By: Don Oehlert
Ecareercoaching.com Legalshield Services
“Different is better than better.”
– Richard Gray
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Like most writers, I like quotes from famous people
They help prove a point from someone you’ve probably heard of, and therefore, you respect. In that effort, they also sprinkle some social capital onto my writings as a career coach.
Some of the quotes are from some mysterious historical person or group. One of my favorites is “Know thyself.” That’s a Greek proverb, and I’m not sure anyone knows who really uttered it first. Another is an old Japanese saying that goes “Get knocked down 7 times. Get back up 8.” I can’t seem to find out who was the first that said that, either. Really, it’s OK. The point is well-taken.
Another of my favorites is “Different is better than better.” by Richard Gray. I use it in my prelude to all of my career coach blog posts. There’s a good reason for that – and it’s simple, really.
If there were no differentiation between two job candidates, how should someone try to decide who’s the better candidate for this position, at this time?
I revere uniqueness. It helps me decipher what makes something more appropriate to whatever few things I’m trying to decide between. If all of them are the same, all I have is price (vs value) of the items to decide between. In that case, the lower-priced item is the right one.
Now, speaking of value, well, that’s an entirely different discussion – and one of the hardest to have. If you think about it, pretty much everyone claims to be the “best…,” “the highest quality…,” or “the leading…” company in their market-space. We all know that can’t be. Someone has to be first, and someone has to be last. Everyone else is somewhere between those two points on that spectrum.
And a final thought on first and last? Well, that happens to be, to my way of thinking, for a specific need. If I’m looking to move my entire 4-bedroom, 2,500 square foot home to San Diego, California from the Chicago-land area, then an 18-wheel truck and trailer (and a few big strong people) would be the best at doing that. What would be the worst? Well, I guess a Mini or a VW Beetle wouldn’t work quite as well. They’d work – just not quite as well.
Now, if I’m only heading back and forth to the train station every day, or heading to the grocery store for a quart of milk, then the 18-wheeler would be overkill, and the Mini or the Beetle would be perfect for that use case.
How does all of this relate to job search? Simply put, there are free job clubs, low-cost career centers, and there are all manner of career progression coaches. You can find anyone from the person that just writes resumes for a few hundred dollars to full-service career coaches that spend the time to get to know you specifically, and deeply. This type of coach provides multi-week coaching engagements for thousands of dollars. They are part psychologist, part cheerleader, part coach, part creative writer, and part salesperson. Sometimes they are all of those and more, depending on what you need when you’re out of work.
Does the multi-thousand dollar coach sound expensive? Well, how long can you afford to be out of work? If you make $100,000 per year, then you are losing about $2,000 per week for each week you’re out of work.
It doesn’t take too many weeks to more than pay for a good career coach.
To get to know yourself better from a personal standpoint, please drop us an email for your free copy of our “Finding Your True North” instrument. In it are 36 questions that will help you understand what makes you tick, so that you can better prepare for a job search, or decide whether you should go for that promotion.
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