Dave was an attorney with a big law firm. His dream was to move into a corporate counsel role with a big corporation. When he first hired me to write his resume and coach him, he spent a lot of time telling me about how underappreciated he was at his current firm.
When we would brainstorm ideas on how he could transition into his chosen industry, he constantly repeated that he “already tried that.” In fact, Dave spent a lot of time shooting down most ideas I knew would help him tremendously.
When we talked about job search strategies, he shared with me that he didn’t have any time. “Surely you understand,” he would say.” I am an attorney and I work incredibly long hours. Plus I have a family.” I had worked with dozens of attorneys before so I indeed understood and was experienced in helping attorneys with successful time management – but Dave wouldn’t hear it.
When we discussed his salary goals he said he had to make at least 30% more than what he currently made to “justify the move.”
Despite the building complexities Dave was creating for himself, he maintained he wanted to be in a new position in less that 60 days. When I attempted to share with Dave that it appeared that he was neither ready nor willing to do what it would take to move forward, he simply ignored my comments.
Dave never did make his corporate counsel move. He took a job with another firm… A job that a recruiter had called to pitch him over the phone. It was the first and only opportunity Dave ever explored.
The story above illustrates how brilliant professionals can undermine their own career progress through not taking responsibility for their job search goals, not being willing to step outside their comfort zone and refusing to accept new ideas.
And then there was Brian.
Brian hired me as a career coach during a major transition in his life. He drove all the way from Houston to San Antonio to meet with me in person and discuss his situation.
He was a SVP for a mid size company in Houston and he was really ready for a CMO position with a large firm. He had done his research and picked two industries he was interested in exploring further.
He knew he had one chance to make a great first impression and he wanted to do it right. He wanted help researching particular companies, identifying what job search strategies would give him the most leverage and he wanted to make sure his resume was written to best position him for a CMO title.
I will always remember how positive Brian was. He always seemed to see the glass as half full. He took responsibility for his ultimate success, and he stayed focused on the strategies I showed him to get quality interviews. He knew the power of a team approach.
Brian was busy and had a family too, but he made his career transition a priority during that window of time by creating a weekly schedule he could manage and staying committed to it.
He landed several high quality interviews and accepted an offer from a company he was truly excited about – at the compensation level that met his goals (nearly 20% more than his previous position). It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen within four months of our working together.
One of his goals was to work out of his home one day per week. We developed a strategy and Brian successfully negotiated this into his compensation package. He and his wife were thrilled.
Brian invested in himself and in his career move because as he put it, he knew that “for every $100 he put in, he would get $1000 back.” And indeed he did.
Brian was willing to listen. That was not true for Dave.
Being “successful” has so much to do with one’s mindset. And coupled with an industry expert’s guidance, moving forward happens much more quickly and easily.
So if you want to get yourself and your job search “unstuck,” it’s a wise move to first make sure you are committed to doing what it takes to reach your goals before you hire a job search coach or resume writer. However once you are certain about your commitment to your own success, these partnerships can make getting there faster and easier and your confidence, clarity and motivation will soar.