I have been a career coach for 20 years, and I have worked with hundreds of CEOs and executives. The most successful CEOs I work with understand that the mindset that is most useful when it's "business as usual" isn't the one that they need to successfully navigate periods of change and disruption. That goes for job seekers as well.
So many of us are looking for new job opportunities right now in industries that have been transformed over the last few months. If that is your experience, as you look for your next role, I would start with answering these three questions.
The important thing about reflecting on these questions is to not censor yourself. There are no wrong answers. Take a few minutes, get them down on paper, and refer to them often as you are reaching out to your network and applying for jobs.
Doing an emotionally honest personal inventory will be a big help when you make new connections and they inevitably ask you, "What are you looking for?"
During a challenging time, no one wants to feel like they are only reaching out because they want or need something. It's natural to worry about this, but I've found that the best way to allay those fears is to approach these conversations with what I call an "us-help mindset."
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Rather than thinking in terms of what the other person can do for you, get outside of yourself and ask, "What can I do here to add value?" Can you collaborate, develop a solution to a painful problem, provide a service or do some good in your community?
Focusing on what you can do to help can help sustain you through the toughest aspects of a career disruption. This will also help prevent you from operating from a scarcity mindset. You can also remove some of the fear that can come with that scarcity mindset by clarifying your emotional relationship with money.
With that in mind, I recommend doing this second exercise. Write down these five questions:
Under pressure, emotions can overwhelm us and prompt impulsive decisions. But having this information is a big part of figuring out how money has factored into your career choices in the past, and what matters most to you now, as you plan for your future.
As hard as it might be, try not to take career setbacks personally. Even if we don't realize it, our jobs can become a big part of our identity. But when you understand your core values, you are better equipped to identify or create a space where you can thrive.
Stay focused in the present and take small, positive steps each day that will keep you moving forward.
Maggie Craddock is the president and founder of Workplace Relationships LLC. She is the author of the upcoming book "Lifeboat: Navigating Unexpected Career Change and Disruption" (August 2020). Her previous books have been published by The Harvard Business Review Press and New World Library. To learn more about her coaching methodology, you can visit her website: workplacerelationships.com and follow her on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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