Everything you are doing now is taking you where
you want to go so do it well. A job is defined as “a post of employment; full
time or part time position”. To some a job is nothing but work, and for others
the experience is more orchestrated and enjoyed. These people have careers and
thrive in their profession or occupation. They have a sense of high energy,
enthusiasm and passion and to the outside observer come across as being lucky
and way too high on life. With the objective to emulate them, people sometimes
think leaving their existing job and reinventing themselves at another organization is the answer. Remember
wherever you go there you are too!
Looking for a job can be very testing on one’s
self esteem. Very few people like to do things they are not good at and this is
exacerbated by the fact that we all don’t like rejection, which is a highly
probable event if you put yourself out there. So how does one get their
confidence right during a job search given:
- We are not trained on how to search for a job, so our experience is lacking.
- There is no concise “how to” manual given it is not a one size fits all solution
It is all
easier when the work you have done sells you. Somewhere along the way I heard
the phrase “money follows talent and talent does not follow money”. It
really resonated with me. So since actions speak louder than words; what have
you achieved, how have you done it and how has that impacted on your personal
brand? Some of us have had the fortune of being approached based on the track
record we have built. That is a very small population relative to those that
are looking for any other job, other than the one they are currently employed
to do. You need to put thought and planning to your career rather than just
wonder from one job to another as that can work against you in the long run.
Searching for a job as a graduate is normally your first
introduction to the sometimes elusive job satisfaction that we all desire. Suddenly
you want to differentiate yourself from everyone else and when you realize that
graduate recruitment programmes use grades as a primary filter to interview,
you start to regret the moments you did not study as hard as you could have as
you chose to party instead. How do you now create a competitive advantage for
yourself to increase your prospects of success on your job application? This is
a challenge to anyone who is looking for the next best job, often depicted as
“looking for better prospects” on people’s CV’s. Reality is, your personal
brand is something you need to nurture and grow and others will differentiate
you when looking at you based on your reputation which you will be creating. It
will work for some and not work for others. There is no right or wrong answer,
simply a reality that works!
Building your personal brand is not an overnight
event, but a process that you must invest in over time. I am not talking about
your larger than life egotistical personality, The Rock Star! I am talking
about your authentic self:
- Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
- What knowledge do you have? I am referring to what you know not what your qualifications are!
- What are your skills and what have you accomplished using them and what can you do?
- What is your talent? That is to say what do you know a lot about that you do well and you actually love doing?
By taking stock, you are then able to answer the
first question in your job search, which is “what type of job should I do?”
Most people fall into the trap of wanting a job that is a means to an income.
They look at what skills they have and take a job that requires that offering. It
works for a while and the trouble starts when the pursuit of happiness extends
beyond earning the income. A careerist on the other hand looks for being a part
of something bigger than him/herself. They are interested in what they bring to
the job and the feeling they get out of doing that very job. This means taking
on jobs that are more than just something you are skilled at. These are jobs
that require your particular talent. For instance I am skilled with the ability
to work well with numbers so I started off in accounting/finance roles. I get
more joy from dealing with people and their personal development, hence the transition
to where I am now. Where you start is not the end all and be all, as I
performed my previous roles well and was enjoying them when I was in that
space. When you have a sense of what you are doing is a good use of your time,
you thrive and deliver!
Once you have an idea as to what job will appeal to
you, you need to understand “why do I want to do that job?” If
your why is not aligned with that of the hiring manager, you will not succeed
in their environment even if you somehow get through the interview process.
This is often what has gone wrong when you hear of people’s chemistry not being
right, or that they do not gel. You can never put your finger on it as to what
is wrong but in essence, your value systems and what you believe in are not in
sync resulting in one disappointment after another. So know why you want to do
the job as then your expectations are then also managed by yourself and your
“where do I find the job I want?”
This is where the frustration begins as you are now no longer in full control
and depend on other parties. The actual job search is really a job in itself
and given you can only do it part time, it does not mean that you shouldn’t do
- Do you look within your existing company?
- Do you check the newspaper?
- Do you register on job boards?
- Do you actively conduct on-line job searches?
- Do you use a recruitment agency?
you are a graduate, or have been working for some time, when you choose to get
a new job, your past behaviour and performance will make that task easier or
harder. Why do you want to leave your current job? If you are demotivated
because you don’t understand how to do your current job or you feel you do not
have the adequate skills to do the job well, then a change of career is very
logical. If it is any of the following, be careful as it will likely lead to
job after job with no satisfaction for you:
- You don’t like your manager – this is the number one reason people leave their jobs. What is amazing is how often that is the problem at the next job
and the one after that. There is one common denominator so are you sure you
have taken a good look at yourself? How do you interact with people and how are
you communicating? You need to change if after a few scenarios you have changed
external factors and keep running into the same problem. What do you expect of
all these managers that is not appearing as you might need to change your thoughts
- You think you are going to get fired – how you see yourself can be very different to how others see you as we have different filters. Having a low
sense of security and a mindset that is expecting the worst can create stories
in your mind that seem very real, leading you to knee jerk rather than think
- You get passed up for a promotion – this could be the best thing that happened to you. If it is the organisation feels you are not ready for the
position, look to see where you are short and develop in that area to better
position you for the next promotion that comes up or at least a similar role
outside of your current company.
Strive for excellence in your current job and be
distinct by giving the people you serve the best of you. This builds your brand
and gets people to value your expertise which in turn will create opportunities
for you. You need to have been great at what you did before in order for anyone
to be interested in you for a different job. People tend to remember the latest
work you delivered, so make sure that you have a positive impact that is valued
as that gives you influence in determining your own job. You can then pursue
your next job opportunity with confidence and something to show for it for any
prospective employer. I have seen people who were disengaged in their employ
and they are looking to move and it leaves them very challenged in motivation
moving on given they have nothing to sell as they have not done much.
In order to progress in your career you will need
to demonstrate that you are eligible for the next job, and the only way the
recruiter will know that is based on how you articulate that. Do what you do
now well and it makes your next job that much easier to get. Looking for a job
is not all about the job search engines, recruitment agencies or your CV. You
are the value proposition and it is all about what you have to offer and what
your prospective employer has to offer you. Understand what you are looking to
experience and go for just that. Too often people get lost in the thought of
what they want to do and under achieve on what they are supposed to be doing
right now! Your job search is much easier when you have actually achieved
something where you are and where you have been.
Life is a pitch! How you have worked so far, the
achievements and the mistakes you have made position you. It is your life’s
work, own it and make something of it.