Having been in recruitment for some 25 years, I’ve had many conversations at a barbecue about a friend or friend of a friend’s current career predicament. Anyone on my side of the fence has had many of these conversations – good and bad – at a barbecue. On a good note, it can be about their current employment situation, or be about a job are looking at, or just the market. On a bad note, it can be a bad experience with a recruiter – and there have been plenty of those!
It was only a couple of weeks ago that I was having one of these very conversations with a good friend. In this case, his role is being made redundant providing him with a couple of career options. One option was to go to an overseas company. This was a real possibility but had some logistical issues particularly relating to his children and their schooling. The second was to take a redundancy and explore options within Australia.
As we grew deeper into the conversation it struck me that my friend’s attitude to job hunting and the interviewing process had changed. I have worked with him some five years earlier when he found and accepted the very role he held currently. Five years earlier he had been upwardly mobile; looking at opportunities on his own terms; happy to question; undertaking a level of due diligence in terms of his financial objectives, skills development and challenges from his next job. My friend was in control.
As we chatted I tried to work out what was different, then it struck me, my friend had an undertone of the apologetic. As we discussed his approach to a recent job application it became clear that there was a lack of confidence – he definitely was not approaching the process on his terms. He was presenting as a seller not a buyer! My friend is 50+, redundant yet with some level of ego, commitments and a sense of responsibly to provide for his family. Understandably very daunting position to be in!
The reality is that my friend is not in the same place he was 5 years ago. However, similar to any game of poker you cannot let the other players know they hand you hold. You have to approach the game and the hand you’re holding as though you are going to win. It is exactly the same when you’re going for a job interview. The circumstances might not be the same as five years ago but it doesn’t mean you don’t use the same approach. It is important to set objectives, consider all opportunities and approach each of them on your terms, run your job search like a pro, but most importantly, be confident. If you don’t then your audience will read your hand very quickly and in doing so you will find yourself out of the process.
A positive mindset and a structured job search approach will lead to positive outcomes.
I had this very chat with my mate and found that the change in approach had him at the table competing. He now has a couple of real potential opportunities in the Australian market and will hopefully land one soon.
Are you facing a career change and need help to approach your job search with confidence?