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Career Coach tip 4: Resilience and Job Searching
Resilience and job searching go hand in hand when looking to land your dream job role. For this career coach tip, think this through:
- If you don’t apply, you cant get the job.
- The job you decided you were not good enough for, was the one you would have got.
- The best sales people in the world know that each time a prospect says ‘no’, they have got closer to someone saying ‘yes’.
Jack Canfield and Resilience
Jack Canfield is one the greatest speakers in this area. Whilst he is not a career coach, his work easily translates to this area. He was part of the ‘Million Dollar Round Table’ which is made up of sales people who earn more than 1 Million in commission a year. He notes that one of the great differences between people who are top performers in sales and others is their ability to keep going. His view is, and we are translating this to job seeking:
- You ask someone for a job and they say “no”, objectively, and leaving your emotions aside (which you should do as it is just like selling and marketing a product), what have you lost? A little time.
- What have you gained? Firstly, some feedback on whether you are ‘on course’ or ‘off course’. The feedback redirects your actions for the next time. You just need to ask for it, listen to it, and take the actions.
- Secondly, you have gained the knowledge that you have got closer to getting the right job. It is back to the simple law of averages. The difference now is that not only have you improved your averages by someone saying “no”, you have also increased your averages overall by improving the quality of your job seeking actions from the feedback you got.
- The career coach will now add one more to his Jack’s thinking. Most people give up after what they see as a failure. “It’s too hard”. “I will never get the right job.” So they settle for something they know they can get easily. It may be part of the personality, it may be the socialisation of the individual, or many other possibilities. But the fact is that most job seekers simply listen to the demons in their head, and give up on the right role. Just knowing this means that you have a better chance.
Career Coach Tip about Resilience and Job Seeking
Career Coach side tip: Ever sat in a room full of candidates? Just watch them. Playing with their collars or looking at their watches and nervously smiling when people walk past. Once you watch this, understand that most of these people will not perform as well as they could in interview. You are already ahead! Smile, you are on the front foot.
A True Story About Resilience and Getting the Job
Just to help. Here is a real story about resilience. We believe it was originally adapted by Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the days of his speaking tours. You may have also heard this story elsewhere. This is a story about Laura Schultz , and you can find similar stories about Hysterical Strength elsewhere. Far more important is the second part of the story about her resilience. Unfortunately, like most people, she needed the life-changing event to go and get the job she really wanted.
This happened back in 1965 and is about a 63-year old woman called Laura Schultz who did something extraordinary.
One day Laura was looking after her young grandson who had his friends round to play. And you know how children play in cars, they try to steer the wheel, make engine noises, and all those good things that we as adults don’t feel comfortable doing any more. Well, one of the children let off the handbrake on the car and this great big soapbox car rolled down the drive over her most precious grandson who she heard screaming. Laura went running out and lifted the back of the car off the ground and her grandson pulled himself out. Later that day five men came round and tried to lift the back of the car without success. In interviews following that day, Laura admitted that the most she had previously lifted was a 50lb bag of flour.
What enabled Laura to achieve this extraordinary event?
A psychologist called Charles Garfield who has written books called ‘Peak Performance’ and ‘Peak Performers’ heard of the story and wanted to find out how she achieved this feat.
Charles called her up and said, “Hi, my name is Charles Garfield and I am writing a book about people who have done extraordinary things. I want to find out what the secret is. I heard about you and the car and would very much like to interview you.” Laura replied, “Thank you for the call but I don’t want to talk about the event”, and put the phone down – she called it ‘the event’. Charles made several more calls and got the same response.
One morning Charles made a long trip to call on Laura, as he was not easily defeated. He knocked on the door and when it opened said, “Hi, my name is Charles Garfield and I am interviewing people who have done extraordinary things and I would like to interview you about the event when you picked up the back of the car”. She said, “Charles, I told you on the phone I don’t want to talk about the event. However, you have travelled all this way so come in and I will make you some breakfast. I imagine she felt sorry for him.
Anyway, over breakfast they got talking about grandchildren, how things have changed over the years, and all those things we talk to people about who we don’t know too well. But Charles kept plugging away for Laura to talk about the event and she kept refusing. He asked her, ‘Why don’t you want to talk about the event?”, and she replied, “Because it leads to an awful conclusion about my life.” He asked, “What’s that?” She said, “Because if I did something by picking up the back of that car that I didn’t think I could do, what other things in my life did I not do because I didn’t believe I could do them, that if I believed I could have done, then I could have done them and had a more fulfilling life. It leads to the conclusion that maybe I have wasted my life!”
Charles, being a psychologist, said to Laura, “Well, if you could do anything you wanted with the rest of your life, what would you do?” Laura replied, “My god, Charles, I was 63 then, I am now 65, don’t you think it’s a bit late?” Charles repeated his question. Laura thought long and hard and then said, “Charles, no insult to you, you’re a psychologist and like people, but I am really into rocks. I would like to be a geologist.” Charles said, “Then why don’t you go back to college and become a geologist?” Laura said, “My god, Charles, if I go back to college I won’t get out until I am 69”. Charles said, “If you don’t go back to college, four years later, what are you going to be?” Laura said, “69”, and Charles added, “Without a degree”.
To cut a long story short, Laura went back to college, got her A’ levels equivalent and her BA degree and went on to teach geology in a college in Florida.
You see, you are never too young, never too old; you just have to believe you can do it. And this career coach has started to show you how to do this. The question is, do you have the guts, the willpower, the good sense to do the things you need to do in order to get what you want? If you do, you can have an amazing life. If you don’t, I hope you have an entertaining course. But we do hope you take the time to get what you deserve.
Oh yes, and a bit more of your life has now disappeared – you don’t get that back either!
Other Stories about Resilience
Winston Churchill, after WWII, was invited back to his old school and asked to give a speech. It was one of the shortest in history. He stood up and said, “I want to tell you when it’s time to give up. The answer is never, never, never.” Then he sat back down. I bet those students will remember the speech.
Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb. Stories differ as to how many things he tried to run electricity through before he got a glow. He tried everything including banana peel. After 2000 attempts a young research student came to him and said, “Mr Edison, you must be very disappointed, you have failed 2000 times.” Thomas Edison looked at him and said, “Young man, I am a great success, I now know 2000 ways that will not work.” When he finally invented the light bulb, the same student came to him and said, “Mr Edison, you failed 5000 times before you invented the light bulb, how did you keep going?” Thomas Edison looked at the man and said, “Young man I never failed once, it just happened to be a 5000 step process.”
Disney went bankrupt 5 times before he built Disney World. Imagine all the children who would not have had all those good experiences if he had given up!
More career coach tips below. If you have not completed the Self Confidence Questionnaire, you can also access this here.
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