Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me – Phil. 3: 12
We sometimes think that looking for a great job means getting someone to choose us. Since becoming a Slingshot staffing and coaching consultant, I’ve noticed a pattern. The applicants that stand out, and stand the best odds of finding their fit, don’t wait for someone to choose them. They begin by knowing, developing and choosing themselves.
The Secret: You Choose You.
Choosing you means embracing who you are now and whom you can press on to become. But here are some “shrouds” that might cloud your application, and you.
Shroud #1: “I can serve anywhere.”
When candidates use this approach, it sounds boastful at worst and misguided at best. I’ve heard things like:
- “I am convinced I am the right person for this job.”
- “I lack the required skills, but my leadership transfers more than you think.”
- “God has called me to work for this ministry.”
Secret #1: Discern and develop your passion
You thrive when you advance your God-given mission, not when you posture as a one-size-fits-all-ministries’ maven.
Tips: Look to God and your life for hints. Some ideas:
- Make time for Scripture, silence, and solitude – Take a half-day at a local retreat center, library or park, get into God’s word, remember your pains God has redeemed for other’s good. As Hemingway wrote, we can be “strong at the broken places.”
- Read and work through Henri Nouwen’s The Wounded Healer, Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak or Simon Sinek’s Start with Why.
Shroud #2: “I am my past.”
Job applicants sometimes say things like:
- “The last time I took a class was in college.”
- “I let the younger people do those (newfangled, usually technical) skills.”
- “I focus on what comes easily to me.”
Secret #2: Mine and mold your skills.
Recognize that while you can learn almost anything, you have a particular profile. Own your today-strengths by developing a Personal Value Proposition about how you contribute. Build for tomorrow by doing one thing today to learn a needed skill.
- Develop a Professional Value Proposition
- Review Stanford University’s recent findings: We develop, not just discover, our passions.
- Take a class* – download the free app LinkedIn Learning for examples
Shroud #3: “I’ll ‘perform’ when it matters.”
In applications, this looks like:
- Not spellchecking an email, cover letter, or resume
- Wearing the wrong clothes for a video interview
- Taking days to respond, when a “Hey, it’s a busy time, can I get back to you early next week?” email will do.
Secret #3: Do “you “awesomely.
Choosing you means bringing your personality and targeting excellence.
Some tips I’m learning:
- Consider a resume template
- Write your email first, spellcheck and proof, and then address it
- Convince a friend to edit your stuff or upgrade to Grammarly Premium*
- Write email follow-ups every time, and paper thank you notes sometimes.
“You Choose You” Means Standing Out and Landing Where You Fit
Finding your fit begins with choosing “the you” God loves and fashioned. As you own and press on to develop your passion, skills, and daily awesome, you not only choose you, you help the right employer do the same.
* Ask your accountant about deducting expenses from your job search.