It’s all a matter of perspective.”
How often have you heard those words spoken about a problem, a political issue, or a personal situation? Maybe you brush them off as a tired old adage—but there’s a lot of truth to them. How you look at things plays a big role in how those things affect your life, in both positive and negative ways.
So what is perspective?
Perspective is defined by Webster’s New World Dictionary as “a specific point of view in understanding or judging things or events, especially one that shows them in their true relations to one another.” The way we see, interpret, and judge people and situations is based on our past experience, our ingrained beliefs, and our current personal situation.
Sometimes, this is to our advantage: we’ve had great experiences in past job searches, so we expect the experience to be the same this time around. Other times, when we’re coming from a perspective of anxiety, doubt, and fear, those emotions color our experiences before we even have them.
Like all things in life, perspectives can change with time, experience, and pure willpower. If your perspective on your job search or career transition has you feeling worried, doubtful, or aggravated, it might be time for a shift.
Here are some ways you can create a change in your job search perspective:
- Let go of your expectations: sometimes, when we have a set idea of how and where we’ll find our perfect job—for example, saying “I want to work at this company, in this department, for this salary”—we’re actually limiting ourselves, and narrowing our perspective. By changing this internal mantra to something like, “I want to work in a fulfilling career, for a company whose views and policies I respect, and receive a salary commensurate with my worth,” our narrow perspective of what is “perfect” for us no longer shuts out opportunity.
- Maintain a positive outlook: When we don’t get a callback on an interview, or when we don’t get a response from a company we thought was a perfect fit, our perspective can shift into the negative. Instead of saying “I’m not good enough, I’ll never get a good job,” try saying, “Maybe that wasn’t the perfect job for me, but the perfect job IS out there.”
- Ask “empowering questions.” Questions like “what’s wrong with me?” and “why aren’t I good enough to get the job I want?” are disempowering. They reinforce a negative perspective that comes from our stress, insecurity, and fear about an uncertain future. When you find yourself asking those types of questions, try turning them around by switching the word “why” with the word “how.” Instead of “why can’t I do this?” ask instead, “how can I do this?” Now, rather than questioning the problem, you’re actively asking for a solution.
Sometimes, it takes an outside perspective to help you see where you’re building walls.