We’ve all met them, and we all hate them (well, I suppose unless you are one of them). They’re the person who, when searching for a job and asked “How’s it going?” say something like, “It’s going great! I’m meeting so many awesome people and I have so many opportunities available.” Inevitably, you’re thinking….jerk. Because even for these peppy, upbeat people who think job hunting rocks. It doesn’t. For 99% of the population, job hunting sucks. Yup, that’s the easiest way to describe it. Sucks.
But as it turns out, those jerks, the ones we hate…they might just have some things in common. Forbes actually tells us they have 7 things in common – “7 Habits of Highly Effective Job Hunters.” And while all 7 are amazing, and you should read the full article, our favorite is #2.
2. Don’t let your job status define you.
Sure, losing your job is a very personal experience, but don’t take it too personally. Who you are is not what you do. Never was. Never will be. Research by psychologist Marty Seligman found that the biggest determinant between those who succeed after setbacks of any kind is how they interpret them. People who interpret losing their job as a sign of personal inadequacy or failure are less likely to ‘get back on the horse’ in their job hunt than those who interpret it as an unfortunate circumstance that provided a valuable opportunity to grow in self-awareness, re-evaluate priorities and build resilience. You define who you are, not your job or a company’s decision whether or not to employ you. Don’t take it as a personal rejection against you. It may well be due to economic forces far beyond your control that you found yourself out of work. Potential employers will be more attracted to people who have proven their ability to stay positive and confident despite a setback/job loss.
It’s so easy to become attached to the idea that “who you are” and “what you do” are the same thing. They’re not. Effective job searchers know this, and can project that they are not affected personally by being unemployed. Do the same and you will go far. And don’t worry, it’s perfectly alright to still think these people are jerks.