Hey Job Seekers?! Ditch the Pitch
Here it is, the new year. That reflective time when we try to convince ourselves to hit the gym, walk, run, or do whatever we can to get into some acceptable form of shape. Being one who has lived it, I know it's downright painful to make that commitment, yet I haven't met a person who said the results weren't worth it. You just feel better. As an occupational hazard, I see everything through the lens of the working world. I'm always curious to know whether someone is in true "career shape," or squeaking out just enough effort to get by. From where I sit, there's a whole lotta peeps in need a personal trainer for their career. Armed with this knowledge of the job seeker, I'm hopeful my New Year's resolution to inspire others down the correct career path will come to fruition.
My goal? Get a group from each generation into the best career shape of their life by the end of 2017. I'll provide the step-by-step instructions to those individual willing to exercise their minds to reach a whole new way of thinking. Fair warning: like a major muscle, it will be painful to exercise. You'll want to cry, give up and go back to the old ways, but you have my promise it will be worth it in the end. Those who make it through this arduous workout regimen will see higher salaries, promotions and a general happiness never felt before.
So, here we go! Step one in challenging old and outdated beliefs.
Let's ditch the freakin' pitch - Brain exercise #1
Start changing the view on your personal story (fact or fiction , you be the judge), elevator pitch (not sure how many times you actually use this pitch in an elevator), or whatever phrase the infamous "tell me about yourself" has recently been coined. It's time to get out of your head and be able to speak about yourself in a positive, confident way. Our in house research validates the value of self-awareness, and the ability to speak to your worth in a genuine and true manner. It's a game changer for every single working human being, and powerfully resonates with employers.
This trend in communication where people, specifically job seekers, are uncomfortable speaking about themselves has got to stop. It's not artificial insemination or an academy awarded performance. Each person needs to be the best representation of themselves, regardless of your behavioral style. At some point in life, we developed the belief that it's inappropriate to speak about ourselves for a variety of negative reasons. We have to put an end to this engraved point of view. Today, in every aspect of your work life, the ability to share your knowledge in a way that impacts a company is instrumental for success. Not to mention employers freakin' hate when you can't. They simply don't understand why people have such a tough time speaking about themselves. So, just like babies, can we consider starting fresh with a new language?
Unlike most personal resolutions, allow me to make some suggestions to take that first baby step.
1) Get comfortable being you.
It's natural for us to be tough on ourselves, so try taking yourself out of the equation. It's a really neat exercise to ask others work and non-work related questions. Such as, what they most appreciate or admire about you. Prepare to be surprised when learning what others think. Go the extra mile and ask what advice they have for you. You may find a group of great advisors.
2) Try to separate the personal you from the business YOU Inc.
Do a personal inventory of your skills and identify what you do well. Don't compare yourself to others. Concentrate on your skills and start by talking to yourself first.
3) Do outside research and see what your skills are worth.
Don't let anyone's opinion influence you. Use data to inform your decisions. This exercise will help you gain the confidence that employers are looking for.
4) Take a walk.
This is not a random request! There is a 60% increase in new ideas while walking versus sitting. Use this exercise to open up your mind to new possibilities.
5) Practice speaking about yourself in a variety of places to get comfortable.
Get involved in a nonprofit and share your story. Go to a networking event and chat with peers. Practice, practice, practice like your life depended on it.
These exercises will become the foundation of your career history moving forward. Many resolve to hit the gym in the new year, so, while you're pumping iron, why not train your brain as well. Ditch the pitch and start working on being comfortable and confident in YOU, Inc. Wishing everyone a happy new year and a healthy job search!