Two Keys to a Successful Job Search?

I love when clients profit from trusting their own judgment, like Emma did. She came for coaching after she was downsized in a re-organization. The new executives who were brought in labeled her part of the “old guard,” despite a great track record and how much she had to contribute.

Because Emma was the major breadwinner in her family, she felt an urgent need to find a new job. She hit the road running. She landed an interview right away in a huge public company. Although she had a stellar history working in large complex organizations, I was leery of it being the right setting for her. It was bureaucratic and frankly, the street gossip about the company was not good. “Maybe you should also explore smaller organizations?” I suggested. She agreed that might be the right next step.

After the interview, she reported that she loved the person who would be her boss. “I’m surprised. I think I might want to work there,“ she said. I was surprised too. And skeptical. I encouraged her to keep looking. She turned up many other interesting possibilities. I thought a couple of the smaller companies sounded promising.

In the meantime she had more interviews at the first organization. “I like all the leadership team. I like how they think and what they’re trying to do,” she said. The more I listened to her the more I liked them too. I began to change my mind. Maybe this was right after all.

Emma listened carefully and trusted her judgment. Every interview (and there were many before things were finalized) convinced her this was right for her. She happily accepted a terrific offer with a huge bump in pay and a promotion.

I didn’t mind being wrong

In fact, I wish every job hunt were like this. The first thing you always need to do is trust yourself. And of course, it would be great if the first job you explore is the right job but usually it takes a while. Then, it’s even more important to trust yourself.

Mark’s journey has been just the opposite of Emma’s. It’s taken him a long time to figure out that he wants to leave what he’s been doing for the last twenty years and work as a pioneer in a newly emerging field. That’s a big challenge but worthy and inspiring.

His job search has been slow and frustrating at the same time that he’s dying to get out of a job he outgrew many years ago. I keep urging him to be patient and remember his goal. I’ve cautioned him that even though it might feel good initially to grab a job similar to the one he has now but closer to home, it probably would end up being an experience of moving “from the frying pan into the fire.” Like many other people he’s conscientious and if he discovered after the honeymoon that the new job was a mistake, it would not be easy for him to leave. He might end up being stuck and unhappy all over again.

I know there are no guarantees

This is a volatile work environment so you never know how things are going to turn out when you accept a job offer, but you can increase the odds in your favor by trusting your judgment and being patient.

I know this is tough to do when you’re anxious and few things make us more anxious than a job search. But, the truth is, we all need to learn to increase our capacity to live in the unknown and avoid rushing to a conclusion that might prove to be a mistake.

Trust your judgment.

Practice being patient.

These two behaviors will help you make good choices.

Keep thriving,

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