As a leadership and career coach, I meet with the individuals from all walks of life and with different experiences. I help them refine and tell the impactful stories of achievements. The stories are used to land the jobs, meet new business prospects, connect with like-minded professionals, or deliver keynote speeches. Many of my clients are talented people who are employed and looking for jobs. Some are desperately trying to find their next source of income because of being laid-off, fired, or after taking a break.
In the last 20 some years, I interviewed A LOT of candidates and saw firsthand how difficult it was for people to go through the process when they were unsure that a job was even right for them. People just needed a job. I get it, we all have bills to pay. Whether you have a miserable job or are unemployed, neither of the situations are easy to manage.
Working in a Toxic Environment?
When you are employed and trying to get out of the toxic position, your state of mind is extremely frantic. You can jump onto the next opportunity that might not bring you much peace and satisfaction. Please take a step back and assess the situation.
Can you make any changes in the workplace that are under your control while looking for the next step? Take your time to look at what you have now. What can you stop doing (or thinking) that brings misery into your life?
Whether you are looking for a change or just beginning to look for your first job, please be aware that there is no magic solution or a book that can provide you with all the answers to your unique situation. However, know that the answers exist, and they are all within you. Of course, having a guide helps to discover these answers, so use all the resources you can lay your eyes on and afford to help you determine the next steps in building your career and to stop the misery.
Are You Looking for a Job or Building a Career?
Before jumping into a search, ask yourself one simple question, “How much effort am I willing to put into building my successful career?” Your career is not just one job, so it will take a few adjustments and a lot of learning along the way to get to the finish line. Stepping into the job that is not aligned with your desired career can set you back for years.
Take your time and determine what you want this career to look like and what skills need to be gained to become the best. (I am taking a wild guess that you want to become the best or at least good at your chosen trade.)
Something that I've learned over the years is that life and work are inseparable. You might be thinking, "But what about all this talk about work-life balance? Doesn't it mean the two are separate?" Believe what you wish, but I hope you are living life while working. The balance lies in how and with whom you are spending your time while living. It is that simple. The last thing you want to do is to make a career choice that will keep you drained and depressed. To build a successful career, you need to feel passionate and invigorated, because it will take a lot of effort, time, energy, and years of your life. So, please slow down and prepare before applying for any job just to get out of your current situation.
How Clear is Your Mind?
Follow the light (call it intuition or inspiration) within you to create meaningful experiences, and this involves looking at yourself as a whole person, not just a career seeker. When your emotions aren't in check, and you are acting out of desperation, the light is either dim or invisible. This is when we make irrational decisions.
Get clarity first. Then, assess your values, skills, education, and past experiences.
Now You Are Ready to Prepare!
Once you removed limiting thoughts from your daily repertoire, I recommend starting preparation for a job search by building your story of achievements. Determine your perfect employer/company. When we were kids, we were great at playing "pretend" games. Well, bring that kid out of you. Pretend you are being interviewed by a prospective employer.
Most every interview will have some variation of one very important question: "Can you tell me about yourself?" When answering this question, think about your values, achievements, and professional success stories. Connect your experience and successes to your perfect (pretend) company's values and potential challenges that you can solve for an employer. Make a clear connection and demonstrate how you can help and fit in with that company's culture. Prepare to ask an employer questions to start a meaningful conversation about both of your aspirations. Write it all down, then edit, and edit again. Eventually, the story you can tell your perfect employer and be proud of will emerge. Then, practice saying it out loud.
This brings an important point and the next step in finding your real perfect company. How do you know what a company's values, challenges, and culture are?
Preparation and detailed research are keys to success. In the world of social media, it's easy to find all the needed information, including people who work for that company. You might not have connections who can introduce you to these employers yet. That is OK.
Look at the companies' websites and learn about their mission and vision statements, see their latest projects and find out who works there. There are a lot of kind and generous people on LinkedIn who will agree to connect with you for 10-15 minutes and share their knowledge about a company. Not everyone will respond and that is OK too, don't give up and keep connecting. Good people will show up and help. Just be willing to help others too. If you believe in Karma or any science that teaches you about action and reaction, you will understand the reason for my humble advice.
In closing, clear your mind, define and practice your story of achievements, and do your research before making a career change. It is tempting to jump the ship but please take your time. Your future YOU will thank you.
What was your successful strategy to identify and land a great job?
Contact us if you need a career coach, a resume, a LinkedIn profile, or wish to grow in your role. Book a free 30-minute consultation https://www.xcalibercoaching.com/book-online