Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Don't drive with your brakes on," advises Trish Pratt

When we're looking for a new job, are we working harder than we need to? Presenter Trish Pratt, executive and career development coach, started her interactive discussion by asking that question. Throughout the presentation, she helped us to identify ways in which we could be "driving with the brakes on" and showed us ways to overcome some of the psychological obstacles we might create.

Explaining that searching for a job can be a good way to learn more about ourselves, Trish outlined some job search strategies that can help us to feel more positive about our search. First, a resume summarizes your skills and experience. Networking meetings are a good venue for introducing yourself and letting people know what you're looking for. Job websites such as Indeed and Monster, on-line applications and social networking sites like LinkedIn are all helpful avenues for learning about available jobs. And finally, it's critical to follow up on leads, job openings and referrals promptly.

Noting that the job seeker is the driver of each strategy, Trish stressed the importance of several key factors for success. Your confidence in your resume, abilities, and connections, your attitude towards your search, the clarity of your objectives, your level of organization as you navigate your search, your focus and follow-through can all shape your path forward. The stories you tell yourself help to clarify how you're thinking. Thestrategies you choose, your beliefs and perspectives, your feelings, perceptions, habits (do we apologize too much, for example?), and patterns (ways of approaching and responding to challenges and opportunities) are all key components to your job search.

If you notice that there are interview questions that you dread, that you're wondering if you really want the job or career path you're looking for, that your tool set or skill level isn't as current as it used to be, that your resume doesn't inspire your confidence, that you're still thinking about a "flub" you made on a past interview, or that you're not following up on a lead, job posting or interview, then it's likely that you're "driving with the brakes on." So to keep your job search in "Drive," check in with yourself daily to notice quickly if the brakes are on. If you're using strategies that you don't feel good about, it's helpful to distinguish facts from perceptions. Engaging in physical activity and doing something fun every day boost your energy level. Stay connected to your support group, and remember the value you bring to your work. Volunteering can be a great way to keep your skills fresh and may lead to some new networking connections. And you can even hire a coach!

Posted by Cynthia Carlson, WIN Coordinator

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