This summer I learned that I had to look for a new job. Simply put, my contract was ending and I needed to find a job as the contract won’t be extended for the reasons outside of my control (and it was totally unexpected). It was unexpected for many reasons, not just because of how hard I worked, or because how I sacrificed my honeymoon for this job. My manager was very supportive and proud of my development, my project was getting popularity and everyone was supportive (even CEO), and I was finally launching my ideas that I was pushing for over 2 years. But a contract is a contract.
If I had a destructive mindset, I would probably feel low self-esteem, begin doubting myself, would feel low if not depressed, would avoid social interactions, and generally focus on feeling sorry for myself while secretly hating others who do have a job. Some phrases in my vocabulary would be something like “this is unfair – I worked so hard”, “it is all your fault (to my manager)”, “there are not many opportunities for my area of expertise” and so on.
However, because I had a constructive mindset, I reacted differently. I knew things had to change.
I actually followed the 10 steps listed below and was offered an amazing opportunity, in the field I wanted, with more responsibilities and
leadership opportunities and where I am treated as an expert instead of continuously trying to prove my worth as was the case with the previous job. You always need to have a plan of attack.
- Positive Attitude: “great, now that I have all these great skills and experience I can look for leadership opportunities!”
- Celebrate and acknowledge your new beginning: not only your attitude drives your actions but your actions also drive your attitude. That means that you cannot be motivated and inspired about new opportunities while sitting at home over another episode of Kardashians and finishing your beer. Do something that will tell your brain to set up for success even if you feel down. I literally celebrated a new beginning with my husband and having a cheerful and forward-looking attitude is what kept me going weeks from this day when things didn’t feel as good – because we remember how things make us feel and then translate them in our new reality when mentally going back.
- Keep yourself motivated: I got a book called “ Dare.Dream. Do.” that is basically a collection of success principles and inspirational stories of how women went after their dreams.
- Focus on your achievements. Create a powerful resume & cover letter and focus on your achievements. Keep editing it until you feel really proud of yourself but avoid adding fiction to it.
- Apply to 3 jobs a day. It is so easy – just apply 3 times a day and focus on other things for the rest of the day. This means applying well – by reading about the organization and customizing your resume and cover letter in each case.
- Build awareness– Make sure that everyone you know KNOWS that you are looking for a job. Even if this is a manager that interviewed you for a job that you turned down in the past or a professor from your university – as long as they remember who you are.
- Have a vision of a perfect job – what area, what position, what would you be doing – anything that makes you passionate about your work
- Envision positive outcome – imagine how you will be rocking that interview, how you will be excited to go to your new job on your first day, etc.
- Be interested in the jobs you are applying for – understand what the companies/organizations do, what their managers/directors care about and how you can help them given your skills and experience and make sure to emphasize it in the interview.
- Never stop learning – even if you are looking for a job, continue reading relevant books, blogs, taking webinars and courses on your subject matter so that you always know the key trends in your area and have the knowledge, skills and tools to leverage them.