December 3, 2023
5 min read
When I started my coaching career about 8 years ago, it was relatively straightforward to give advice with regard to my expertise in covering job opportunities in the labor market. I'd identify my clients' natural talents using assessments to link them to a job field, and commonly, about 20 relevant job titles within that field existed. By examining job ads and extracting the most relevant and widely used skills, my clients could tailor their resumes. It was quite straightforward zooming out and looking at the process. However, nowadays, I'd say no career coach can claim to be an expert, given the constantly evolving market and the ever-increasing number of new job titles. As a career coach today, I aim to be more humble and offer support differently. I will not go through my processes here but using ChatGPT has changed my career coaching dramatically. At least technically.
What we're seeing is a world in flux from various angles. We're experiencing a digital transformation, possibly witnessing the emergence of a world in change. It's true that in the next ten years, we're bound to witness more changes than in the past century. From a career standpoint, it's time to embrace the unknown, learn to live in uncertainty, and uncover what's currently unseen. To achieve this, an open-minded approach is essential - to be curious about the unknown and be willing to unlearn practically and mentally to adapt.
With that said: What kind of mindset does one need as a job seeker today? It's vastly different; it's a blend of growth mindset and technology. You must possess an open mind to investigate and learn from others about the digital tools necessary to be an effective job seeker.
“I had a conversation with a headhunter, a long-term friend of mine, who mentioned speaking with highly qualified individuals - after just three months of unsuccessful job searching, some opted to go back to studying. This scenario illustrates two things: excessively high expectations regarding career transitions, low resilience, and, most likely, a limited understanding of the job market.”
For future career success, it's wise to not only expand your mindset but also foster acceptance, realistic expectations, and an interest in new technological tools. Otherwise, you'll be left behind or you make the wrong career move.
Where to begin? Let's start with your mindset. Feelings of fear, worry, anxiety, and stress all have a negative impact on you and your career. They can project negativity and frustration, sometimes even anger, leading to a desire to lash out at others as if they are the ones misunderstanding. Such a mindset doesn’t pave the way for a successful career transition or journey. Though it might seem obvious, it's often hard to recognize when we're in that state ourselves. If you recognize these feelings in yourself, take a step back and ask why you're so frustrated. What emotions are driving your behavior? Is it fear, lack of security, a feeling of not being in control, a sense of feeling misunderstood, or something else? These are common emotions, and learning to live with them is crucial. They're preventing your growth and the ability to say, "I don’t know now, but if I do this, I'll learn, and everything will be okay."
Good things happen and bad things happen – Now What?
In uncertain times, people seek security, and today is no exception. In my country, Sweden, I've noticed that younger people aren't after gigs; they're looking for lifelong, secure jobs. It's a reminder of my youth in the '90s. Let me share a personal story.
“My first job after returning from my postdoc time in Germany at the Max-Planck Institute was a secure lecture position at a smaller university in southern Sweden. It seemed like a logical move. However, after just a year, I terminated my contract for a five-year deal at Lund University. Why? I realized that sticking to a teaching position wasn’t optimal for me. I never looked for a teaching position. I decided to take a more sales and outreach role in a region with greater opportunities—the Copenhagen Metropolitan area. To cut a long story short, I transitioned away from academia, seeking permanent contracts in various companies, only to realize that a permanent job is never truly permanent. The more fixated on finding secure, permanent jobs, the more anxious and frustrated I became. I had the wrong mindset.”
It wasn't until I redefined what security meant that I unlocked my potential and embarked on my new career journey, ultimately becoming a business owner. That is maybe one of my most unexpected moves as I was not born into an entrepreneurial family. Today, my position might lack security on paper, but I've never felt more secure than running my own business.
Here are 5 top tips for you to grow your mindset and to build your feeling of security:
1. Adapting Mindset to Evolving Job Market
- Career coaching has shifted drastically in the past few years. The market's evolution and the increasing number of new job titles demand humility from both coaches and job seekers. Embracing the unknown and developing adaptability becomes crucial for career success.
2. Blend of Mindset and Technology for Job Seekers:
- Today’s job seekers require an open, curious, and resilient mindset that blends with technological advancements. It's essential to be open-minded and learn from others to navigate the job market effectively.
3. Resilience and Realistic Expectations:
- A conversation with a headhunter highlighted the pitfalls of high career transition expectations and low resilience among highly qualified individuals. Understanding the job market is essential for managing expectations and developing resilience.
4. Mindset's Impact on Career Growth:
- Negative feelings like fear, worry, and stress hinder career growth by projecting frustration and negativity. Recognizing and managing these emotions is crucial for personal and professional advancement.
5. Redefining Security and Embracing Change:
- The pursuit of secure, permanent jobs might prevent career growth. Embracing risks, learning from failures, and trusting one's abilities over others' perceptions are key factors for success. Embracing a growth-oriented mindset and learning from diverse perspectives mark the beginning of a genuine career journey.
Adaptability, resilience, and a growth-oriented mindset are extremely important in navigating today's evolving career landscape. Embracing change, managing expectations, and shedding fear lead to a genuine career journey filled with opportunities.
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