There is an incredibly important thing that you need in the interviewing process and to excel in your career that nobody tells you about. Career experts, friends and colleagues offer you their bland, trite, cliché advice about résumés, LinkedIn profiles, networking and how to swiftly scale the ladders of corporate success at your company.
While the suggested basic guidance and practical advice are important to know, it leaves out one paramount piece of information—you need to reset your mindset to believe in yourself and have unstoppable faith that you will achieve your goal. This pertains to both the job hunt and in advancing your career within the company you’re currently working for.
The job search process is brutal. It wrecks your confidence and degrades your self-esteem. You are forced to endure months of continual bad news, doors slammed in your face, uncivil treatment and living in a perpetual state of uncertainty and fear. There's a real tangible concern over what will happen if you don't find a job. How will you pay the mortgage and your kids’ college tuition? Could this be the end of your career?
The key to surviving and thriving in a job search and moving up the ranks at work is to change your inner thoughts and the monologue that runs through your mind. What you absolutely need is a reason why you want to achieve the goal, the ability to absorb all of the body blows and the belief in making something that seems insurmountable totally possible. These things are mental hacks needed to keep you motivated to endure the difficulties of the job hunt or climbing the corporate ladder.
If you have a purpose and a reason as to why you need to do something, you can achieve greatness. It could be simply the fear of not being able to pay the bills, the desire to provide for your family, getting the job that you’ve always wanted, putting all of the time you spent in school and previous dead-end jobs to use and getting a coveted role that you always wanted.
In any endeavor, there will be challenges. You’ll hit dead ends and knock into brick walls. People will treat you shabbily, be dismissive and inconsiderate. A low-caliber person gets the promotion instead of you because he’s the big boss’ nephew. After going on 10 interviews, you wake up excited to attend the final meeting and then receive a terse email saying, “Thank you for your interest in the role. Unfortunately, we went in a different direction. We wish you well.”
When these things happen, you need to have hope. You must rewire your brain to think positively despite everything negative that has happened to you in the past. Visualize yourself in the interview killing it and then see the hiring manager extending her hand to shake yours and congratulate you on being the chosen candidate to get the job. Picture yourself sitting in your seat in the office and working with a big smile on your face.
Sometimes, you have to trick yourself. Think of reasons why your life will dramatically improve. For example, once the elections are over, things will hopefully become normal and hiring could start up again. Will this happen? It seems likely, but not definitive. However, if you believe it, then you have the strength to endure the next few months. If you still don't get a job, then you have to focus on January when the job market picks up again. This little hack gives you a reason to wake up in the morning and fight the good fight to move forward with your job search or advancing in your career.
It's not enough to know the basics of interviewing or advancing within your career. You have to have a strong mental model that makes you impervious to the challenges and obstacles that you confront. The best way to do this is remain positive, upbeat and enthusiastic throughout the journey.
At first, it will seem artificial, but keep trying. Substitute positive thoughts for negative ones. Look at the bright side of every interaction. Constantly remind yourself why you’re doing this. Think of what the end result will look like. View this journey as a brief three-to-six-month test of your character and internal strength. Even if it feels like this arduous journey is taking forever, see yourself as a warrior battling through a relatively short intense period of your life. If you live to 90 years of age, what is six, seven or even 10 tough months? It's a small blip in time compared to your entire lifespan.
Once you are victorious and get that new job or promotion, you won't have to deceive yourself into being confident and courageous. It will now start to flow naturally. The results will speak for themselves. Now, you know that you can beat the odds and succeed at what you want to accomplish. The next time you go after a new seemingly unattainable goal, you will be brimming with confidence. You could look back at your previous victories and say to yourself, “I succeeded against all odds in the past and I can do it again!”