079 The Art of Being You in a Job Search

Authenticity is a characteristic that can often go out the window when looking for work. In the harried and eager interest to meet the employer’s needs and expectations, the job seeker can lose themselves. 

Andrew and Scott share strategies and tactics on how to be genuine and stand up for the strengths that job seekers bring to a role.

Don’t miss these Topics:

  • Being “you” in a job search focused on your strengths.
  • Mindset of truth to yourself over pretending to be something you aren’t.
  • Balancing financial needs and job satisfaction.
  • Holding desperation at arms length.
  • Complete assessments to get more clarity and access a professional to help you identify your strengths.
  • Increasing the satisfaction in your job.
  • Nothing Lasts Forever.
  • Stand up for your strengths in the interview.
  • Reinvent yourself to something you want.
  • Consider a vanity project that makes you feel good.

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00:00:02 – 00:05:01

welcome to job seekers radio. I’m Andrew and I’m Scott. This production is meant to provide you the listener meaningful support to find great careers. Faster whether you’re working or not. Today’s episode is brought to you by the anatomy of a networking conversation. It’s an e book and a free resource that you can download at Jobseeker’s radio DOT COM in today’s show. We’re talking about the art of being you in job. Search one of my favorite phrases that A colleague of mine says to me all the time. Is You be you? I’m sure most of us have heard that phrase did that come with the snap. No he he means it really very sincerely you can snap yes. Of course. He’s he really means it. He wants people to be as authentic as possible. Because it’s in learning. Who People really are that. We can then leverage their strengths. And that’s one of his themes in his career is to to work with your strengths. When you’re looking for something better at in a job search of any kind often feel like you have to change who you are to meet somebody else’s expectation you have to Discount your strength. Sometimes because you feel like they may not be valid. And that’s often what happens in people that I work with have been laid off from somewhere. They felt like they’ve been rejected. They’re going into a situation. Where Jeez the stuff that I did must not be valuable so I need to reinvent myself and that might be true. You may want to reinvent yourself but if that’s your choice great it may be but it isn’t necessarily the truth and there’s that element of well if this didn’t work anymore then now. I have to fake it and and we hear this all the time. Fake it till you make it well that works but is it really sending the messages. You want to send if the message doesn’t matter and you’re faking it because you are learning how to do it better. That’s definitely add approach can take. I don’t discount that at all to your point if I suddenly feel like I have to change who I am in order to now be acceptable. That kind of faking. It is probably going to either backfire on you or it’s not going to work at all people that are looking at indeed dot com or the job postings at a company They look at that job posting. Oh I can do that. I can do that. I can do this too and look at all these things that they can do without. I saying Is that really what I want to do? I really want to do that. Because if we look at everything based on just a capability model where we’re checking all the boxes. We may end up. Disatisfied I don’t know that that’s a natural approach you know not to mention there’s opportunities where you know what? I can’t do that and I should probably take that job because I don’t have a choice. If you don’t have the ability or capacity financially or otherwise to say no yeah that that may be something to consider and don’t discount the validity of that situation for those who are in it because if you’re really feeling desperate because you’re out of money or you’re going to lose your home or whatever that that is those are very real concerns and I don’t want people to feel like we’re discounting that in in any fashion. There is still the sense of doing the things that bring you something that brings some enjoyment that keep you going and often those who are associated with our strengths. As we’re looking at that we we think about ourselves. What is it that I’m good at going through that list? Oh Yeah I could do all these things. Would I enjoy doing them? In this scenario if there are things from my past what I enjoy doing them again bringing those skills back to the four answer is yes then by all means you know. Apply talk to them about that if you can get the interview. That’s great if the answer is I would go back to do those things because I’m starting to feel desperate okay. There’s a different approach that I would recommend than simply applying and trying to be somebody that you no longer are because that will be detrimental to you in the long run. Not Everybody is one hundred percent clear on their strengths or even what they look like or even how to communicate that to other people. We always recommend you look at some assessments but you can do a self reflective exercise just to remember the things that you enjoy you bring up a really good point is something that I want to suggest to our listeners. If you’re going to do one of these assessments and I’m thinking for example strengths finder. It’s one that I’ve used like it. It uncovers where an individual’s strengths may be.

