No one said you don’t have perfectly good reasons to be angry. Don’t let them win twice when that anger gets in the way of landing a new job.
Are you angry? Did your last boss frustrate your best efforts to do a good job? Was he such a bozo you decided to quit? Did you get laid off? Are you frustrated you can’t find a new job? Get over it!
Here’s how they win. If you don’t, you won’t interview well, people won’t want to help you and your friends will find reasons not to spend time with you. No one wants to be around a victim. Especially one who is so angry it is all about them and complaints and dumping frustration onto anyone who will listen. No matter how justified your complaints, airing them gets you no closer to your goal of a new job. Stop doing that. People want to be around, help and hire, winners.
Get from angry victim to hired.
1. Laid off, quit or fired, regardless of the reasons, it is a fact, you no longer have a job with that employer. Burn them up. Set flames to them. Make a list of all the offenses your boss and the company committed to you over the years. Gather all the company memorabilia you have lying around. Put it into the BBQ pit and set it on fire. Toast with a friend. Say farewell to the employer and welcome the new adventure. And never utter another angry word about that employer. It is done.
2. Make a list of all the metrics and outcomes of your work. Carry the list with you. Every time you start to feel angry or tempted to berate the employer, read your list. Own your accomplishments.
3. Practice for your interviews and networking events with sentences that start like this: I am especially proud of xxx accomplishment. One of the delights of my former job was the team I build and the mentoring I gave to grow two people in particular.
4. Learn to phrase your answer to “Why did you leave your last employer” with a positive statement. The project was cancelled and the team laid off. I am pleased to say most of the team hopes to work with me again. Or some other positive statement. There was a change in direction and though the groundwork I laid was retained, the new organization no longer included xx and my position. I take away from that experience a deep understanding of customer service and how to implement award winning processes. Again, stress the positives.
5. Avoid bitch sessions. Don’t hang around with people who want to moan and complain. They add nothing of value to your job search and just push you backwards. Associate with people who brag about their new connections and what they are learning about the playing field. Share connections and encouragement.
6. Keep a list of each day’s accomplishments. Made two new connections in company A. Found six people to talk to at the conference. Wrote five outreach emails. You get the picture. Every step forward is an accomplishment.
7. Create a list, a doable list of what you hope to achieve each day. Seven new linkedIn connections, join five new LI groups, register for two trade shows, lunch with connection to job opening.
8. And this is the most important one. Brag. Tell your loved ones about your progress. What you accomplished. Don’t vocalize the frustrations and missteps. Doesn’t change anything. The only thing you can change is your attitude. Get ‘er done!
Make no exceptions to the above caution about complaining. Don’t even think about sharing any of your angst with a recruiter or other hiring authority. They are friendly, but they are not your friends. There is absolutely no good that comes out of any negative descriptions or complaints you share. Learn to rephrase any negative to stress the positive outcome. And never malign a former employer. You never know who will hear about it and who you will run into in your next employment adventure. Always take the high road.
And more good advice. There are days when the anger takes over. Stay off the phone and keep away from the keyboard. Take your dog or the neighbor’s dog to the park to play. Nothing gets rid of anger any better. No dog? Ok. Do something unexpected and nice for another person. Go outside yourself. These two things prevent self pity and dissolve the anger.