If you’ve never gotten this existential about your career before, here’s a good place to start. Ask yourself what you believe is the real reason for being on this Earth—and what sort of job can help you achieve that goal. Grieger, for example, tells himself that he’s here “to help people have happy and prosperous lives,” which, in turn, fuels his passion for being a psychologist.
When you think about your career in this way, says Grieger, the job search becomes less of a drag and more of an exciting and profoundly satisfying experience. The hunt will no longer be a chore to postpone, but rather an opportunity that you can’t wait to take advantage of. Plus, you’ll optimize your search by focusing solely on positions that can help you express your purpose.
Fearless Trait #4: They “Pressure-Proof” Themselves
Successful job seekers are patient, persistent and, most important, resilient. “They see the job hunt as a process, not an event,” says Knaus, adding that they exhibit what Grieger calls “high frustration tolerance.”
Did bumper-to-bumper traffic make you late for an interview? Or did you spill coffee on your newly pressed button-down right before you met with a recruiter? These types of scenarios are less likely to derail the confidence of a fearless job hunter because they accept—and expect—setbacks.
Bottom line, says Grieger, is to acknowledge that you’ll make mistakes along the way, and sometimes encounter circumstances that are out of your control. “Don’t expect perfection from yourself,” he says. “Do the best you can.”
Fearless Trait #5: They Network, Network, Network
“Networking is the most important thing that you can do,” says Knaus. “And it’s the biggest return for your time.” So think about who you know who might be able to give you the inside information on a job opening. When you’re assertive and proactive, opportunities are more likely to come your way. This is not a time to be shy—put yourself out there.
Fearless Trait #6: They Always Do Their Homework
When you’re getting ready for an interview, the more background information you have, the less anxious you’ll feel. And we’re not just talking about checking out your hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile. Instead, look into the actual business.
“Use the Internet to make sure that you have knowledge of the organization,” says Knaus. “Write down a few questions to ask the interviewer. And find out the company’s main problems.”
A good place to ferret this out is by reading customer complaints online. “Then suggest ways that you can help solve those problems,” adds Knaus. “Or ways that you can add value to the company with your particular skills.”
Fearless Trait #7: They Convey Confidence—Not Arrogance
Yes, you want to tout your skills and achievements, but your approach can mean the difference between coming across as likable or unhirable. So choose your words wisely, and own the motto “show, don’t tell,” suggests Knaus.
So rather than saying, “I’m amazing at increasing profits,” use facts to back it up by saying, “Last year I was the leader of a team that boosted profits 40%.” And build a rapport with an interviewer by finding common ground before you make it all about you. “If you see that the person has a photo of airplanes on the wall, you might ask, ‘Do you fly?’ ” he says. “Show interest and see if you can get a conversation going.”