Looking for a new job can often be tedious. Day after day, applying for the job you think could be it and then getting a rejection (or even no response at all!) can affect your motivation to keep trying. Ultimately, to find a new role, you need to move forward even if you feel like you may never get hired.
So what can you do to get out of that funk and back into your job search with positivity and new focus? Here are our top 5 tips for staying motivated on your job hunt:
1. Surround yourself with positivity
It is crucial to stay positive throughout this process, even if it seems impossible. Surround yourself with the people who believe in you. Negativity can rub off on you easily if you spend too much time around those who don’t have a positive outlook on the situation. The pandemic has affected Americans in more ways than just staying physically healthy; the social, psychological, and financial impacts can’t be ignored. However, constantly hearing “how bad the situation is” and sharing doom and gloom stories will zap your motivation. Consider seeking out friends and colleagues who tell you “to control what you can,” “keep pushing,” and “you will find the right job.”
You can also join online groups for people who are in the same situation. Knowing that there are others in the same boat can be reassuring. You can also network in these social media groups and online forums. Maybe someone knows about a position that was not right for them but maybe the perfect fit for you! Having support from those in a similar situation can be comforting because it reminds you that you are not alone in this search.
Taking a break from the job search and doing positive things for yourself is also important. Set aside some time to meditate or do yoga, go for a walk, or join an exercise class. Maybe do a virtual paint night with your friends or go out to dinner with family (safely, of course.) You have so many options, even with the social limitations we are dealing with, to do positive things for yourself and help your mind stay in a strong, positive, motivated space.
2. Plan your goals and only focus on things you can control
Take the time to set goals for yourself and write them down so you can look at them anytime you feel you need to refocus. Getting stuck on the fact that you did great on an interview and still didn’t get hired or knowing your resume represents you perfectly, but you still haven’t gotten the call back for the job you wanted, will not help you get a job. All it will do is further frustrate you in an already difficult situation.
Decide on the things you can do to help yourself get a job, such as:
- -How much time you will spend on each job site.
- -How many sites you will apply on each day.
- -How you will network to help get yourself out there to hiring companies.
- -When you will take mental health breaks.
- -What are your target companies, or what is your target industry?
Making a list like this will not only keep you organized, but it will help you stay motivated to keep going as well. It is best to focus on what you can do to move forward if you want to motivate yourself to keep going in this difficult situation.
3. Set up a schedule for yourself
The best way to transition from working full-time to job searching full-time is to set up a schedule for yourself. You want to stay productive, but you don’t want to overwork or underwork yourself and waste the day away now that you are scheduling your own day. Set a time to wake up every day and map out when you will be following your list of goals so you can focus on what is important and stay positive about your search.
4. Search smart, not hard, and focus on your career goals
Many people who are searching for a job apply aimlessly online, hoping they will get a call and get hired. The best way to approach your job search is to focus on the companies you want in the industry you want to work in. You can apply online within your schedule, but you should focus your time and energy networking and reaching out to hiring managers who work at the companies you are interested in. Finding the right job may be as “simple” as connecting to a hiring manager that has an unlisted or hidden job opening that you would never have known about if you hadn’t gone the extra mile.
5. Learn to accept rejection and grow from it
When you are searching for a job, it is hard not to take it personally when you are rejected for a position you feel is right for you. Unfortunately, it is impossible to control when and where you will get hired, and there are many other factors at play besides how well you interviewed or how perfect you think you are for the role. The best way to deal with this difficult situation is to learn from any feedback offered, hold your head high, and keep moving forward. If you let the rejection get to you, it will affect your motivation and only make it harder to get the job you are looking for.
Keep in mind, it is ok to stumble sometimes. This is not an easy process, but you can find that perfect job if you keep yourself in a positive frame of mind and keep pushing forward. It may not happen right away, but if you let yourself get into a negative mindset it will only take longer! So take a deep breath, dig in and find the job you have been searching for.
Sci.Bio is a leading recruitment and search firm based in Boston. We specialize in finding and hiring the best talent to fill temporary openings, long-term positions, and executive roles in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and the Life Sciences industries.
5 Steps to get your career started in the Pharmaceuticals & Biotech Industry!
There are many recent graduates that are entering pharmaceuticals and biotech workforce every year. Embarking on a new journey and opening a new chapter of your life can be challenging and overwhelming… this is completely normal and you are NOT alone.
Finding a job and kick starting your career is no easy task. It involves hard work, research, commitment and patience. Here are 5 steps to jump start your career!
