During this crisis, the way we react and our ability to adapt in this uncertain environment and to deal with difficulties will make all the difference and be decisive for our future. Everyone in their own way, regardless of their age, will be faced with situations in which they have to make choices without necessarily knowing straightaway what the "good" or "bad" choices are.
At work, in recent months, all this disruption to everyday life (lockdown, sudden teleworking, home schooling) has helped promote new 'soft skills' but also new expectations within organisations.
Therefore, if you are looking for new career opportunities, one of the main pitfalls is thinking that what brought you success in the past will also be the key to success in the future...
So what approach should you take and how should you proceed? Here are a few tips...
Take time to mourn
Some people approach their job search with a lack of motivation, loss of meaning and with their confidence at a low ebb. They feel vulnerable and have a real fear of the future.
If you have lost your job, you will almost inevitably go through several phases that will vary in intensity and last for a variable length of time depending on what they are: shock, denial, anger, sadness, resignation, acceptance and reconstruction ... (inspired from the Elisabeth Kubler Ross model). These stages are related to the phenomena of rupture and should not be brushed aside, but should be consciously and sympathetically welcomed...
To be effective, take care of yourself, take the time to build yourself back up, find your balance and recharge your batteries before launching yourself headlong into the search for a new job.
Focus on the professional you
In a previous newsletter, we advised you to take advantage of having time on your hands to improve your self-knowledge, conduct your own career appraisal, make a career plan, update your tools (CV and cover letter), define your targets, use your network and make continuous learning a priority to improve your employability, etc. This advice is essential and still relevant!
Have a positive mindset
Your state of mind during this time is going to be more important than what you do. You can take action but if you don't have the right attitude to go with it you won’t make a convincing case.
Developing a winning mindset, adopting a positive attitude and channelling your energy (in spite of the situation!) are key factors for success. This way, you will give recruiters the impression of a person capable of adapting, brave enough to overcome difficulties and able to stay motivated in a difficult situation, which is what they need the most at the moment!
Learn to deal with your frustrations
It is quite possible (in fact it’s almost a certainty) that this job search won’t go the way you expected and, therefore, frustrations may arise. Learn to manage your emotions by letting go of a desire to be in control of matters where you have no influence. Likewise, viewing negative feedback or silence in response to applications as part of the game will help you better accept them and save you from an emotional roller coaster.
Take a short-term view
Whether it’s in your career or personal life, the long-term vision that makes it possible to define your goals is shattered during a crisis or in uncertain times by being called into question or by changes that require successive - and sometimes even contradictory - readjustments… Rather than setting an overall goal, be modest, set yourself 'mini goals' that are more realistic in the context.
Adopting a “short-termist" viewpoint is a way of making sense of uncertainty. It's like beginning a jigsaw puzzle without being able to see what the final image should look like. But does it stop you from starting the puzzle? No.
Do you have talents and strengths and other assets that you could capitalise on in new ways? Be creative! Explore more promising avenues or new areas where the resources needed are tangible. No recruiter will blame you for reinventing yourself for even a short period of your life. If you already believe in yourself, you will be able to convince them to value your ability to dare to step out of your comfort zone. Isn't that what’s expected in times of crisis?
Think in terms of mission rather than role
In companies, the crisis has led to a change: the mission takes precedence over the role ... Some people have been able to slot into an operational mission, an ad hoc reinforcement, expert support etc.
How could this approach work for you? Think, where could you be helpful? If you already have an idea, don't hesitate, go for it and offer your services!
The crisis has forced us into new ways of working, interacting and making contacts. For people looking for a new professional challenge it can provide a springboard and an opportunity for personal development and a realignment.
You can see that there’s no magic solution, it’s about being in a state of mind that will allow you to proceed with an awareness, consistency and autonomy when confronted with new situations you encounter along the way.
Add confidence and "good vibes" and you will make all the difference!