Clean up Your Job Search Self-Talk

Looking for a job is tough. Mostly because it demands skills we don't use a lot - writing a resume, preparing for an interview, networking, trying to make sense of job boards and job titles - and it's time consuming too.

Another aspect of the job hunt is that we have high expectations of a quick timeline ... unrealistic expectations really. Research suggests that the average job search can take six months! If you planned a two-month search then at month three, with no offer on the horizon, you'll likely lose steam.

(Research also shows that armed with a strategic resume and fortified with interview coaching - and thus stepping forth in confidence, - a job search can be cut in half!)

One phrase that absolutely doesn't belong in the job searcher's self-talk is "I can't," as in "I can't write this resume / another resume," or "I can't network; I don't know how/I'm not comfortable introducing myself/I don't know anyone." You get the idea.

What use is it to give yourself an excuse?

Job hunter - it's your career and you must, simply must find a way. If hiring a professional to compose your resume isn't in your budget, hit the library. There is a section devoted to career management. If you don't know how to prepare for an interview, and the books in the library are not making sense, find a way to hire an interview coach. If you don't network, then challenge yourself in another way.

There is no "one size fits all" in job hunting; what works for Sally doesn't necessarily work for Harry. I have clients who have found jobs through Workopolis, others who picked up the phone and introduced themselves, yet others who called past clients and let them know they were available, and yet others who landed offers through job fairs.

If you're hearing "I can't" in your self-talk, make a point of finding a way that you can! It's YOUR career to manage, and you're the one who must take the time to learn or to find help. "I can't" is not going to get you a job.

- offering job hunters a bit of tough love, Stephanie