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You get diminishing returns when you are restricted to your comfort zone- Sunday Adelaja

StopThere are times when we put limitations on ourselves and times when others impose these limitations on us. Yesterday, the weather was beautiful, so my family and I embarked on a trip to a nearby mountain. My four year old twins were exhausted after hiking about half way up. It did not help when my husband asked a hiker on his way down how much farther it was to the top. ‘Oh, it is quite steep for another half hour. You can stop at the look-out if you are unable to make it all the way to the top. It is just around the corner. Next time you can drive to the view point he said so that all you have is half an hour hike.’ See this hiker introduced limitations to our  plans. I thought to myself, another half hour, that will be too much for my children’s already tired feet. I entertained the idea for longer than I would have liked to. We decided to heed to the hikers’ recommendations, got to the view point which was absolutely breathtaking. My husband and I agreed that we should give the final half hour a go and with not too much difficulty for the little one’s we made it to our destination!

Not too long ago, I was interested in exploring employment opportunities at an international development bank, and was discouraged by naysayers. ‘I have heard that they only hire economists’ they said. I defied the statements and proceeded to seek opportunities on the organization’s website, found a job right up my alley, applied for it and made the shortlist.

What do naysayers say about your career trajectory? What internal and external limitations are being placed on your career growth? Whose advise are you listening to that has stopped you from getting to your career happily-ever-after? If the company you keep is holding you back from your destination, it might be time to revise your job search strategy.

Strategies To Consider When Launching Your Job Search/Career Transition

Revise your career marketing documents: In order for your career to take off, you need to be armed with a passport, ticket and money (PTM). Your passport is your curriculum vitae or resume. Your ticket is a bespoke cover letter. And finally, your money is the ability to network effectively. Ask a friend, a mentor or a coach to help you to craft compelling career marketing documents and use those documents within your professional networks. Be intentional and associate yourself with professionals who will drive value to your career trajectory by requesting informational interviews. An informational interview is a great way to learn about careers, jobs, companies and organizations you are interested in. If you want to earn more about informational interviews, read about navigating an Informational Interview.

Search and Find: Seeking and finding opportunities is a deliberate activity that helps you to determine the type of work and employer you are looking for. At this stage, do not think about limitations and obstacles. Start by thinking about your top five skills and who you want to serve. Then create a list of keywords to launch a job search. What job opportunities and employers come up? Look at the organizations, companies, job titles, the job roles and qualifications required.  If they align with your professional mission, vision and values, this I an absolutely good place to start and plug in your PTM. Be inspired and  read more about Best Keywords to Use in Your Job Search.

Augment Your Professional Network: If you become the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with, you have to be selective of the company you keep. We will have a board of advisors surrounding our career development whether we know this or not.  Take stock of each board member and make a decision on who you maintain and who goes. These advisors are critical to your career success. Deliberately surround yourself with people who will contribute positively to your career growth. It might be a difficult decision to make but if you keep seeking advice from connections who place limitations on your career development, you risk career decay. To develop a valuable online network, take advantage of the largest professional networking platform, LinkedIn. But before you do, make sure that you have a profile that stands out and makes people to want to connect with you. If you are unsure how to proceed, start by crafting a summary that stands out by reading LinkedIn Profile Summaries.

Be good to yourself and take care. Happy job searching!