3 “Secrets” To Make Your Job Hunt Less Stressful


Dealing With Job Hunt Emotions Out Of Control

Emotions are the most tricky thing. They can even prevent someone from applying in the first place! I'm going to talk to you here about a couple of ways that you can avoid the emotional “ups and downs” of the job hunt, or avoid losing control of your emotions and going into a deep depression. 

There have been many times in my job where I have been depressed and just wanted the job search to be over. But, I've also had times where I've been really thrilled with my job hunt and, you know, that's when you get the interview, it's when you get the offer.

I want to talk to you about how to manage this whole process because I've seen it, I've just seen it so many times, and ultimately, it comes down to these three things:

-- Process

-- Brand

-- Focus

Having A Real Process

Applying and then just waiting to hear back it’s the extent of most people's job hunt process. Start seeing your job hunt as a process that YOU bring firms through, not you chasing people, but you being in charge of a process, not just you having “one step” (apply and wait). 

“Think about it like that: you might have more than one step.”

Try to think about it as more than one step.

Have you applied and then didn't assume that someone was going to read your application and then you followed up? That was you having a better process. Maybe you followed up with HR, you followed up with people within the firm to network. You followed a process. 

Thinking about the job hunt as a process with each company, and then for each company in that process that you have, you can mark off with steps like following up, sending that email, making that request to connect on LinkedIn. 

“Those can be little quick wins, chunking of the activity and can make your job go a lot better.” 

Now, if that was all we had to do, then, of course, no one would have any trouble in the job hunt at all, and we'd always just be, you know, regular, at ease people in the job hunt, but we know that that is not what happens.

The next thing to think about here is how to make your job hunt less stressful - just get the job faster and how to get a job faster. This has a lot to do with how you position yourself in the job hunt. Most of your “not-hearing-back blues” relate to you having ZERO branding, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Let's go one level deeper here. We've talked about the process, the next thing we want to think about is the branding.

Branding Yourself

The question here is, how are you branding yourself? What is branding?

When I got started, I would go out and talk to people, and my branding was like somebody who is “wanting a job”: I was basically branding myself like this: “I want a job. Hi, I'm looking for a job,”. Looking around, it was my psychology to see something that people have (a job) THAT I WANT. It took me a while to fix this. If you are branding yourself that way, too,  that's going to affect your job hunt results and how long it takes. Here's an alternative: position yourself as a problem solver

“Somebody wanting a job VS Problem Solver”

When you're reaching out to people, you're reaching out about your interest in helping them solve their problems. You have a passion and a dedication to that type of work and to solving problems in that area. 

Who would you rather interact with? If I was networking with you, would you rather see me as somebody who's looking for a job or would you rather see me as someone looking to solve my problem, too,  engaged with a similar topic that you are looking to solve problems in and help you out?

You'd probably be more receptive to the second one. Right? 

That’s number two - how are you branding yourself in your job hunt?  Brand yourself as a problem solver and that'll help you a lot. Your job hunt anxiety won’t disappear, but that energy will be directed in a more productive way. 

If you add having a process to being a problem solver, now you're really moving forward. But you may still be stuck on how to actually build up momentum and win.

Having a Focus

Important! For those of you with a lot of experience out there, you already have a job hunt focus and you're sticking with that focus. Great, stick with that focus, or now decide to own that. 

For those of you who are new to the job hunt, just starting or still a student, it’s going to sound strange, but firms just don’t care that you want a job. That’s not their business. They’re looking for the right fit. You can save a lot of time, stress, and upset by showing up as a fit.

To do that, decide the particular industry where you want to work, and a particular sub-industry. Then the problems firms have will be revealed to you. Stick with that ONE DIRECTION.

“Stick with that ONE DIRECTION. You don’t have to marry it for life, but it’s easier this way to get one truly amazing job than to try to go out and get <<just any job>>.”

An example… If you're thinking about doing analytics, you can think about doing business analytics, but the truth is that it's really hard to conduct that kind of job hunt because there's no focus there - EVERY FIRM needs business analytics support! 

