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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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