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Fearless Job Hunting: How to Persist and Progress in Tough Times

Fearless Job Hunting: How to Persist and Progress in Tough Times
Credit: Ollyy/Shutterstock

Searching for a job, especially when you are without one, can take a mental toll.

Whether its not finding jobs to apply for, not being called in for interviews, or not getting offers after meeting with potential employers, it's often difficult to stay positive when trying to find a job.

Being able to keep moving in the right direction when things aren't going your way requires having the right attitude and frame of mind, said Bill Knaus, a licensed clinical psychologist and author of more than 20 books, including "Fearless Job Hunting: Powerful Psychological Strategies for Getting the Job You Want" (New Harbinger Publications, 2010).

Having the proper mindset is partially based on the principles of persistence and adaption, Knaus said. The key is figuring out the best ways to get started, staying on track and being persistent. He said that starts by first accepting that the search for a job will likely be a hard road to hoe.

"You accept ­– not necessarily like ­– that a job search is a process that's going to involve challenges on the path to securing a desired work opportunity," Knaus told Business News Daily.

When starting out, job seekers need to ensure they are setting themselves up for success by writing résumés, networking, researching organizations and preparing for interviews, Knaus said. Then they must stay the course as the process continues and sometimes drags on.

"You persist, persist, persist by looking at your job search as a full-time/double-time challenge," Knaus said.

As job hunters progress, they must adapt and make adjustments where needed, according to Knaus. [3 Million Resumes Reveal the Formula for Getting the Job You Want ]

"That means objectively observing what you do, how others react, and doing more of what seems effective and less of what isn’t, such as handwringing, resentment, procrastination and standard errors," he said.

Adaptation includes doing more of what appears encouraging and productive, but also less of what is sabotaging, Knaus said.

"A deficit mindset involves absorbing yourself in self-defeating thoughts, such as the search is too hard, it would be horrible if I fail, I can’t stand the inconvenience, people should select me because I am me, if I don't get a job immediately I'll be financially ruined," Knaus said. "The lists of side-tracking thoughts [can] ramble on."

Since job seekers can't simply wave a magic wand to make self-defeating thoughts vanish, it is important to accept their existence, view them as transitory, and take corrective actions by questioning their validity as the search continues, Knaus said. As a byproduct, job hunters are more likely to achieve a growing sense of self-efficacy, which is a belief that they can organize, regulate and advance their self-interest through the productive actions they take.

"Self-efficacy is associated with higher levels of positive mental health, less stress and distress, and higher levels of accomplishment," Knaus said  "Practice self-efficacy thinking and behaving and this increases your chances of getting a job and keeping the one that you get."

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.