Episode 25 – 2 Mistakes You're Making in Your Job Search
In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about 2 mistakes you’re making in your job search.
Find the full show notes for this episode at RecoveringCorpoholics.com/25.
When you are in the process of job searching, one mistake could cost you the opportunity. Since you’re a professional (and probably an over-achiever), you spend every free minute trying to do everything by the book to land the perfect opportunity.
But what if the mistake you’re making is something that you don’t even realize you’re doing? Something that is going to have you back in the same place as where you are now in just a couple months or even years down the road.
That’s why this week, I wanted to talk about the 2 mistakes you’re making in your job search that are holding you back from career fulfillment.
And FYI, I created a spreadsheet to help you avoid these two mistakes. Just go to RecoveringCorpoholics.com/25 to download that now.
The first mistake - focusing on the external factors
The first mistake I want to talk about is focusing your job hunt only on the external factors.
Whenever I talk to clients about what their dream job is, 95% of what they say are around the external factors of the job (such as flexibility, benefits, pay, etc.) and 5% is about what the job actually entails.
I always like to follow up with the question, “Great, so if you were to have all the flexibility and pay in the world, you would do accounting work”? And since most of my clients are coming from a professional services background, the answer is 99% of the time ‘No way’.
That’s why it is so important to know what it is you actually want to be doing.
It’s good to know what external factors you want in a job but at the end of the day, what you are going to be doing each day is going to be the most important thing you want to consider when finding a new career path. Especially a career path that fulfills you.
Then once you find what it is that you want to be doing, you can then look for those certain jobs that meet your lifestyle needs.
For example, if you know you want to be an accountant and also that you want flexibility and a large team, you can then look for companies and opportunities that fit that.
If you do it the opposite way around, taking another job just because it’s flexible or earns you more money (and not concerned with the actual job at hand), eventually you will find something else that you’ll want to change down the road and you’ll be right back where you started.
Let me tell you my story on how I came to this realization.
When I started my career in Audit, I was miserable. I didn’t like how repetitive the work was or that I was stuck working on just a few clients.
So I told myself if I could get something where there was more variety in the work and the opportunity to work on various clients, I'd be happy.
Therefore, I switched to consulting as it checked those boxes: the opportunity to work on more things (still all finance based) and that I switched clients every few weeks or months. But eventually, those feelings came back and I was miserable again.
I told myself that it was because I was traveling all the time and was overworked. So what I needed to do was find a job that checked those boxes.
So I did. I moved to an internal job where I was 100% remote and had more flexibility with my time. But then a few years later, I was back to where I started.. I told myself that it was because I missed working on the client side and making an impact.
My initial thought was to find a role where I was client facing, where I could make a difference and be remote. But this time, something stopped me.
Is that something that is really going to make me happy? It was the first time that I actually thought about what I actually wanted to do each day vs the external factors. So I sat down and started making a list. What are the skills I have and the jobs I’d actually want to do?
There are a couple other questions you can ask yourself. To see some more questions and get my template to help you go through this process, go to RecoveringCorpoholics.com/25 to download that template now.
The second mistake - doubting yourself
And this leads me to the 2nd biggest mistake I see clients making when changing jobs. You don’t believe that you have the skills to do a different job and therefore, it’s not possible.
When I started making my list, I realized that all the skills I had were related to finance consulting/ corporate work and all the things I wanted to do were unrelated and I thought I didn’t have the skills for them.
And if I truly look back, there were always different jobs I wanted to do back during my job changes, however, I just felt like I wasn’t qualified for them so I never gave it a shot. For example.
I knew back in Audit that I hated finance work. So why would I want to go into finance consulting?
It’s because I thought finance was the only thing I was good at. Plus I went to school for it. So there were no other opportunities for me other than finance jobs. I also didn’t want to start over. That’s another reason I kept focusing on making it work.
This is when I hired a coach to help me figure things out. And what I discovered was that I had so many more skills than just finance. I was actually skilled in a lot of things, had a lot of transferable experience and honestly could have gotten any job.
But there came that voice inside my head again… OK, so I am skilled, but I don’t have the degree or actual task experience to support it. The next thing I discovered was that not having the experience or the education wasn't as big of a deal as I was making it.
What I came to believe and now know, when hiring someone for a job, employers just want to know the type of person you are, your work ethic and if you can get the job done.
Check, check and check!
So maybe I didn’t have the background, but if I believed in myself and thought that it was possible, there were so many things I could have done to go after that job that would have made me more confident not having the background I thought I needed.
As an example, say I wanted to go into marketing. First, I could have tried to switch internally to a marketing job. I already had a good reputation so it was then just asking them for a shot to prove myself. Or to help on a side project to show them I was capable.
Other things I could have done would have been to network and see who I knew that could have given me or helped me find an opportunity.
I also could have joined a volunteer organization or some other kind of organization on an unpaid basis and asked to help with their marketing to gain experience.
I could have also started a side hustle or did something on an hourly basis to gain experience. And as a last resort, I could have gone back to school and got a degree, a graduate certificate, or just some kind of certification.
Basically what I’m trying to say is there were so many things I could have done in order to feel like I checked the box. But I didn’t because I didn’t think it was possible and I didn’t want to start over, so my mind wasn’t even open to any of these possibilities.
And for all you people out there thinking you don’t want to start over, just think about where you will be in a year if you start now. I know I said the same thing to myself year after year.
And maybe I would have needed to take a pay cut, maybe not, but that fear held me back from career fulfillment.
So when you are thinking about what you want for yourself, take out all the judgment and thoughts of I’m not skilled or good enough, that would never happen, that’s not a real job, that’s not possible and all the other random thoughts that are like that.
And just think about what it is that you would like to do, regardless of skill, experience or education.
And again, to guide you in this exercise, I created a template to help you go through this process, just go to RecoveringCorpoholics.com/25 to download that now.
That’s all I have for today.
Stay inspired and live powerfully,
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