13 Habits of Mentally Strong Job Seekers

  • They are confident.
  • They set boundaries and stick to them.
  • They have leadership qualities.
  • They get up when knocked down.

It can be challenging looking for a job, but with the right tips, you can get an edge up. Are you mentally strong? Or do you need a little help to stiffen your upper lip?

Have you ever noticed the difference between somebody who stands up tall and speaks clearly while making eye contact versus someone who has trouble looking at you while speaking, rounds their shoulders down, and speaks quietly? Now, imagine you’re the hiring manager of a company – which of those potential employees would make you feel confident that they can handle the job? Whether we want to admit it or not, our words and actions, especially body language can say more then we’d like them to.

One of the most important things you can do is to set goals for yourself.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the habits of mentally strong people and see how that can relate to job interviews.

What do mentally strong job seekers do?

1.      They set goals and know what they want out of the job and interview process. One of the most important things you can do is to set goals for yourself. Knowing what you want to achieve helps you create a strategy to get there. If you want to work for a specific kind of company, or in a specific type of position, you’d make sure that it’s on your list of goals. Now, there’s room for flexibility obviously, but when you know what goals matter to you, it makes it easier to say yes or no to opportunities.

2.      They set boundaries and stick to those boundaries. Boundaries are vital when it comes to personal strength and well-being. Whether those boundaries have to do with work environments, the amount of time you’re willing to be contacted off-hours, or to simply refuse to be treated as less than you are or spoken to in a degrading way, such as being called an unprofessional nickname like dear, sweetheart, or doll. You are a professional. Don’t settle for anything less. When it comes to setting boundaries, that’s the easy part. Sticking to them can be tricky, but for the best, healthiest work relationships it’s crucial to stick with the boundaries you’ve set.

3.     They get back up when knocked down and aren’t afraid of making mistakes. Failures and making mistakes often cause people to freeze up. The fear of embarrassing our self or worrying about what others might think is a big reason so many people are afraid of changes. What if I don’t know enough? What if I’m not good enough? What if I can’t keep up? We plague ourselves with doubt. Strong people embrace mistakes, learn from them, and get back up.

4.    They will wait for gratification by making the right choices in the right circumstance. Many people will snap up the first opportunity that comes along, even if it’s not the right one for them. They worry another won’t appear. A mentally strong person recognizes if something is a good fit for them, and reacts based on what’s right for them, and not out of fear.

5.     They harness a good control of emotions. Ever been offended? How did you react? Those quick overreactions say a lot about someone. Learning to control your emotions, taking a breath, and thinking before responding to somebody is the smart way to respond in a situation that might make you feel uncomfortable. Whether good or bad, a mentally strong person has good control of their emotions and isn’t reactive.

6.    They trust their instincts and understand their intuition. Do you trust yourself? Mentally strong people do. They recognize that little voice that says something isn’t the right fit, or the potential employer interviewing them might be extremely difficult to work for. They know it would be a mistake to take the position. They also trust that something could be right, even if at the surface level it doesn’t tick all their boxes. Maybe they see a potential for growth. Either way, they’ve learned to trust themselves.

7.     They have leadership qualities and recognize that about themselves. Leadership qualities along with other soft skills like critical thinking are things that are valued and come across during interviews. They aren’t afraid to lead, because they trust themselves, have confidence in their skills, and aren’t afraid to ask questions if they need clarification. They aren’t afraid to try something that might be out of their comfort zone. They try it anyway.

8.    They stand behind their choices. Aligning with their values makes standing behind their choices easy. People who are mentally strong know what they believe in, what they value, and don’t waver. They can stand behind their choices because they don’t put themselves in circumstances that will force them to do something that simply doesn’t feel right.

9.    They are confident when it comes to their choices. Confidence shows in both the way you speak, along with your body language. When it comes to confidence, it’s something that others recognize right away. When you’re working with a confident person, you don’t have to worry about being in it all alone because you know the other person has your back and can handle their end of the workload. People put faith in confident people.

10.   They can say no. Have you ever felt like a doormat? Have you said yes to something and picked up extra work when you know you should have said no or charged more? A mentally strong person understands their value and can say no when it’s appropriate. People worry they won’t be “nice” if they say no, but this isn’t about being nice. It’s about knowing your value. Don’t let people step on you.

11.   They aren’t afraid of change, and can embrace that while something will be different, they know they’ll be able to adapt. Change scares a lot of people. It’s the unknown. We like being comfortable with things we know. When applying for jobs and interviewing, you need to be willing to look at potential opportunities and growth. Stagnancy isn’t good for anybody. Change can be wonderful and help you thrive. It expands your knowledge, gives you a new perspective, and helps you enhance your value as an employee. Don’t be afraid of change. Mentally strong people accept that change means things might be different, but they’ll adapt and figure it out as they go.

12.  They prepare themselves by knowing what they’re going into. That means, research the company and learn as much as you can about the position. This way you can anticipate what they might be looking for in the specific position. They don’t wait to be told. They seek out answers first.

13. They ask well-thought-out questions and show how they’re valuable to the company they’re applying to. Rather than leaving the company feeling like it’s doing you a favor by taking you on, they show they’re value. By showing your expertise, your vast experience, and knowledge they’ll see you’re an asset to their business. A mentally strong person makes it clear they are a valuable person worth hiring. In this circumstance, the hiring manager recognizes that they stand out above the other applicants.

Having the right mindset can make all the difference in how you approach a job, as well as how the other person sees you. Projecting confidence, knowledge, and virtue is a great way to let the hiring manager know what you’ll bring to the team.

By showing your expertise, your vast experience, and knowledge they’ll see you’re an asset to their business.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have to look for work in normal circumstances. Today, there are even bigger challenges and more competition. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t land the job you’re after.

By taking the time to give yourself the best chance, learning what you can about the company, working on your confidence, and visualizing yourself being where you want to be, you’ll be able to help shift your mindset and come out stronger.

Let’s do a quick recap. Here are the things that mentally strong people do when it comes to seeking out a job and going to interviews:

  • They set goals and know what they want
  • They set boundaries and stick to them
  • They get up when knocked down
  • They willingly wait for gratification
  • They harness their emotions with solid control
  • They trust their instincts
  • They have leadership qualities
  • They stand behind their choices
  • They are confident
  • They know how to say no
  • They aren’t afraid of change
  • They are prepared
  • They ask well-thought-out questions

Where can you strengthen yourself? Is there something that you find yourself lacking in? Focus on one or two areas and build your mental toughness one step at a time. There’s no reason you can’t land that job. You’ve got this! First, you need to believe in yourself. We believe in you. That you’re here reading this article means that you’re ready to jump in with both feet. Great job!

Adapted from the book Mentally Strong Job Seeker by Robert Moment.

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Robert Moment

Robert Moment is an experienced and highly skilled ICF Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author of the book , High Emotional Intelligence for Managers. Robert specializes in developing managers, executives and employees to achieve high emotional intelligence for peak performance and success.   Robert is Certified to deliver The Social + Emotional Intelligence Profile-Self (SEIP) ® Assessment, the most comprehensive, scientifically validated, and statistically reliable instrument on the market and review the results with clients and create a comprehensive developmental action plan. This includes the self and 360-versions as well as workplace and adult editions.  
https://www.highemotionalintelligence.com

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