What I’m Learning on the Job Hunt Part 2: Finding “ME” In the Job Search

Yesterday I posted about getting past comfort and complacency in job searching by taking charge and getting out there.  Well part of taking charge of my job search was making my search “me”.

Here are some words I use to describe myself in my cover letter:

  • Organized
  • Detail-oriented
  • Relational
  • Strengths-Based
  • Team-oriented
  • Creative

Until a month ago, I would have described my job search as:

  • Disorganized
  • Haphazard
  • Lonely
  • Discouraging
  • My responsibility
  • Uninspired

Well, no wonder it’s been such a frustrating process!  I haven’t been “me” for most of the search.  This realization that I needed to take charge of the job search process by making it fit my personality and strengths was a critical turning point for me.

I went out and bought matching notebooks and folders in which to organize my notes and resumes.  I created multiple spreadsheets with contact information.  I even created a color-coated visual aid.  While to some, these efforts might seem wasted, they aren’t because they make me feel like myself – the hyper organized, color coated individual that I am.

I also have been talking with more people, setting up more networking meetings, and sharing with friends my struggles to find a job because I am relational. Bringing others into my struggles, frustrations, and successes has been critical to me feeling like me in this process, as well.

Lastly, I’ve been working on staying positive.  I’m pretty good at being strengths-based when it involves others’ lives (I don’t mean to keep pulling the social worker card but…), but I struggle to find the silver lining in my own struggles.  Through this job search, I’ve moved from a place of hopefulness to skepticism.  Rather than getting excited about a new prospect or a positive call back, I’ve shifted to not wanting to get my hopes up so I’m not disappointed.  It only takes a few “You didn’t get the job” calls and subsequent bawl-your-eyes-out sessions to convert an optimist to a pessimist.  But I’ve decided to open myself back up to hope and excitement as well as the prospect of heartbreak.  And it’s ok, because I want to be me in this process.

So, what about you, fellow job seekers (past and present): How have you made your search more “you” by making it mesh with your personality and strengths?

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