Why it is Important to be Open Minded About Your Career.

Career open mind

“Decide upon a major definite purpose in life and then organize all your activities around it”

 –Brian Tracy

Changing someone’s mindset is not an easy thing. When someone has spent years upon years having one belief system, it is totally difficult to break it…however when that belief is broken, and ultimately a new belief system installed, a mighty change normally happens.

From experience in coaching each week and in recruiting people the past several years, I come up against a tough mindset: One that seeks just to get a job. Changing this mindset is an arduous task, but nonetheless a great possibility.

I would tell you this: Life and making a difference in life is much more critical than just getting a job. A person who has an outlook in life that seeks to be part of something greater than themselves stands a great chance over someone who is looking for a job just so that the can be able to get a living and pay some bills and have it comfortable.

This brings us to one of the most crucial times your life, the time between your joblessness and getting a job. There is point A and then there is Point B. Your point A is now your point B is then. But there is a gap between these two points. This is one of the biggest blessings of your life, that gap.

One of your biggest psychological needs is the need to have control and certainty. Now, let me ask you a question:

What percentage of control do you have in the process of getting a job?

I asked someone that question in a coaching session and they said they had 70% control.


So let’s see:

  • Do you know when you will be hired?
  • Do you know where you will be hired?
  • Do you know who will hire you?
  • Do you know what you will be doing as a new hire?

Of course you do not have any clue of the answers to these questions unless of course you are a product of Knod Foundation.

In my coaching practice, I normally take my clients through a process called the SWOT Analysis. You probably know this. I know of an Executive Coach who says that the first thing they do if they are hired to fix a company that is on the rocks is to do a SWOT Analysis of that Company.

Many times you carry out a SWOT Analysis of a graduate or someone who is looking for a new job you get amazed at their list of ‘supposed’ strengths. ‘List A’ has things like “Good Team member, Computer  Literate, Time conscious, self-motivated” and so on normally appear here.

Somewhere in there, are things like “Singing, Dancing, Painting, Football, Writing and Speaking” tucked and hidden as if they really do not matter.  This is what I call list B. List B is what forms what I call “Alternative Careers”. So as you can see, you can end your joblessness right here and now. Your problem is that you think a career is only what has a salary on it at the end of the month. Think again.

And now this is the game changing question.

Between Point A (Joblessness) and Point B (Employed), what are you doing in that ‘forgotten time’? Who is in charge of your life at that point? How much control do you have over it anyway?

There are two things you can do.

  1. Become A Waiter: No, not at the restaurant, but at home. Watching series, going out with the boys, chatting on Whatsapp and Facebook. All the while, you are waiting for someone to link you up with a job, or you are waiting for a large corporation to make job advertisements. You are also waiting for someone to give you a call for an interview. Your currency is hope. Remember, hope alone is not a complete strategy.
  2. Become Alive: Take the 30% away from your prospective employer. Give yourself 100% control of your destiny and life. This is the road less travelled. Why? Because many people coming out of school are never prepared for this road. Most people have mostly been made ready to wait for a job.

Taking a look at the lists of strengths depicted above, you notice that the List A is for the waiter. If you do not have a job, you cannot use those strengths that you have listed in that list. List B however is for those who choose to get control over their lives. How can you get this control?

There are several ways:

  • Researching
  • Networking
  • Brainstorming and Mindstorming
  • Learning
  • Preparing

The end result is always obvious. The waiter and the Alive will always meet at the interviewing room, and they will both face the same interviewing panel.

Tell me, even if it was you at the panel, whom would you pick? The ‘waiter’ of the ‘Alive’?

Most graduates are focused on getting a job. Which is OK. However, taking a look at List A and List B, let’s ask ourselves one other all important question:

What skill or talents or attributes in your strengths lists will be most responsible for your future success? List A or List B?

Think about it and align your life. Make your ‘searching and waiting’ years valuable.

Jill Abura
Jill is an International Digital Consultant at Ringier AG, spends her time on research on real estate investment and has a special place in her heart for green building.
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