“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
People get told this encouraging and slightly cliched piece of advice every time they face problems and struggle to achieve goals. Turn your negative experience into a lesson and use it to avoid mistakes in the future. Sounds perfectly wise. But did anyone actually focus on how to make the lemonade? How to process the problem, search for solutions and, most importantly, stay positive when everything goes pear-shaped?
Finding a job has never been easy for students. During the pandemic, it became even more time-consuming and exhausting. Uncertainty of the whole situation and endless rejections can be the sourest of lemons. If you can relate, specialists from Jooble, the second biggest job search engine worldwide, are ready to share insights on how to make good lemonade out of them.
1. This too shall pass
Psychologically, we are more susceptible to rejections. Negativity bias, a notion that unpleasant situations, thoughts or events impact our state of mind more than positive ones, is an indispensable part of human nature. However, it doesn’t mean you are doomed. Realizing the way our brain comprehends the problem of refusal is already a good start. Then make a reality check: you are struggling while doing something important neither for the first nor for the last time in your life. You have succeeded and you have failed before. Problems may shatter your confidence now, but this spell of bad luck sooner or later will come to an end.
2. Ask what is wrong
Spoiler alert. The next section is written by Captain Obvious. Yet, using the tips mentioned here will help you become resilient and more successful at looking for a job. When you are at pains to find a good position and don’t get any positive results, something must be going wrong. But what exactly? Losing yourself in conjectures is not fun, especially in this case. To make things clear and obtain a valuable learning opportunity, don’t brush the refusal aside. Be polite and patient, ask for feedback and demonstrate you’re interested in further development. It is common practice, and no one will judge you for being curious and ready to change. Even if you don’t like the feedback, it helps you avoid mistakes during future interviews and spares lots of time.
3. Don’t burn bridges
HR specialists also make career moves. Today they are working in the company you applied to, but in a year their office will be in another place. The recruiter’s priority task is to remember people. Therefore, if you forgot their names right after the interview, it doesn’t mean they immediately stopped taking you into account. It’s better not to mess up with recruiters because the world is small. Generally speaking, potential employers might not choose you this time, but they can do it later. If you manage to make a good impression and show your interest in staying tuned, the chance to receive an offer increases. Any vacancy is a contest with a surprising outcome, where unexpected factors can play a decisive role.
4. Change tactics
People make the mistake of doing the same things over and over again and counting on a brand new result. It’s always good to contemplate previous failures, go back through all stages of the job search, and reflect on them. If you notice any patterns in your behaviour, consider whether they could be the culprit. What if you have to change resources of search? For example, when your target industry is living in social media and most job postings are done there. You could pay less attention to soft skills and showcase only the hard ones. Your answers to the questions about goals sound too studied and don’t reflect true intentions. Changing the tactics while looking for the job is an important step. To increase the chances, candidates have to doubt previous methods, ask for expertise, and not give up.
5. Not everything is under your control
The secret to success seems to be quite simple: winners possess all necessary skills, always ready to improve them and obtain new ones. We have power over many things. For instance, you can equip yourself with an excellent education and develop significant personality traits. We can choose a professional and neat outfit to make the right first impression. Previous deep research about the company’s activity will make recruiters’ hearts melt. Your previous experience might be highly relevant. However, some crucial things are simply out of our control. We don’t even know about their existence and yet, they can determine the outcome. For example, a message “we are sorry to inform…” appears in your inbox, not due to the disappointing interview, but because someone got the job via the inner contest. Sometimes an employer clearly sees you won’t be able to grow professionally at this position, lose interest soon, and leave the company. Therefore, to stay positive and productive during the job search, it is vital to strike the delicate balance between the need for personal improvement and the almost Buddhist perception of circumstances we can’t change.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Staying resilient during the job hunt is as complicated as the process itself. To choose the right mindset, you have to look inside yourself and show creativity. However, this is the path many of us (if not all) have dealt with. So, you are not alone. People who try new strategies, don’t hesitate to actually contact professionals, and show readiness to feedback have the edge. And not only in the job market.
Written by Mariia Bohdanovska, External Communications Manager at Jooble. Jooble is an international job search website used daily by millions of people in 71 countries.