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The psychological aspects of job hunting
From the little steps to the great leaps on the career ladder, it is important for jobseekers to have the right mindset. Those who get the job not only have the right tools, such as a quality CV, but also good psychological skills. Here are some tips to help prepare you psychologically for the search ahead.
At the outset of a job search it is important to be realistic. Apply for jobs for which you have relevant skills or experience. Contacting a EURES Adviser can help, they can explain your options and tell you what opportunities are out there for you to explore. You can also keep up to date with living and working conditions in other Member States via the EURES Portal.*
Another tip is to be open and honest during your job search, both with yourself and a potential employer. André Atalaia Samouco, a EURES Adviser in Portugal, says: “Jobseekers will become more positive once they have seriously evaluated themselves and the labour market. There are three main considerations in a job search: what I can do, what I like to do, and what an employer can get from hiring me. A jobseeker must think whether the job they are considering is suitable for them, and whether they suit that particular career.”
You can even treat your job search like a job in itself and be proactive developing additional skills when possible. Try to focus on success in the first steps of an application and try to maintain positive momentum. Being offered an interview is already a sign of good progress.
Stay positive despite the negatives
There will always be setbacks in life. If you do not pass the interview stage, do not let it get you down. Focus on the fact that you reached the next stage, and that this experience will help your interview technique in the future. Andre continues: “In my opinion an optimistic state of mind is necessary to start a new life and career. But that self confidence and optimism must come from a balanced evaluation of one’s capabilities and skills.” Ask the employer for feedback and think about what you can take away from the interview – the things you said that were well-received, and any improvements you could make in the future.
Persistence is key. In order to maintain positive momentum consider searching several jobs at the same time so in the event of a negative response from one employer, you already have opportunities with other applications. Additional advice is to keep up to date about job opportunities via the EURES website, but you can also send spontaneous applications to employers that interest you as not all vacancies goes public.
Finally, surround yourself with people who know your goals, and who wholeheartedly believe that you can achieve your aims. However, although a good team of people around you is important, it is not the essential element to your success. What is essential is that you believe you can get the job. If you do not think that you can be offered the position, then why would an employer hire you?
*Find out more about the working and living conditions in different European countries on the EURES Job Mobility Portal
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