Have your job or career prospects taken a dive because of the coronavirus? Then it is time to re-examine your career.
The frame that you have been applying to your current or past positions may not be valid, especially in light of COVID-19. It is likely that you know and have done more than you give yourself credit for. Re-visiting previous jobs may help you make new connections between then and now.
Consider this, when we look at incidents in our life, whether a childhood memory or a high school event, our understanding of it changes over time. The same is true when we reflect on our work history. When I think about what I thought I learned from my first job after college way back when and what I now know that I learned (a few decades later), the difference is mindboggling.
Talking through your work history and lessons learned with someone knowledgeable can be very helpful. On our own it can be hard to see the common threads that led us to where we are. A refrain I hear from clients is, “I just fell into this.” Maybe, but a qualified professional can help you make sense of the past so you can appreciate and share your career story in a coherent manner. Then, rather than abdicate responsibility for your career track, you can demonstrate why the path you have chosen makes you uniquely qualified for a particular opportunity.
Recently, I was working with a client whose job no longer fit. In the process of getting ready to take the next step we worked on his LinkedIn profile.
His job history is eclectic, and he doubted whether anyone who looked at his unusual past would seriously consider him for the role he envisions for himself. What I suggested, and what we have since done is view each position through the lens of, “what I loved about this job” and “what I learned from this position.” In retrospect, he was amazed to discover how these seemingly random jobs helped him lay the groundwork for his next career step.
Taking this approach supplies texture and context to your career; it offers insight into who you are and how you operate. It makes you real and recognizable to employers who are looking for you but haven’t yet realized it.
Want to try this yourself? In addition to completing the two statements, “what I loved about my previous job(s)” and “what I learned from to each position”, think about what you have done well in every position. What special sauce did you bring to every position you’ve held?
Regardless of the job, what is always true? What are the threads that tie your career together? OK, now craft your story on LinkedIn. Practice sharing it aloud and incorporate it into your résumé.
Mary Jeanne Vincent, career expert and strategist, has a private coaching practice and guides clients nationally. She may be reached at 831-657-9151, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.careercoachmonterey.com
© 2019 Mary Jeanne Vincent. All rights reserved.