There is no getting around it--the job search is a difficult process. It requires motivation, dedication, optimism, risk-taking and a bit of luck. But it’s not this impossible thing we must dread--after all, it feels good to pay your bills on time and have money in your pocket!
The truth is, the job search is the way to re-make yourself, change your worldview, and better your life. It will be a lot easier if you think of it as an opportunity rather than a burden.
Here are some situations to consider as you go through your job search. If you start feeling down and depressed after a day of looking at job ads, refer to these situations for direction and inspiration.
1. Saving money for your first car
Remember when you didn't have a car? All you could think about was getting one, and all the places you would go once you did. During that time, every decision you made was defined by this need for a car. Whether you had to mow every lawn in the neighborhood for three summers, lifeguard from dawn to dusk every day, or babysit those really smelly kids down the street (you remember the ones) you were willing to do anything to get that car.
This same kind of dedication can get you through the tough times of the job search. It will require perseverance to win that dream job, just like it did getting together enough money to buy that car. But it was worth not always needing a ride, wasn’t it?
2. Beating a classic video game
Before video games gave players an infinite amount of attempts to achieve a task, you had 3 lives. Those 3 lives had to carry you through the entire game. When you lost your lives, the game was over. But that didn't stop people from enjoying video games. When the game was over, you didn't give up. You dusted off yourself off and inserted a few more coins. That was how it went, and it was a fun challenge. Many considered that era to be the golden age of video games.
The tenacious attitude required to win those classic video games can be your ticket to a new job. When you don’t hear back about your resume, or are passed over after a good interview, don't just leave the game! Grab more quarters and improve on your previous time through the level or job search process. If you do, you'll find that elusive princess, dodge the barrage of barrels, and avoid those pesky ghosts to find yourself richer for all the hard work.
3. Finishing finals in college
Finals were always a grueling endeavor. If you wanted to get good grades, not only did you have to study all night, you had to stay dedicated and focused. There was no time to rest on your laurels. You had to stay up-to-date on every class. But each semester, finals had the same incentive--when they were over, you had a vacation to enjoy.
Although when you get a new job you don't go on vacation, it's a reward after a job search. Stay dedicated and get through the day-to-day grind of finals/job search and your hard work pays off. Sure, you have to stay on top of a million things at once, stay laser-focused, and sacrifice a personal life, but in the end, it'll be worth it--you’ll have a new job!
4. Roughing it through the boring part of a good book
“Moby Dick” is my favorite book. Between the compellingly flawed Ahab and the novel's overall dreary atmosphere, it’s hard for me to think of a better work of American fiction. But that said, it is very, very long, and at times, like a long sea voyage, a little boring. But I love “Mody Dick” nevertheless. For me, enduring the novel's boring segments makes the payoff that much greater. Reading the book itself is a journey, with its ups and downs. In the end, finishing the whole book is an accomplishment you'll never forget.
A job search is a very similar experience. It has highs and lows. There are times, after a big interview, you feel like you can conquer the world. Other times, during a tedious resume re-working, you'll feel like the job search will never end. But that's part of the journey. Getting there is the end goal. Take the job search as just that, a journey with an end in sight.
5. Rocking out to a favorite Karaoke jam
Everyone who does karaoke has a song they love to sing--that one song that when it comes on you forget about the audience and clinch the microphone, belting out every note as if you're all alone and haven't a care in the world. In this karaoke moment it's not that you have no shame, it’s that you're willing to take a risk. You're having fun and that's all that counts. You love the song and want to make the most of the moment.
You should approach the job search the same way. Forget the audience. Make the most of the moment. Be a rock star and land your dream job!
So during your job search, if you get down, think about what it would feel like to make it through one of these situations, and apply that feeling to your job search. Good luck!