So start by getting to know yourself
Realising that you matter most is not self centred or indulgent. When you are planning a change of career, taking a closer look at you is the best place to start. Before you can really promote yourself to a prospective employer, you need to really know what you are ‘selling’. It’s YOU.
This article was prompted when I answered a question from David recently (you can read my response here) who was feeling despondent that his recently acquired MBA was not magically opening doors into the new career he was dreaming of.
His story made me think of a common trap that career changers fall into – well two traps really.
No magic wand
Now I think that the Colleges and Universities are partly to blame here, because there is no doubt that they promote their (often very expensive) courses in such a way that encourages you to believe that once you have the magic certificate, the job offers will all fall in your lap.
No they won’t.
If you were recruiting someone, would you make your selection on
the basis of a pile of qualifications? Of course not. You’d want to know a lot more about the person too. Yes, the qualification may help swing your opinion in the right direction, but if the person clutching them fails to impress, then all the qualifications in the world won’t swing it. This is where you need to realise that you matter most, not the bits of paper you have acquired over time.
People recruit people, so your job is to promote yourself as multi-faceted, offering a range of skills, experience, talent and personal qualities. You are the answer to the recruiter’s problems, not your qualifications.
The answer lies within
The second trap is thinking that the answer is ‘out there’.
I see many job seekers and career changers looking outside themselves for the solution to their career change problems.
Are you guilty of this one?
Do you think that you just need another bit of paper, a better resume, a friend who will give you an introduction, a lucky break…?
So whether you are looking for a new job or a complete change of career, remember to focus on who you are and what special skills, strengths and experience you have got to offer.
Believe in yourself because you are unique and no one else can match you. You matter most.
Something to think about
‘Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.’
~ Judy Garland ~
The Art Of Inspired Living
Coach Yourself With Positive Psychology
Sarah’s book is about your whole life, not just about your career, but much of what she says has direct relevance to the issue of choosing and changing career direction.
It is a practical book, based on the principles of positive psychology and it will help you to coach yourself by working through the various exercises in each chapter.
Sarah talks about issues I have covered in the 5MCC and on the How To Change Careers website and her focus implies what I have said in my article above – that you matter most. Taking the time to discover who you really are and what that means about your mission in life is essential. It helps you to develop the right mindset for change and then gives you a set of specific tools to help you make the vision a reality.
It is certainly a book I have read and then returned to on many occasions.
Wherever you are in your career or your life, you will find something in here that is right for you right now.
From The Five Minute Career Coach July 2011