Maintaining Resilience in your Job Search

By Dolores Daly

The MBA job search is the ultimate business school capstone project. Essentially, you are designing your own business plan for the company of YOU. During this process, you will face numerous challenges and setbacks, periods of uncertainty and ambiguity, all of which will force you to pause, reflect, problem-solve and change course- much like you would with an actual business plan. Throughout the process you will develop strong communication, relationship building, and influencing (without authority) skills, just like you would in a professional development business school class.  

Of course, as with anyone trying to launch their own business plan, during your job search you may encounter doubters, multiple setbacks, and outright rejection. You, too, may experience moments of self-doubt.  It happens to everyone; however, the difference between those who are successful and those who are not is persistence, or “grit,” the buzzword of the moment.  One key feature of those who have “grit” is resiliency. The ability to bounce back from rejection, overcome obstacles, persevere. This trait is key to achieving a positive outcome in any goal you set for yourself, including the job search.

 Here are some tips to help you develop or maintain resilience during your own job search:

  1. Establish a daily job search routine. Establishing a routine will help you focus on the tasks at hand, make you more productive, and help you accomplish your goals.
  2. Be good to yourself. Take time every day to do one thing that benefits you – whether that be going for a run, calling a friend, or watching a movie. Taking breaks will rejuvenate your mental and emotional stamina.
  3. Stay engaged.  Maintain professional and personal networks and attend social events related to your area of interest. Keep up with industry trends and shifts by reading relevant publications. Set Google alerts for your target companies. Take an online class to gain a new, but necessary, skill set. Volunteer.
  4. Acknowledge what you can control, and what you cannot. Some parts of the job search process are beyond your control. Learn to accept that and move forward with the parts you can control.
  5. Control negative thoughts. Sometimes the job search can be a lonely, overwhelming time in your life.  Train your brain to channel those negative thoughts into positive ones. “This job search is tough, but I’ve overcome other obstacles in my life. So, I will succeed in this challenge!”
  6. Maintain your social network.  You spend much of your time alone when conducting a job search.  Therefore, it is important to maintain your social ties with your friends and community.  Friend time will help you recharge and receive that much needed confidence booster!

Remember, everyone who is successful has failed. If you’ve never failed, you’ve never truly challenged yourself. Overcoming setbacks actually builds confidence, which, in turn, builds resiliency.  Be Fearless!

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