If only I knew what I wanted to do

If only the job application process was different

If only they would give me a chance

If only there were more jobs available

I’ve heard all of these if onlys from job seekers and disillusioned employees. It’s tough finding and applying for a job or a career that is right for you. Investing the time and energy needed is almost a full-time job in itself. Here are 4 ways of being your own mindset coach:

Be honest with yourself

Einstein - mistakesAre any of your personal if onlys really about a fear (I might fail, I’m safer here), a lack of skills (I don’t know how to network), a self-limiting belief (I don’t think I can do this job because…), your heart speaking to your head (I’m not sure I want this) or lack of knowledge (I don’t know where to find a job, I don’t understand LinkedIn or Twitter)?

What do you know to be true? If untrue, now what will you do? When?

Explore what you can and can’t control

Working out what direction to go in is something you can choose. The process an organisation uses to recruit people is not within your gift. Comply or don’t apply. How you position yourself beforehand with that business is within your control. What can you influence? Take responsibility and ownership for the things within your power.

Check your assumptions

Your perception of the availability of jobs might be based on where you look. If that’s simply online job boards, you’re missing out on the vast majority of hidden jobs that are not advertised. You might not recognise your strengths, the skills and attitudes you can offer an employer or how to identify the relevant stories from your experience that shows an employer your proven ability and potential. Get feedback from people who know you well and support from a coach, a mentor and specialists on careers, CVs, recruiters etc.

Reframe your if only to a what if

Changing your mindset from resignation to possibility means being non-judgemental and being compassionate with yourself. A different perspective on things can release your personal energy and create momentum. For example, what if you knew you couldn’t fail, what bold steps would you choose? What if you apply for this job, what will you gain from the experience? What if you succeed? What if you turned how you like to play into work like these people? What if you turned rejection to your advantage?Einstein - play

Another way of reframing is to reverse your thinking. What if you gave yourself a chance, rather than waiting to be given one? What if, instead of looking for a needle in a haystack (job boards), you become a magnet for that needle by developing your online professional presence? Get targeted alerts straight to your inbox. Connect (what if I go for coffee with that person?). Engage (what if I wrote a blog about an issue important to that employer?). Become visible (what if I attend that event where those employers will be?). Be found. Create opportunities.

I like Albert Einstein, in case you missed that…