When people first begin their job search or decide to think about their next career move, they often do not realise the mental toughness required to go the distance. When I help clients successfully secure a new job or make a career transition into another industry, they have climbed a mental mountain that they perhaps did not realise they would need to traverse.

As is the case with Anthony Joshua, the British Olympic Boxer, his experience shows when you are knocked down and lying on your back – you have a choice to either to stay down and say “I have done my best” or you can get back up and continue fighting.

In Anthony’s case, his ability to win was as much about his attitude as it was about his physical capabilities. Anthony is an Olympic boxer and his experience is one of character and a reminder to never give up. If you are not familiar with Anthony’s story, please read this article.

How Well are You Playing the Mental Game?

So my question is, how well are you playing the mental game? Are your beliefs serving you well and enabling you to climb the mental mountains you need to?

I see many people get disappointed during the job search journey. A client recently spent five hours on their CV and cover letter in preparation for applying for a job. This took so much effort and yet they received no thank you email or recognition that it was received (which is common practice).

Another example is when my clients go and see a recruiter. They walk away from the meeting feeling like they’d made a great connection and yet they never hear from that recruiter again.

Or they’ve experienced their first rejection after their first job application. Or they got to the job interview and received their first rejection, even though they felt it went well.

At these moments it is very natural to experience an array of emotions including feeling disappointed, angry, overwhelmed, despondent and confused.

And even though you don’t want to hear it, this is how the job search journey can be. And you have a choice about how to deal with it. You can curl up into a foetal ball or you can realise it is part of the journey and character building. Of course you will not be able to respond like this straight away, and rejection and poor communication from either recruiters or potential employers is tough.

You’ve heard it before – what does not kill you makes you stronger.

How to Build Character

Fortunately, my success rate with clients is fairly high. Unfortunately, some of my clients have experienced the rejection and despondency leading up to finding me. If we are yet to meet, I’d like to walk you through how you can get better at handling the inevitable rejection and mental mountain climbing you may experience when you are actively job searching and making a career change.

  1. Acknowledge the Feelings

It’s okay to say ‘this is harder than I expected’! Acknowledging your feelings of disappointment, anger, overwhelm, despondency and confusion is a healthy first step in allowing yourself to process where you are at.

  1. Ask for Help

Whether it be the guidance of friends, family, colleagues or investing in a Career Coach, it is essential that you talk about where you are and start to set yourself some realistic goals. Rome was not built in a day. You need to take this one step and a time. Do not do it alone.

  1. Stay Persistent & Determined

Making a change in jobs takes time and tis not something you want to rush into unprepared. If you realise it is a marathon and not a race, this will help you stay persistent. Regular conversations with those around you or a Career Coach can help you stay on track with your goals.

  1. Reflect on Your Experience

The process of reflection is a key tool in helping you build character and learn from your experiences. Consider what you are learning about the process and yourself that will help push your boundaries. Reflection can also help you be more open to considering job and career options you had not yet considered.

  1. Have Faith in Yourself

You can do it! Having faith in yourself is such a critical step in helping you build character. Tame those negative thoughts and build some personal daily mantras that will enable you to have a positive attitude about what you are capable of. Words are powerful and the words you tell yourself will have an impact on your results. Have faith in yourself.

  1. Never Give Up

Yes, you’ll get knocked down. But you will get up again. Check your pulse. Are you breathing? Look outside the window to another new day where the sun is rising. Get up and keep going. The world needs you. And you need you to never give up.

  1. You Are Capable of Great Things

If there is one thing I have learnt in my journey as a Career Coach it is that people are more resilient than they realise. Remember that other people’s opinions do not define you. This is your life, and while you may be responsible for and to other people, you must ultimately make the decisions that work for you. It’s not being selfish. It is essential that you believe in you and realise you are capable of great things.

You Can Survive the Knockdowns Because It Builds Character

Anthony Joshua survived a knockdown for the first time in his professional career in the sixth round and looked close to surrendering his unbeaten record until his late bombardment forced the stoppage.

In a sensational fifth round, Joshua knocked down Klitschko only to end up hanging on desperately at the end of the round as the Ukrainian launched a remarkable comeback.

You can if you think you can!


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