Having the wind taken out of your sails

Published on Apr 26, 2021 by Matthew Bud, The FENG
Being Out of Work

Conducting a job search, whether working or not currently employed, can be a difficult time. You tend to go through phases. (I don’t know if I like the phrase “in transition,” but it seems to continue to be well accepted.)

At first it can be kind of exciting to be away from the daily grind of a job. If your last job was anything like the ones I was fired from, it was actually a relief of sorts not to be there anymore.

And, there are new things to learn and skills to polish. Who ever thought that any of us would strive to be great writers of resumes, and who ever thought that we would get to enjoy making phone calls all day. (Okay, some parts of job search aren’t as much fun as others.)

I think you will find that your job search will run in cycles. The hard part is actually to accept that not only will there be highs and lows, but from time to time you will find that the file folder with your active opportunities will fill and thin almost unexpectedly. (I don’t know why that is, but I suppose it is an effect similar to business cycles, which we also thought had disappeared.)

Now that I am more in sales, doing business development for The FECG, I have come to accept to a degree that there are busy days and slow days. Sometimes I wish there were more slow days so I could get caught up, but truth be told, I sort of dread them. I guess I’m an adrenaline junkie.

The key to being successful at sales is not to allow disappointments to take the wind out of your sails.

When those seemingly perfect opportunities come your way, and just when you think you have them in your grasp, they disappear. Friends, it happens. Perhaps they weren’t as real as you thought. And, keep in mind that the reality of what they might have been might not have been true either. Since you are no longer in consideration for those positions, you will never know.

There are two techniques I will share with you tonight that you might consider applying to your job search to prevent having the wind taken out of your sails. These can in turn leave you dead in the water. (I hope you enjoy my sailing analogies because I enjoy writing them.)

Whenever you find yourself higher than a kite because you feel like you have so much in your active opportunities folder, MAKE 10-20 PHONE CALLS. I know it sounds silly since you probably have a job in the bag, but think of how you are feeling and let me assure you it will come across in your voice. If you make the 10-20 phone calls, they can’t help but generate more activity for you. This way if something falls through, you will have several more to pick you up again. (And fill those sails!)

The second technique I learned from my boss in the advertising business. We had a very active new business function in our shop. And, like in a job search, once in a while we thought we had a tiger by the tail. A new client was going to be ours! And then, boom, we lost the account to another agency. Bob’s reaction was interesting. He would come in the next day and he was clearly past it. Everyone else was going through their hand wringing thing, and could have beens and should have beens, but not Bob. He was on to his next thing. He really wasn’t even interested in what might have happened. He lost the account and there was nothing more he could do about it. So, no sense spending any more time on it.

An interesting reaction, I thought, and one I apply in my daily life. You win some and you lose some. No sense letting your losses take the wind out of your sails. Just move on.

I hope you will find this approach beneficial in your life too.

Regards, Matt