Have you ever noticed that the moment you stop looking for something, you find it?
Your keys, your phone, the elusive shopping-list item at your local grocer, or even the love of your life. Sometimes, they seemingly appear out of nowhere at the moment you stop the search itself.
Of course, this applies to the job search as well.
There's a familiar saying that goes, "Dance like no one is watching and sing like no one is listening." Most people are fairly confident when they don't perceive that an audience is judging them, and that confidence is quite attractive. You can use this same mentality for your job search (or non-job search, if you will) by remembering these few suggestions:
Let your next job find you by being the best at what you do. And let your reputation bring those looking for people with your unique talent to you.
Play hard-to-get by being nonchalant about job offers that do come your way. Soon you'll be seen as a challenge, and the competition to hire you will heat up.
Agree to interviews before you need a job. This puts you in a position of power that increases your attractiveness.
Use social media to organically trumpet your value. If leveraged well and with humility and genuineness, your social media network will actually do the trumpeting for you. This helps grow career visibility and sustainability ahead of your next job search.
Volunteer. This tip is a "regular" in career strategy posts, and with good reason. Volunteer strategically, where influencers and decision-makers in your career arena assemble. Provide extraordinary commitment and value to that organization. Offer to chair or participate on a committee that showcases your industry or job expertise, and then simply "do what you do, and do it well." You'll naturally get known versus having to overly sell yourself.
Offer to help small and/or up-and-coming business owners. Research localized business journals and other news resources reporting on small businesses that are expanding their operations. Reach out before the hiring begins. Articulate your unique solutions to help them cultivate their new shoots of growth. You're a masterful salesperson? Explain how you can assist during their first 90 days of operation at their new branch. Pinpoint two to three actionable steps you'll take to help ease their transition. You're not looking for a job; you're offering a solution to ambitious but often over-committed entrepreneurs who are hungry for help.
Give yourself a break. Things have a way of working themselves out when they're given enough room. Stressing and beating yourself up every minute will only serve to make things seem worse than they are. This will in no way improve your chance at success.
Think back to the last time you lost something important. How did you feel? Nervous? Anxious? Desperate? All of the above and a few more that can't be described?
Is it any wonder that the lost item was hard to spot when you were blinded by so many emotions? At that point you were barely functioning. Humans who are barely functioning do not tend to be great job prospects.
Give up looking for a job entirely. Take a break from any and all activities related to your job search. The perspectives you gain during this time will more than make up for any perceived time loss.
Take a step back and breathe deeply. The job search battle is yours to win or lose. Exuding confidence is the surest way to help win this important battle.
Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, chief career writer and partner with CareerTrend, and is one of only 28 Master Resume Writers (MRW) globally. Jacqui and her husband, "Sailor Rob," host a lively careers-focused blog at http://careertrend.net/blog. Jacqui is a power Twitter user (@ValueIntoWords), listed on several "Best People to Follow" lists for job seekers.