February 7, 2014
I have a set of cousins who attended British schools while growing up in Hong Kong. In addition to their cool British accents, the one thing that I remember from visits during my childhood was their fascination with all things Beatles. I was at first indifferent to this sometimes peppy, sometimes rueful music. But now as an adult, I have a greater and deeper appreciation for the band and their songs—the simplified exclamations of love, the celebration of everlasting friendship and the quintessentially British outlook of staying positive through it all.
I found myself humming a Beatles tune while at work the other day and it got me to thinking that many Beatles songs carry the positive spirit and dogged resolve that you have to maintain during a job search. I say this from personal experience: right before I started working at Simply Hired, I went through a period of unemployment—so I fully understand how difficult and disheartening a job search can be. The following are 6 tips to help you through your job search, inspired by songs of the Beatles.
1) With a Little Help From My Friends
I get by with a little help from my friends,
I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends
There is the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”—emphasizing the importance of using your personal networks to accomplish your goals. In a competitive job market, where it can be difficult to differentiate yourself from other candidates, it is important to use every resource available to you as you seek out new professional opportunities. Whether it’s attending industry events or reaching out to friends of friends, make sure to build an expansive and varied set of contacts who can serve as resources in your current job search and over the evolution of your career.
Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me
Right alongside “I’m sorry” and “I was wrong,” “Can you help me?” is one of the hardest things to say because it requires a dose of humility and makes you feel vulnerable. However, soliciting feedback from your contacts can be a valuable effort because it allows you to make and fix mistakes before it really matters. Ask others to look over your resume and make suggestions (this is particularly helpful if your contacts have ever been hiring managers because they can give you their gut reaction as if they had received the resume themselves) or conduct mock interviews with you for practice. Working out all the kinks in advance will allow you to present yourself at your best when the moment calls for it.
3) Good Day Sunshine
I need to laugh, and when the sun is out
I’ve got something I can laugh about,
I feel good, in a special way
I hit a point when I was unemployed and job searching where my tactics could be described as “obsessive.” I would sit for hours at the computer searching job sites, completing applications and tweaking my resume. I was unhealthily engrossed in looking for a job and I was miserable. Finally, at the urging of my mother, I sought out other activities to give my life some structure and variety. I went on daily walks and did volunteer work with my friend’s startup. I frequented the local library and read all the books and watched all the movies (for free!) that I had been putting off when my life was busier. Whether it’s exercise, volunteer work or leisure activities, give yourself a break so that you can experience some happy and satisfying moments during what can be a stressful period.
4) Let It Be
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
While job searching, I went through it all: getting to the final rounds and being the candidate that they didn’t select, interviewing with a company and never hearing back, feeling beat down after disappointing conversations with recruiters or hiring managers. All the negativity and frustration can become overwhelming and stifle your motivation to continue. While it’s easier said than done, it is important not to fixate on job search stumbles. Analyze the situation, extract and apply the lessons you learn as you continue in your job search, and then, as the Beatles instruct, let it be. Figure it wasn’t the right thing for you and ready yourself to look for other opportunities.
5) Here Comes the Sun
It feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
After prolonged bad weather, when the sun finally emerges, the singer proclaims, “It’s all right.” And it is. I think embedded in this song is a message about having a positive attitude, relishing the long-awaited positive things in life and being thankful for the blessings that are granted. At some point in your search for a new job—after the struggle, the heartache, the stress and the grief—something will stick and things will begin to look up. And at that moment, the clouds will part and you can look ahead to bright, shiny days and know that things will be all right.
6) Twist and Shout
Well, shake it up, baby, now
Twist and shout
And when things do work out and you’ve accepted a job, celebrate!! Your hard work has paid off and you’ve earned the right to twist and shout!