By Don Oehlert
Sr. Managing Partner
People make up their minds about you within 1/10 of 1 second of meeting you. Their image of you can change from good to bad, or bad to good within the next 2-4 seconds. Given that, how do you want people to perceive you during an initial conversation? Do you understand how to set your best foot forward when you are in the high stakes and ‘heat’ of a career change?
If not, you may want to hire a career coach. When you think of hiring a career coach, there are a number of things to keep in mind. The first is above – first impressions matter, and can stick. On the same hand, when you meet people for the first time, your sense of them initially can change rapidly as well. For instance, they could say something totally in keeping with their appearance, or maybe they say something to improve your initial thoughts about them. Or vice-versa.
In a career search, you really want to know yourself very well. You need to become very introspective to see what motivates you and what demotivates you. There are actually many more points of internal knowledge you want to understand, but we’ll only cover 6 high-level questions here.
Another issue to have in mind at all times is, what do you really want to do at your next career position? What company do you want to work for? What do you want to do? How much travel are you comfortable with? Where do you want to do all of this work? WFH? WFA? That last one is ‘work from anywhere?’ Do you require the structure of an office setting, including the normal working hours of 9-5, or are you better at working from home on your own schedule?
Having those (and many other) ideas mapped out is a good thing. You’ll know where you’re going (generically). Sort of like a trip. You need to know where you’re going, so you can find the most appropriate route to your destination.
With these insights, you can ask for specific help when people ask you how they can help you. Otherwise, you’ll be asking questions akin to calling up a chemical company and asking one of their scientists to explain chemicals. That question is way too generic for someone on the other end of that phone line. If, however, you ask for how a particular molecule in Teflon helps the pan shed fried eggs, that’s a much different story isn’t it?
More focus is better.
Below are some questions that will help you with introspection. I’m leaving room between each question so that you can add in the answer that is right for you:
What would I do for free?
When do I find myself using my superpowers?
What am I doing when time seems to fly by?
What am I doing when I feel most valued?
What would others say I was meant to do?
If I knew I wouldn’t fail, what would I be doing?
There are 30 more questions that we use to help you with this thought process. Send an email to us at <info@eCareerCoaching.com> to request your free copy of our instrument titled ‘Finding Your True North.’
As you may know, our corporate motto is ‘Be found. Get Hired. Faster.’ it should also contain the terms ‘Be focused. Be Found, Get Hired. Faster.