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How to Approach the Career Hunt with Self Awareness

Many articles I see approach the career hunt from a very analytical perspective, involving meticulous research and preparation. This is perfect for personality types that crave detail and love deep dive research, but for big picture, creative and future oriented behavioural types, it can be painful and incredibly demotivating. These people are often thought of as lazy in their approach to the job hunt, but are they?

Learning how to re-wire the process to suit your personality style can make a huge difference to motivation and engagement. If deep level detail is not your thing, we share our top tips on how to do the work but make it more enjoyable.

‘Self-aware employees make a self-aware company.’

– Neil Blumenthal

1. Know your why

Be sure you know why you are applying for each role, and you are confident you will enjoy it. The more self-awareness you have, the more possible your goals will be, rooted in a realistic career path, and opening up a future you can trust is right for you. To do this, you need to get to know yourself first and foremost. Learning more about what motivates you creates a deep understanding of your own unique belief system, and what you are most drawn to and where your passions lie.

Knowing your why turns the application process into achievable career goals and aspirations, not a depressing, demotivating list of tick boxes.

2. Develop self-awareness to save time and energy at the research stage

Recruiters and HR personnel will often use personality assessments as part of the hiring process. This helps them make sure the candidate is a cultural fit, check the role suits the applicant’s personality, and adds objectivity. With metrics of an individual’s personality types, performance metrics and ambitions, a company can more effectively place and grow them within their role.

It is just as relevant for applicants to understand their behavioural type prior to starting the career search, especially if they struggle with the heavy-duty research of the application stage.

Getting to know your own strengths and skills means you can quickly identify whether a job profile is a realistic option for you, and whether it matches your career goals. This means you waste less time applying for unsuitable roles, and save your energy for the ones that have the best chance of success.

3. Get with the program

The application process operates at a deep level of detail, whether we like it or not; the need to research the company, understand the industry, research your hiring manager, learn something personal about them from social media.

To make sure your application form and covering letter are relevant means you must do your homework. To perform well in your interview means you need to show a real and genuine interest in the role and the company. The ‘what’ is always the same; it’s ‘how ‘we get that knowledge that can change.

For example:

· If you are people-oriented, reach out to any fellow students you know who have interviewed, interned, or who now work at the company. Ask your family/ friends if they know who anyone works in the industry and arrange a video call/socially distanced coffee chat.

· If you prefer visual to written media, many companies have corporate videos, you-tube channel etc. Go straight to the About Us section on company websites to get the condensed version as a starting point.

· If you default to verbal rather than written communication, ask friends to role play interviews, fact check company information with pop tests, record information rather than making notes.

4. Be confident - companies need both detail-oriented and big picture people

Just because a person may despair at the detail required for application research, this doesn’t mean they cannot excel at the interview, or be the best candidate for the role. They will be still sought after for their unique gifts and abilities; different roles suit different behavioural types.

Businesses face a wide variety of problems that require a diverse way of thinking and problem solving from their employees. A balance of big-picture and detail-oriented profile types ensures that ideas and opportunities are presented, and the details are executed. These two types tend to complement each other; this is often seen in leadership teams, where often the CEO is a big picture person while the COO and the CFO are the detail people.

5. Attention to detail is a learned skill

It’s important to remember that basic attention to detail matters in every role, where a slight mistake from the part of an employee or any other member of the organization can harm the reputation or revenue of the organization.

“Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right.”

-Steve Jobs

Whether you have good attention to detail or whether you can see the big picture easily and clearly is generally part of your personality. However, it can also be a learned skill, with practice and determination. There are systems and processes that can help you override your natural tendencies when needed.

For example, attention to detail in your C.V is a first impression indicator of your professionalism and reliability. According to Career Builder, 61% of recruiters tend to reject a job applicant because of a typo in their C.V. or covering letter. Resume mistakes at best give a bad first impression; at worst, they'll cost you the job. However, online tools can reduce grammar and spelling mistakes, and always having a friendly but firm proof reader on hand is a great help.

‘There is no real limit to how much better a person who really commits

to getting better can get.’

- Brian Tracy

Approaching your career hunt with self-awareness, and adapting the ‘how’ in the job application process can re-motivate and re-energise. At The Bedrock Program, we help our clients do exactly that, setting the stage for success. Self-awareness doesn’t negate the hard work required, but it does make it more do-able and more enjoyable.

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