A job change is a daunting task. It becomes even more challenging when it involves a discipline, industry, or role change. A common misconception is one can do it by keyword search and then submitting resumes through the job boards; it is like throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. For those wanting a career path change, this rarely gives a positive outcome and becomes very frustrating.
I met a leader at a non-profit; let’s call her Tricia. Tricia wanted to move to the for-profit sector. She had been applying through the job boards but didn’t get much traction. On top of her super busy schedule, this was causing her more stress and disappointment. I asked her how she preferred to hire for her team when she was the hiring manager. After a pause, she smiled and admitted that going through the resumes was not her favorite process.
In an intentional career, each transition is a thoughtful process. We may miss the underlying humane approach altogether if we see it as a one-line or one-off event on our LinkedIn profile and resume. Look into the important relationships in your personal life. You may notice that none of them were one-off transactions. A series of meaningful interactions over a period of time helped build those lasting relationships.
These days, work requires more than an eight-hour physical presence at your desk. It is an intricate combination of many elements, including your formal training, your ability to apply them to new problems, continuous learning, collaborating with your co-workers to address bigger challenges, and earning their trust along the way.
Work has become an integral part of our everyday being. Be it a project you are delivering as part of an existing team, a cross-team initiative, or an outside opportunity you pursue, your actions and behaviors are more interconnected than ever. Through all these interactions, you are continuously building a human network around you that can give you a hand to reach the next opportunity. I gave Tricia a metaphor using a farmer’s approach to cultivating crops.
A farmer cultivates the field, works on the fundamental elements like soil, water, fertilizer, including the quality of the seeds that help grow healthy crops. Rarely a farmer sows a couple of seeds here and there and expects to harvest crops from it.
It resonated with Tricia, and she felt calmer as well.
Since our conversation, Tricia started a different approach altogether. She identified those from her personal and professional network in the industry she wanted to move into. She started in-person and virtual coffee meetings with them and picked their brains. She also got professional help to make her resume look better. She has been feeling creative, energized, and more fully committed. I can’t wait to hear how this new mindset helps her show up in front of a hiring manager and others around her!
Join me for Free Coaching Friday to talk more.
— Feature Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash