When a cat goes hunting for a mouse, nothing can stop it once it smells the scent. That’s the same attitude you need for a successful job search. Wanting a new job is the driving force. And armed with that determination and animal resilience, the job hunt is on!
Job hunt success secrets of the “hunter cat”
Look … I know not everyone likes cats. And this may seem like a strange way to talk about how to do job search. But after I thought about it for a while, I found some hopefully good ways to help you remember things that can really matter in your own job hunt!
• A cat knows what it wants – The most important thing in job search (apart from knowing who you are) is knowing what you want. A cat knows that instinctively: “I want to sit on your lap NOW.” But you can help yourself figure out what it is that YOU want.
• A cat isn’t worried about what others think – Job search can eat at your very soul. Even for the most confident of us, we begin to question what we’re doing and even how good we are. And we begin to give way too much power to what others think. Do whatever you can to bolster your self-esteem, including finding job search support groups, caring coaches and others who will be there for you.
• A cat keeps trying … nothing stops a cat when it wants something – My cat gets an idea in her head and, even if I try to divert her, you just can’t stop her from circling around to get what she really wants. It’s that single-mindedness that can help you get to your goal – even if things get in the way at times to divert you.
• A cat does its research … it watches and learns – When a cat is stalking its prey, it “researches” the situation. And learns what works and what doesn’t. The same is true for job seekers. Find out everything you can about a company before an interview – and even before you apply, so you can target your resume and cover letter. The same is true for techniques you’re using; if they don’t work, think of it as research and move on. The better your research, the more likely you’ll catch your mouse!
• A cat stalks its prey – Cats know that the mouse won’t come to them. So they go after it. A job seeker can’t just wait for jobs to show up on job boards. A successful job search means that you need to go after the jobs! And that includes networking, even if you’re a little shy.
• A cat waits – Ah! The art of patience. A cat waits until it’s time to do something – and when the time is right, they act. A good job seeker has to know when to take action, and when they need to step back and just wait. As in after a job interview when you haven’t heard back yet.
• A cat knows how to be in the moment, no matter what happened before – A lot of things can go wrong during your job hunt. And there can be situations that make you want to scream. But when you are networking or in that interview room, be fully present and thinking about all you are – and where you want to go. Don’t let feelings from the past get in your way.
• A cat knows how to make itself welcome and wanted – No matter how talented you are, to get the job, your potential employer has to like you and want to work with you. You don’t have to sit on anyone’s lap or purr (in fact I strongly recommend you don’t), but do your best to just be yourself. The one people enjoy being around. Not someone trying to be something more or different. That includes finding ways to make a good impression with everyone in the interview process.
• A cat knows how to cover up its own mess – If you make a mistake, even without a litter box, sometimes you just have to cover it over mentally and move on. Like when you have a bad interview. Or feel uncomfortable the first few times you try networking. (Learning to network really can help.) Or get negative “support” from family or friends. Learn to not carry it around with you. Job search is about accenting the positive, both inside and out. If the image of burying the bad feelings in a litter box helps, by all mean use it – I mean the image, not the litter box!
• A cat knows how to show gratitude and say thank you – When my cat wants to thank me, she rubs against my legs or nuzzles my face. (Again, please don’t do that with potential employers.) But thank you notes after an interview or to people you networked with or had informational interviews with are very important. And if you feel an interview went badly (hard to know how an interview actually went), think about writing a well-written thank you note that may even help turn things around. At the very least, it leaves a good impression in case there’s a next time.
Good luck with your job hunt!
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