00:05:02 – 00:10:07

It’s providing suggestions and I really liked to set up a that. This book offers however getting the Book and getting it the report and just applying what it says about US specifically from the assessment in the book probably not enough I would recommend seeking out someone who is either certified as a trainer in that assessment or at least somebody with a lot of experience in using it in the workplace to get a bigger perspective other than what you’ve just glean from reading a book because it is going to be a little bit different for you than it was for the author so exactly what is written in the report or in the book is going to need to be more a little bit for it to be truly effective for you so I would recommend talking to those of us who are trained in. This can help you find the way to adapt it looking at things that whether it’s one of those assessments or other activities that bring you energy that that really give you a morale boost. It is vital. You’re doing these things so that you don’t wear yourself into the ground and then wonder why you don’t have any energy the morale come from remembering that you did something you did it. Well guess what you probably got paid too and so it’s having those three components thinking. Yeah I did the thing. I enjoyed it and they paid me to do that. It was crazy and it may not have been one hundred percent of your job. But how do you increase the percentage of that in your in your work well and we just had the conversation about things? Not Being Permanent. You know. Your unemployment situation isn’t going to last forever. Your poor employment situation is going to last forever. You’re really good. Employment Situation isn’t going to last forever. The idea then is if you’re continuing to do things that bring you energy. You’re going to keep those strengths sharp. Hopefully you’re always working on projects to keep your skill set at the cutting edge however you wanted to define it up to date if you are in a situation where you have done these things and you did them really well and it felt really good. If your unemployment situation isn’t going to last forever please keep doing the things you love doing because people will see that and hopefully hire you to do it again. It also would directly relate to your capacity to be resilient search. If you’re seeking all the things that you enjoy and are good. At and often we see people fall down the networking or even doing the applications or or even. Their interview is so jaded because they’re looking at all these things that they can do. And that’s what the job requires but they’re not inspired by it Enthused to go into that situation Going to impact your your capability or you’re at least your ability to present yourself positively in the marketplace. The reason we encourage you to take a look at these things you’ve done that you enjoy is because that becomes part of who you are and that’s what you’d present to people and when you do the interesting thing is people can feel it. It feels different when you present that to some sure. So look at those strengths. Lean into those strengths and communicate those strengths because often. That’s what people want. There’s also we’ve talked about this to the idea that when you’re talking about something that brings you passionate results right that you’re really excited about the do. Well you speak differently. You come alive you light up. Whatever phrase the person may use they are now seeing you in your best light that gives you the impression of confidence and that is what attracts people to you. I I think about the conversations. People have whether it’s a political presentation you’re at some conference or whatever and somebody gets up to speak whatever that may be a rally it’s true on the corporate side as well when someone gets up to speak and they have that sense of being alive and passionate about what they’re talking about and they are confident people are drawn to that. So if you’re working on things that bring you that kind of energy and people are seeing you talking about it and they need something along those lines. You’re far more likely to get the next conversation if you want to reinvent yourself. That’s great I think that that can be very healthy. It can be very rewarding. Don’t feel you have to in order to be somebody that you’re not because that disconnect is actually going to be visible as well. You’re not going to have the same sense of confidence or the same sense of of getting lit up by. You’re going to come across differently and it’s really easy to forget that you did those things and it was fun. It was positive. Sometimes you feel like you don’t have permission to feel that way and if you’ve been in job search long enough and taken enough you know knocks to the Chin you know You know you start thinking okay.

