A good friend of mine–I’ll call her Sharon–had been looking for a job for more than a year. Lively, capable and socially skilled, she’s a master networker and performs beautifully in job interviews. But like all of us, she has her bad days. One morning she called me practically in tears. “I don’t feel like I can do anything today,” she moaned. “My husband and I had a huge fight yesterday. I am just so depressed.” I tried my usual pep talk, but she wound up saying, “I’m not capable of writing that e-mail right now. I’m going to go for a bike ride and clear my head.”
Sharon’s bad day got me thinking about a core piece of advice from every career coach I’ve interviewed: Job seekers must constantly keep their game faces on.