During these lockdown periods I have had unprecedented demand for direct coaching support. Many of these requests have been in the form of wanting help in managing the process of finding new roles as a consequence of the Pandemic. It is with great pride that I can say almost all of the candidates, that I have been coaching with these needs, have now been offered and accepted new roles. So, despite it being such a tough jobs market it has been possible to stand out from the crowd. Each one of these coaching situations is a unique story in itself, however I thought in this article I might share some of my observations and approaches that have helped, especially as now there is even more reason to be positive with vaccines becoming available shortly and the possibility of normality is appearing on the horizon.
The first key is – Optimism. You will prevail! When faced with the daunting task of looking for a new role, I notice the starting point is the building of self-belief. This is not blind optimism but instead a rational, determined outlook that the candidate has an array of marketable skills and we just need to identify and find just one of the many thousands of businesses that wants to use them.
Secondly - Be selective. So often I find myself coaching candidates who are on the 2nd or 3rd organisations in a single year and still find themselves in the wrong culture. This is largely due to the desire to have any role versus finding the right organisation and then the right role. My top tip is to identify the type of organisations you want to work in. Make a clear list of criteria you are looking for, what is important to you and identify those businesses that fit that criteria. Now investigate what roles they may have. At worst, with this process you will have a faster recognition of “best fit” organisations when they appear which you can then pursue. With this approach there is a greater likelihood that you will settle in and have greater impact business faster. I would also recommend testing out the sales blurb being spouted by the recruiters and quite often the senior hiring managers by talking to staff who already work in the organisation. Mystery shopping them reveals much about and organisational culture too.
Thirdly - Remember its a buying process? treat yourself as you would a product or service bring offered to a customer. If you are in sales you have no excuse, this is a buying process so get customer centric! What and how can you have impact on the organisation’s needs? This then begs the question; Do you know their organisational goals and challenges? Can you articulate how exactly you can impact those challenges? Remember the recruiters are trying to answer two questions. Firstly; Can you do the job? And then secondly; Do I want you to the job. How do you compare to others, how well do you fit my selection criteria? These criteria are usually provided in black and white on those job adverts but you may have to uncover the unsaid ones and learn what they really mean.
Fourthly – get organised. You need to create a pipeline of opportunities, so start with creating a broad funnel and identify the key aspects each one is looking for. Note if you don’t meet the top four criteria of the opportunity drop it, it will just slow you down and with the number of candidates available right now you are being hopeful rather than rational. Track each opportunity, identify each stage and have a clear objective for each stage. Recognise key stakeholders and their different needs, capture learning and feedback from each part of the process. I spend considerable time with candidates reviewing the content and rehearsing presentations. The product of all this organisation is clarity and impact when you need it most. So often the learning from one interview process is pivotal in that crucial discussion for the role you really want.
When writing this, I am reminded of one of my favourite quotes “There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living”. – Nelson Mandela – If you would like help in developing your career pathwe can together create a coaching relationship that works for what you need to do. Give me a call or drop me a line now as the right organisation and role is out there waiting to find you.
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