The Job Search Mindset

Thanks to God, I have successfully completed a job search.  I didn’t go through this process without learning some things along the way.  In talking with others who are also on the hunt for a new career path, it occurred to me that at no time, was I nervous for an interview (I had a total of 12).  In relationship to my friends who suffered appetite and sleep loss at the prospect of an interview for a position they desired, I remained calm.  Why?  What is so different about me?  I assure you it is not my level of self-confidence.  So, I asked myself, “What is it?”

It was my mindset and my approach to the entire job application process.  Here’s what I did:

The Approach:

  • The very first thing I did each and every day was thank God, in advance, for what I knew He was doing on my behalf. I thanked Him for what I was to learn from each contact experience.
  • I carefully read what the company was about. I researched them, if they're job posting wasn't anonymous.  Before I applied, I made certain that the hours and pay advertised were what I could live with if hired.
  • I only applied for jobs where my experience, education, and physical ability met every aspect of their job description. My time is valuable, and the company hiring is getting flooded with mindless applications.  If I don't have the skills that they're looking for, I have no desire to waste my time or anyone else’s.
  • I never put all my eggs in one basket. Right up until the moment I am offered a job, I continue sending out applications.  Most interviews go well, but I didn’t bank on them hiring me until they make that offer.  I kept going!

The Mindset:

It helps to understand what an interviewer is looking for when they meet with an applicant.  Look at it this way, if you’re called for an interview, your skills already meet what the company is looking for.  They’ve got you on paper; you’re a virtual checklist of qualifications that meet the job duties.  Should they want you?  Yes...and they probably do.  What they're looking for now is how well they believe you'll fit in with the group that they already have in place.  The secret is to not take it personally if they don’t choose you.

Every one of my dozen interviews in recent weeks had been very comfortable and positive conversations.  I learned more about the company; the expectations of the job; I got a feel for the personality of the person I would be working under; and many times I got to meet (or at least observe) unofficially other employees of the company.  Part of what made me comfortable was that, because I was careful as to who I sent my applications to, I knew that each company would be one that I wouldn’t mind working for.  Of course, I base that on my knowledge of me (I know I can do the job) and my limited knowledge of them.  You see, they know them better than I would know them.

Respecting the company’s knowledge of their inner workings and their employee demographics is the key to not taking a non-job-offer personally.  I may have all the skills in the world for that job, but if I don’t have enough body piercings or tattoos to fit in with the rest of their employees, I’m glad they chose another applicant over me.  Therein lies the proper mindset; being grateful when not hired.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to job-hop.  As much as I’ve learned from this experience, I don’t want to repeat it.  What I want is a place to go, where the people with whom I spend more hours per week with than I see of my own home, are like brothers and sisters to me; a “work-family.”  Of course, as with any “family”, there are moments where you may have a disagreement or a personality conflict.  That’s expected.  But the love and respect you have for one another outweighs those temporary moments.  By approaching the application process with respect for myself, my education, my skills, as well as my limitations, and enormous respect for every company, to which I applied, as knowing their best fit, I was able to match up with just the right place for me.

And lastly, the moment that job offer came, I hung up the phone, hit my knees, and thanked the One who really did all the work.