Are These Personal Patterns Sabotaging Your Job or Career Transition?

Here’s something interesting: the way you respond to specific situations tends to be the way you respond across the board.

This is nothing mysterious; it simply reveals some of our character traits underlying our behavior.

The goal here is to be aware of your behavior patterns during your career transition.

For example: if some of your friends you frequently hang out with make plans to get together without you, what is your first reaction? Do you feel rejected, do you get angry, or do you simply wonder what they’re up to and assume they were just about to ask you?

Your reaction to this kind of situation is likely the same you’ll have when you don’t hear back after applying somewhere.

(And, as an aside: there are SO many reasons you may not hear back after sending in your resume – especially in response to a job posting – that have NOTHING to do with you. )

Another example – a personal one this time:

I tend to want to be prepared and have my ducks in a row. Not very convenient when you’re running a business. So I’m trying my best to unlearn this trait. It’s also not handy if you’re in career transition as it may prevent you from taking action until you are “ready” – which, if you’re like me, you’ll never be!

Perfection is unattainable. Progress, on the other hand, is a fantastic goal.

A few other examples:

–          Are you someone who is always late? If so, you probably have a hard time getting to your interviews on time as well. Make sure to figure in extra time to avoid this major faux-pas!

–          Do you get curt with service staff in restaurants and other places? When going on interviews; be mindful of how you treat receptionists and assistants at these companies as they are often asked about their impressions of the candidates! (And what were you thinking in the first place; show some respect for your fellow citizens; regardless of their socio-economic position!)

–          Are you used to outsourcing everything but your sleep and your love life? If so, chances are you think you can outsource your job transition to professionals and assistants. As much as I am a believer in – and practitioner of – outsourcing, I need to tell you that there’s a place and a time for everything. Your career transition needs hands-on involvement from you.

–          Do you like to “stick with what works?” Are you someone who keeps buying the same brand products forever, who goes to the same vacation place year after year, and lives by “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke?” Great! But listen up: the past few years have seen more changes in the arena of recruitment, hiring, and job searching than in the all the years prior since the introduction of the electronic typewriter. So ditch the 2 spaces after periods (a left-over thing from the typewriter days), and, more importantly, get up to speed with career transitions a la 2010. It’s truly a different world out there!

So if you got some great career management advice in the 90s or even the early 2000s that made sense to you and that worked back then; realize that what ain’t updated may very well cost you opportunities today.

–          Are you a proud person who doesn’t need anyone and who likes to “make it on your own?” Respect! You probably don’t ask for help easily (or at all!) and you love to help others. Just make sure not to translate this too rigidly to the careers arena. There are people – and I have a dear friend in particular who is very stubborn about this; you know who you are! – who won’t even accept connections to get more information and possibly leads. I’m not talking about insider information that can land you in jail. I’m talking about plain and simple networking. The stuff that lands about 80% of the people their next jobs. Vital in today’s economy and job market.

It reminds me of that joke about some guy sitting at his roof trying to survive a flood. A boat with rescuers comes to get him, but he sends them away, because “god will rescue him.” Yeah…god just sent that boat with rescuers his way – but he turned it down… Same principle applies here.

There are plenty other examples but I’d love to hear yours! How does your “MO” affect your job or career transition?


  1. I agree with your thoughts exactly, as being on time and early, as well as showing respect and courtesy for all people you deal with is a sign of your character, especially in business. You never know the relationship of the person you greet at the front desk or the assistant of the person you are meeting to others in an organization.


    Comment by Michael — July 3, 2010 @ 10:38 am

  2. I try to be pretty organized, and sometimes that in itself can be limiting…I find that after arranging something to a particular schedule, when something happens (that causes my schedule to be disrupted) it becomes difficult for me to adjust. But I am learning that sometimes letting it go and being able to think quickly on your feet can dispel the minor disgust of sudden cancellations and other things that just go wrong. You just need a can-do attitude and to keep moving forward.

    Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter if you need me)

    Comment by Karen — July 26, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

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