Career Coach: How to Think When Looking for a Job

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Career Coach Energising Job Search

The Career Coach on this site aims to ensure that you are thinking in the right way when you are looking for a job. There are a number of areas on this site which will help you by preparing your mind in the right way.

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Self Confidence Questionnaire

Before this, as a career coach, let’s see where you are with your confidence in getting a new job. If so, click the button above.

You will meet people who only have a few chips, as they tend to be curt or short with other people. When it comes to finding jobs, they will aim low being afraid of rejection.

Just to start, I would like to offer you a few thoughts on life and apply these to job searching.

Career Coach Tip: Job hunting is all about self-confidence. As stated in the video below, it’s a bit like dating. No one wants to date the person with no confidence. They want to date the confident person. Employers don’t want to employ the desperate. They want to employ the person that looks like they don’t need the job.


Career Coach Tip 1: Job Hunting is Like a Game of Poker

In games of poker you can use ‘chips’. Imagine if you and I were equally skilled at poker. In this game as competitors for a job, I had 10 career chips and you had 100. Who is likely to play with more risk? People come into the game of job hunting (and it is largely a game) with different amounts of chips. We can call this ‘confidence’ or ’self-esteem’. Now, in the game of career hunting I cannot afford to lose, no matter what. So if I have 10 chips and you have 100, and I cannot afford to lose my chips, who then is going to play with more risk, you or I? You are, because you have less or more to lose, depending on which way you look at it. You will meet people who only have a few chips, as they tend to be curt or short with other people. When it comes to finding jobs, they will aim low being afraid of rejection. They will not use sparkling achievements, because they are afraid to tell the world how good they are. They will try to find exactly the same job as their last one because they are afraid of being rejected. They don’t take risks. They say things like, ‘Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are stupid than to open it and remove all doubt’. This career coach says, we know from research that it is those people who take risks who succeed in life. So, we want to build up your chips so you can go for what you really want as a career. The next career coach tips is below.


Career Coach Tip 2: Event + Internal Reaction = Result (E+I=R)

Your second career coach tip is a life equation. The event (E) plus your internal reaction to it (I), provides the result (R). It is your reaction that is important. It is as simple as that. For example, if I said that you have two noses, would your number of chips go up or down? Yes, they will probably stay the same because you know without a shadow of a doubt that you don’t have two noses. So the event is me saying you have two noses. Your reaction is “Stupid guy, what’s he on about?” This leads to a result of no change in your number of chips. Now suppose I said, “You will never get the job you want. Your time management is appalling, the standard of your work leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t know how you ever got your last job, let alone survived the rounds of redundancies” (Event). Your internal reaction might be, “Gosh, he has only known me 10 minutes, how does he know my faults so well.” The result in this case is a reduction in your chips. Instead, your reaction could be, “This guy is strange. I know how good I am from previous appraisals, from what my bosses and customers have said. Strange guy.” With this reaction, the outcome is no change in your number of chips. It is how you react that counts, not what is said.

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “No one can hurt your feelings without your permission”. It is what you say to yourself that counts, not what is said to you. A couple career coach facts for you:

  • 59% rule. In a study of international decision-making they found that for people who made what they thought were ‘safe decisions’, they were correct 59% of the time. Ironically, people who made what they thought were ‘riskier decision’ were also right 59% of the time.
  • We know from a lot of research that people who take a chance and just go and do it, tend to succeed to a much greater degree than people who are worried about taking chances.

A career coach thought for you. If you went for a job, and you got rejected, objectively what has really changed. You actually gained. You might get feedback so that you know what to do differently next time. And you also got some practice! Nothing got worse, but you actually got close to a ‘yes’ – that’s just the law of averages. The difference between those that get the role and those that don’t is they understand the law of averages. It’s one of the things that makes a great sales person. We will expand on this a little later on the career coach tips.


Career Coach Tip 3: Take Responsibility

We tend to complain to people who can’t do anything about it. If I am having trouble with my marriage, whom do I complain to? The boys down the pub. If I am having trouble with my boss, whom do I complain to? The lads at work. Not to the person who can do something about it. I want you to stop complaining because it weakens you and everyone around you just like in the arm exercise. If you want to complain, do it to someone who can do something about it.

No one here is a victim because you all have choices and time to make decisions about your career. So don’t act like a victim. The starving in Africa are real victims. People who were murdered in Cambodia were real victims. You are not a victim unless you want to be one. If that is the case, you are not really a victim but just mistaken.

One more rule about complaining, in order to complain, you must know there is something better out there. Get rid of contaminating people. Those around you who always focus on the negative – who take your dreams and tell you why you can’t achieve them. Those who physically weaken you, just like in the arm exercise.

I sat on a train the other day. The one at 7.04 am for London had been delayed. Instead, there was a faster train at 7.12 am – it would get to London quicker anyway. It was a better train than usual (warmer, quieter) and everyone (unusually) had a seat. Then I heard the lady behind me on the phone. She said, “I have had an awful morning. The 7.04 was delayed, the train is packed, and they didn’t have my paper at the shop”. This went on for about 5 minutes. I sat there and thought, “Thank goodness I am not on the other end of that phone. Would I ever employ that person?” She had not only made herself feel bad, also the other person on the phone, and taken anyone around her down with her. Now I am not talking about being over-the-top and everything is great! What I am saying, if your glass is half-full (it only has to be half-full), and you reflect that to others, then they will want to be around you!

More from the career coach here.

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