Key to an Effective Job Search
By Dr. Russ Ouellette, DM
Do you have tenacity? I'm an advocate for maneuvering, being flexible and changing directions when seeking a career path or job, but are we often too quick to change our strategy when we should be focused on the prize? This March I will be presenting at the Begin with Yes Careerfest event about "Effective Communication Skills in the Job Search." While reviewing my notes in preparation, it became clear that the primary concept I will share with unemployed people is to be tenacious.
It is a fact that the most rewarding assignments I have had in my career first came with rejection. In many cases I did not have the right background, skills or education. I missed on some unknown trivial attribute, was misunderstood, or just did not perform at my best on the day of the interview. But I'm stubborn, so if I really wanted it, I would just try again, show up again, and people appreciated it. On the second look, I could build a better relationship, be more authentic, direct and sincere. On the second try I had less to lose, and much more to gain, and people noticed this slight increase in confidence.
Tenacity also means being brave about what you want. Interviewers detect when someone's heart is not in something, and when there is passion it is contagious. So if your heart is set on a particular field, role or job, you will illuminate with enthusiasm and excitement. If you are half hearted, the interviewer will know. While it is easy for me to suggest that people should only do what they want in life, that is not practical. But what is practical is that every job we have adds value to the larger arch of our career. Each professional accomplishment related or not to what we ìreallyî want to do, adds to our repertoire of skills and competencies. Each role we play takes us closer to our future. Therefore, regardless of the role for which you are interviewing you can be excited because you are moving towards what you should be doing in life.
Tenacity also communicates something that is extremely powerful to hiring managers. When my daughter was trying out for her softball team last year, the coach was not looking for skills. He was looking for coachability. Coachability means being able to get past an error, get up when you fall down, push when you have nothing else with which to push. Tenacity fueled my daughter's ability to attentiveness and commitment. She made the team on her willingness to learn, even when there was a lot to learn.
Our hiring systems of resumes and screening, recruiters and interviews, is fraught with errors. I'm not convinced that any of these systems truly find the best jobs for people, or the best candidates for companies. However, I am convinced that our behavior once in front of people has a powerful impact and makes a difference. I have been in many post interview meetings, and the first response to the question, what do you think of the candidate is ìI liked herî. And that had nothing to do with the resume.
Dr. Russ Ouellette is the managing partner of Sojourn Partners, a Bedford-based executive leadership coaching firm. He can be reached at (603) 472-8103 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be twittered @RussOuellette or Facebooked – Sojourn Partners.
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