How to Apply Mindfulness to Your Job Search
Sutton Full Potential Founder
Mindfulness is usually associated with finding joy, peace, and meaning in our lives. How then, you might ask, can it be helpful in the world of job hunting? When looking for a job, it is possible that you will feel negativity (“I’m going to be rejected – I’m not good enough”) and judgment (I only get offers from small, insignificant companies). Sometimes, frustration over a job search leads to hopelessness (Everyone sees me as a loser. I will never get a job). You don’t have to suffer through a job hunt. Mindfulness can provide you with practical tools to help you stay positive, optimistic, and focused and reduce the stress often associated with finding a job.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the ability to stay in the present moment without judgment. Its core concepts, which are critical during a job search, include:
- The ability to stay in the present moment – focused awareness
- Having an open or accepting attitude
- Approaching situations without judgment
- Having compassion toward yourself (and others)
When you practice mindfulness, you will develop and strengthen the skills you need during a job search.
How to apply mindfulness to your job search
1. Cultivate intention
Applying mindfulness to a job search involves focusing on your purpose. Everyone has a purpose, and keeping your goals at the top of your mind will inspire you during your job search – WHY you want a job. WHY you want to be whatever it is that you want to be.
If you have trouble understanding the WHY in your life, consider your dreams and what you have always wanted to do – and what you love doing.
Instead of clicking on every job advertisement and applying for anything that comes your way, apply for jobs that will help you fulfill the purpose of your life. In other words, be intentional about the job applications you submit.
2. Stay in the present moment
Don’t focus on the past. The past is the past. There is no need for you to relive it. Focus on the present and the job search at hand. That way, you will successfully be able to overcome any negativity.
Searching for a job is an unpredictable activity. You can find a job immediately, or your hunt can go on for weeks on end, leading to a sense of hopelessness, futility, and frustration. Rather than focusing on the amount of time it is taking to find a job, focus on the present moment. That will help you stay focused and positive – no matter how long the process takes.
3. Pay attention to your feelings
We often ignore that inner voice that gently warns us when something is not correct. Mindfulness teaches us to be able to recognize our gut feelings and take heed to our instincts.
If you can listen to your feelings, you can get valuable information. For example, if you are not enthusiastic about attending a particular interview, the chances are that that job is not the right job for you. Be mindful of your gut feelings, and don’t be afraid to follow your instincts.
4. Apply for a job without judgment
Do you often find yourself thinking, “I’m never going to get this job, so why waste my time applying for it.”?
Take the time to understand why you hesitate to apply for specific jobs.
- Do you judge yourself too harshly and underestimate your capabilities?
- Do you avoid certain types of jobs because of something that happened in the past?
- Are these judgments recurring?
- What are the emotions you feel along with the judgment? Do you feel shame, fear, or anger?
- What are the physical emotions associated with these judgments? Do you develop a headache or start sweating? Do you feel squeamish in your stomach?
Many of our limitations are self-imposed. Be kind to yourself – that’s an essential core concept of mindfulness.
The next time you find yourself judging a job opportunity – try to understand where the critical reactions stem. Spend a few minutes in quietness and meditation, and notice your thoughts. When you bring your job search to awareness, observe your judgments and reactions. Ask yourself the above questions. When you are ready, write your answers. By putting down your feelings and thoughts on paper, you can find the right solutions to the problems that hinder you from achieving your career goals.
Practicing mindfulness is indeed critical to achieving peace, tranquility, awareness, and meaning in your life. You can successfully use it in your hunt for a job that will give you peace, happiness, success, and purpose. Applying mindfulness can open new opportunities on the job front – opportunities that, until now, you never thought possible. Apply the above mindfulness techniques the next time you are searching for a job, and you will be surprised by how different your approach is to the entire process.