Hope is defined as the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. A job transition requires daily and perhaps hourly doses of hope. It could be useful to look at hope as fuel for your search. When you set out to take a road trip, fuel is required to get there. As you travel, you will need to attend to your fuel gauge to ensure you don’t run out of gas. Hope is just as necessary to you as fuel is for your car.
Stop to think about where your level of hope is regarding your job search at this moment. Did you receive a promising lead today? Were you notified a phone interview will progress to a face to face meeting? Most likely, you are feeling more hopeful as you read this. However, what if your day didn’t go well? You may have found out the position you were in strong contention for went to someone else. An interview ended on an awkward note. Perhaps other life stress is adding to the pressure you feel regarding the job search. When you review the events of your day, you can often identify how hopeful you feel based on the daily events.
It is true positive events can be like “shots in the arm” increasing our energy and confidence. Likewise, negative experiences can exhaust hope leading to a feeling of being drained. Since a job search tends to be more of a marathon rather than a sprint, it is important to identify a way hope can be based on something more permanent than the ups and downs that invariable accompany the job seeking process.
Naturally, a positive interview will spike hope levels just as failure to receive requested feedback can do the opposite. Nevertheless, healthy hope needs to be grounded on something more fixed than current circumstances. Maintaining realistic expectations can assist with staying hopeful. If you expected to have your next position within a week of entering transition, you would most likely be setting yourself up for disappointment. Keeping this in mind, remind yourself regularly a job search will require time. Imagine sitting in your vehicle stopped at a crossing gate as a freight train goes by. You wonder if the last car will ever come. You are impatient, rushed, and needing to be anywhere but there.
You know from experience eventually that last car will pass; the gate will raise; you will be on your way. Hold this picture in your mind and allow it to assist you with your expectations of your job search. When you begin to feel your hope level sinking, choose to bring this image to mind. Notice your level of hope will rise as you remind yourself this too shall pass. You will have the necessary fuel to go the distance and land your next position!