After grad school, I started applying for jobs, but I wanted to start working in the Education Field and had no experience. Up to that point, I’d worked at Barnes and Noble, Target and several theatre companies—not exactly relevant teaching experience.
Every time I saw a post for an instructor, or educator position, I got excited for about two seconds—then the voice in my head that said “I’m not qualified for this…they’ll never hire me” took over my brain and I ALWAYS ended up in the fetal position watching Netflix.
So how can you minimize your “Netflix and Cry” time and be a job hunting #boss?
Bookend your time completing applications with positive vibes
If I know I’m about to do something stressful—work on taxes, apply for jobs— I make sure to do something fun and uplifting BEFORE AND AFTER the task that I hate. Blasting Destiny’s Child and watching my favorite “Lip Sync for Your Lives” makes it hard for me to be in a bad mood.
Or I reward myself with some coffee, or a sunny walk around the block. The bottom line is: have a plan to set yourself up for success, and pick yourself up after you complete your task.
Lean on your community
Job searching brings up feelings of self-doubt, insecurity and even shame. Want to know what Shame can’t survive? Empathy.
Shame Researcher Brene Brown has done mountains of research that show that if you talk about what you’re ashamed of (“I’m not using my degree” “I’m not qualified” “I feel like a fraud”) it slowly starts to chip away that inner hate monger. If you don’t feel like you can confide in a friend or family member, talk to a therapist, a life coach or a counselor to get some unbiased reminders that everyone has gone through hard times, and there are ways to make it less painful.
Measure your success by how far you go—not how fast you get interviews
It’s easy to forget that job hunting is a marathon, not a race. While you may only think you’re successful when you get an interview, that’s going to make you feel like a failure 99.9% of the time!
Keep track of the number of resumes you’ve sent, and measure your daily success by setting the number of resumes you’re going to send out and the number of follow up calls you’re going to make each day. The interviews WILL come. And in the meantime, daily goals and tracking will keep you sane.
Identify your inner critic and punch it in the face
I saw a post for “Student Placement Coordinator” and realized it was basically a career counselor—a job I thought I would be great at. I heard that familiar voice start to chime in, “Yeah, but you’re not qualified…” and I slammed my hands down on the keyboard. ENOUGH. Listening to that voice hadn’t done anything except make me doubt myself. So I decided to apply anyway. What did I have to lose?
And lo and behold, I ended up not only getting an interview, but was hired and worked there for almost 3 years.
Job hunting is never going to be the most fun activity, but with these 4 tips, you’ll make it to the finish line and maintain your sanity in the process.
For a free Career coaching session, comment below, or contact Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org.