Dealing with Setbacks
Firstly, don’t be hard on yourself. You have been trying ‘strategy 1’ and if you’re not getting the results you would like it’s just time to mix things up and move to ‘strategy 2’. If you have mainly been hitting the ‘apply now’ button perhaps move towards more of a relationship centric approach. Please revisit session 3 ‘Career R&D’ for ideas as to how to get in direct contact with key people rather than joining huge queues.
First of all being called for interview is a huge achievement itself, so well done for that. There are a lot of reasons why it may not go your way on the day, and many are out of your hands, i.e., perhaps somebody else came personally recommended, or whilst you and your skills are great, they have a particular project running where somebody else’s skillset fitted slightly better at this time. Pat yourself on the back for getting that far, and now focus on the lessons you can gain that will help you in the future. Follow up with them to say thank you for the opportunity and ask for feedback. We know many people who got rejected at interview, only to be reapproached by the same employer several moths down the line for another opportunity because they made a good impression overall.
So, what does your instinct tell you as to why it didn’t go so well on this occasion? Did you just happen to catch somebody in the middle of a busy day, or could your email had got lost? We say if you want it badly enough, don’t give up! Instead choose your next move with this company. Is there somebody else you can approach, or rather than email is it time to pick up the phone, or reach out on LinkedIn? And rather than focusing on asking for a job which they may not have at this time, could you change tack and put the feelers out for advice or a work placement instead? Please revisit session 3 ‘Career R&D’ for further inspiration. Good luck!
Navigating Job Ads
Please don’t give up, you may not have experience in that field yet, but you do have lots of other things to offer them. In this situation we highly recommend getting out there and speaking to employers to introduce yourself and what you have done in your career to date that demonstrates transferable capabilities in their field and importantly your passion to be in this area. You may be surprised to hear that for some employers sector specific experience is less important than first seemed.
Plus, is there a way to leverage your current skillset to join a particular company or sector and then manoeuvre your way to your ideal role? For example, if your background is finance but you want to become a site manager in construction, could you take a finance role first and over time move towards what you ultimately want to do?
Yes absolutely please do! In fact, we would recommend to always contact a company when applying, even if contact info is not advertised. This is a great opportunity to find out more about the role to help you target your CV,
Do your own research by using tools like Salary Insights on LinkedIn or the recruitment site Adzuna. You could also speak to recruiters in this field to get an idea on average salary for these roles in your area.
Last but not least, why not contact the company to enquire? However, make sure you utilise this contact as a direct approach and not just finding out about salary. In other words, focus this call predominantly on getting across your interest in working for them and what you have to offer – why you are applying. Weighting your message this way means you will gain the information you need whilst still making the right impression upon the employer.
Bolstering Your Confidence and Motivation
Don’t worry this happens, could it be time to take a day off and come back to it tomorrow? Career hunting fatigue is a real thing, so don’t be afraid to give yourself some time out when you need to. If taking time off is not an option as you need to find a role asap, we totally get that too. To help you get back on track try one or all of these mindsets reset tools:
- Chunk down your to do list into 15-minute focus blocks, allocating one task per 15 minutes where you can. Give yourself a 30-minute break in between to reflect on how the previous 15 minutes went and decide what the next important focus on, also to walk around and grab a cuppa to get the creative juices flowing! Do this for a maximum of 3 hours, allowing you to achieve 6 small wins and still have the rest of the day to focus on what you choose – go you!
- Find a piece of music that you love and that represents what you want to achieve in our career. Play it loud and visualise how preserving with the ‘climb’ now will pay off massively down the line. Today’s ‘tough day’ is making you stronger and wiser, evolving you into the person you want to become. Therefore, be thankful to yourself for taking on the challenge.
- Apply the two C’s that build true Confidence:
Compassion -be kind and encouraging to yourself, job hunting isn’t easy, what advice would you give to a great friend if they were feeling the way you are today?
Curiosity – As we say in STRIVE, career development is one big adventure taking us into the unknown. If you are not getting the results you want or have lots of questions about your career path left unanswered, be curious as to what has led you here (without judging yourself) and what you need to do next to move forward. The answers are always around us.
It is natural to experience dips in confidence on the career development journey. Spend 30 minutes reminding yourself of everything you have achieved to date. What are 3 moments in your career that stand out to you the most? Bring these back to life in your mind and reflect upon the skills you were using and the positive impact you were making. This is You at your best and is still who you are today.
Also is it time to find an opportunity to use your strengths and skills more frequently so that you can begin to believe in these again? How about volunteering for an organisation that needs what you do so well a day per week? You never know where this may lead.
It is always wise to review and tweak our career seeking strategy from time to time. Where have you got your greatest results from so far? Ramp this activity up. Equally what hasn’t brought many wins but has taken up a lot of your time and energy? Replace this activity with something new and more fruitful. It is time to get creative!
Further Support with STRIVE
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