Just smiles. Seriously – that’s what I’ve been noticing as I accompany my father through the SA healthcare system. Man, there are a lot of people who enjoy what they do – or at least they enjoy helping other people.
Okay there are negatives – like, yesterday, being made to wait 4 hours for a 10 minute appointment – but from the hospital staff, admin staff and pharmacy staff to nurses at the private old age home/frail care facility, there are a lot of good people. Actually the only person with no smile was the private doc/specialist. Just shows money only goes so far in putting a smile on one’s face.
The job searching lesson? A lot of our success or failure in life has to do with how we connect with people. How we come across. Whether we come across as ‘open’, friendly, accommodating and nice to have around. Or not. Landing your next job, believe me has much to do with that – frequently more than your experience and qualifications.
So, are you comfortable in your own ‘skin’? Are you ‘okay’ with yourself?
Years ago I remember thinking of this feeling of being ‘okay’ with yourself as something like an anchor. Despite the knocks, pushes and shoves in life, basically you like who you are, you know you have value – so you shake off the inevitable job market rejections and the ‘difficult’ job interviews and interviewers (y’know, with that brainless recruiter!). You maintain your equilibrium or stability.
Do you believe in yourself? No-one should completely I don’t think – I mean we all need support, we all need to improve somehow, we all make mistakes. And most often there’s someone out there who’ll be faster, better, cleverer than us. But still, do you have that core of confidence in and comfortableness (there’s a new word!) with who you are and what you can do? ‘Cause if you are, then you’ll come across better. And be in line for better interviews and better job search results.
Here’s something practical regarding this – it’s going to be something I expand on in future: when you’re going on a job interview, in preparation, take a blank sheet of paper and make some notes in answer to the following questions:
- What’s the job I’m interviewing for?
- What kind of company is it for (if you know)?
- What department is it in?
- From my previous experience what are the 5 (or 3) most common challenges, problems in that kind of company, department, position? What are the daily problems someone like me is expected to solve?
- Now, have I ever faced any similar situations? [Think of the 3 toughest situations you faced.]
- What are some things I did really well? And what did I do to get that result?
- How do I feel having done that?
Remember the good things you did, the good results you achieved. Focus on your value. Remind yourself.
Repeat this exercise considering your life in general:
- What are some basic things that I’ve achieved that I’m proud of? [Forget about the fact that others may also have achieved what you have – just be happy that you did it. It proves you have ability and value.]
- What are some things I COULD be proud of, if I let myself?
- What improvements am I making or will I be making soon that I’m proud of?
Here’s the idea: get your mind on a positive track – start building that anchor, make it a big one – not to be full of yourself – but just to be comfortable with who you are, and therefore solid, stable, able to smile, laugh easily … and come across as someone who is reasonably confident, ‘nice to have around’ and who fits in easily (as opposed to edgy, tetchy, scratchy, uncertain and porcupine-ish!)
Some people appear to have this whole ‘effect’ naturally – and frequently we’ll find they’re in jobs they are suited for and like and they do well. It’s like “maturity” – y’know, reaching a point where you’re comfortable, stable. But it’s also something that can be cultivated.
[For much more on this topic, getting to know yourself better, discovering ‘who’ you are – join the www.careerandsuccess.info community. You’ll get immediate access to resources like “Wishcraft” by Barbara Sher (see quote in right sidebar) and Tony Robbins’ “Awaken the Giant Within” (abridged version – really cool because the original was, like, 500 pages).]
Quick update – last week I sent out a short questionnaire about starting your own business – whether you’d like to one day. There was an unbelievable response – 680 responses so far. No surprise actually. So I’m starting a new website called something like Gerard’s Small Biz Ideas – just to share some of the ideas I’ve used over the years.
A lot of people are scared to start a business – and rightly so. But you have to ask – “what am I building for myself?” Or am I just always building for others? Also, in an economy that’s losing jobs – increasingly, we have to look at starting our own show. And success isn’t so difficult. But it is important to get the basics right – especially when it comes to marketing. More later.
I’ll also be expanding my CV writing service to writing business profiles, sales letters, newsletters etc for small businesses, consultants, etc – helping them get more interest more quickly from their customers and clients. Contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org re. this service for now.
On a Personal Note:
Do you allow dogs in your bedroom? This morning this was our family scene (as usual): Olive (in her xy ‘jamas), Ethan (4) and Zoe (6) in bed sipping their tea. Me sitting on the couch with my coffee. Bella (mostly Alsatian) lying at my feet, Molly (a Boerbull of Great Dane proportions) lying in the doorway with her pathetic stump excuse for a tail wagging side to side. It just struck me as cool. Oh, and there probably were a couple of cats hiding out in there somewhere too. Now, I don’t dig the dogs in the house really. But there are some simple things in life that just give one a good feeling. We were all having a chat (ok, not the dogs, they were just wagging their tails in contentment). It was early. No rushing for a few minutes. Nice. Good to have times like that.
That’s it. All the best.