No matter what kind of work you do, it’s crucial that your personal brand and your employer’s mission are in alignment. If it doesn’t, you’ll be on the job market every two to three years, looking for a better fit.
Before you can assess whether you and a potential employer share the same big-picture vision, you have to clarify what matters to you as well as what you bring to the table.
If you don’t have confidence in your personal brand, values, and skill set, you’re more likely to jump at the first offer that comes your way. While there is no “perfect job” out there, if you know what’s important to you. Look for companies that most closely match your vision and do the kind of work that you find exciting. Put your energy into connecting with those organizations. When you do get an offer, you’ll know what concessions you’re willing to make without going completely off-brand.
Shift Your Mindset From Surviving to Thriving
You want to accept a job offer because you see the potential for personal and professional growth with the company. Not merely because you need to pay your bills – although there may be times when this is the priority. When I was a single mother raising small children, I didn’t have the luxury to imagine where I wanted to be in five years. I needed to keep a roof over our heads.
As my kids got older, I was able to look for a job I loved rather than one to pay the bills. Unfortunately I found myself at a loss. I had been living in “survival mode” for so long. I wasn’t sure how to shift my mindset to one of “possibility.” If you’re having a hard time even imagining a vision for your future, the following practices might help:
- Visualize Your Goals: Make a vision board with images and words that reflect where you want to be in the next few years. Looking at your board every day will remind you of your goals and help you to manifest them.
- Write Down Your Thoughts: Keep a journal and write in it regularly. Get your thoughts out of your brain and onto paper. It’s much easier to achieve your goals after you have clearly articulated them.
- Continue Your Education: Learn new skills. For example, if you want to go into sales, find out what skills you need to be an effective salesperson. If you need to, take a class to develop them. You don’t have to be an expert at everything, but you need to know how to do the job you want.
- Consider Previous Jobs: If you’re not sure what you want to do, make a list of all the jobs you’ve ever held and note something that you loved about each one. What did you learn in the position? Can you see yourself doing it again for the next decade?
- Learn How to Sell Yourself: When you go into a job interview, you are the product. Learn how to talk about yourself in a way that makes people know you’re right for the job. If you are struggling with your confidence, take a look at my tips on how to build a healthy self-confidence.
Make the Best Out of a Bad Situation
If your current position feels untenable, you have to consider what you would lose by leaving. Then weigh that against the cost of coming to work every day feeling disengaged. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to stick it out for a bit while looking for something new. If that’s the case, take a deep breath and try to find some common goal with your company. Without that, you’ll be in a bad mood every time you walk into the office and your employer will start to notice.
When you are ready to leave, take stock of the unique gifts and skills that you possess. Find companies that do the kind of work that you value and provide opportunities for employee growth. Make sure that your personal brand and your employer’s mission are in alignment. Remember, if you can grow with a company, you’ll climb the ranks faster, feel inspired to work hard and make more money over the long term.