00:10:07 – 00:15:13

Well jeeze maybe I should do is just put in applications. There’s no sense to this. Whole thing anyways. Why should I care? Well you don’t care. Why should anybody else? That’s so you should really not lean that Reggia in remembering and re presenting and taking a look at those successes over and over again and then when you go to interview. Stand up for yourself advocate for this thing that you enjoy doing and often if they need that thing. They’re going to hire you to do it absolutely for those of our listeners. Who are really feeling down that they just are to beat up to make that kind of progress her to to stand up for themselves. I implore you to talk to people who will then help build you back up because you do bring value to the table. Your perspective is unique and someone needs now that sounds like a platitude but there is truth to that and if you need to go to the show notes to find out how to contact. Us contact us. We will help you with that. Because we know the value that unique perspectives bring to the workplace? And you just haven’t found it yet that that’s not uncommon. Many people are there but it also brings a bit of accountability back to you. Decide what you want what you want to do. Andrew you and I were talking about the the idea of a vanity project and some things that I’m currently working on. Are these really just vanity projects that make me feel good? What if they are they make me feel good? It’s worth doing even though I haven’t had necessarily the outcome of landing the next client in whom that ability or that activity may be part of what they do. I’m I’m really charged up because as I work on this it’s starting conversations with other people who are of a like mind who are looking for the same kinds of results and now this feels good so it keeps me going. This is what happens in job. Search the longer it takes to find the right job the more you need these things that bring you that sense of joy and that’s why we talk about always have a project in mind right something. It gives you something to talk about other than I’m looking for a job and really. The focused objective should have a number of components in is not all inclusive. But I would definitely be saying. This is the kind of work I want to do. This is the kind of organization I WANNA be in and then put name on that so for example I just need a Job. Is any focused objective. No it’s a generality at best sure and so be more specific. I’d love to be a director of learning and development for sportswear manufacturer in Portland Oregon. Well I wonder how. Many of those could bio as a matter of fact a handful. There’s a of those Barlett. Where at the idea is okay now? Now that doesn’t mean that the objective can’t change. Of course it probably will but make sure you have something. That’s very focused until you pull on that thread long enough and hard enough and if there’s something at the end of it great Poland another thread you bring up a good point because I remember when I was in school. I wanted to go in a specific direction and I know this is true. A lot of people the deeper you get into it the more you realize that it’s not really a good fit if I forced myself to keep going. I’m not sure I would have been happy and I. My own daughter did the same sort of thing when she was going through school. She was working on her master’s degree thinking. She wanted to go into occupational therapy. She interned with an not and decided. This isn’t really the workout wanted to do. And then she got into the kind of work that she is absolutely passionate about and his wildly successful ad. She had a focused objective of what she wanted to but she was willing to change that focus to better suit her own style and strengths and she knocked it out of the partners. She learned. Yeah what she did is she tried on that pair of shoes. Whatever you WANNA call as your There’s don’t feel so good. Yeah right or they’re too tight or there’s a there’s not enough arch support whatever that looks like rates. Trying another pair of shoes. Yeah it’s okay you don’t have to have it all figured out. It’s just really helps. If you have a a focused objective c know what direction to go to pull on that thread until there’s nothing there Learn more about yourself and not uncommon that you go through this process and you identify all these strengths. But you really don’t know how to effectively communicate that to the outside right if you haven’t decided what you WanNa do in the first place. It’s going to be very difficult to communicate to other people what you can do for them. Even if the job you’re applying for isn’t exactly the way you have described what you want to do if it still hanging all the right things ringing all your bells okay.

