Take back your power in your career

Sep 18

Opportunities come to those who reach out and grab them

For many years the world (of work) has been our oyster. Jobs, promotions and opportunities have been plentiful, resulting in people being shoulder tapped, head-hunted and pursued. Many of us have taken advantage of this or groomed interns, protégés or adult children into this affluent world of opportunity. How quickly the world can change! We have moved from the privilege of choice to survival of the fittest. In the past two-months many of us have been displaced from our normal workplaces/teams to working from home. Some have been made redundant, redeployed or living on one income or a wage subsidy for the first time in our careers. All of this is stretches us beyond our comfort zones and is beyond our control and perhaps not what you ever expected to face in your career. However, there are lessons to learn and actions you can take to regain your power and reset your course. Others (including us) have been here before and have had to reinvent ourselves and learn to reposition our profiles and careers according.

My story I graduated University in October 1987 at the crucial moment of stock market crash. Jobs disappeared overnight and our comfortable reliance that the world was our oyster was trashed. Colleagues of mine who graduated as doctors, lawyers, engineers would scramble to compete against each other for the few positions that were available – the rest were left behind. As the world spun into fear graduate jobs disappeared and we were overqualified for the jobs that were available. Well educated, hardworking, ambitious and unemployable. It was scary. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/indepth/business/1987-stock-market-crash/

I retreated back to University and completed my Masters whilst working part-time in market research and Youthline. By the end I was over it and ready to get on with my life and start earning money. It took courage, learning to speak to the skills I possessed, my work ethic and attitude and my ability to learn. I used my unique superpowers to score a job that (as I look back now) set me up for a career in learning and development specialising in translating legal matters into educational events. Ultimately this led to a business I started in 2000 that has employed or contracted many others in turn giving them opportunities. The 23-year-old me could not see this crystal ball future and in fact it was terrifying. It took huge resilience to get another CV and cover letter out there and to face the rejection letters and the interviews that went nowhere until ultimately in succeeded. All these years later I have coached, trained and mentored 1000s of people and here is what I have learnt on how you stand out from the crowd and reenergise yourself so you are ready for the new opportunities that will arise out of this crisis (as they have with every other crisis the world has faced).

Know your talents/strengths
If you haven’t taken a profiling assessment as yet I strongly recommend you do. You can choose from Strengths Finder, DISC, MBTI, Talent Dynamics. If you have then pull it out and take another look at what it says about your unique skillset. (Many organisations complete a profiling assessment but don’t really actively use them) Pull out the bullet point summary of your skills. Understand where you fit best in teams and when you are not in flow. Look at the profile assessment where do you fit best, how do you work when you are in flow and where should you not work. Recently I discussed with an introvert how he was missing learning from his team as he picked up heaps of skills and tips from the noisy extroverts but working from home Covid-19 style has stopped this. Write a summary that can be added to cover letter and CV Now you have 1 and 2 in hand write a few sentences about what you offer uniquely to any team situation. Learn to speak to your strengths Practice speaking to these strengths in an interview content. Ask a friend or colleague to practice with you. Practice a “why you” conversation. Why should they hire you over others? 

Reach out to people in your network

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet then get one. Connect with people who know people who know you. Be brave enough to reach out saying what you are looking for. Be positive, be helpful and offer something in exchange. (see free LinkedIn profile assessment tool from Bluewire Media) https://www.bluewiremedia.com.au/linkedin-profile-checklist

Brush up on interview skills

Ask a colleague or friend who has interviewed others to practice interviews with you. Zoom interviews are different from in-person so practice both ways. Research Research companies, people, connections to see what is going on. Don’t wait for Seek to present you with job adverts. Look under the contact us page or our team page and see who they were looking for before and who they may need now. Never give up I’m not known for patience however persistency and consistency will help get your name in front of the right people. 

Opportunities come to those who reach out and grab them!

If you or your team has been displaced by the COVID-19 crisis and are looking for personalised help to position yourself competitively for the jobs that become available in their market reach out for a discovery call. Contact us
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