Aristotle said “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This is also true about you. You KNOW that, but when it comes to describing yourself, do you label yourself with only one or two of your “parts”?
Who are you? A sales manager? Engineer? Software Developer? Marketing analyst? A mother … wife … sister … daughter? Father … husband … brother … son? Gourmet cook? Photographer? Golfer? Are you outgoing or more reticent? Analytical or assertive? A leader or a supporter? You are many of those things combined and that’s what makes you YOU—the unique and one-and-only you!
Your professional success doesn't depend on years of experience, technical or functional skills, or your educational qualifications alone. In fact, hiring managers typically cite a candidate's "soft skills" or emotional intelligence (EQ) as a more important gauge of who will be top performers: How well an employee will work with or direct teams, solve problems, and lead change.
According to a 2014 Fast Company article, hiring for EQ has become a best practice and is selected as one of their The Top 10 Best Business Lessons of 2014 (“Why Emotional Intelligence Is More Important To Hiring Than You Think"). The article points out that "tech companies like Google are relying more on emotional intelligence, as opposed to where the person went to school or what grades they received."
It’s like a good soup or sauce. You take a sample and say, “Wow! That’s excellent! What’s in it?!” Maybe you have refined taste buds and can pick out a bit of cayenne pepper … or a touch of garlic … or some basil. But you can’t be sure until the cook confesses his secret ingredients. Whatever the ingredients or the exact blend of ingredients, it’s just right. Like you!
And like that special sauce, it is the unique combination and ratio of ingredients that makes you marketable. You, too, are a special sauce of ingredients that only you can promise to your next employer or current employer.
But there are other requirements listed by potential employers that are much harder to objectify and quantify like “exceptional communication and organizational skills” and “ability to work in a high demand, fast paced environment.” Those last two requirements may be the secret ingredients you possess that few other candidates possess. And if you can demonstrate and validate that you have those secret ingredients in a way that goes beyond repeating the same words “exceptional communication and organization skills” then you may elevate yourself to the top of the pack of all potential candidates.
How do you do demonstrate and validate your secret ingredients? There are a few ways, including inserting quotes in your resume from testimonials that speak to your communication strengths. One of the most powerful ways you can demonstrate and validate that you are indeed a “special sauce” with unique ingredients is to work with an authorized behavioral consultant or professional behavioral analyst trained in the administration of and coaching in DISC assessments.
DISC assessments measure communication style and behavior intensity levels in four dimensions, using the DISC theory originally developed by Dr. William Moulton Marston. It is the most widely used communication style and behavioral profiling tool of its kind, and is supported by decades of research and ongoing, up-to-date validation. The DISC model has been used in 40+ countries since introduced in 1928 and is one of only a few behavioral assessments with universal validation.
Hiring authorities, HR managers, and recruiters understand the value of the information highlighted in DISC assessments, because many of them use the DISC assessments within their organization for team building, conflict resolution, strategic positioning, and more. Providing a hiring manager with the same trusted DISC information they already use, to validate the behavioral and communication style you will demonstrate in your interview and on the job—just by being you—is another way to distinguish YOU!
Are you looking for a new job? A new career? A new position within the same company?
What is the first step you need to take?
I bet you think it is to get your resume up-to-date. And, since I’m a career coach and resume writer, you are probably sure that’s what I’m going to tell you.
The first step has nothing to do with your resume, job postings, LinkedIn, or recruiters. The first step you should take is to examine your beliefs:
- What are your beliefs about looking for a job, starting a new career, or going for a new role?
- What are your beliefs about the job market or the economy?
- What are your beliefs about resumes, cover letters, and interviewing?
- What are your beliefs about the time it will take you to land a new job?
What ARE beliefs anyway? Why should this be the least bit important to a job campaign? Beliefs are nothing but thoughts that are deeply programmed in your mind. They program how you feel and how you react—and, unfortunately, most times that programming is doing your thinking. You are thinking thoughts put in your mind by the news, the Internet, social media, and your family and friends. Many times, these thoughts are based on incorrect information. Yet to you they have become more than thoughts, but a whole belief system.
It’s an embedded system, running without your permission, or even your knowledge much of the time, and it can make the difference between happiness and unhappiness, hope and fear, engagement and depression—and, ultimately, between success and failure.
Losing a job, looking for a job, changing careers, marketing yourself for a new position … all these things are just events ... just things that are happening. By themselves, they have no power to make you happy, sad, scared, or depressed. It’s the embedded system that pops up and scares the XXX out of you, much like the imaginary monster under a three-year-old’s bed.
I don’t know about you, but I still make sure my foot doesn’t slip too far out from under the covers and dangle close to monster territory. Obviously, I don’t really think there are any monsters under my bed, but tell that to my first unthinking reaction that somehow is still an active embedded system after more than 50 years!
So who is doing your thinking about your job search and your career? Are you sure it’s you?
Are you reacting to embedded beliefs or are you acting on and attacking the accomplishment of your dreams and goals? Are you doing things or are you NOT doing things, because of fear.
When a child learns to walk he does it because he wants to SO badly that he keeps trying until he succeeds. He falls more than he succeeds, but he doesn’t have the embedded belief of failure or a banged head causing fear to make him give up.
Let’s ask my first questions again and give some possible alternative answers that are formed based on beliefs and are the reasons for your potential success or failure in your job campaign. (Remember, failure is just stopping).
Are your beliefs about looking for a job, starting a new career, or going for a new role that it is a painful and humiliating experience? That interviews are unfair judgments? That you know you need to network, but you don’t know how or you hate it?
What if, instead of listening to those beliefs, you sabotage that embedded system and reprogram your mind with positive, action-oriented thoughts like this: A job campaign will be fun, challenging, and an excellent exercise in personal development? An interview is a mutual encounter to determine if we can meet each others’ needs; it will be interesting. Now I get to establish my own personal sales team, made up of people I know and trust and new people I meet along the way (networking).
Are your beliefs about the job market or the economy that there are no good jobs available? That it will take forever to land a job? And that I will never find another job that will pay me what I was making?
What if, instead of listening to those beliefs, you actively accept the fact that it may be a challenging economy, but you can use strategic market planning and positioning to beat the competition? What if you committed yourself to finding the tools and methods that will help you land a job RAPIDLY? What if you learned how to DISCover your value, then offer that unique value, qualifications, and benefits to an employer that needs EXACTLY what you offer? And what if you secured a better-paying job?!
It’s time to stop reacting to your beliefs like a submissive robot, but instead, stand in a warrior pose and go BOO to the monsters that control your thoughts!
Stay tuned for more in a continuing series of blogs adapted from the systematic guide for landing the perfect job fast: The 5 Steps to Rapid Employment, by Jay Block.
If you want to know more now, see me about private coaching in this process or to enroll in an online, self-paced 5 Steps to Rapid Employment program. The 5 Steps to Rapid Employment is a proven, highly motivational process used by countless of job seekers for 15+ years and, when faithfully followed, rapid employment is virtually assured. It introduces you to the methodology of a job campaign, not a job search, because job search DOES NOT WORK! You will neutralize your fears and frustrations and learn how to make the right decisions, right now!
I was intrigued from the first moment I read the bold claim accredited to Socrates that "the unexamined life is not worth living" and it has been a touchstone throughout my life. And, through the power of hindsight, I see its influence powering many of my career choices and life activities.