We all know rock stars at their craft who are looking for jobs. A few of my own career friends come to mind. I’m confident they’ll soon find a new home at a company lucky enough to have them.
But that’s easy to say when it’s not you.
Inevitably, at some point, despite best efforts to stay positive, one experiences frustration—whether from having to say goodbye to a current job or during the search for a new job. But I believe you can embrace any situation, even this kind, and decide whether it’ll rock you—or reignite you. I’ve been in this situation before, and I can confidently say it ultimately reignited me and led me down a better path. If you’re willing to trust yourself and your destiny, this can happen for you too. In the meantime, there are a few things I’ve learned while looking for the next great opportunity: Stay patient, productive, and positive.
Patient: Good things come to those who wait—and work for it.
You can do all the right things to get hired and it still feels like you’re running full-speed into a wall. For go-getters like me, this is not an easy concept to accept. At some point, you start to realize it’s not just up to you. From what I’ve seen (now having been on the hiring side too), hiring decisions are never black and white. They’re oftentimes influenced by factors you have no insight into. In other words, just focus on doing your best. You could have a killer interview but the company still goes in another direction. Don’t take it personally if they don’t extend the offer. Keep interviewing, keep networking, and trust in your skills and strengths. At the right time, the right offer will come your way.
Productive: An open mind opens doors.
Before I found a home at my current agency, I did something I never thought I’d do. I went client side. Since I wasn’t sure when I’d have a new agency gig, I decided to try something new instead of risking boredom. I took an interim role managing the digital content and social channels for a university. Turns out, they loved that I had agency experience and gave me full permission to take risks and take their content to new levels of engagement. To be honest, I loved this job more than I anticipated. I delivered value to them while expanding my skill set at the same time. A win-win that ultimately led to a full-time offer and resume-building stories to be proud of. I decided to return to agency life, but still use my experience from that time to help me do my job better today.
Positive: Don’t sell yourself short.
I believe we all have something valuable to offer. But you have to believe it yourself. Once when I attended a required resume-building course, the defeat I witnessed from the group was eye-opening. Most of these people were twice my age with many years of experience. And yet, they felt they had nothing valuable to put in their resume, or from what I observed, their resume was selling their experience short.
It doesn’t matter at your last job whether you were entry level or the CEO. With every job, you were entrusted with a role. A role that helps the company run. What matters during this season of job hunting is how you communicate the duties of that role. How did you demonstrate leadership or initiative? How did you solve problems? How did you contribute to the company culture? What did you do to ensure success with customers and clients?
Take this temporary time to refresh your resume, personal website, business card, etc. Spend time crafting your story. Highlight the value you deliver and what you’ve helped companies achieve. Then, ask for feedback about it from other career-minded people. After reading your application materials, would they feel compelled to interview you, or skip you?
With these three things in mind, you can positively direct the unknowns of job hunting to shape who you are and where you’re headed. So, keep your head up and embrace the adventure. Destiny will often surprise you with a career blessing you never expected.