“Opportunities are like buses there is always another one coming.” – Sir Richard Branson
Some will, some wont, so what, next! – Old sales proverb
We define winners as those that get the job offer from the company they want eventually. I am yet to meet anyone successful in anything who has not had multiple rejections. The real trick is to not let it affect your confidence. In fact see it as positive feedback, an opportunity to learn and progress. There are always more companies out there no matter what your are looking for. This blog is to make us all winners.
Sourcing New Opportunities
Often when opportunity comes it arrives from an unexpected source or direction. That is why you must be doubly alert to make sure you do not miss them. It might even come as bad news. Here is where what are called “positive directional questions” are so useful, they focus your mind on directions they might not usually be focused on and clear the fog. After not getting the offer try asking yourself the following questions:
- How can I turn this to advantage?
- What can I learn from this experience?
- What is the hidden opportunity in this?
- In what way has this progressed me?
Try this now. List three failures however small that you had over the last month.
Now for each of these ask the above four questions until you get answers.
Is This Opportunity for Me?
When looking at new jobs, most of us look at the company. These days putting the name into search engines will find reams of information on most companies including smaller enterprises. Personally, I put a high emphasis on the people that I will be working with because it is them that define the culture. As a recruiter and a management consultant I have learnt that culture fit is the single biggest most important factor in people being happy and staying for the long term. Of those people the most important person is the boss. Here is what I look for in a new boss.
- He or she, for I am happy with both must be open to ideas and encourage them from subordinates.
- Low staff turnover.
- A team that smiles a lot as you walk through his/her office.
Beyond Flight or Fight
We all have within us what is actually very core software going back to our caveman days called, “fight or flight”. When faced with danger we have these two basic choices. All sorts of chemicals are released into our bloodstream and our focus is entirely, consciously and unconsciously, on addressing the imminent threat. We can face it or run away from it. The ensuing exercise either way is how the body then burnt off the chemical hit that it has just given itself. When that threat is real (or perceived) in say an office situation, there is no corresponding burn off and we build up stress and an overdose of what could become dangerous chemicals and toxins in our system.
Towards our goals we are constantly faced with decisions and this “fight or flight” software is going to be automatically triggered by our unconscious (our own personal operating system). This software sees “incoming” data as a threat and acts accordingly. Our safety and well being is threatened in some way and we must take immediate action.
However that data is so often not really threatening or only part of it is, and taking immediate gut response action is not often the best way to make career decisions. It is sadly though very quick decision making to get you through the current situation. The danger is we jump straight into something that is equally bad.
This pattern alone goes some considerable way in explaining why people do dumb things, even in their own estimation. It also explains why we miss so many opportunities that are staring us in the face.
So what do we do about it? Well, being aware of this is how we are reacting to a situation is seventy five per cent of going towards adding real choice and seeing what is really there.
It Is Really There
Just because you did not see the Invisible Man does not mean he is not there.
I want you to see for the first time what is really there and you didn’t notice it. Seeing what has previously been invisible to you. These are the opportunities all around you that you are missing. This is the secret of all entrepreneurs and great sale professionals. That negative stress after a setback is the culprit that clouds the mind, perhaps even makes you angry. Every large company has candidates who were rejected flaming them all over the Internet. If you fall foul of this negative thinking it can blind you to the opportunity that is waiting there for you. Recruitment is full of rejection, frustration, disappointment, you have to learn to turn these energies into the positive. By the way, you can potentially earn £300 as a Success Moves Affiliate just by emailing the company details to us!
Hypnotists talk about positive and negative hallucination. Positive is seeing something that is not really there. Any policeman who has asked for eyewitness accounts will realise how good we are naturally at this. Negative hallucination is deleting something that is actually there. The hypnotist is actually working on psychological processes that we have already developed. In fact you have done both whilst reading this page, you cannot in fact not do them.
So imagine you were hypnotised for the next week on seeing opportunities everywhere that would help you towards your goal focus. How valuable would that be? You see they are definitely there it is just a matter of seeing them.
A Fishing Rod Not Fish
Wherever you are, take ten minutes to walk around.
I want you to focus on the following:
1. Everything that is circular
2. Three things a little unusual
3. Someone attractive
I did this exercise once in London’s Tottenham Court Road area. I was training at the company’s headquarters, meaning that the area was familiar to delegates.
When they came back I first asked the following questions:
- Write down as many things as possible that are square. (A few shocks on that one)
- As many shop names as they can remember.
- How many people they saw wearing uniforms.
I then asked for:
- Things circular
- Three things unusual.
- Attractive people.
There were several times more things that were circular than square!
This shows that we see what we focus on and even delete or not notice things.
Most of the group could not remember any shop names, nobody had more than three. Bear in mind they walked through a busy central London high street.
Again few noticed anyone in uniforms. There were in fact several including three policeman, a pizza delivery guy, a bus conductor, store staff and a security guard.
When we got on to the unusual things there was a very interesting discussion about strange objects on roofs. The street sign spelt differently on opposing sides of the road. Attractive people were all over the place.
Now noticing what is circular is not that useful. Replace circular for opportunities and square for problems and you have a very useful technique. To find opportunities you must look for them. To look for them you have to believe that that they are there and keep looking. The point I wish to make is that most people just walk down a road with their mind on where they are going. Taking that walk as a metaphor for travelling through our careers we need to focus it so that we pick up those deleted opportunities. We need a pair of what I call “Opportunity Spectacles”. We can develop these with a set of well-defined questions as in the exercise above which will focus us in. Rather like the periscope of a submarine we can see fine but only a limited amount at any particular time. We need it pointed in the right direction to see what actually could be only one application away.
You can keep looking for the right opportunity for you or focus on reasons as to what was wrong with the company that turned you down. Either way you will find answers. One of these answers is useful and positive and will build your career.
So, here right now, put on your “Opportunity Spectacles”. When you have done it, put them somewhere prominent, clearly visible, so that you are constantly reminded of them. This works by the way, it will discipline, train your mind to support you instead of wander in unfruitful directions.
When you have spotted opportunity you must go for it.
A Move Where It Counts
If you are not totally happy in your job, your instinct will be to look for another. Successful people though in my experience tend more often to stick it out learn from their situation and master it. Then they move, it is the mark of a winner.
Most people that have recruited have said to me that most of the candidates they took on were not as good as they thought they would be at interview. Conversely most candidates have told me that most jobs they have taken did not turn out as good as they expected at interview. Every day professional recruiters hear sob stories about broken promises etc. It cuts no ice.
Winners usually get more rejections because they never gave up.
Now a move or even change of career may be right for you. I just want you to be sure that you have done all you can to make a success of your current situation and a move is the right decision. When you have made that decision do not rush or be rushed into any decisions, take your time.
Be creative. Why not establish where you would like to work and decide a target list of companies that would be right for you. Then ring a senior manager in that company and offer them the opportunity of seeing you!
You may just catch someone thinking about a new recruit before they have taken any action.
Have you networked among your current contacts who might know of an opportunity?
Have you scoured the news for companies setting up in your area or have just won a big contract?
Who if they knew you were on the market might be interested in your services?