Whether you are changing industries, changing up your position, relocating or just looking to work for a better company, there is one thing you must have to be successful. It’s something that is rarely talked about in direct terms by job seekers, recruiters, resume writers or career coaches. Sure, you can muddle through some job search techniques and develop some marketing collateral to get you pointed in the right direction, but without this ONE thing, your success will surely be limited.
So, what is it? It is called VIRTUE. The thread that weaves itself through your every job search technique and interview strategy is truly virtue. And by focusing on developing and increasing your virtue, you stand to improve every facet of your job search.
So what kinds of virtue do you need to be a highly successful job seeker? Every kind. Temperance, fortitude, kindness, patience, graciousness, politeness, truthfulness, courage, excellence, high morals, high ethics, servitude, honesty, tactfulness, discipline, fairness, flexibility, commitment, diligence, integrity, honor, and my favorite: humility.
A word about humility: It seems we rarely hear the word humble anymore, especially as it relates to success or successful people. Perhaps that is because in western society, humility is erroneously connected with weakness. However, the opposite is true. It takes a strong, gracious and grounded individual to express true humility. And humility is one of those beautiful gifts that cannot be hidden. It comes through in a person’s tone, their voice, and their mannerisms. It is a prize and treasure to possess humility. Even just a little.
A truly humble person stands to greatly impress a key decision maker when introducing him or herself over the phone. For example, a humble person often makes a tremendous positive impression in an interview. And it is often the humble individual who earns the respect of their team or rises up through the ranks to become a cherished and respected corporate leader.
There is a story about a corporate executive who was trying to switch industries and obtain a position in academia. When a key university contacted him about a job, they indicated they needed to see his college transcripts before they could submit his application. Instead of complying, this executive wrote a scathing email to the director of human resources complaining about the overemphasis on the legalities of applying. Needless to say, this executive did not get an interview.
The daily successes and losses of a job search require diligence in achieving your career goals, patience as you move forward each day, and kindness to those who agree to speak with you and help you. Each of us possesses virtues that are more developed than others. Which ones are yours? Once you have defined them, you can LEAD with them in order to maximize your job search success.