress. If you have too many applications out at one time and they all start moving forward, think about how that will affect your scheduling. If you are always looking for excuses to get to interviews then this soon catches up with you and you won't perform at the interview, and it may even begin to affect your current role. I'd argue, if you've got anymore than 3 things on the go at once, you probably don't know what you really want. See point 1.
3. Approach each application from the perspective of the recruitment decision maker
Too many times I've seen people take a one size fits all to each and every application. You may luck out and get your dream role but the chances are you'll fall at the first hurdle more often than not, especially true the higher up you climb. The solution? Well, it's easy actually. Put yourself in the shoes of the person receiving your application. What would they want to see from you? It's worth taking a moment to think about this, it can make a massive difference and will give you serenity of mind knowing you are doing all you can do.
4. Treat each stage as problem to be solved.
So you keep getting interviews, but then never get asked back or maybe you don't get asked to interview at all? It's easy to get a bit stressed when this happens as it can knock your confidence but it's at this point you have to take a pragmatic approach. It all starts with why? Just ask yourself, why am I not getting interviews? Is your CV ready for the job you've applied for, did they ask for a cover letter but didn't provide one, are you just not a fit for the brief? or Why am I not getting beyond first interview? Do I need some interview coaching, am I too closed, too open, was it just not the right fit again? At this point you also need to take ownership of it and not trick yourself into thinking it was someone else's fault. You'll never get to the root of the issue which will create and maintain a stressed version of yourself. That won't help you.
You may be tempted, with extra workload of researching companies and the time to go to interviews etc, to let your exercise regime lapse. Don't. If you don't have an exercise regime, get one. It's the single best thing to energise your brain and get all the right juices flowing to all the right places. It'll help you think more freely and clearly, only a good thing when meeting new people and being put through your paces.
6. Find what makes you happy - away from work
Sounds like a bit of cliche doesn't it? But it's essential. If you are keeping your mind happy, You'll perform better. It's that simple.
7. Cover all bases
There's a simple checklist you can follow to make sure you are covering all bases and controlling what you can control. Get your CV Ready, get a cover letter ready, get your online profile's sparkly (Professional and personal). If you have an instagram, facebook or twitter profile, make sure your personal message is one that's appealing to your potential employer. Get the right dress code for what you are presenting for. Shower daily, if you drink 6 cups of coffee before breakfast, brush your teeth. It's all simple stuff but you'd be amazed how many people falter at the basics.
8. Don't sweat the small stuff
It's inevitable you can't get on with everyone you meet and therefore that will be the same in an interview. Don't sweat it. If you keep getting rejected (It's a harsh word, probably makes you feel your not good enough), don't sweat it. Go back to a all points mentioned previously. The answer is out there. Stress won't help your situation.
9. Breathe (Credit to Lifehack.org for this)
Sounds simple eh? But when you hit a stress point, you lose the ability to think in the moment and it can affect the way you breathe. The moment you start to feel a little alien to yourself, consider this:-
Take five breaths deep in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale). Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.
Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.
10. Ask for Help
As a species, I think we've got a long way to go on this point. You can't possibly have every tool you need to be great at everything you want to be good at so don't ever be scared of asking for help, either from within your existing network or externally. Someone, somewhere has the tools you need to help you get to the next level.
Thanks for reading.