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Job Search and Motivation: a study in contrasts

When you are unhappy, do you present yourself well?  When you have been stressed at work, do you perform well?  When you are out of work, are you relaxed and cheerful?

There are very few times in our days of ‘working for a living’ when we are not all under a little stress and, possibly, actively looking for something that is a “BBD” (Bigger, Better Deal).  And, of course, one of my signature questions is:

“When do you stop looking?” where my answer is always …..


wait for it….



We should never stop looking for our next new opportunity, because the only ones you and I know are going to take care of our careers, professional evolution/development, and paychecks are: Ourselves!

So, what can you do for yourself when you are DOWN and upset about a lack of progress in that Job Search process?

Remember the question in that one Batman movie: “Why do we fail?  So that we can get up and try again!”  But, HOW can we pick ourselves up when we have been knocked down more than we think is our share?


Do you have a list of the things you are good at?  Do you keep a list of skills that you have?  Can you talk about yourself in terms of the value of the items on these lists?

Each of us needs to have these lists AND needs to review these lists and remind ourselves, every day, about why we wrote the items on these lists and how we have PROOF that we are really good at these things.

Ask yourself and do the following:

  • What would your best, most loyal, fan, family member, relative, friend and/or co-worker say are your best skills?  We all know that we have some folks who do appreciate what we can do.  WRITE THESE DOWN in a 1 or 2 page document!  If you can’t remember (because your aren’t letting yourself), go ask them to tell you!

  • What would another of your best and most loyal fan/co-worker(s) say are your best Attributes (integrity, reliability, quality of results, etc.)?  WRITE THESE DOWN on a separate page in that document we mentioned.
  • How many people do you already know who have given you feedback on the attributes and skills you have that they think are really great, noteworthy, good ABOUT YOU!?
  • Expand these lists from what these people, all of them, would say about you.
  • DO NOT make these lists all in one sitting and expect that you have exhausted your list of people, attributes, and skills.  Be prepared to revisit this exercise and add/revise it on occasion for the foreseeable future.

    READ a different item off this list every day until you get to the end and THINK about what you KNOW you have done that supports this claim, for each item every day.  Give yourself about two full minutes to THINK about your one selected item for each day and remind yourself  that you really can do this thing (whichever item it is: attribute, skill, feature) and calmly give yourself recognition that you can do this and lots of other thing

  • Then, with a strong but, perhaps, quiet voice, say out loud, the following mantra:

    I CAN Do this;     I HAVE Done this;     I WILL Do this again!

Now get back to that Job Search, ’cause the folks who haven’t met you yet are in dire need to do so!


PS: Once a month (or more often, if you want to), add things to your list of items to review each day!  Surprise yourself about just how good you really are!



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