I’ve written a lot in the past about the tactics and techniques people can use when searching for a job, but today, I want to take a slightly different approach. I want to look at what I like to call the “inner game” aspect of job searching.
What Is the Inner Game of Job Searching?
When I talk about the inner game, I’m not referring to any specific technique for finding a new job. Instead, I’m referring to something more fundamental. The inner game is how you think about the job searching process; it’s how you stay motivated and productive while going through the often exhausting and overlong process of looking for a job.
The inner game is incredibly important. Without a strong inner game — without lots of dedication and a positive mental attitude — your job search is very likely to fail, no matter how advanced your tactics are.
And yet, not many career experts talk about the inner game of job search. I often wonder why that is.
Fight Hopelessness With Positive Thinking
One of the biggest inner game challenges I often hear about from job seekers – especially young and inexperienced ones — is that looking for a job can feel hopeless.
Maybe you can relate: you send out resumes, go on interviews, and spend all your extra time networking, and yet nothing seems like it’s happening. Meanwhile, the bills are piling up and you aren’t making any money.
When you are in the midst of a difficult job search, it can feel as if nothing is ever going to work out your way.
It’s at this time that you must be at your most vigilant. You must guard your thoughts, and avoid the negativity trap. The first and most important tenet of the inner game of job searching is to remain positive. Not only will positive thinking keep you motivated during your difficult job search, but it also comes with plenty of extra benefits. Just see what the Mayo Clinic has to say.
Keeping a positive attitude will help stave away the hopelessness, and it will keep you on track to finding that job you dream of.
Forget the Future
The second thing I recommend that you do whenever a job search feels hopeless is to stop using words like always, never, and forever. Human beings are very bad at predicting the future, and yet we try to do it often. Most of the time, our predictions only lead to more stress — and that’s no good, especially not during a job search.
Use Your Free Time Well
They say looking for a job is it own full-time job, and that’s true — but you probably also have lots of free time during your job hunt. Most of us use this free time to worry ourselves sick about how no one will ever hire us and the entire job search process is pointless and stupid anyway.
Instead of whining, though, you could use that free time productively and add more skills to your repertoire. Not only can you take courses online for free and learn everything from HTML to office management, but you can also offer to take on projects for free on sites like Freelanship. Real-world projects, whether through Freelanship or friends and family, will help you gain some valuable experience and build your resume.
It’s very easy to feel frustrated when you are looking for a job, especially when the weeks are stretching on and on and no one seems to want to hire you. When you feel yourself starting to grow hopeless, remember to stay positive, avoid “always” or “never” thinking, and fill your time with activities that are going to help your resume.
If you do all of these things, you will never have to worry about the job search feeling hopeless ever again.