It’s all about you, well, sort of

There are two ways to find a job – either you find the job or the job finds you. You can apply for a vacancy posted on a company’s website or connect to a recruitment company (find a job) or you can be offered a job by someone that you know or be head-hunted (the job finds you). Now, it’s also true that the process of you finding a job is also the process of the job finding you! We’ll park this more philosophical dimension for now.

For everyone there will be a first time that this situation arises in your life and you will be aware that reaching out to someone that you know represents a good chance of finding your next role.

There is an in-built contradiction here which can be confusing. On the one hand, it is vital to make sure that you understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses and the things you like doing, not least because that is likely to be the first thing your contacts ask you. On the other hand, the best way to be successful yourself, in the widest sense of the word, is to help others.

So let’s look at these two questions.

Finding out about yourself

It is no surprise that nearly every article in this series brings up this point in one way or another. Historically jobs have been associated with titles and had a somewhat fixed or limited scope. This started to change some time ago and now the most successful companies and teams are diverse and the transferable skills they bring are as important as their more specific experience. So it is vital that you get to the bottom of this. When you speak to former colleagues and friends, they will tell you about the aspects of your work that they liked. You won’t necessarily be aware of that because those are the things that come to you very naturally. These aspects are what makes you unique.

Helping others

The concept of helping others can be a challenge when you’ve been on a journey of self-discovery and are ready to tell the world! So it’s important to pivot at this point. Don’t worry too much about who to connect to, just start making it a habit. Find out what they need help with and connect people that you know together.

You’ll find that you know many more people than you realised and quite soon it will become second nature.

This is also the great challenge of work itself. Making sure you really understand yourself as well as seeing yourself as serving others. And when you get good at this, you’ll do it all the time regardless of your current situation.