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Job Search Skills Trainer – 5 Critical Areas

Being a trainer of job search skills has opened my eyes to a number of deficiencies in job seekers everywhere.  These deficiencies can be very subtle like shying away from a certain type of conversation or much more dramatic such as being scared to make a cold call or push one’s self to do something they have never done.

This post is going to focus on the top five areas of contention in my working with job seekers and how these areas can either propel or derail an effective job search and other things in life.

  1. Attitude:  You have heard it many times that what you pour into your head will impact how you feel every day.  Attitude is made up of three components (IMO): dreaming, wanting and needing.  It is a tug-of-war between them each and every day.  The “dreamer” can be pushed down so much it can start to build up resentment that eventually it can blow.  The “wanter” can be very busy seeing what everyone else has and wishing things were different.  The “needer” can be the driver of the bunch by reacting to whatever is going on in the present.  Managing all these three without getting caught in their struggles can wear you down which cause poor decisions.
  2. Drive:  The willingness or desire to change your state of affairs is where drive comes in.  Drive is very subjective to one’s own experiences.  Some people have been pushed early in life to drive hard while others are less aggressive.  The harder your drive the harder you work to get out of your current situation and into the one you want or have only dreamed of.  Having drive is a decision and not something you are born with.  Your drive comes based on your sense of urgency and can be turned on and off as you wish.
  3. Confidence: This area is really critical and is based on what you tell yourself throughout the day.  Others can help you build your confidence but most of those efforts are temporary.  You have to truly believe what they say otherwise your own personal thoughts will push it aside.  Managing confidence levels takes a retraining of your perception of yourself.  There are good characteristics and bad characteristics in everyone.  We have decided early in life which ones we want to embrace.  If you embrace the bad, you may be seeing how they have impacted your life.  This might require some training or a trainer (coach, -ologist) to help you change those thought patterns.  If you embrace the good ones, you probably are savvy at ignoring the things which undermine your confidence.
  4. Self Realization:  Understanding who you are and what you want to be is critical to determine what is next for you.  Most of us have a tough time really knowing what the future holds or what might be best for ourselves.  There are issues with this because of the pressure we place on ourselves to make a decision on a direction and stick with it.  Self realization is not a lightning bolt type of moment but more of an understanding that is revealed to us over time.  I am not sure you can ever be fully realized but being open to other people’s perception of you will help you see yourself in a better light.
  5. Risk Tolerance:  Everyone has a different tolerance for risk.  Sometimes that is because of the control they want to hold onto.  Other times it is because of the fear they live with.  Taking chances (and enjoying them) throughout your life can really open up your perspective, build your confidence and better understand yourself.  Those who tolerate risk are better prepared for the ever changing world we live in.  Instead of being fearful of changes or hiding from them, one should be more open to seeing what happens with a potential change.

As a skills trainer, I see people deal with these often.  There are so many moving parts to anyone’s skill or emotional level that perfecting this part of the science can be challenging.  Any change in this area comes from within your own head.  Making a decision to begin to work on this area of your life is the first step; the most important step.  Anyone can change.  Everyone can make changes.  Life has a way of opening up cracks in a person’s life which I call “teachable moments”.  Don’t give up on yourself or others too quickly.

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What Do You Need?

It is a new year for you and me.  I have been writing this blog for over four years now.  I just realized one very important thing.  I have never asked you what you need.  I have never asked you to let me know what interests you right now, where you are.

So this is not really a post but more of a question to find out what is the one thing you need right now in your job search?  Now maybe your first answer is:  “A job” which is a good one.  I think that one is obvious…hopefully.  Dig just a little deeper and tell me what you need right now in your job or your job search.  If you need help with your search, what specific help do you need?  If you need support in your search, what specific type of support do you need?  What one thing is dragging you down where you can’t figure out what to do next?

Think about it and let me know.  All job seekers are welcome.  You can comment here or send an email to me at:  jeffonjobs at gmail dot com.  I will respond (or not if you prefer) to each message I receive.  I want to hear from you.

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New Year…New Job?

How do you know when it is time to look for another job?  This can be a daunting question to answer without knowing all the facts.  Many of us at the beginning of the year start to think about a fresh start in a new job, a new department or a new company.  We picture what it would look like, how much we would get paid and what our life would be like.  Are you looking at a new opportunity through rose-colored glasses?

Rose colored glasses are fun to wear and use to dream a little when you need some time.  But when you always look through them to analyze your situation you can make a poor decision and get stuck in something you didn’t mean to happen.  This dog looks funny with them on and so do you when you wear them.  Take them off and start looking at your working life with the right perspective.

Instead, it is so very important to really look at what is going on with you and your job.  Sometimes you don’t need to change companies.  Instead what you might need is a change of pace.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when analyzing your current career situation:

1. If you have a personal conflict with someone, try to work it out.  You might need to change a little and so might they.  If it cannot be worked out, have a discussion with your manager and see if you might fit into a new role in a new department.  Find a place where you can explore other areas of your experience.

2. Never make a decision when you are too high (excited) or too low (frustrated/depressed).  Decision making must be made with a clear head.  If you don’t you risk making the wrong decision.

3. There are times when we have to do what we are doing for other reasons.  If you have gotten yourself in debt or have a family, you know what it is like to have to work hard for a period of time until your situation changes.  That is normal and should be a reminder to not let yourself get in a tough situation again.

4. You can only fix yourself; you cannot fix others.  Try working on your own attitude or your own internal struggles with your job first.  Give the benefit of the doubt to others and try to fix yourself.  Swallowing some pride pie can really go a long way to any conflict situation.

5. Life is NEVER fair.  You should have learned this back when you were 10 years old.  Life has a way of not being fair sometimes.  You get overlooked because you are too old or too young, too heavy or too skinny, too ugly or too good-looking and others.  Life isn’t fair and sometimes you need to accept that the cards you were dealt are not all aces.  Get over it and focus on what you can control and take advantage of.

When considering what you are going to do in 2012, keep yourself grounded.  If you are ready to take a chance and get yourself out in the job search market then stop waiting.  If you gut is saying something is not right.  Look inside to fix the outside.  You will be glad you did.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff