Perspective is EVERYTHING

Job hunting in today's climate of high unemployment is difficult. It's hard work and stressful.  There are so many people out there telling you what the best thing is to do to find employment and the best thing to put on your CV/Resume.  Trouble is, everyone is saying something different and it's difficult to push through the crap.

Richard St John gives a fantastic Ted Talk on Success and defines "crap" wonderfully as:

C:     Criticism
R:     Rejection
A:     Assholes
P:     Pressure

It goes for success in all areas of your life, including job hunting.  Sometimes you just have to push through the criticism, the rejections the assholes and the pressure to succeed..

Somebody looked over my CV and critiqued my personal statement.

Despite the fact it had secured me two big interviews, I was advised that I should rewrite it because, apparently, prospective employers might find it 'intimidating'.

I took it personally.  It was difficult not to.  It's my personal statement and describes how I see myself and what I presume an employer can expect from me. Someone who had only just met me and didn't know me from Adam looked at my CV and decided it would be better to portray myself as mediocre.  It would be difficult for anybody, not to take that personally.

The world of employment already seems to suffer from the status quo bias of the bland and uniform.  If you portray yourself as mediocre to the world, how can you possibly expect anything but mediocrity in return?

I want someone amazing to read my CV.  Someone with passion and drive who will read my personal statement and think 'I would like to work with this person.  This person might bring something great and positive to the company'.  What I don't want is for them to read it and think that this is someone just like everyone else on the pile.  They appear to be a boring, mindless cog that would fit and chug away talentlessly in any mediocre system.

I've been described as being too quiet, too loud.  I talk too much, I talk too little.  I come across as unconfident, I come across as arrogant.  I always share what I know, I don't share enough.  I'm early, I'm late.  I'm passionate, I'm indifferent.  I'm honest and sincere, I'm blunt and tactless.  I'm focused, I'm erratic. What I am thinking is all over my face, I never give away how I'm feeling.

Do you know, the one thing that I've learnt about other people's opinions is that they are just that, opinions.  Sometimes they can provide some valuable feedback but often they can be taken with an articulated lorry full of salt that's stuck precariously rocking on the top of an excessively large salt mountain.

Everyone perceives everything differently.  That's because, surprise surprise, we are all different with different values and attitudes.  And not only that, it changes with time, with age, with experience, with the side of the bed you got out of this morning.

I have lost count of how many people, organisations and friends have looked over my CV and advised me on what should and shouldn't be in it.  And it's always...not occasionally...or once in a blue moon, no.....ALWAYS different.

This person looked at my CV and thought I came across as intimidating on paper because I referred to myself as empowered, positive and driven.  Company A might read it and say 'hey! This is just the kind of enthused, motivated and positive individual we want to work with.  They sound like they will get results and enjoy doing it'.

Company B might think, 'I'm scared. My company has been doing x,y,z for decades, I don't want someone who might embrace change; they might....change things'.

Well, who's to say I want to work for Company B.  We wouldn't be a good fit.  And at the end of the day, applying for a new job is like any type of relationship, if it isn't a good fit, it's not going to work out well for either party.

So by all means listen and be up for a second, third or even nth opinion. But don't feel you have to take every word on board. " Be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brain falls out".  Richard Feynman(1918-1988)

You could tear yourself into pieces caring about what other people think and their negative re-frames   I wonder how many people in the current climate of high unemployment are struggling with issues of low self esteem and de-motivation because of the constant, do this, don't do that, say this, don't say that, wear this, don't wear, sit like this, not like that.  Fearmongering messages that that they are constantly bombarded with that say you will never be good enough unless.... If you are different, find something different to do.  Don't feel the need to change to fit.  Believe in yourself and find something that fits you. Stop listening to the naysayers' excuses on why you are likely to fail.  Listen to Larry Smith present his very clever and humorous talk on Why You Will Fail to Have a Good Career.

Find your passion.  Be yourself.  Be motivated.  Be inspired.  Be awesome.

What do you think?.......Have you been given advice that you feel will hinder rather than help your career.  What did you do?  And what happened?  

Please share your experiences in the comments......


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