Which is worse, to lose or to fail in chasing career success? Losing sounds temporary, but failing implies permanent. Most job seekers will say losing occurs more often than failure, and sometimes losing FEELS like failure. Knowing the difference between losing and failing in your career search is essential to WINNING, and getting job offers.
We can argue that failing is OK as long as it is not a lifestyle. But if you don’t want to job search to failure, how will you know what to avoid?
Failing in the career hunt is tricky. It could appear as success at some stages. If you want an example, think of the devil. That dastardly angel with horns offer attractive and alluring temptations (so I’m told).Failing can affect you similarly that it looks good at first, but too good…well, you know the cliché.
What are you willing to lose to succeed? How do you define career search failure? This is important for you to know that for yourself. Here are some suggestions in clearly marking where career failure begins. These are signs and not a norm.
1. No steps to career success
This works 100% of the time. No plan accompanied by dreams of hot tubs and caviar means that you are shopping at the local church food pantry.
2. Lacking respect for other people’s time
It’s bad that YOU possess a reputation for being late to everything. In fact, it’s an ongoing friend and family joke until no one important respects you. Potential employers disqualify you when you are late. You don’t call to say you’re late. You call to offer excuses.
3. Un-sharing mistakes and errors
Sharing your mistakes and faults, funny, or unfunny makes you likeable. If you are not perceived as being helpful, why would a company hire you? Ever notice the people who love you know your faults?
4. Do not love challenges
What do you do when someone calls you higher? Become quiet and reserved, or appreciate that they care? Mentors who you respect and are ahead of you in the game possess more value than you can measure. Find a mentor who will challenge your decisions, judgments, and vision for yourself.
5. If it’s a numbers only game
Insecure job seekers want people to know they are trying. He or she wants people to know their desperation applying to 100 jobs a month. What that says is that you want any old job. An unfocused job search is no longer an investment into finding a meaningful and fulfilling career. So your only job leads are cattle calls to 100% commission sales positions.
6. Ignoring reasons to celebrate with others
A heart check is being happy and encouraging the success with others. It is hard sometimes to spur someone else on, but the returns are valuable.
7. Mute the noise from your conscience.
It feels wrong, it looks wrong, but lacks a manual to tell you it’s right. It’s wrong. People will tell you shortcuts to use that are lies. Those are people who you shouldn’t listen to for career advice.
8. No continual training or learning experiences
Are you seeking out training in your career, even if its free? It’s hard to pay for seminars when it exceeds what you are making a week, but are you looking for alternatives? Employers consider those things, especially if unemployed. Two places where people don’t consider looking are the community college weekend courses that run in range of $25-75 dollars, and CAN (Cable Access Network) TV. There is quality training available that can keep you moving toward your goal.
9. You rarely ask (the right) questions. Or answer (the right) questions.
Questions that cause you to think about a bad scenario deserve more air time in your brain. You don’t have to fail, especially if your plans to succeed include errors, mistakes, and wonder. You stop and Y, and why, when you need to continue. The shame.
Before you claim failure, you should define clearly what failure is to you. To get you started I suggest a few in the following areas:
- Did I fail to pick the money off the table? Entry-level positions rarely offer opportunities for negotiating, but professional and mid-management, it is expected. Negotiating starts upon contact with demonstration of value, and never ends even at the signing table
- Did I fail to answer important questions during interviews? Style points are irrelevant, and zero points for partially answered questions. Go back to questions left unanswered even after the interview
- Do I fail to under promise and over deliver value? Are you looking for opportunities to bring practicality to the ideas offered?
- Do I fail by running out of time? The one thing that college football pundits used to say about Bobby Bowden, “Bobby never loses, he just runs out of time.” Timing is everything.
There are more suggestion I’m sure you can think of and add in the comment section below. How will you know when you have failed enough to start over?