Input and feedback for your job search. Are you really open to it?
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Job Search
Sometimes I’m hard on people. That doesn’t always make me popular. But the thing of it is, I have really high expectations of people, and I fully expect them to deliver according to their capabilities – and beyond.
A few years ago, I went to a personal coach. I went in thinking our conversation would be more career focused, but like most great coaching, it always comes back to you. At one point, I was telling him about someone I used to date and how he could give such criticism that would make people cry. Honestly, I felt so bad for them, but I felt bad for me too, because I was with the guy who had complete disregard for others’ feelings. “And why do you care?” he said. “Because I want people to like me. Why, oh why, do I care so much that people like me?”
That’s when he started talking about authenticity and the circle of pain/circle of gain. If you’re authentic, you’ll attract the right people (and repulse the wrong people), which leads you to staying true to who you are, being happy with yourself, forming a circle of gain. If you’re not authentic, you’ll attract the wrong people (and repulse the right people), thereby causing undue stress and anxiety, and cause you to be in a continuous circle of pain.
One day my yoga teacher got mad at me. He made me cry. Was I mad at him? No. It hurt. I felt bad, but I really appreciated him for being truly authentic. He says exactly what he thinks and if it hurts me, well, then, that’s my problem (assuming it’s not vindictive – which it never is). And I know that if he ever tells me something, it’s truly authentic.
It got me thinking about people in the job search. I go to job search meetings quite often, and I’m hard on people. I know I am. But, when it comes down to it, that’s just me being authentic. I care so much. I’m passionate about you finding the right job. I want you to be as great as you possibly can. And I know you have it in you!
Sometimes people aren’t taking the right approach (right – being the approach that lands them a job), not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t know any better. I mean, really, who shows up at our meeting saying “I have ten years in technology, five years in medical devices, and most of my background is in job search, because I’ve been out of work most of my life.” No one, that’s who.
So, it’s forgivable that you may not know any better. It’s forgivable that something that seems so obvious to someone with a little experience in the job search might not seem so obvious to you. Give yourself a break.
But here’s where the break ends. Next time someone offers you some advice, especially in a time like this, and especially in a forum like a job-search networking group, it might be a sign for you to stop and listen. It might be a sign to disarm the defenses and just be open to the input. Even if it startles you just a little. Even if it seems so very counterintuitive to you. Even if it sends you down a path that you never considered going. Maybe there was a reason you were put in that room. Maybe you needed to hear that input. Maybe that day was the day your job search truly began. Maybe, just maybe, with one word of feedback combined with some encouragement (and a contact or two), you’re headed forward toward success like you’ve never dreamed of.
Get smart about your search. Be open to the input. And live up to the expectations that you, and others, have of you…and deliver beyond your capabilities. You know you can!