Customize your resume
Many headhunters and pharmaceutical recruiters today use applicant tracking systems to scan resumes for keywords. This means that if you do not have specific job related keywords built into your resume you may never receive this opportunity.
In order to set yourself up for success it is important to edit your resume to incorporate specific job description keywords into your resume. Take a look at the job requirements and required skills and align your resume to match keywords within these two sections.
Check job postings daily
In order to put yourself in the best position for a job – try and check biotech or pharmaceutical opportunities daily and apply to a job within the first 48 hours after it’s posted. To get into a good routine, start off your day by searching for new job openings each morning. There are different job boards that allow you to set up daily notification based on a custom search that best fits your interests, qualifications and location.
If you have specific companies in mind that you are looking to join follow them on social to make sure you are staying on top of all career opportunity updates.
Use your network
Most colleges maintain an online alumni database that grads can use to get contact information. Other medical colleges set up different graduate programs to assist in career building and education.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your high school or college network. Utilize these connections to learn more about a specific industry or about a particular company.
NOTE: When contacting alumni you are reaching out for information and/or advice. It’s important to remember you are not reaching out to land a job right away. Instead, if the alumni is local, ask to meet up for coffee to chat about questions that you have prepared. Always be organized, professional and appreciative of their time.
You may not have a job just yet – but it’s important to understand what’s going on in “your” field. Making sure you are always up to speed on industry related news could be important in future interviews or once you actually start a job. Join different social groups, read different online publications or blogs, be active on social media channels.
Expanding your knowledge will only help you with you future career search!
To actually get the job you will need to have a great interview. In order to put yourself in the best position you should be prepared. If you research common interview questions and prepare ahead of time this will give you the confidence you need when these questions come up.
Make sure you research the company and do your homework. Have questions prepared, read the company’s website, follow them on social media and make sure you are doing your due diligence on all ends.
Have you ever left an interview for a pharmaceuticals or biotech job position feeling that things went fantastic only to be later informed that you “aren’t a fit.” Worse yet, maybe you were never informed or you heard through the grapevine that a lesser qualified candidate got the position.
…but everything went great!?
Everything seemed to go well. You “connected” with the interviewers, you knew you were well qualified, you followed up with personalized thank you emails.
What happened? What went wrong?
For starters, let’s start by facing the simple fact that life isn’t fair. Nowhere is this more true than in employment and hiring.
The truth is that, the best people don’t always get the job and in general, job interviews are a flawed process of assessing and projecting talent. Most pharmaceutical and biotech interviewers aren’t trained on how to gauge talent. Even if they are, most will spend less than 10 seconds reviewing a resume before interviewing the candidate. This pittance of time is often followed by an emotional rather than logical assessment of a candidate.
get used to it
If it were solely about qualifications and competency, most companies would have workforces that look markedly different. Bestselling author and popular speaker Scott Berkun indicates that most interviewers make instinctive judgments based on biases they’re not aware of. They use back-filling, logic to support an intuitive response they’re in denial about. This lack of self-awareness is not universal but it is pervasive. He feels most job interviews are deeply flawed and unfair experiences.
It isn’t JUST about the interview and just as importantly, not all jobs are created equal. There are behind-the-scene dynamics that determine who will fill the position.
These unadvertised aspects can ultimately determine your odds of success in landing the position.
Below is some of the inside information you probably weren’t privy to:
- The biopharma job was meant for a company insider or a referral but was advertised for good show- you never really had a shot from the beginning. Don’t feel bad, according to interview strategist Lou Adler, 85% of All Jobs are Filled Via Networking confirming that the ol’ boy network is alive and well.
- The biopharma hiring manager wanted a woman or a man and you are of opposite gender.
- The pharmaceutical hiring manager felt threatened by your capability and felt you may outdo him or her. Hiring manager insecurity is an unfortunate yet common problem
- You weren’t subservient enough The hiring manager wants a “yes” man or woman, not an objective thinker.
- Your race your gender your religion your politics your hobbies. If you happen to wear these things on your sleeve you run the risk of not being selected by an individual who may be opposed or prejudiced.
- You were too salesy or self promotional and you may not even realize it. No one likes a blowhard even if they are good at their job.
- superficial reasons: you were late your suit was not up-to-par, your body spray was too strong your hairstyle, your laugh. Some managers can’t get past the little things. These shortsighted people often make poor decisions so no loss here.
- Your social media profiles revealed another side of you that maybe is less palatable in a corporate setting. A deep search can often yield a different you. Make sure you know what is out there.
