Career Strategies: Even “Losers” Have Sellable Qualities

Several career counselors have told you that with your spotty job history, lack of elite education,  frequent jumps, and non-starlike qualities, you should work for a branch of government — always the employer of last resort — or take a step back. I hope you didn’t pay the person for his/her lack of resourcefulness and imagination.  You probably did.  Shame on you both.  You weren’t “coached” you were dissed!  Anyway, here’s what to do if your background is much less than perfect, you don’t really want to work but you’ve got to make a living.

career strengths and weaknesses

Career Strengths and Weaknesses

What is your greatest strength?  It can be skill-based:  You are great at computer problem solving.  Conversely, you have no computer skills but you can sell Bibles in a bar.  You bring out the best in other people.  Please spend at  least as much time finding your good qualities as you spend disparaging what’s wrong with you.  You don’t need tons of skills or good qualities.  You’re only looking for one job.  What you need is the right audience to present/sell your best skills/qualities to.

For example:  I had a client who liked old people.  She’d been especially close to a passel of elderly relatives and loved their stories.  She’d hated teaching and social work.  She hated working in an office.  She’d been fired twice in four years for displayed indifference.  Let’s call her Patti not her real name.  We protect the ID of both innocent and guilty.

Patti noticed a new nursing home was opening a mile from her apartment.  They were hiring.  She applied and played a 10-minute CD of what her elderly relatives had said about life and their experiences for the HR person.  (Lots of people record reminisces for family archives.  Millions more wish they had.)  The hirer was busy and disinterested but Patti left the CD anyway.  Two weeks later she got a call from the regional director asking to meet her.  She started as an intake specialist.  She’d greet new residents and their families.  She was exactly the person most new residents and their families wanted to meet but never had.  Two years later she is a regional manager in charge of policy development and training for a large chain of senior living facilities.

The tail on this tale:  Patti was a serial loser until she embraced her real skills and interests.  The fact that she’s a college drop out has never been mentioned.  Can she star in her current role?  Yes.  What are people like Patti waiting for?  Do they think someone is going to approach them with the perfect job fit and kick them in the knee so they notice?  The rule:  Until you’ve brain stormed with yourself for hours and sought imput from people who know you well, you’re unlikely to have that Eureka moment.  It’s out there waiting for you to think your way there and grab it.

Contact Marilyn for Help With Career Strategies

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