Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Keep your Expectations in check

Hi Everyone,

I'm writing this following yesterday my having to try and comfort an inconsolable jobseeker, who found out that they weren't the successful candidate as they had pinned so much of their hopes on gaining.

For a lot of jobseekers, not just that jobseeker, looking for work can be a long and frustrating process. Day in and day out, for weeks and sometimes even months, they send off application after application with little result.

And then, all of a sudden, they become super-excited, like my client, when an employer contacts them and invites them in for an interview.

Unfortunately, in my role as Employment Consultant, I watched too many occasions of longer term jobseekers coming away from the Interview feeling elated, like my client, because it was the best interview they've ever had, and start to look forward and zero all their attention on this one opportunity, this one source of hope: this time they might just be offered the job! And so that is all they focus on.

I love it as much as my clients do when their great efforts pay off and they receive the call advising that it is them that has been successful, too; but, the part that makes it so difficult, for me, is knowing that as part of the recruitment process most recruiters interview more candidates than they have positions on offer, so their remains the greater possibility that for most of the interviewed candidates that the call or email will actually be a 'sorry, not this time' answer. And this is the part that those with elevated hopes have those hopes and dreams dashed; it is so painful to witness such jobseekers go from such a high to such an incredibly intense and devastated low.

I, too, used to get a bit like this early in my jobsearching - and I have first-hand experience in knowing how those low blows can be soul- and confidence-destroying!

But with experience, I learned, there is a way to avoid going from such highs to lows so that you are able to not lose heart or motivation.

What I learned to do (over time) was to 'distance' myself from the result (as much and as best I could). I attended the interview, gave it my best, and then deliberately and consciously attempted to let go of holding any expectation that I would be the successful candidate; in other words, I came, I interviewed, I left, and now it was time for me to focus on the future and find the next opportunity, the next employer who will want to interview me, rather than my standing still or putting life or jobsearch on hold waiting around to learn the outcome of that one past opportunity already seized. And doing this greatly helped me to keep my expectation in check, so that when I received an eventual 'I'm sorry but you haven't been successful on this occasion' call or email, I didn't experience such a strong shift in my emotions.

Now, I don't say doing this is at all easy.  As humans we like mysteries being resolved, we like to 'close the door' by learning the outcome.  One only has to look at the recent disappearance of Malaysian Airline Flight MH370 and the extensive world media coverage to see how we as humans are gripped by the details while authorities from different countries all unite in attempt to answer that pressing question of 'what happened?' for us, so that the families, and world, can gain closure on the matter.

The trick, for me, was to lose or lessen my 'curiosity' to know 'what happened' about the interviews I attended, and to embrace instead the fact that I had controlled every part of the jobsearch process that I personally was able to control (and had indeed done my best, at all times, to create and maintain a positive impression throughout the process so that the employer may decided that I was the best and most suitable) but now I must let the recruiter control the parts that only they are ever meant to control.

By consciously doing my best to detach from the outcome, and to focus on my moving 'forward' (which most times I was successful), it came as a unexpected delight when I received news that I was the applicant being offered the job, and it allowed me to feel less crushed when I was advised that I wasn't. Because in my mind, I had already completely moved on from that opportunity, and their call or email only served to 'pull me back to the past' for a short while enabling me to either ask for feedback on how and where I might have gone wrong in my application with them (so I could improve for future opportunities with them), or to calmly make a decision whether to accept the job or not once I had had time to assess if the opportunity and all its terms and conditions was really right for me.

So if you are a jobseeker who has been experiencing great highs and lows in your jobsearch and are finding this eroding your confidence and motivation, try to shift your after-interview attitude, and once you have performed an honest self-evaluation about your performance at that opportunity, don't allow yourself to remain stuck on that one opportunity, and start actively seeking out getting your next interview invite.

Happy, motivated jobsearch, everyone! I need to go and buy a replacement box of tissues; was just glad I was in a meeting with the client when they received the upsetting phone call.


P.S. Over at the top in the right side-bar, I have a Survey going.  Would you mind voting on which Social Media you use in your Jobsearch?

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