One of the most common issues I hear from people trying to figure out their next career steps is, “I don’t know what to do”. And most of us face this dilemma at least once in our career (the average worker actually changes jobs every 4.4years).
What SHOULD I do, vs What CAN I do?
The reality is that most people have a myriad of skills and talents and could probably succeed in a variety of jobs. But the bigger question is, “What SHOULD you do?”.
We’ve all had to take a job for the sake of a pay cheque - that’s normal - but if we are looking for sustainable career success and want to be strategic and land as high as possible, it is essential we know what we SHOULD do, rather than simply what we CAN do.
Don’t Be A “Career Chameleon”
When you know what you CAN do, but not what you SHOULD do, people often become “CAREER CHAMELEONS”. This condition becomes most apparent when “job application fever” sets in and people revert to the common knee-jerk reaction of applying for every job available. When asked what you want to do, you find yourself replying with, “not sure”, “don’t know”, or worse, “anything!”. However, this sends vibes of panic or fear to an employer and makes you appear desperate for a job.
And, really, who wants to hire someone who’s DESPERATE, because they know very well that as soon as something better comes along, you will be gone!
When you play the role of chameleon, you play a game of frustration and often wonder…
“Why am I not getting interviews? I have all the qualifications!”
“Why am I not getting my calls returned? “
“Why didn’t the Company agree to a second meeting?”
“Why am I not getting more help from my friends?”
“Why do I keep finding myself unhappy in my jobs?”
Chameleons give off vibes of low self worth and tell an employer that they’re not really sure of their own value. This is not a smart move because this places the employer in the challenging position of trying to determine what that value is, when this is really the applicant’s role, not the Company’s.
Employers Care More About What They Want, Than You Want
Remember - employers are far more concerned with what’s important to them, rather than what’s important to you. Don’t make them “work” for information during an interview. The most attractive job candidates are those who know what they want, know their limitations, and confidently convey how they can add value to an organization. Why? Because they know themselves. Their former company may have gone out of business, or their job became redundant, but their value has not!
If you want to turn off a prospective employer, just go ahead and tell them you can do anything and everything. You need to be far more strategic in your go-to-market strategy if you are going to successfully land a great opportunity.
Here are 9 tips for ensuring your value comes through in the job search process:
1. Know your value. Don’t go in to an interview without knowing – and being able to articulate – your value to the organization (at Higher Landing we call them “WOW! Factors”). If you don’t know what makes you great, how can someone else?
2. Do the work! Knowing your value requires an in-depth self-discovery process. At Higher Landing, we walk people through a 6 step process to help them understand their strengths, values, identity and purpose, and articulate specifically what makes them so valuable and unique – where and to whom.
3. Be yourself. In an interview, do not manipulate your answers or presentation in a way you think may be palatable to an employer. Proudly appear as your authentic self. If you aren’t, you may get a job you feel miserable in because it’s not really “you”!
4. Tell an employer if a job isn’t for you. If you realize a job isn’t for you, don’t be afraid to say so - and be sure to say why. This may lead a prospective employer to recommend you to another role, or another contact that may result in your dream job where there is a beautiful alignment with your value!
5. Knowing your value is far more important than knowing the kind of job you want. Your value may be applied in many ways that may inspire an employer to create an opportunity that wasn’t previously available!
6. Be strategic in your job search. Research people and organizations whom you believe may value your unique worth. Then approach them with confidence.
7. Don’t blame the economy for a lack of job offers. Once you know your value – go out and market this value, just as a business would market its services. Become the CEO of your career!
8. Do not be discouraged if an organization does not appreciate your value. If you are not able to freely exercise your value within an organization, it will not be possible to unleash your potential. As one of our Career Transformer’s recently said, “If you can’t exercise your value, you won’t be as potent”.
9. Do NOT become a job chameleon and apply for every job under the sun. This makes you look desperate and uncertain. This is not the ideal candidate employers want to hire because they know you’ll be gone as soon as something better comes up - after they’ve invested in you.
Remember – your value will never go out of business. It’s something you’ve earned that nobody can take away from you. Proudly own it and remember that knowing, believing and sharing your value is the fastest way to the finish line.
If you feel that you could use some more assistance in this process, feel free to reach out to us at Higher Landing – follow us, check us out on twitter and/or send us an email.
Jackie Rafter and Regan Bickell