- There was a budget cut and this position was eliminated. But no one bothered to tell you. Thus it went unfilled.
- Your Salary was too high. If confronted with the salary question, try not to answer . In some states, salary inquiries can’t be asked legally. If you are confronted, it is best to try not to answer directly, perhaps give a range.
- The hiring manager was demoted or there was a re-org and the position went away and no one told you.. Companies and people within them get moved around a lot.
- The position was never real to begin with it is intended for another individual who is in a Green Card Application process ..
- Talent Pipelining. Sometimes jobs are advertised for the sole purpose of attracting future talent and the job is not ready to be filled. In this case you were simply a practice interview.
- Informational purposes. Want to learn how to do something? Watch a Youtube video or better yet invite that person in for an interview and milk him or her for information. This happens more often than most are aware. Some hiring managers will use this disingenuous trick to learn a new skill set or gain additional insights.
- Someone else (perhaps better qualified) demonstrated the requisite passion, and competency with the right blend of ‘Sell’ and humility and you were beat you out.
These are just some of the reasons you didn’t get the job despite a good performance.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an odds of success indicator BEFORE you went in for an interview? I mean if you knew your odds of success were 1 in 100 you might want to save your time. In a few of these instances your odds could very well be close to zero and the job simply isn’t real.
Alas, there are some things you can do to improve your odds:
Sometimes the job is a mirage
In many instances you can get a sense of how “real” a job is by asking pointed questions before you head into the interview..
How long has the position been open?
If it’s been open a long time, more than a few months, then there is likely some kind of issue and you should be a bit suspicious.
How many candidates have interviewed so far for the biopharma position?
If you are the first interview, expect that there will be a wait involved as seldom is a hire made after only one interview. If there have been numerous interviews find out what the candidates have been lacking. Do you have the special sauce that they don’t?
Have any candidates turned the position down?
If yes, Find out why. Although it is unlikely that you will get a genuine answer, sometimes a hint may emerge. Perhaps they aren’t paying market rate or they have unusually high expectations.
Keep in mind that company may have a history of advertising and not filling positions. If you can try to connect with the hiring manager or an individual from the hiring team before the interview to create some rapport and to get additional info you won’t get from HR. Do as much internet sleuthing about the company as you can but keep in mind that nothing beats first hand information from someone who works there.
2) Don’t be too smart or confident for your own good
In some cases your interview failure can be solely attributed to your style and you may not even be aware of it.. You may have an inflated view of self or you come across as arrogant or boastful.
You may also be sending the wrong signals during your interview. In: his piece, Why Smart People Don’t Get Hired , Maurice Ewing comments on smart people being subject to (cognitive) “bias blindspots”. In other words, they don’t see their mental hangups and, in many instances, are even more subject to bad judgment than others that aren’t nearly as smart or qualified. This could explain why intelligent job seekers may not be making allowance for the cognitive biases that turn employers off and reduce their chances for landing suitable roles.
Try to gain some self-awareness by practicing with friends or family. Make adjustments through this practice and try to imbue the general qualities of employer attraction into your interview.
perceptions can be different from reality
3) Tilt the odds in your favor
Now that you learned whether the job is “real” or not and you know your bias blind spots it’s time to learn how to subtly sell yourself. In her succinct piece How to Convince an Employer to Take a Chance on You, Katie Douthwaite Wolf explains that you need to showcase what sets you apart and to refrain from drawing attention to your lack of skill or experience. While this may seem obvious this needs to be done in the cross section of humility and confidence. Another nuance: You often interview best when you have nothing to lose as in you are comfortable in your current role and aren’t actively considering a change. People want what they can’t have so for this reason alone you will be more attractive as a candidate.
Luck will alway play into the equation but you can make your own luck by being a discerning and self-improving interviewer. When faced with rejection, don’t let negativity take over. and don’t give up. Move forward and look up, and consider that some jobs were never meant to be!
by Cliff Mintz There was a very insightful article in this past Tuesday’s NY Times Science Section entitled “Building Resilience in MIdlife.” that I thought was applicable to the challenges that many job seekers face while searching for a new job or pondering a career change.These insights were offered in a book entitled ‘Resilience:The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges’ by Dr. Dennis Charney, a resilience researcher and dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York after being shot several years ago by a disgruntled former employee while leaving a NYC deli.
