Trusted Advice on the Mindset of a Job Search

Mindset of a Job SearchRyan is a Sales and Marketing VP living in Ohio. In his mid-50s, married with two kids, a boy and a girl, a dog named Max, a mortgage, two cars – sounds pretty common, right?

Thirteen months ago, Ryan was laid off by his employer of 12 years.

Unfortunately, it still sounds pretty common.

The crash of 2008 removed the stigma of being laid-off, but that doesn’t change the feelings and challenges one faces when it happens to them. Ryan was no exception. He did good work, was promoted a couple times and was meeting his goals. The company simply needed to slim down and go in a different direction – as all companies do from time to time. Unfortunately, this time Ryan was on the outside looking in. Once he started moving past the feelings of loss, fear, and anger, Ryan turned his attention to his new job – finding a job.

Ryan didn’t want just any job. He wanted the right fit, and he didn’t want to move. Kids in school, family and friends, etc. Understandable, reasonable, and, again, pretty common.

Here’s what wasn’t so common: Ryan’s mindset. Ryan referred to his search in this way:

“This is a sales job. You are selling yourself. Like all sales jobs, it takes a lot of ‘NO’s and dead ends to get that one ‘YES.’ It is just how the process is. Treat every interaction as a form of training to improve your sales pitch about yourself and fine tune what you are looking for. If you just had a bad conversation and didn’t like how you handled it, you will get another chance. It takes practice; just keep plugging! And don’t be too hard on yourself!”

I wish more of our members shared his mindset! It’s exactly the mindset one needs when searching for an executive-level position. At the executive level, not any job will do, and it doesn’t matter how many are out there – you just need one job. It’s going to take a whole lot of preparation, networking, and research to find a fit. Finding a way to keep yourself in a positive mind frame is vital.

In addition to being positive and treating his search like a sales job, Ryan says he wouldn’t have limited the first several months of his search to his local area. Ryan learned there is so much you don’t know behind the curtain of any opportunity! Don’t put too much weight on preconceptions. Explore. You might be surprised how attractive an opportunity might actually be – push yourself to be optimistic and not quick to judgment. At worst, it could be a chance to expand your network and obtain confidence-boosting interviewing practice. Be open-minded and talk to people, even people you don’t think could possibly help you.

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is ExecuNet's president and chief economist. An Arjay Miller Scholar, Mark received his MBA from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Yale University. He joined ExecuNet in 1993, with extensive marketing and new product and business development experience, having served as president and founder of A&M Associates, an investment management firm. Mark's corporate leadership experience includes several senior marketing and financial positions with RCA Global Communications (a GE subsidiary) and American Can Company.

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