Ah… you’re thinking about a career change, because you’re stuck in a career you hate. And immediately you begin to think about all the reasons why it won’t work. You make excuses in your mind, because it’s scary. And hard!
We all do it. It’s our ego trying to protect us. If we don’t put ourselves out there, we can’t get hurt. And those thoughts keep us stuck.
The same job. The same career. Looking at the same computer. Another year. Then two. Then five.
It’s a cycle that needs to stop if you want to find the right career. Those false beliefs, those excuses, can stop you in your tracks.
Instead, let’s stop them. Let’s blast the top three excuses (I call them false beliefs — because they are) right now!
False Belief No. 1: It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know
Yes, there’s an advantage to having a personal connection. I won’t try to pretend there’s not. But let’s break it down. Most open positions receive around 250 resumes. And out of those, they interview about 5 – 7. Chances are that of the 5 – 7 chosen for the interview, one may have been hand delivered.
The connection helped one person out of 250. But a personal recommendation isn’t the only way to get noticed. If you don’t have a personal “in”, try positioning yourself in a stronger way.
If all you do is list your skills and highlight your achievements, you’ll blend in. And that will certainly keep you stuck in a career you hate. All the other candidates are high achievers too. They will be listing the same skills.
What will set you apart is one small but powerful change to your resume. Customize your resume to “get into the head” of the hiring manager.
Here’s how. Think back to the last time you were in the role of hiring somebody. You were making the hire to solve a problem — a problem you wanted to solve immediately. The last thing you felt like doing was spending your day interviewing candidates.
If a candidate walked through the door with the EXACT solution, that’s the candidate you’d want. Be that candidate.
Read the job posting with attention on what you see and on what you don’t see. Try to read the words and understand the real problem they need to solve. When you get the interview, LISTEN to all the questions. You will hear the problem. If you’re a skilled interviewer, you’ll know how to position yourself as the solution.
And that will get you further than a “friend connection” every single time.
False Belief No. 2: An employer won’t hire me because my experience makes me too expensive
Fair enough. There’s actually some truth to the fact your experience comes at a cost. We get that. But remember this, all the candidates for the position have a lot of experience. It’s a high level position. They expect to get high level applicants. And the employer knows that a high level comes with a high price tag.
There isn’t a candidate that will be less expensive. At least not a candidate with the skills the employer wants. If they go the cheaper route, then the position wasn’t high level. And it may not have been the best role for you anyway.
This is where you’ll end up, again, stuck in a job you hate.
False Belief No. 3: I need one more degree or certification to get to the next level
I have PhD clients who think they still need an MBA. I have MBA clients who think they still need a PhD. There are so many possible degrees and certifications that you’ll never get them all. And you don’t need to.
Advanced degrees and certifications take work, and they are worthwhile. A degree proves you have academic skill. It shows commitment, drive and even follow through. But adding another one to your resume isn’t the only solution.
Recent studies prove emotional intelligence is more indicative of career success. Things like self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. If you master those, you’re going to be worth your weight in gold.
So instead of focusing on more initials after your name, work on EQ skills. I promise it will get you further. And faster.
A career change is scary. I get that. But you’ve got what it takes. All you have to do is push the false beliefs out of your head. Believe in what can be, you’ve got this!
Stuck in a career you hate and ready to pivot?
Cynthia Corsetti is an Executive and Career Coach. Whether you’re looking for a career transition or to make a bigger impact in your current career, Cynthia is the partner you’re looking for. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.