In several sections of this course I talk about mental preparation, self-motivation, and how to program your mind for the upcoming interviews. Self-motivation is critical when it comes to interview success.
Many people seem to fall into a hole and have problems digging them self out. It can turn into some sort of depression and things go downhill from there. Don’t let this happen to you.
Staying motivated during a job search is a struggle. Every application that does not receive a response adds to fear and anxiety. Every failed job interview lowers your self-esteem and creates negative thoughts. For some people this can even turn into a serious depression.
What separates the highly successful job searchers from the rest is the ability to keep moving forward no matter what.
There have been thousands of books written about self-motivation. There have been seminars and video courses about the topic as well. Even colleges and universities have picked the topic of self-motivation and are offering classes, too. Overall, to provide you with a detailed plan to keep your confidence up and to motivate yourself goes beyond the scope of this book. But I want to give you a few items to work with anyway.
If you know that you easily lose self-confidence when things do not work out your way, you should seek increased social support from friends and family or through networking. It is also important to develop daily routines that can provide positive feedback and support positive attitudes toward the search.
In the past when I interviewed for a job and things did not turn out my way I wanted to avoid falling into a hole. My way of dealing with the situation was to think differently. It was not me losing out on this job, but the hiring company. This trick works pretty well, especially if you call upon it the moment you hear that you are not the primary candidate (or when the silence from the hiring company means that you are out of the race). By “pushing” the failure away from me towards the hiring company and by embracing positive thoughts I simply brushed off the failed attempt to land a certain job.
This requires a little bit of practice, but this method works great once you have it down.
Another way to stay motivated is to associate images with certain situations. By visualizing certain images with a lost job interview you can keep your spirits up and even increase your self-confidence. How about this one? You get an email from HR that the position has been filled. Immediately you visualize that the company the worst employee that you have ever worked with in the past. Picture it. See that “loser” get that job and how it will negatively affect the company?! Repeat this a few times and you start feeling relieved that you did not get that job. Who wants to work with that person anyway?
It does not matter who got hired in the first place. You need to protect your own mental health and confidence because you need to be able to successfully interview for the next job down the road.
As mentioned, if you know that negative news affects you emotionally and as a result affects your self-confidence, go out and talk to friends. Socialize! Network with other people. This can be a profession-related networking group or even a plain and simple job search related networking group. Don’t be shy and instead explain that you had so much hope in landing that job and now it is gone. This is the wrong time to hide and to be ashamed. Stay away from negative people. You don’t need anyone to pull you down. “Don’t surround yourself with yourself!”
I am a big fan of self-programming my mind and I do a lot of things to push my confidence up. I block off emotions about failure. I simply shake it off. This was not always the case, but over the years I learned this somehow and it has helped me ever since.
One of the most important steps that have helped me is to stop thinking (about negative stuff). I know this sounds easy to say, but is difficult to do. Well, it is not difficult to do but it requires some initial effort. People will fall into mental and emotional holes because they do not stop thinking about some negative thing that happened to them. It is easier to let your mind follow the negative stuff than redirecting it towards something positive. Feeling pity about your bad luck is so much easier than thinking that maybe there is a good reason why you did not get that job in the first place.
If something negative happens, do something completely different. I like running because I get out of the house, away from the desk. Running outside distracts me and frees up my mind. I reassess a situation while running and when I come back I am feeling much better. I am energized and ready to rock and roll again.
Job searches and job interviews can be frustrating. If I do not get called for an interview, I do not see it as negative. I see it as a hint that my resume and cover letter sucked and that I need to improve it. “Thanks for telling me!”
If I interview for a job and don’t get it, there is most likely a reason for it. The way I see it, it’s probably a blessing that I did not get that job. The hiring manager is most likely bad to work with and would micro-manage the heck out of me if I would have gotten the job. Thank god I did not get that job.
I consider each job application and interview to be training—training for that day when I apply for a very special job that I really want to have. It’s okay to experience failure in training. That’s what training is therefore in the first place.
I could go on and on and provide similar reasons of how I do this. The key thing is to turn a negative event into something positive. And once you do that, move on (mentally and emotionally). This requires a bit of practice, but for me it has protected me from many disappointments.
It is also important to remember how self-motivation works. It just does not fall into your lap and suddenly you are motivated. If you have a hard time to motivate yourself you need to start small. You need to learn to pull motivation out of smaller events and then associate the same process with bigger items. Tony Robbins is teaching a great way to self-program your mind and to learn self-motivation by using visualization. Images can have a strong impact on how we see certain events or items.
Picture yourself as having gotten that job offer at the company you always wanted to work at. You would look super happy and excited, right!? Now use this visualization effect for smaller events in your life. Let’s say you always turn red when talking in front of people. This is clearly something you feel uncomfortable doing, but it is something you can overcome. When you know you have to talk to people during a business meeting, immediately start picturing yourself as having received the dream job offer. Ignore that you turn red in your face; talk as normal as possible and do not lose that visual effect from your mind. Please note that I am only able to touch this technique at a very high level. I highly recommend you check out some of Tony Robbins’ books. I really enjoyed reading the book of his called Unlimited Power.
A fairly well-known motivation quote that I really like goes like this:
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
I am not sure who the author is – all sources where I found this quote say the author is unknown. So, I am not claiming this quote is from me, but I still like it a lot.
I like this quote covers two items: 1) You need to take action to achieve success. 2) It is easier to come up with excuses than to do something that is inconvenient and requires effort from your side.