Practice Optimism. According to Dr. Charney, optimism is part genetic, part learned. That said, looking for a job in a highly competitive field without success can easily lead to feelings of defeat, failure and even depression. Put simply it’s normal to feel sad or “down” when things are not going your way during a job search. Rather than succumb to pessimism, Dr. Charney suggests that learning to think positive thoughts and surrounding yourself with optimistic people (there are people out there who ARE really optimistic all the time) can help. It’s easier to think more optimistically if the people around you are upbeat and always putting a positive rather than negative spin on things. I am not suggesting that that you jettison all of your pessimistic friends but finding new optimistically-thinking ones will not only increase the breadth and size of your social circle but may also help to elevate your emotional state during a frustrating job search.
Rewrite Your Story. Instead of focusing on your shortcomings or difficulties that you have experienced, it may help to change your internal narrative and focus on accomplishments (rather than setbacks) and things that you may have learned about yourself to this point in your life journey. While this may sound like an existential exercise, changing the internal story that you tell yourself (from a negative to a more positive one), may help you to feel better about yourself and make things easier for you. And believe me–from my own personal experiences– others around you will notice the change; most importantly prospective employers and hiring managers!
Don’t Personalize Your Failures. Everyone tend to blame themselves for life’s setbacks and ruminate about the decisions that they have made to put them in difficult situations. A way to counteract this is to recognize that, generally speaking ,other factors and uncontrollable life events likely contributed to the so-called bad decisions that you made. In other words, unexpected, mitigating factors not simply your poor judgement, likely contributed to the situation that you find yourself in. Recognizing this may help to assuage that nagging tendency to blame yourself for your current situation and may also allow to “learn from your mistakes” to avoid making them in future personal and career decisions.
Remember Your Comebacks. It is easy to wallow in your failures and feel bad about your current situation. Rather than letting things get you down, try to remember times earlier in life when you were able to overcome adversity and still “land on your feet.” This will remind you that you have the skills and experience to overcome a current “bad” situation. Also, it may be helpful to read about others who seemingly failed and were able to turn those failures into positive personal and career moves. In my experience, failure is a key ingredient to a successful and meaningful career.
Take Stress Breaks. Stress is a fact of life that nobody can escape. Rather than succumb to life’s constant unrelenting stresses, it is important to take breaks to regroup and push forward. For example, take walks, have lunch with friends, go to the gym or even meditate. One way that I relieved stress as a graduate student and postdoc was to play intramural softball as much as I could and then drink beer with teammates after the games. Putting your “head down” and pushing forward will not relieve stress or eliminate anxiety in your life.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone. It is easy to continue to do the same thing even if that thing is stressful or hurtful because you are comfortable (despite assertions to the contrary) with what you know. However, doing the same thing over and over again because your are familiar with it will not improve your current situation or change how you feel on a daily basis. Perhaps, taking yourself out of your comfort zone and placing yourself in new challenging positions may help to overcome those feelings of “being stuck.” For example, if you don’t want to do laboratory research for the rest of your career, learn new skills (that may have always frightened you) to help find a non-laboratory PhD job in the pharmaceutical or biotech industry.
While doing the things that Dr. Charney recommends may not materially improve your current job situation or career choice, they may help you to look at the world in different terms, feel better about yourself and provide some clarity/insights into t future career directions or job choices.
Until next time…
Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!
by Clifford Mintz
It is interview season for many recent college graduates and veteran jobseekers looking for new opportunities. To ensure success, there are a few things that a jobseeker can do to improve the likelihood of a callback after a phone interview or a preliminary face-to-face one. Some of these techniques are well outlined in an article in a Chicago Tribune’s article entitled “4 Ways to Improve Your Interview Skills Like a Pro”.
While some of these recommendations are fairly obvious, I highly recommend that you review the list of things to do to improve the likelihood of success which is either to get to the next interview level or secure a job offer. Personally, the best advice that I have to offer is to have a positive attitude, exude confidence and do whatever it takes to impress an interviewer so that you can move to the next level.
Frequently, many jobseekers have doubts about a job that they may be interviewing for. In these instances, it is a good idea to forget about those doubts and be totally invested in a winning performance. Do not tank a job interview because you may not like an interviewer or you have some doubts about whether or not the job is a good fit for you. If a job is not right for you, you can always refuse an offer if one is extended.
The goal of any job interview is to get to the next level or secure an offer!
Although US unemployment is at record lows-4.3% (lowest in 16 years), securing a new job is still highly competitive. To that point, my son, a recent college graduate, is on his third interview (phone screen, face-to-face interview and now a skill-based assessment). Put simply, it’s still tough out there to get a new job. Therefore, it is incumbent on all job seekers to use whatever tools that are available to them to impress interviewers and move to the next level!
Until next time,
Good luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!