By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC
Becoming our best self is a life-long process filled with many twists and turns. So often during our life, we are ruled by a fear of failure, disappointment, or rejection. J.K. Rowling once wrote, “You will never truly know yourself or the strength of your relationships until both have been tested by adversity.” It is only when our lives become challenging that we see how strong we truly are.
We may find that asking ourselves better questions now will give us the time to prepare honest responses to ensure better results. It also allows us to educate ourselves to secure a better quality of life. The world is evolving to a “new normal,” and we want to be as ready as possible to ensure the greatest personal and professional success.
In the New Work World, if you are serious about securing a job or making a career shift, you will have to really be proactive to stand out from the competition. Real winners are those who have resilience and perseverance. You really do have choices as to how you respond to setbacks and dedicate your energies to create opportunities for yourself.
The prospective employer will not tolerate your résumé’s formatting issues, your references not returning a call, your LinkedIn profile not being up to date and professional, or that you have been too stressed out to be focused. These issues could very well cost you the job.
Asking better questions ahead of time will allow you to look more appealing than the candidate with more experience who did not prepare. Doing a proper evaluation of yourself will better prepare you when you are competing for the same job with others who may be more qualified on paper. Employers will be looking for a candidate with that something extra. You can turn this into a time of reinventing yourself through discovery.
History has shown that gain can come out of destruction. The phoenix will rise from the ashes. It’s important to remember that not only are you, the applicant, going through a learning curve on how to approach securing a new job, so are companies and employers. The qualities they are seeking are also changing.
Some questions to ask:
- What are my skills and weaknesses related to my current or most recent job and desire to secure a new career? Document these so you can get a clearer picture.
- What jobs and industries would perhaps be more profitable and secure than the one I currently have or came from? Do some homework, incorporating your answers from no. 1.
- Which previous bosses can I contact? If you left on good terms, secure reference letters, inform them that a prospective employer may call, and thank them for taking the time to answer questions about your previous work performance.
- How will I explain gaps in my work history or why I was laid off? If you get an interview, remember to express gratitude for the experience, reserve any hard feelings about the loss of your employment, and omit negative talk about a particular industry, boss or co-worker.
- Can I cut back on monthly household living expenses so that I’m not working for just a paycheck? You want work that is going to satisfy your passion and utilize your skills. It can be worth taking a step back for perhaps a giant step forward. Have you examined your realistic worth in the current marketplace?
- How does my social media look? Cleaning up social media content is more important than you might imagine. Your LinkedIn profile and social media pages should be professional. Make sure all your content does not contain anything inappropriate.
- Who’s in my support circle? Find a trusted mentor, friend, previous boss, or family member whom you can lean on when the stress of your job search becomes overwhelming.
- How can I center myself? Engage in mindfulness techniques such as yoga, meditation, prayer, or visualization to help you get remain calm during your search for new employment in the New Work World.
- Am I engaging in self-care? Make time to exercise, relax, and involve yourself in hobbies that you enjoy. Have something fun in your life.
- How about networking? Join groups like Toastmasters, Rotary, and professional organizations to put you in touch with various professionals as well as allow you to give back.
This transformational time can be used as a very important step to reintroduce ourselves to the world when we are in touch with who we are and what we have to offer. We are truly finding our place within that New Work World and our own world as we emerge a better version of who we had been. In the process, we may find that our new life is vastly better than the one we left behind.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.