The Secret Ingredient of Job Search Success

There’s an abundance of information out there about how to find an ideal job. Multitudes of Twitter tips, blog posts and articles galore tell you how to create a targeted job search, tap the hidden job market, reach out to your network, build a great resume and LinkedIn profile, and ace the interview.

Unfortunately, the KEY ingredient for a successful job search – one that brings you interviews leading to job offers – is often missing or easily overlooked. You might have noticed this yourself. For example, you may believe you’re doing everything RIGHT in your search, but you don’t seem to be getting much traction and you don’t know why.

Clues about this missing ingredient can be found in the acronym PROD – coined by one of my colleagues, Susan Whitcomb. With this acronym, successful jobseekers can prod, nudge and motivate themselves daily with:

  • Perseverance: Abraham Lincoln said, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” Feeling discouraged? Persevere. Feeling fatigued? Persevere. Feeling apathetic? Persevere.
  • Resilience: This is the ability to recover from disappointments, such as when you don’t get the job offer you were expecting, you learn that a past employer hasn’t given you a great reference, or you got “stage fright” at an important interview. When these events happen, see what lesson you can learn for the future, so you can shorten your bounce-back time and get back on track.
  • Optimism: Optimism is hope personified. There are solutions waiting to be discovered, and insights and learning to be leveraged. Things can get better in the next day or even the next hour or minute, as expressed by the legendary band Fleetwood Mac in their most upbeat, popular song: “Open your eyes and look at today, you’ll see things in a different way! Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, it will soon be here, better than before, yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone!”
  • Discipline: Discipline is becoming a lost art. Most people associate discipline with pain or punishment. As the biblical saying goes, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Yet, imagine how things could things be different for you if you amped up your level of self-discipline by 5-10%!

Courage is another trait that is essential to success, but that doesn’t mean you always have to feel courageous. Everyone experiences some level of trepidation when they’re going out of their comfort zone to do something big and new. The fear never goes away. But we have a choice, to either be fearful and frustrated, or fearful and free.  

Now, why aren’t these mindset practices emphasized as much as the mechanical techniques of a job search? Because they’re difficult! They don’t come easy. As human beings, we typically want easy, quick fixes to our problems. When these fixes don’t seem to work, we want to quit.  

That brings me to the secret ingredient. Want to know what it is? Look in the mirror. Surprise! It’s YOU – the visible YOU and the YOU underneath, which is the sum of your ACTIONS, fueled by your thoughts, perspectives and beliefs.

So, to bring a better YOU to your job search, add perseverance, resilience, optimism, discipline and courage to your toolbox. When you do, you’ll be that much closer to landing your dream job.

© Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach. 2014 All Rights Reserved www.career-success-coach.com

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