There are many people out there with talent. That applies to many different areas, across different skill sets and industries. It could be academic talent, a talent to lead people or a talent to engage with people. I’ve seen thousands of talented people, using their gifts day in, day out. To land the job you want and to progress in your career, having the talent required is a must.
Having talent alone though, is not enough. To be successful in your job search and in your career, finding a way for people to see, understand and appreciate your talent is key. Someone could be one of the best in their field, but if that person doesn’t know how to showcase and communicate their talent, then they are unlikely to reach their potential or find the job that they really want.
Second, is preparation. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t put in the preparation and the related hard work, you will not be successful. Think about your job search and your career as a competition, everyone is vying for the best opportunities at the best companies. Are you prepared to put in the hard work to understand what a company does, how they differentiate themselves and how you can add value to the role and the company? How much time and effort are you willing to put into a job opportunity?
The candidates who go the extra mile, who do everything they possibly can to succeed are the ones who usually win the day. The same goes for your career, are you willing to work harder and longer than everyone else in order to be successful? This comes at a cost though – if you’re working 80 or 90 hour weeks you’re stress levels will be super high, your social life will suffer, so it is a question of balance. Ask yourself how successful you want to be and what your boundaries are. There is a big trade-off between success and happiness and it’s really important to think about what you want from your life.
The right attitude
Next is your attitude. If you think you have a God-given right to be given an interview or offered a job, just because of what your CV or LinkedIn profile says, you’ll likely be in for an unpleasant surprise. The people who focus on what they can do for an employer, rather than what an employer can do for them are the ones who usually succeed. Maintaining a positive, glass half-full mindset in your job search and throughout your career will stand you in good stead.
When things don’t work out as you hope, it’s easy to blame and assume the worst. For example, a candidate may apply once, twice or 7 times to a company. On the 8th application they get an interview and end up getting the job. It would have been easy to give up and grow frustrated. Easy to assume that the company aren’t interested in you and that they are treating you with contempt. Keeping a positive mindset is such an important part of job hunting and finding success in your career. Be patient, persevere and realise that although you may not be successful the first time, that doesn’t mean to won’t be successful in the future and find the role that is suited to you. Some of the most successful people I have met have been rejected many times in their career, yet their patience, perseverance and positive mindset saw success come to them in the end.
You can have talent, prepare really well and work hard and have a fantastic attitude, but you can still fail in your job search or career. If this happens to you, don’t think you did something wrong as you can still fail. Sometimes you just need to be in the right place, at the right time and for the stars to align in your favour. Failure is a part of life and something for us all to learn from.
Nine times out of ten, when a candidate is rejected it’s usually for something out of their control. Maybe the brief changed and the company want experience in x, y and z now. Maybe an internal candidate came forward at the 11th hour and made it super easy for the manager to select them for the role. Maybe they have a preconceived idea in their minds about the kind of person they are looking for and see you as a better fit for a different role at the company.
I used to think about things in terms of success and failure, for example when I interviewed for a role at Google many years ago, I came really close to getting a job offer, but for some reason I didn’t get the job and I never got feedback. It felt a lot like a failure at the time. But what I came to appreciate is that there is no such thing as failure, it is just an opportunity to learn and it was bad luck in the end. It may have been something I did wrong, it may not have.
When it comes to promotions, luck is always a big factor as again it is almost always a case of being in the right place, at the right time. Being able to recognise failures as an opportunity to learn and grow will help you to find your ideal job quicker. Failure is really just a result of you putting yourself out there, if you are not failing then it usually means you are not putting yourself out there enough.
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