In these types of cases, it's really hard to know what problem to solve because you're facing all problems. Evolve into a more focused job hunter - for example, the person who wants to do business analytics in media entertainment or the person who wants to do growth analytics for sports marketing firms. In The Career Accelerator, we call this process “evolving your focus”. 

“If you find a focus, you can actually touch the problems that those firms face. At that point, you have a lens that focuses, and now you can understand the types of problems that you can help solve.”

Another example: you might be interested in finance or consulting. Those are entirely different job hunts, so bring focus into your job hunt. You might not have that focus, and the simple way to do, it’s just to pick one.

I was stuck in that “finance OR consulting” trap for quite a long time as a student (I just wanted to get to Asia to propose to my S.O. and honestly I didn’t care how I got there at the time). 

Be specific, do some research, talk to people, figure out if you're on the fence about analytics or finance, talk to more people. When people just join Career Accelerator for the first time, we go through a process called “playing 20 questions” with other industry professionals to whom we are introduced. That dials in your focus. In turn, that makes your resume and cover letter content much more valuable.

Conclusion About Managing Job Hunt Emotions

The reality is that we are told to manage our emotions by getting exercise, sleep, and time to relax/take breaks. We may be doing that and STILL NONE OF IT IS WORKING.  

For your own mental health, have a process, position yourself as a problem solver, and then have a specific focus. That’s going to help you immensely in your job hunt. You could eat hamburgers all day, never exercise and STILL feel much better about your job hunt if you did this. 

Now, it won't be the case anymore that you're applying one day to THIS type of job and then another day to THAT type of job. You’ll start to understand that the people in these firms are very specific about what types of problems they're looking to solve. You will get on the same page with them / that same wavelength.

You may have issues that remain with your poise, confidence, and body language. Those are fixed through repetition and feedback with a coach or mentor. 

“Part of the beauty of focus is that every conversation you have builds upon the last. You get this really fantastic compounding effect where every step you take builds on the prior.”

You can become an expert in your area just by having researched it enough. If you stayed in that one area, even though you don't actually have to have any experience, you can become an expert just by conducting the research. 

Don't worry about not having any experience! Because you have a focus and a process, all you need to do is add the energy into the system.

Don't think of this as just applying and waiting to hear back, think of all the other steps you can take, and when you recognize them, when you take those extra steps, you convey a brand that is focused on problem-solving.

No brand? That focus helps you develop the brand that resonates with that particular audience. You don't have time to apply everywhere and do your job hunting half-well (poorly) as I did.

I struggled with that a lot - to know if I wanted to do consulting or finance. I had to narrow it down and that's when I had my success. Before that time, I really struggled and I guess there was just kind of one last point that I would leave you with. 


What metrics are you using? Are you trying to just maximize the number of applications? Maximizing the number of applications sent? It might give you a good feeling, but after a while, it won't feel so good because no one's responding. 

The better metric to follow our track is the number of conversations you're having. How many conversations are you having with the people in your choice of industry (focus) where you're branding yourself as a problem solver? 

That's part of the process. If you can add that last piece - proper metrics - then I think you're going to be really happy and you're going to be able to manage your emotions much more effectively. 

You're going to know that just because you've had an interview, that doesn't mean your work is over. I used to stop my job hunt anytime I got an interview and then that put me on this emotional roller coaster. 

When I get an interview in the first round, I may not pass the second round. If I don’t, then I have to start over trying to apply more and get more interviews on the calendar. Rather than live “interview-to-interview”, keep applying, keep networking, keep this going, up until you get that offer - that's a shout-out to having a good process. 

These were a couple of BLOCKBUSTER tips on how to maintain your emotions and not lose control during the job hunt, and again, going beyond eating, sleeping, and exercise. Do these other three things and you will be super happy with the outcome. 

Now, I help international students and all college graduates with interviews and offers, so if you're an undergrad or graduate student and you're looking for an opportunity to break into an industry -  that's where I have a lot of passion to serve, that's where I struggled a lot and through the struggle, I figured out some things that can drastically save people's changed people's lives and save them years of time. In short, it’s called the StuartSystem™. In all my courses and programs you’ll see that system at work.


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