This week I met with a couching client with a challenging — but not unique — job search situation. This man, “Tony” (not his real name), is middle aged and has few office computer skills. He wants to get into an industry that he has a longtime passion for, but little work experience in. This industry requires strong computer skills. It is also the type of career where you have to “know the right people in order to find good job leads.”
After reviewing this man’s qualifications, experience and goals, I feel confident that Tony will achieve his career goals, possibly sooner than he thinks.
Why am I this optimistic for a job seeker facing so many challenges? Here’s why:
1. Tony is aware that he does not have the skills needed to enter his chosen field, but he is willing to take an internship or do other training to learn. He isn’t focused on all the things he has already done (or not done) in the field. And he’s not worried that he is too old to “start over.” He is focused on his future, and that includes learning new things and entering new situations.
2. Tony is all too aware that he needs to find immediate employment to keep a roof over his head. He took the initiative to ask his current employer if there is a chance he could get more hours at his part-time job. In order to get an increase in hours, the job seeker has to write a resume and give his supervisor concrete business reasons to increase his responsibilities. That’s when Tony called me. Instead of feeling like he is “jumping through hoops” to get what he wants, he is willing to do what was asked of him.
3. He is willing to ask for help. Tony knew that he wouldn’t be able to create a proper resume on his own, so he called on someone he knew who did have those skills — me. He also asked me for guidance on how to best present his case to his supervisor in order to get an increase in hours. Often we know what we want to say, but don’t know how to say it. That’s when it’s time to call on your personal cabinet.
4. Tony has realistic long-term and short-term goals, both with concrete steps on how to achieve those goals. Some of the steps Tony thought of were a bit off the mark, but that’s why he is asking for help. I also gave him other suggestions for ways to achieve his career goals — some of them more simple and immediate that the one’s he thought of.
5. Tony is focused but flexible. This man knows what he wants for his life, why he wants it, and has some ideas on how to get there. He is willing, however, to listen to new ideas that might help him, and to let go of old ideas. Often, we get stuck thinking that one way is the only way to do something, even when someone suggests a simpler or better idea. One of the best skills any person can learn is how to navigate the rapids of life while keeping your focus on dry land.
Why do I think Tony will achieve career success, despite all the things against him?
He has a positive, motivated attitude that will bring good things to anyone who views the world and himself the way Tony does.
- What employer wouldn’t want to work with someone who is willing to learn new skills?
- What employer wouldn’t want to work with someone who is a team player?
- What employer wouldn’t want to work with someone who is passionate about what they do?
Job seekers are very aware of their skills work experience. But those are not the only indicators that someone is likely to find employment. Believe if oneself, focus on your goals, and a willingness to learn and ask for help are also essential to career success.
Keep looking up,