Habitual Non Learning Attitude? Why You Are Doomed Career – wise

Recently, in a conversation with a job seeking client, she mentioned that there are people she has run into at local job clubs that are unemployed.  Her comment was “They are nice people, but I would not want to hire or work alongside them.”  When I pressed for more information, she revealed a truth that is more about attitude than the skills and talents you may possess. “Demanding and close minded people who want to show up, do their minimum work and get paid, and have all sorts of crazy ideas on how they should be treated by future employers” she explained further.

In conversations over the years since the economy fell off the cliff, I have noticed some people with poor attitudes, even if they are pleasant enough to be around.  Notably, around learning and the resistance to change. If you are one of these people, or lack the self awareness to know that you are, you have been warned before you read further, as it may be a bit harsh to hear the truth.

With 5, 10, 15 or 20 + years at a company, you may have changed roles, or done expanded duties in the same area you started in. You may even love your work.  Perhaps you find ways to engage and learn new things that directly apply to your current position or that could propel you into other roles. Well, congratulations, this blog post is not for you.

jobs-bulls-eye-250x250Resistance is born from fear, especially fear of change. Change is constant, so it does seem irrational to be in fear of change, considering it is surrounding our work and personal lives every day.  (I am not referring to anxiety or other mental health challenges that are best addressed with health care and wellness professionals.)

Talking to people who are looking for work, I see different approaches and styles of communications.  As a coach, I listen under the words to hear what is really being said. When appropriate, I ask if I can coach them, and then share ideas about what I have heard and observed.  There is no judgement. What we want to look at is the underlying beliefs.

“I’ll never get hired, I am too old” - these are the folks who typicially have their first job in 1972 listed on their resume, ironically, because they want to show all their experience to a potential employer.

When sharing about a job interview experience, one woman said she responded “I want to be retired” when asked by interviewer where she wanted to be in 5 years. She could not figure out why she didn’t get the job…

When presenting career resources free of charge to a local group, a woman in the audience said to me out loud in front of a group of attendees: “I want the information, but I don’t want to pay for it”.  Aside from being rude, having no filter and ungrateful, I responded with a question. “Do you want your job search to take 6 months or 2? What will that cost you?”

Here are four take-aways:

  1. By not staying current in your field or industry, you are choosing to leave it.
    When was the last time you attended a conference, read an article or book, visited a networking event or listened to a webinar that would improve your knowledge base? Certifications, licenses and other credientials can link you to a wider variety of opportunities in many fields. Or you may be ready for a career change. Let it be your choice and path; be proactive in making a career move.
  2. Even if you have years of experience, you must take steps and learn how to package yourself so that potential employers can see the value you bring to help solve their problems. 
    Just as you would hire an accountant, attorney or other specialist who is an expert in their area, for something as important as your career and income generation, hire a job search strategist and career coach who keeps up to date on employment best practices. In other words, don’t hire your dentist to repair your car! Friends and family, however well meaning, are not professionally trained career coaches.
  3. When out of a job, you may not be up to date on how to look for a job, interview, navigate the application process, work with recruiters  or prepare your resume for success.
    See # 2 above. You have been working for many years, and not in job search.
  4. You may be doing things that are harming your chances of career and job search success.
    See # 2 above. Maybe you are getting some great networking leads but blowing the interviews. Many of us have blind spots and gaps that we need personalized assistance with.

My role is to help job seekers and career changers get quicker results, much faster than they would have on their own.  Please reach out to me if I can support you.

To Your Success,

Coach Jennifer Weggeman