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How to Show Courage And Excel in Your Job Search

How to Show Courage And Excel in Your Job Search
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Tough times call for brave hearts and cool heads in getting a job. Being courageous often means going out of your personal comfort zone when it is important to you. It does not mean acting foolhardy, reckless or macho. You will know when something is or is not important, your natural fight or flight response kicks in. 

Here are 10 ways to show courage to both yourself and an employer and excel in your job search:

  1. Take a risk: When applying for a job that is a step backwards, sideways or in a different direction, make your bravery explicit to an employer. Play up your entrepreneurialism and reflect back your analytical thought process.
  2. Overcome an obstacle or fear: Whatever scares you the most is never as bad as you imagine it. Show that you can cope with uncertainty and ambiguity. If you do not go through the door, you will never know how brilliant it is on the other side.
  3. Stand up for what you believe in: Have the courage of your convictions and demonstrate leadership, do the right thing.
  4. Show up as yourself: Stand out by being genuine instead of hiding behind the mask of insincerity and conformity. Bring your personality with you to the interview.
  5. Turning down a job or company because it is not right for you: Stick to your values, show your judgement and strength of character. What kind of unhappiness would you NOT be prepared to put up with?
  6. Approaching people you do not know: Call the person who has a career in your dream work environment in order to show confidence and interest to that employer.
  7. Stay positive in the face of rejections or adversity: Test your capabilities and resilience, bounce back and never give up. If you have applied for 30 jobs without luck, job number 31 has your name on it!
  8. Show humility: Be prepared to say, “I got it wrong, I have more to learn.” Explain how you have used that experience to develop and improve. Stand up to other people who see failure as a sign of weakness rather than an essential part of the journey to success.
  9. Follow your intuition when others are telling you different: A sign of independent thought and action can bring unforeseen rewards and create breakthroughs and opportunities.
  10. Challenge the status quo: Disagree skilfully, think the unthinkable and show your creativity. If you do not do anything different you will get the same results you always have.

What do you wish you had the courage to do? What stops you? What if that reason did not exist?  Then how would you feel and what would you do?

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David Shindler is the author of Learning to Leap, a Guide to Being More Employable and co-author of 21st Century Internships: how to get a job before graduation. An experienced personal and professional development coach and consultant, David helps individuals, teams and organizations build the people skills and mindsets they need now and for the future. He runs the Employability Hub (free resources for students and graduates).

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