Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? You wake up in the morning and find out your car battery is dead. It throws the whole rhythm of your day off. After the hassle of having to re-schedule an important meeting to deal with your battery, you then are frantically on your way to work. But then it seems that you hit every red light. And it seems every other driver on the road is driving like a turtle. As you curse the drivers in front of you, you get on the highway only to be stuck in a massive traffic jam delaying your trip once again.
All day long it seems the world is against you! Because of that one negative experience in the morning you become ultra-sensitive and stressed and that experience influences everything around you. You become testy to others around you, you make bad decisions based on your bad mood and you ‘just want to be left alone!’
Here’s what I believe.
We will all face adversity of some sort in our life. For the most part, it is minor and temporary, but how we choose to face any adversity can influence the short and long-term outcomes.
Take job hunting.
For most people, job hunting is not something that seems natural. It takes you out of your comfort zone and immediately forces you into activities you are not used to; cold calling, interviewing, selling your skills and experiences and putting your future into the hands of complete strangers! Now, we can approach job hunting with stress, fear and anxiety or we can face it as a fun and interesting adventure and look at it as way for personal growth.
Let me give you an example.
I’ve traveled a lot in my life time.
I’ve traveled with people who are complete freaked out by new cultures and are constantly worried about each day’s agenda. They are worried about the different food, the money, about being robbed, about getting sick from drinking the water. They are convinced that somehow that everyone is plotting against them! And if during their travels, something minor goes wrong, the anxiety of figuring it out is almost paralyzing. They are no fun to travel with because after only a few days, this great trip that has been planned for months is soured by their anxiety and their unwillingness to accept a few hiccups in and instead are constantly complaining, whining, scared and have a constant ‘woe is me’ attitude.
On the other hand, I’ve traveled with people who are completely open-minded and fun and absorb everything around them with wide eyes and curiosity. They enjoy trying new things, are willing to take advice from the locals and look forward to each new day’s experiences. They enjoy eating new food, learning about the culture around them and taking unplanned side trips. They look at little hiccups along the way as the nature of travelling and don’t let minor setbacks define their overall experience. Even when they face adversity in their travels, they don’t fall into a paralyzing morass of fear and stress, but try to find logical solutions to help keep their adventure on track. There is an overall confidence in their approach to travelling that helps them jump out of their comfort zone, take risks and experience and learn new things.
In your job search, how you choose to approach it can also determine the results. Keeping your job-seeking journey with a central focus of positivity and with the curiosity of an adventure will help you remain centered on your ultimate goal of finding work. Yes, there will be disappointments along the way and yes, from time-to-time you will feel alone and will face the normal job-seeking anxieties, stresses, fears and desperation. But when those emotions appear, instead of running home and hiding under the covers, fight through them as normal job-seeking obstacles to overcome and keep pushing forward.
Your overall positivity and confidence will help you focus on your job seeking adventure. If you have a negative experience, you won’t let it define you or the whole journey, but will accept it as a learning experience and move on to the next challenge.