Interviewing Tip #5: Maintain Your Self-Esteem, Follow-Through, and Sense of Humor

Via the Boston Job Works blog I found this piece on Hiring in Times of Anger and Fear. The points Jack Thomas makes are great, and can be summarized by making sure you keep your self-esteem, follow through on commitments, and maintain your sense of humor. All easier said than done.If you're looking for a job, especially if you don't have one now, consider these suggestions:

  1. Treat finding a job as you would a project. For me, that means creating an action item list, and managing my activities, so that I do everything I say I'm going to do. If you say you'll send a document to someone, write yourself a note to do so, make sure you send it when you said you would, and cross it off your list when you're done. (If you're not a list person, you don't have to make lists, but choose some mechanism so you know you're meeting your commitments). When you treat looking for a job like it's a project, you can track your progress, see that you've worked on it every day, and see what you have left to do. Crossing lots of items off your to-do list will help you feel as if you've accomplished something.
  2. Define yourself by your successes, not your perceived failures. You're probably not looking for a job because you're a “bad” employee. You were probably in the wrong place at the wrong time. Look back at your career, and define your successes. What made you a success then? Is that work or an environment you can look for now? You're not stupid or dumb; you're unemployed. Find places you can rejoice in your competence now. For example, take Thomas' advice, and get directions from multiple sources and leave early for the interview. If you realize you're going to be late, call.
  3. Don't forget to maintain your sense of humor. Remember that Murphy's Law sits on your find-a-new-job project, as much as Murphy used to sit on your work projects. Things will happen, and your best coping mechanism may be to see the humor in the situation.

You don't need to be obsequious or demanding. Know who you are, what you're good at, and why these folks should hire you. If you have your self-esteem, you'll (eventually) succeed in finding a job.

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