How to avoid the scary parts of the job search

Achieving Goals, Career Discovery, Get That Job
11/01/18 - Teague

Here at Ama La Vida, we are no strangers to the unpleasant, anxiety-inducing, and downright scary feelings that the job search can bring on. For one, we’ve built our business on coaching people through important career transitions. But we’ve also done it ourselves! (If you haven’t read our story, now is a great time to do so. The road to career fulfillment wasn’t easy, and we continue to work at it every single day.) In honor of Halloween, we’re sharing four scary job-search scenarios and our best tips for getting back on track.

You’re stuck in a job you hate – and aren’t doing anything to get unstuck.

It can be really unpleasant to wake up one morning and realize you haven’t been in the driver’s seat of your own life. However, the only thing worse than knowing you’re unhappy at work is not doing anything to change your situation. If the goal is landing a new job you’re proud of, make an actionable plan to get yourself there – and then hold yourself accountable. For some people, this means creating a vision board and for others, it’s creating a daily plan that doesn’t end until you’re walking in on your first day. You know yourself best, so create action steps that work in your favor. And then get started!

You’re trying to network, but your attempts are falling flat.

There are a ton of ways to network – informational interviews, attending events, and taking advantage of mutual connections, to name a few. It helps to be crystal clear with your elevator speech and your ask – when attending networking events (heck, or meeting people in line at a coffee shop) you should be able to quickly and concisely explain who you are, why that matters, and what you’re asking for from them. If you’re not confident in yourself, how can you effectively market yourself to others? It’s also important in networking to give a little, too. For instance, when following up on an informational interview, share an article that’s relevant to the conversation you had. Make sure your network knows you care about them, too.

You’re landing interviews, but not receiving that final job offer. 

This situation can be particularly rough – in my experience, it feels like a personal rejection. Luckily, there are a ton of strategies to get past this hurdle. If you’re not already, I highly recommend recording yourself doing a mock interview – some people cringe at watching themselves, but this is a useful tool to learn if you have any nervous habits or tend to mumble. I also coach a lot of clients around how to answer interview questions effectively, and I highly recommend the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, & Result). Don’t forget to highlight your individual accomplishments (vs. what your team got done) and point out the specific value you added to your workplace. If you have data to back up your claims, even better. The fact that you’re getting the interviews is hugely promising and signals that you’re close to landing the offer with a bit of work.

You’re doubting yourself and getting into your own head – you wonder if you’ve bit off more than you can chew or if you even deserve a new job.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by this process. Nothing good comes without hard work and a bit of courage, and finding a new job is no exception. When it gets to this point (and unless you’re a robot, it will), dig deep and remember your why. Think back on everything you’ve overcome so far and the adversities you’ve overcome. If you’re feeing burned out by the job search process, let yourself take a break for an afternoon or evening. Perhaps you need to dive into a new book from the library or go for a walk with your friend. Let your mind wander to things besides the job hunt, and then get back at it from a refreshed point of a view.

We hope these tips have made the job search process a bit less mysterious. Now, we’re off to put on our Superhero Coach costumes and eat way too much Halloween candy.

Here are this week’s favorite articles on other workplace challenges.
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