This is a series of 6 articles about the different aspects of your job search…
Aspect #4: Mental Aspects of Your Job Search
The mental side of your search is just as challenging as the emotional. You need to stay sharp so you can speak knowledgeably and confidently during interviews. Yet, it’s difficult when you’re not working in your area of expertise.
However, there are things you can do to stay sharp. Chuck Swindoll speaks to one of these when he says:
“The longer I live, the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.”
That 90 percent is what happens in your mind.
God gave you a mind, and He expects you to use it, just as He gave you a spirit and expects you to use it also for Him. The mind is His, and it shouldn’t become rusty from lack of use. Your job search may stretch your mind to learn new ways of seeing who God is, new ways of expressing who you are, new ways of seeing yourself from God’s perspective.
Learning is good. Knowledge is good.
As John Stott says,
Knowledge is indispensable to Christian life and service. If we don’t use the mind that God has given us, we condemn ourselves to spiritual superficiality and cut ourselves off from many of the riches of God’s grace.”
That’s not what God has in mind for you, or your mind.
1 – The first battle you may encounter is in the mind, where the enemy is telling you God isn’t really in control, that He has no hand in what happens to you, and that He doesn’t really care.
To fight that battle, your mind must change…
- The way you see the world.
- The way you see God.
- The way you see yourself.
It’s a process of renewal of the mind, just as we all need renewal of the spirit continually.
Charles Stanley talks about this type of renewal and paints a vivid picture of what it looks like:
Renewing the mind is a little like refinishing furniture. It is a two-stage process. It involves taking off the old and replacing it with the new. The old is the lies you have learned to tell or were taught by those around you; it is the attitudes and ideas that have become a part of your thinking but do not reflect reality. The new is the truth. To renew your mind is to involve yourself in the process of allowing God to bring to the surface the lies you have mistakenly accepted and replace them with truth. To the degree
that you do this, your behavior will be transformed.
2 – The second mental battle you may face involves staying sharp in your field of expertise. Don’t let time away from the daily activities of your job keep you from staying in touch with all that job entails.
- Continue, or begin, reading journals and books in your field.
- Join industry groups on LinkedIn and enter into the discussions.
- Join national and/or local associations and professional groups.
- Attend their meetings to be in touch with people and to stay in the know about what’s happening.
- Sign up for blogs published in your area of expertise.
- If it’s feasible, volunteer in an organization to do the same work you did on the job. This will keep you in a job mentality and actively involved in job oriented tasks. It will also provide additional examples of your abilities. Organizations such as churches, foundations, non-profits, healthcare, humanitarian, and social service organizations provide opportunities to volunteer.
- Sign up for mailings from organizations that present workshops, seminars, podcasts, and webcasts that are relevant to your work. Make it a point to enroll in something of this nature once every three months or so to keep your mind sharp.
The key to staying mentally alert and articulate is to remain in touch with people where you have a chance to “talk shop.” All the ways mentioned will help you do just that.
3 – The third mental battle you face may involve envisioning the result of your job search efforts. You must have an eye on the goal. To be successful, you must picture the end result as a job that will use your skills, abilities, and passions. God wants you to use all He has given you and He’s at work to bring that to pass.
Well-known motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, put this same idea this way:
If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.”
Take the challenge of catching a vision of what your next job might look like, or how God can use you. Make it one of the first steps you take on that road to your new job.
Let Him plant the seeds that will grow the vision for where He’s taking you. Allow yourself to get excited about the destination and the journey.
You can be sure the real thing will be even better than what you envision, but the vision will give you hope and motivation. The vision of Him at work will keep you moving.
As Proverbs 29:18 says:
Without a vision, the people perish.”
Your vision is the new job God will provide; what it looks like, what you’ll be doing, how fulfilling it will be.
You must live in hope…
There is a difference between those living in hope because they understand that God is at work and those that don’t. The primary difference when you are confident that God is going to open your vocational prison doors is that you live positively rather than in defeat because you feel you need to do all the work yourself.
The greater the sense of hope the more likely your search will be shorter. This isn’t because you do anything those without that hope don’t, it’s because that hopefulness is a part of your inner being. It’s an attitude, a perspective, a mindset, a mental model and it becomes apparent to all you network with, interview with, and share your story with. And it’s contagious! They want to have you around because of it.
How are you doing at maintaining your mental well-being during your search? Are you continuing to grow and explore new areas of your vocation? Are you staying plugged in to individuals and groups that do what you do and maintaining dialog about your type of work? Are you reading journals in your field, attending business meetings, and association sessions? Are you keeping your hand in the field by volunteering your skills and abilities in your church,
a hospital, or some other non-profit organization?
To read about any of the other Job Search Aspects, please click on a link below:
The Spiritual Aspect
This is an excerpt from my book “The Christian Job Search Manual,” click on this link to purchase the book.
If you would like to explore working with a Christian centered Career Coach, Contact me for a no-obligation 60-90 minute job search consultation with America’s Job Searching Coach, or text me at 425-220-0707 and we can discuss your situation, your résumé, what you would like to achieve, and structure your job search to fit your uniqueness.
I am also available to speak to groups.