Slay Your Job Search Demons

It’s said that the loss of one’s job is second in grief only to the loss of a loved one. If that isn’t tough, I’m not sure what is. Career changes are humbling experiences. There’s no easy way around it.

Our egos take a hit... Our mental chatter begins...
“Where did I go wrong?”
“How did I get here?”
“What will my family think?”
“Am I a failure?”
“Will I EVER find a new job?”

Down the spiral of negativity you go. Your job was hard before- and now this!? What have you done to deserve this struggle? What will you do to face your new inner demons?

Let’s start with what you shouldn’t do: Ignore them. Doing so allows these demons to show up in interviews & meetings, whether you know it or not. Your perfect outfit and interview prep? Sabotaged by a psyche that screams, “I’M DESPERATE. I’M SCARED. HELP ME. I REALLY NEED THIS.”

Denying your denial? OK. How’d that last interview go? Did you miss the job and rationalize it? If so, it’s time to take a hard look in the mirror. It’s time, to face your demons.

If you’re feeling “off”, so too will those interviewing you. People hire people they like. If an hour is awkward together, they won’t risk 8+ a day with you. Put people at ease by working on the comfort you have with yourself, first.

So... how do we get there? How do we emotionally & mentally prepare you for your job search & interviews? The answers are simple and inspiring:

BE VULNERABLE. Admit to yourself your lowest negative thought. Example: “I feel worthless.” Phrase it specifically with the word “feel” because it’s important. See what you did there? You showed bravery. You allowed your right brain to feel that emotion, and move past it. You allowed your left brain to provide facts that prove you’re not worthless. You allowed yourself to be a human being, that is evolving.

PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC. It’s hard to be depressed when hearing your favorite song. Push play on the positive. Need a suggestion? Try “That’s Not My Name” by the Ting Tings. When I hear & dance to it- I feel fierce, invincible, happy & ridiculous. Now you can too at the push of a button.

SMILE. If the Ting Tings didn’t get you here already, force it. Look in the mirror and show those pearly whites. Even a fake smile might get yourself to laugh. As Ron Gutman said, “Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.” Smiling beats chocolate! Imagine if you combine the two.

PLAY OFFENSE. You’re already turning the tide on that negative chatter. Time to play mental offense. “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And gosh darn it, people like me.” Stuart Smalley had it right. Parse and project a positive pattern about your person. Please.

KNOW THY SELF. Define who you want to become. Build your narrative- who you are, where you’re from, what’s your value. Lock it down. Be honest with yourself: You’re awesome! Create confidence by taking action and driving momentum.

EXERCISE. Endorphins are groups of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system that have a number of physiological functions. They activate the body's opiate receptors, causing pain relieving effects. Goodbye demons, hello beach body.

VISUALIZE YOUR GOALS. It’s not, “If I find a job... If they call me back…” No. Stop using qualifiers. It is, “When I find a killer job. When I get a fantastic call back.” Know the difference. Picture yourself working again and feel gratitude for that future. You look great in your new office, especially with that beach body.

MEDITATE. Turn these short positive thoughts into 10 to 30 minutes of clarity. Give yourself space to be you. Quieting the mind for clear actions and goals allows your brain to develop new neural pathways that may just change your life. Not sure where to start? Try searching “guided meditation” on Youtube.

HIT THE PAVEMENT. Interview. Put the WORK in netWORKing. Get yourself out there on the daily. The more you do, the less you’ll fear. Soon, you'll appreciate the journey.

BE AUTHENTIC. You’re back in the job search game. Play it well by playing your game - a game you can be proud of. Be the person you’ve worked so hard to become. Be the demon-slayer.

No one said this was going to be easy. You’re climbing a life-changing, ego-busting, vulnerability-inducing mountain - only to face the one that knows you best: You.

The fight is equal to the reward. Don’t just find the right job. Find your authentic self. In the end, you’ll be stronger, more confident, and ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead.

I believe in you. Now, you should too.