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November 11, 2013
If you find yourself wondering where your next meal is going to come from, why wouldn’t you be stressed, anxious and depressed? Often times when people come in for psychotherapy, they have very good reasons for experiencing emotional unrest- they are going through a crisis. In situations like these, I usually recommend them to seek life coaching services, in order to get skills they need to address their most basic of needs before they resume therapy.
The purpose of this post is to detail some life coaching strategies people can use to acquire gainful employment. Before I get into the post, I am going to point out that there are a lot of challenges people facing when seeking employment. Two examples would be a depressed economy and individual bias based on prejudice.
However, I am a firm believer that your thoughts create your reality, and pertaining to this post it means that there are more opportunities in the world than woes. So while challenges do exist for young people in seeking employment, more focus should be paid to the opportunities that outnumber these challenges.
Before you read this post, I want you to understand this, you can get any job you want,  you simply have to identify and be prepared to abandon conventional thinking when it comes to making income. What I mean by conventional thinking is that most of us have been raised to be passive about seeking employment. We have been raised to be obedient unquestioning and attentive to the instructions of an authority figure. This is why so many people are content with filling our a job application and waiting for a response.
If you are on the market for seeking employment, there are five mindsets and attitudes you need to adopt in other to help steer you in the right direction.
#1 Think like an employer:
If you used your imagination, some research and a piece of paper, what would it look like if you owned a small retail store? How many employees would you need to hire? Further, what caliber of employees would you be looking for?
When you think like an employer, you come to realize one thing, employers hire people who they believe can either help them make money or help them save money. Preferably both. So regardless of the industry you seek employment in, your thought process should be how you can help make a potential employer money. Simply filling out an application form and submitting a cover letter isn’t enough, this is because you are settling for the role of the passive job seeker. The one who hopes to be hired and follow instructions in exchange for a paycheck.
Even if you know little about the company you are interested in, you want to get into the mindset of understanding what value you can bring into any work environment and how you tactfully communicate such a value during an application and interview process.
#2 Understand the problems of the industry:
Another strategy you have to come up with, is understanding the problems faced by the industry. For example, in my profession as a psychotherapist, a common problem myself along with other clinicians face, is getting the public to understand the value of therapy and how it can benefit them. So if I were to apply for a position with an agency today, my resume and cover letter is going to specify skill sets which directly address this issue, to include my success rate.
For example, I have a good track record of getting parents to recognize how their parenting directly influences the behavior of their child, which increases parental participation in the therapy of their child. I would put this statement in a resume, while highlighting specific techniques I have used in my cover letter and during an interview.
#3 Understand how your skill sets can be monetized:
All skills can be monetized, this means how an applied skill can directly impact profit. For example, an office secretary’s speed at typing, directly impacts her speed at completing documentation and other tasks. So the faster she types, more than likely, the faster she is at accomplishing other tasks in the office which spells out as a reduction of costs for the organization.
#4 Know where to look:
Your ideal work environment would be a place where your performance is rewarded on merit. You want to work in an environment where you are regarded with dignity by others and where the only type of conflict you deal with is based on overcoming challenges presented by the market or industry you work in.
For this reason,  it’s not enough to place your resume, on a job website and hope for the best. You want to start local and utilize your contacts. Tell everyone you know that you are seeking employment and keep an open mind in following up any leads that come your way.
#5 Adopt a pragmatic mindset:
I once worked with a young client who mocked her father for owning two subway stores, this was after she had finished lamenting to me her difficulty in getting an interview at the places she had applied for employment.  This then clued me into what the problem was. I asked her why she hadn’t offered her services to her father, and her response was to roll her eyes and declare that such a thing would never happen. It wasn’t that her father wasn’t willing to hire her, (turns out he had repeatedly offered her a job) it was a matter of prestige for her.
Be as practical as you can in your job hunt. Ultimately what really should matter is your ability to use your skill sets in generating income for yourself and family. Some people don’t realize this but often times your best employer to be is you. Think about it this way, if all else fails, there is product or service people are willing to pay you to deliver to them, whether you work for someone or yourself, it all about exercising pragmatism.
Pragmatism requires a healthy dose of shamelessness. This is a topic (shame) I will be addressing in my next post.
Ugo is a psychotherapist and life coach.
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