Job search is scary and depressing and you need to get over it

Job search is scary. Every age you ever were is still inside of youJob search is scary! Every age you ever were is still inside of you. And many of those ages will come out to play when you find yourself looking for your next job. It doesn’t matter if you are a senior manager or VP or just looking for your very first job. When we first start out, there really are 1 million of us with the same level of skills. And interviewing is just as terrifying as meeting your date’s parents or defending your thesis.

Dealing with the fear and what feels like attacks on our self-esteem is the hardest part of job search. We each need to remember that we are each unique. No one else has had your experience, has developed your skills, or even your point of view. The process of job search is simply one of finding the companies that need to who we really are, in all of our uniqueness.

No one will give us a job simply because we need one. Companies only hire when they have a problem they cannot solve with the people they already pay. But all companies have some problem. The person who is trying to do their own job plus solve the problem will know long before the hiring manager does that someone needs to be hired. When the project doesn’t get completed or the problem is not solved or the endpoints are not reached, then the hiring manager will say, “Dang! We need to hire someone. Who do we know?” So you need to be known by the people who are trying to solve the problems you want to solve.

This is a different kind of scary. Rather than waiting to be chosen, you need to be the one inviting a girl to dance. Back in junior high school the girls were already to be chosen, but the boys were too afraid to choose. It was not that they did not know whom they wanted to dance with. They certainly did have a choice. They knew they wanted to dance the blonde or the brunette or the girl who smiled at them in math class, but they were unsure and scared and didn’t know how to ask. Never mind, know how to dance.

This kind of fear is very different from knowing who you want to meet and how you want to meet them and how to put yourself out there.  Some people are not afraid of being asked or waiting to be asked. Their fear then becomes one of running out of money in the bank. But it is scarier for them to meet new people, to ask to be introduced.

So how can we defuse the fear and the depression and the attack on our self-esteem?  

We can be proactive. We can get out there and do something. One of the things that people frequently say about dating is go do something you love; go volunteer; go join a hiking group whatever. And you will meet somebody.

It’s kind of the same thing in a job search but you want to network in places where it’s professional and where you’re expecting to meet people who are in your industry. Now that takes some qualification.

If you like hiking, joining a hiking group is good for you but if what you really want to do is act, hiking probably won’t help find an actor. Again if you want a job in one particular area of the biosciences industry, then you need to find out where the people in that particular area meet, get together, hang out, are in communities and groups online or off and be there. 

Volunteer, approve of other people’s posts, join in the conversation, contribute, give and give and give and give before you ask.

Networking is when you give something that doesn’t cost you much to get something you value and the other person is doing the same thing. They’re giving something that doesn’t cost that much. They enjoy giving. They’re getting that enjoyment.

So where can you network and work, where are you least afraid, and where are you most comfortable connecting with people in your industry?


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