00:15:14 – 00:20:06

How do you communicate that effectively and concisely to let people know what your focused objective is and how you perceive your ability to do these things again to have the confidence in that conversation? Because you’re not just reiterating your resume right. You’re not regurgitating something else and you’re not trying to be somebody you’re not you’re really coming back to all of the research and trying on that you have done. You are now being authentic. There is a an element of integrity. That people are really reading in You. This is I think the best way to approach your job search from the beginning and that can influence all of your marketing tools like Lincoln and resume even your branding statement introduction to people We encourage everybody to kind of steer away from a title at company which yes might be your objective. But it’s not something I would share in a brand new statement per se other than as a closing out item to get introductions other and we talk about that in the anatomy of a networking conversation e book which is a free download. By the way for everyone listening you can just go to job. Seekers. Radio DOT COM. You put in your email will email you a free. E Book couldn’t get any better than free of but the idea is if it’s not uncommon that even if you know your strengths is really hard to communicate them effectively and consistently right That’s where you might lean into a coach a job search buddy a mentor the local career center at Your Community College. Whatever is available to you I would lean into that so that you can get a better feel for how to communicate. Even toastmasters would place. Yeah to test your messages so that you can take what’s inside and get outside. There are all sorts of resources available. That either don’t have any cost at all or have minimal costs that are still worth the investment. You make a point though that I wanNa make sure we touch on. And that is you’ve got to stand up for yourself and you have to stand up for something. People have to want to follow what you’re talking about on some level now. That doesn’t mean that you have to get political or you have to stand up against anything. It’s really about knowing what you bring to the table. Understanding what those strengths are and what you want to do with them and assert of a sense that this is what. I’m going for because now people will be more likely to listen to what you think you’re going to do when you get there. And does that align with what they’re looking for and are you flexible in that to maybe bring that attitude or approach into the work that they have that they’re looking to hire and may be more that with you? Your your your strength is Is Your calling card. It’s it’s your competitive advantage. Yeah you WANNA be something to somebody rather than all things to all people when you stand up for yourself that might be based on whatever philosophies you have. If you’re a leader you should probably have a set of philosophies that you bring to the table. What are those philosophies? Khazei vary is many as there are stars in the sky. There’s leaders have different philosophies and you need to practice communicating bat. You may know what your philosophies are. But if you can’t communicate that concisely it’s not going to come across as effectively so I would recommend practice those statements. And what is the difference between a leader and a manager? I mean we go into all these different things but the idea is. If you’re not standing for something then you might as well stand for nothing. And that’s you kind of putting your own spin on what you bring to the table to that role at the interview so five in an interview. I’m not I’m not telling somebody here’s all the things I do to meet all the requirements that you have to identify where your strengths play in that role and say hey. This is what I bring to the table and you stick that up front and center in the interview and you stand on that now. That doesn’t mean that you’re telling them how they should be doing their work. And I’ve seen that happen tour. Where oh well you need to do this. And that and what they’re meaning is this is how I would approach it. But they actually say the words I. This just happened to me this just in the past week where someone was thinking. She was giving advice to she was talking to but instead yeah she was telling them. These are the things that you need to do. And these are the things that you need to avoid without taking into consideration that she was talking to people who had more experience doing these things than she had.

00:20:06 – 00:23:50

Be careful on on how you present that when you’re saying these are the things that I have to offer. And this is how I’ve offered in the past. These are some things I’d like to do a little differently. That’s a completely different conversation. I WanNa know more what we’re suggesting is if you go to an interview. Don’t prepare on how you can fit every single requirement. It’s that’s not a strategy. Well it is a strategy. But guess what is the strategy everybody’s using and if you don’t stand four yourself and your strengths right not what they wanna hear but what you have to offer in if it aligns with what they want. Then you’re at an advantage and if you have the sense to ask the questions early enough. What their pain points are and you can board that any way you like. But really one of their top priorities and filling this position. One of the first things that this position is going to be working on. You can actually tailor that conversation that because you know what you’re good at what where your strengths are and what you WANNA do. You can tailor your response to meet their needs as well as perhaps in the conversation uncover some needs. Maybe they don’t even know they have yet. What can I really can. I really talk about myself in that way. Wouldn’t that be you know kind of arrogant and self aggrandizing and won’t they think of kind of all about me? No that’s the purpose of the interview. Oh okay now how you come across it. It’s possible died tone of voice the way your messaging that it’s possible. That may come across that way so I would say practice with people who will give you candidate advice candid feedback on the way. You’re presenting Nancy. But with that said the interview. Is there for you to Your Own Horn? And if you’re the type that’s has oh. I don’t want to come across as being conceited and so I’m not GonNa talk about myself. That is the purpose of the interview. Be You when you go to the interview. Sometimes you try to mold yourself into what they want right so I need to change who I am at present myself in a way that attractive to all the things that they want to be like them rather than myself. What happens if you’re who you are and where your strengths are and how you can be passionate about this work? And suddenly they want to change what that job looks like because they like what they see. Wow were they really do that yes they do? Does that actually happen? Yes it does. It has actually happened for me. Well okay I’m in okay. Good so the idea here folks is. There’s only one you to just be you. You be you you be you. Thanks everybody we appreciate your time and attention here today. Everything that we’ve talked about you can read in the show notes are available at Jobseeker’s radio DOT COM forward slash zero seven nine. When you’re there we have a free resource and I like free. It’s called the anatomy of a networking conversation. It’s an e book that comes with companion audio really helps you is your networking conversations in a pragmatic way. That gets results. Also in the show notes as a link to itunes. You could just click there. If you’re on your little iphone right now and leave us a Rayton review. We’d really appreciate that it helps us. Spread the message about the podcast. While I’m Andrew and I’m Scott and in the words of Zig Ziglar Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity. Thanks everybody always tell the truth about you.

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