Career ADD and the Job Search – Number One Mistake

The job search can be a daunting exercise for those of us with Career ADD. Not only does it push all or most of our anxiety buttons, but we can quickly become paralyzed before taking productive, positive actions that will land an interview or connect us with the right company or potential great job. So where to begin? I am going to make it easy for those of us with Career ADD by bulleting most of the content of this article. Turns out, we ADDers tend to focus better when we are given smaller chunks of information. So here goes:
  • The NUMBER ONE biggest mistake those of us with Career ADD make is having a lack of FOCUS on what we REALLY want in a job or career. When we are sitting in front of someone who has the potential to change our work lives and we are not able to articulate what we are really even looking for in a job, what kind of impression do you imagine that makes?
  • My career clients who started out unable to articulate their ideal job or work situation generally ended up with someone telling them to figure it out first or to “do more research.” This is a nice way of saying, “I can’t help you if you don’t know what you want.”
  • Knowing what you want and articulating that puts you heads above the competition. Why? Because job hunters who do this are more confident and enthusiastic, hands down.
  • Know what you want and why.
  • Here is an example: “I am most productive when I (am using _______ skills at least 20% of the day; am working in a room with minimal noise or I can put on headphones when I need to, am able to work on projects with a deadline, have someone who can answer phones, or work on a team 30-40% of my work week, can change tasks every 10 minutes, etc.) This all might sound like wishful thinking, but in reality, knowing these aspects of what makes you happy and productive, means there is more room for negotiation, or gives the employer AND you a “heads up” that the job may not be a good fit. Overall, if an employer likes you and the way you come across, they are more likely to find a way to make it a win-win. It also makes you look pretty self-assured.
  • Know the field (one or two) or industry you want to work in and stick with that.
  • Using Bolles (What Color is My Parachute) Flower Model is a perfect way to create the dialog that can be used in an interview conversation. Going through this process even 10 minutes a day can have the potential to change your life and career forever. This year marks the book’s 40th Anniversary.
With Career ADD, it is even more important to have someone coach or counsel you through it. My last client went from doing 30 unproductive “informational interviews” to being offered a position where she wrote her own job description. She went from disheartened to empowered and confident in less than two months. Shell Mendelson, founder of NB Careers, specializes in guiding individuals with Career ADD and Career Paralysis to define an authentic career direction. Click here » to download a FREE “Six Minute Quick Goal Setting” exercise and take the first step on your job search journey. Word focus image from Shutterstock

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