Tips, Best Practices and Reminders for Your Job Search

A picture says a thousand words and these infographics are packed with many words of wisdom for any woman on the Comeback path back to the workplace. Download the pdf under the infographic of your choice. There is a link to the blog post that explains more about each graphic and adds the context that shows its relevance.

Resilience is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go as planned. How we view adversity and stress strongly affects how we succeed, and this is one of the most important reasons that having a resilient mind-set is so important.

However the good news is that even if you’re not a naturally resilient person, you can learn to develop a resilient mind-set and attitude.

Mindset that builds resilience

… In order to become resilient, we need to practice separating out what really happened (fact) from what we think it means.

This process is called Cognitive Restructuring. In their book, Mind Over Mood, Drs Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky explore in great detail how you can use cognitive restructuring. In this infographic, I’ve used their framework to give you a flavour of how you might reframe your own negative thoughts as a returner coming back to work.

The words we use out in the world can move mountains for us. When the rhetoric of the great leaders was analysed, psychologist saw their speeches were weighed down with positive language. Think Gandhi, Churchill, Oprah! Follow some world leaders on Twitter, they are never down on themselves or the world around them.

Eleanor Roosevelt: “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in their leader. A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves”.

Which words you use should depend on what kind of role you’re after. If you’re applying for a job as an assistant, for instance, use words to show that you’re responsible and get results and less about your leadership prowess.

Always Use Solution-Focused Language


It’s not performing magic; it’s just changing your language to reflect your capableness, lateral-mindedness, resourcefulness , critical thinking and ability to work under pressure. Not to mention the good old “I don’t have the answer for that now but I will find out, talk to X and come back to you by Y”. Obvious, but they might need to become more of a staple in our language.


Format for the Informational Interview

Having an agenda is vital to show you respect their time and take their expertise seriously. Really, this script is durable for any conversation! I am using the TiARA format which is brilliant for this type of meeting, coined by Steve Dalton in his fantastic “Two Hour Job Search”. Let’s go!

1.) Small talk: You can temperature gauge whether they are “all business” today or how open they might be to an open conversation about directly helping you. If your contact is warming up then stay on the topic. If not, move onto the next topic.


2.) Q&A, as per the graphic. This information gives you another level of insight once you get to a proper interview.

3.) Networks. Who do they think you should speak and indeed, could they introduce you?

Worry and anxiety really show up when we look for work after a long time. It begins with control, or the lack of it that you feel. We are tense, don’t perform well in interview or negotiations and are unable to see hidden opportunities that require an open mind. Our conversations won’t flow, we can miss hiring signals in interview. We also won’t show that we can handle pressure at work. When we’re overwhelmed, we cannot focus.

There is an answer


I’ve got good news for you though, you CAN feel a sense of inner control that guards against the panic.

Here is my bulletproof method that IF YOU STICK TO IT will reduce anxiety and help you even enjoy the process. It’s called my “I’m Poised” model because that is how you deserve to feel and come across and I’ll walk you through it in this blog post and the next..let me explain!

If you want to break the cycle of feeling unaccomplished and unfulfilled, it’s time to start focusing on what matters: you. It might be you’ve been focusing your energy on someone else’s swimming lane.

When you compare, on a fundamental level, you are telling yourself that everyone else is content, and you are not. You need to  embrace your own unique story, and content. You could go further if you focused on your own unique gifts, rather than getting stuck on what others do better than you.

It’s Time to Stop Comparing and Start Doing

The humble, powerful Japanese concept of Ikigai is a helpful framework for discovering purpose. Put simply, Ikigai describes the intersection of what you love doing, what you can do to serve, and what you can do that makes money. It’s aligning your own passion and inspiration with the needs of those around you.

Ikigai is one of the Japanese words for happiness, but more accurately describes a state of living life well and fully. It’s about aligning your basic human needs with the needs of the world.

Self-care is often forgotten completely on people’s agendas when they return to work. We can be so concerned about those that we will be spending less time with/on instead of ourselves. We then we forget that we need to “put our own oxygen mask on first” as they say. Recently I was invited to talk to Garry Turner from the Listening Organisation on his Value through Vulnerability podcast. You can listen below. We talked at length on this topic in celebration of self-care week.


I urge you not to forget yourself when you go back into work.



We so often rely on the outside world (friends, colleagues, family, personal trainers, people on social media that we don’t know!) to make us feel good about ourselves. Social media likes, compliments about the way we look, promotions/pay rises, thank you’s and recognition for a good job are all forms of what is known in Transactional Analysis as strokes.

They do not build our inner core of belief about who we are. We feel a sort of high but it is short-lived. There is more we need to do to feel truly unshakeable. This is vital when going through a job search process or for your mental health generally.

It’s so much better to self-validate

The kind of validation we should go after is the stuff that goes the distance and carries you through the tougher times. When you put on a few pounds, you get overlooked for a job, you got forgotten on a list of invitations, may sound petty perhaps, but cast your mind back to a day when one of these events happened – how was your mood afterwards? Were you straight back on an even keel or did you feel quite flat?

The tools illustrated in this infographic will help you build your sense of self-worth if practised repeatedly over time. As always I recommend journalling around the pointers. This helps you to be intentional about change.