Waiting. Whether we’re in line for coffee or at the bank, a considerable amount of our day is spent having no choice but to be patient.
According to an article in the British paper The Mirror, we cool our heels in line-ups for a total of six months over the course of our lifetime. (Somewhat less if we avoid Starbucks at rush hour.)
And for most of us, waiting doesn’t come easy, despite our experience with it. In fact, research shows that waiting can irritate us enough to trigger a rise in blood pressure and heart rate.
If it’s tough to wait in line at the gas pump, it’s that much harder to wait for a job offer. At least at the pump, you know it’s only a matter of time before you get to the front of the line. But there’s no telling when the phone will ring or your email will ping.
The only thing you can do is master the art of waiting. That means staying calm and confident that you are going to get hired. At The Bagg Group, we have placed more than 58,000 people in full-time positions, contract work and part-time placement over our history.
We have been successful at finding people work in the best companies in the GTA for more than 40 years, through good times and recessions. We know that sooner or later, if you keep putting your best foot forward, the phone will ring.
But we also know that staying positive during the wait is key — an upbeat attitude gives you a competitive advantage.
The good news is that researchers at the University of California show that our everyday activities are four times more powerful for making us feel good about our day than our life circumstances.
In other words, what job-seekers do with their day can keep them feeling upbeat about life, even when the phone doesn’t ring on cue.
The experts at The Bagg Group offer these tips to take the aggravation out of time spent waiting.
Remind yourself that it’s not personal. If you don’t hear back as fast as you’d like, chances are people are busy and working through their own to-do list. Everyone is under pressure to meet the priorities of their bosses. What is urgent to you is not necessarily urgent for the person you’re waiting to hear from.
That said, if someone says they’ll get back to you by a date, and they don’t, it’s fine to send a short, friendly reminder email asking for a status update.
Spend time with people: Full–time job hunting can be lonely business. Getting to a yoga class, the gym, or a local chapter of an association that interests you is not an indulgence, it’s an important activity for the mind, body and job-search.
Consider doing temporary work while seeking a full-time position. Interacting with people, in all kinds of situations, expands your network — and keeps you feeling involved.
Do a favour for someone: If you can help people by putting some of your contacts in touch with each other, or by doing work that helps someone out—now is a good time. It’s a great morale boost to remember that you can help others progress with their goals.
Plus, doing someone a good turn is the strongest way to build your network, according to master networker Harvey Mackay. The author of the bestseller Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive says that most people make the mistake of reaching out to their network only when they need something, like a job. But the key to building a strong web of contacts is to offer a personal touch whenever you can. Be there for others –and they’ll be there for you.
The bottom line is that you can make time fly by focusing not on what you can’t make happen, but on what you can.
As Mackay writes, “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” So do yourself a favour and don’t waste it by staring at the phone.