Job Seeker: Watch Your Words

Job Seeker: Watch Your Words image Job Seeker Watch Your WordsJob Seeker Watch Your WordsThat light up ahead…

Could it be the light at the end of the tunnel? Could it be the train? The answer is in your thoughts. How is your thinking these days?

As a job seeker, there are days when the sun is just beaming through. When landing that interview, hearing that “they” want you, getting calls and emails from recruiters after almost a year of silence…the sun cannot shine much brighter.

And there are days when you just know that light is the train, bearing down on you with relentless intensity of purpose.

Whether you just hit the job market or are seriously considering adding “Professional Submitter” to your résumé, know this: how you think, what you tell yourself internally and aloud, and the words you choose, all have far-reaching effects.

Watty Piper’s story of “The Little Engine That Could” is a great example of the power of words in shaping outcomes. “I think I can!” When faced with the seemingly insurmountable task of climbing the mountain, the locomotive dug deep and found the necessary tools for success. For job seekers, tools for job searching are a large part of that mountain climb. Another key piece is self-talk.

Words…they cut like a knife…

Think about your job hunt. Think of it like something in a store, something you are thinking about buying. How often do you say to yourself, even as you walk across the threshold, “Well, it’s just useless to look. Nothing I want is ever in stock, and it will just tick me off.” And, poof! Nothing is in stock, nothing is right, nothing fits, etc.

The energy thrown out is negative, so the results are negative. Flip that back around to the job hunt. “Well, it’s just useless. I’ve sent out umpteen resumes and no one is responding. I’m too [pick your favorite negative] and I’ll never get the job I want.” Negative energy yields negative results. I speak from experience…a lot of it.

Words are amazing. That little locomotive used them to his advantage…why can’t you? Pay attention to what your inner voice is prattling on about. Is it giving power to the train at the tunnel’s end, or the light of moving forward?

Flipping the script

When the inner voice gets bitter and negative…and it will…acknowledge that pain and frustration, but do not buy into it. You are more than that inner voice. Flip the self-talk from “I will never get past this and I will never find the right job!” to “I can get past this and I deserve the best possible job available!”

Do the same exercise for any and all negative thoughts that run amok in your mind. If that inner negative makes it out of your mouth, follow it up with something like, “But that is the past. My future is awesome.” Do not use “will be” or “shall” or “might”…use the strength of present tense verbs.

Reading encouraging, positive blog posts by like-minded people..posts that support your “I know I can” attitude…is another way to re-train your inner dialogue to be a tool you can use in your favor.

My story

You see, I speak/write from experience. My last day of gainful employment in 2012 was March 30th. I did not even realize I was sinking into the “Pit of Despair” until serendipity put me in a situation where my negatives-spewing shadow voice was exposed. By no means did I flip my script overnight…but when it flipped, recruiters started calling me…for jobs I hadn’t even seen online..and God knows I’d been looking.

I spend a few minutes each day being thankful for whatever crosses my mind at the time, and a few more minutes adjusting my verbs from future tense to present. It’s not an easy task, so don’t get frustrated when you have bad days and nothing comes out positive…just move on to the next day and keep trying.

Thanks to The Library of Congress for the great photo via Flickr

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