Cultivating a Proactive Mindset


It may go without saying that being proactive in any subject, but particularly in a job search, turns the tables around. Rather than leaving something important to chance, being proactive allows you to increase the likelihood  – possibly exponentially – of achieving your desired outcome.


The natural, primary function of the brain, which is to ensure that the human survives, is not wired to be proactive.  It’s wired to react, survive and hunt for food when hungry.


if you’re not in a job you love, and you’re applying to jobs reactively without getting the results you want, you can rely on nothing changing unless you do something different.


So how do you cultivate a mindset for being proactive in a job search?

1. Start with getting excited!

When you know that YOU are the cause of the outcomes that you’re producing, and when you consider the possible celebration of attracting and landing the job of your dreams by virtue of being proactive, you’ll have that much more of an exciting victory to celebrate.


If you bring that future to mind as you get started, you’ll find a level of excitement and therefore, a mindset that fosters proactive action. You’ll also become more enthusiastic which is a positive character trait most hiring parties are looking for.

2. Be organized.

A proactive job search involves building a list of companies and people who can find value in the results you’ve produced and in the value proposition you offer. Do you want to limit that list to a handful of people that you can remember and keep organized in your head? Of course not! So you may need to use a spreadsheet or similar tool to expand your proactive list to 30, 50, or even 100 companies.


If you’re really serious about finding the job you love – which if you’re out of work IS your current job – you will manage this the way a salesperson manages a book of business. You’ll have your contact information, notes about their background and an ongoing tracking of conversations and correspondence organized in Excel, Hubspot, or a customer relationship management tool of your choice.


Knowing you have a place where you store and update all of this information will help you remember what to do next.

3. Be prepared for anything.

You should be prepared for great victories as well as long stretches of crickets and no activity. Just because you’re being proactive does not mean you’ll definitely produce results you want, so be prepared to recognize that and be patient with non-responsive people in your proactive search. Maybe even look to analyze what’s working and what’s not working.


At the same time, as you practice being more comfortable and confident in your communication and less desperate because you know you’re building a robust approach, you will find that people will be impressed with you and opportunities may surprise you. You’ll want to be prepared for that!


As you encounter people being more inspired by your approach than you may have expected, you might be invited to explore opportunities or do things you never imagined you’d be asked to do. You might get connected to people you never thought you’d have the chance to meet, no matter how high a level you’ve been working at in your career.


Be prepared psychologically and emotionally to hit the ball out of the park and run around the bases!


Here’s wishing you a home run!


Time for action: What are the next steps YOU can take to be proactive in your job search? 


Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. Always know I’m here for you.

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