How to Leap     from Adversity   into a New Job

David Shindler is a coach, facilitator, speaker, and blogger on jobs, careers and employability development. He is also the author of “Learning to Leap, a Guide to Being More Employable”.

You decide to move jobs and make your first application for a specific role. Luck plays a part in hitting the jackpot first time. More likely, you will embark on a haphazard journey of trial and error with plenty of rejections along the way. Job searching can be demoralizing over time when you don’t find what fits. The intensity and mundanity of the process can sap your energy. How do you use the experience of rejection positively so that it enables rather than disables you?

Here are three strategies to learn to leap from adversity:

Reassess your approach to job searching

If it isn’t working and it’s starting to get you down, pause and reassess your job searching approach. A coach or mentor will help you explore the reasons behind your rejections. Increase your self-awareness about what to stop doing, continue doing, and start doing for a greater chance of success.

A mentor will give you the benefit of their experience, insider insights, what works for them and the pitfalls to avoid. Identify someone who is in the job, career or field that you want. Who else do you know that has been there and got the t-shirt, so they know what you are going through?

A coach will focus more on helping you become clearer about what you want, who you want to be, addressing key psychological barriers holding you back, building your confidence, developing a strategy to get there, and supporting you as you implement your job searching plan. Check out your coachability.

Entrepreneurs know that if you aren’t failing you’re not trying hard enough.

Manage yourself well 

The key to overcoming rejection while job searching is to manage yourself well. Stay in the game by developing and strengthening your emotional health. Embrace the challenge as part of the deal with job searching. Back yourself to succeed, stay committed, and prioritize what is within your control. Recharge your batteries so you are refreshed and ready for the next application. Then up your game, so you give your best under pressure. Bring it on!

Looking after your wellbeing is vital for having the energy and commitment to continue job searching. Giving regular attention to your mind, body, and spirit gives you the platform to perform at your best when the opportunity comes along.

Feedback on what is working and not working for you is a helpful starting point. Unfortunately, employers often fail to give feedback. So, you might need the support and necessary challenge from critical friends who have your best interests at heart. They can tell it like it is and soften the blow to avoid you being too hurt or defensive. Surround yourself with positive people, friends, and peers going through the same experience of job searching.

Build relationships

There is nothing more energizing than hope. Remember, you are not hopeless. But being hopeful is not assertive enough. Instead, create hope by being proactive. Connect with people in jobs and sectors that interest you to help create potential opportunities for getting that crucial piece of advice or targeted introduction that opens the right door for you.

It’s your choice to be proactive and, yes, chance or luck plays a part, but both increase the prospects of the change you want. And remember, it’s not all about you. Show genuine interest and curiosity about the lives of others if you want to tap into their knowledge and goodwill.

So, take a risk or two to benefit from serendipity. Combine it with being disciplined

  • Identify 6 people through research, approach them through a LinkedIn message, email or phone call, and arrange a coffee to pick their brains.
  • Join a community in a professional area and go to events.
  • Create your own community by asking some of your LinkedIn connections who are geographically close to meet up in person. Where is your nearest #LinkedInLocal?
  • Don’t like the idea of ‘networking’? Become a magnet by showing your achievements and attracting interest from recruiters and employers.

Entrepreneurs know that if you aren’t failing you’re not trying hard enough. Remember, your story is an evergreen and evolving asset. Learn from rejection, weave it into your story for employers, and use it as the springboard for your next success.

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