If you’re among the one million people who have just had your unemployment benefits expire, or even someone who is just feeling a little stuck in your job and wanting to make a change, it’s time to kick off the New Year with a new approach to your job search.
I know, I know. You’re feeling a bit kicked to the curb because you’ve been applying to every job that even looks close to something you have done or could do. And those online applications have been met with silence. The “black hole.” Or maybe you’ve landed a couple of interviews, but you haven’t quite made it to the final offer. It’s tough to stay positive when the mortgage still needs to be paid and the paychecks aren’t coming in.
But it’s a new year and it’s time to attract that great job you want. Yes, you heard that right — you need to attract what you want – thus it’s time to make yourself attractive.
Now I’m not talking about “dressing for success” or getting a haircut. I’m really talking about what attracts one person to another. Whether it’s your mate or your coworkers — people want to like and respect you, so it’s your job to show them why you are a good match for the team.
The first quality that is essential for everyone in job search is authenticity. In other words, be real. Be genuine. Don’t say what you “think” the interviewer wants to hear just because you need a job. And if you’re feeling a bit frustrated in your search, the only thing you can do to be authentic is to actually change your attitude. Believe me, that feeling of desperation seeps out and most people can see it, even if you think you’re hiding it well. When you aren’t being authentic, everything you say will suddenly come into question. It may be a little easier said than done, but if you show up as the positive person you really are, you are more likely to attract a position (and coworkers) that are a fit. By approaching each networking conversation, each interview with authenticity, you will be able to determine if the role is right for you and if you are right for the role.
People are excited to be around people who are passionate about what they do. I don’t mean that you have to be bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm — but I do mean that your energy should reflect the excitement you have for something — hopefully it’s the work you do, but it can also include other points of interest that intersect with the person with whom you are speaking. If you are passionate about global health issues, then it makes sense to seek opportunities with global health organizations. Share the story of when you volunteered for that vaccination mission in Africa. The energy you put out when telling a story of something you are passionate about will attract others — especially if they have shared interests.
It’s tough to stay confident when you’re feeling down, but this one is essential. If you can walk into a room and be confident with who you are and what you have to offer, people will assume you are good at it. Hopefully you can back up that confidence with substance, of course. So before an interview, review projects where you know you were successful. Remind yourself of the skills you have and the accolades you received from previous coworkers and leaders. Give yourself that boost so that you can show that confidence from the start.
This article also appeared in the Huffington Post