You’ve heard of willpower, but do you use waypower in your job search?

How to implement job search strategy

Back in 1998, Charles A. Rapp wrote a book called The strengths model. Although the target audience of the book was for individuals recovering from mental illness, wishing to pursue employment, the content of  Rapp’s book still applies to an effective, contemporary job search.

You’ve heard of willpower, but do you use waypower in your job search?


No doubt you have heard of willpower. It is simply defined as the belief that you have the capacity to do something. (Remember the children’s book with the choo-choo train? It has been a few decades since that book came out, but I can still recall the refrain of that train:” I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…”)

Rapp refers to a distinguishing feature that job seekers can add to their “tool box” of resources. It’s called “waypower.” Rapp summed up waypower as “mental plans or roadmaps that guide hopeful thought.” He is talking about your OWN mental beliefs, attitudes and thoughts. For example, if you have an employment target, and devise a plan in your head, you will likely achieve your goals. How can you apply waypower to your job search? You might incorporate such things as mental visualization and positive self-talk in your job search. Visualize an upcoming interview, talk yourself into picking up the phone off hours to leave a voice mail message with an employer, proposing a solution to their company or business’ problems.

The other component of waypower is having hope. According to Charles Rapp, having hope will decrease burnout, such as being reactive in a job search, which is a scattered and erratic in nature. Instead of being reactive, applying hope will help you achieve small goals and a target on which to focus. Having a sense of hope, Rapp says will also promote superior coping skills. This skill set is a life skill, not just an employability skill, which you can continually improve.

I’ll close with one last analogy. When you are focusing on a goal, sometimes it’s not enough to have willpower. For example, if you want to lose weight, you must combine willpower with other things to achieve success. In this case, combining willpower with waypower looks something like this:

willpower= I’ve got what it takes
waypower= I’ve got a mental road map to get me to my destination (new job or new career)

Cheers to your success! Do you have the waypower?


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Melissa Martin

Melissa is a passionate, innovative career expert, who holds impressive credentials in the career/employment field for over 14 years. Her specialties include dealing with the unemployed, underemployed, military members, aspiring entrepreneurs and those who need “career nourishment to re-ignite themselves.”


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