Job searching can be a challenging time and to keep things in perspective it can be helpful to look for parallels in other walks of life that we can learn from. With two teenage sons who are both longstanding Manchester City football fans I feel this is the perfect month for a sports related article. Last night anyone visiting Manchester would have met with crowds of fans celebrating their team’s victory parade around the city centre, having won the Premier League as well as achieving the highest number of points ever in the League, with their manager Pep Guardiola. This is Pep’s second season. The Club had been purchased by Sheik Mansour back in 2008 and its value has increased more than five-fold since then.

Right, that’s about all the technical footie information I know, now let’s draw the top job search tips out:

1.       Have your eye on the future

Since purchasing the Club in 2008, there has been a long-term vision to make Manchester City the most successful football team in the world. There has been significant investment into buying top players, managers and diversifying the brand.

When you are job searching think about your next role as part of that longer-term picture. Where would you like to get to? What pieces of the jigsaw are useful to pick up along the way? For example, some clients only think of the short term and might turn down a fixed term contract preferring a permanent role. However, for the longer term, it offers the chance to check out a new organisation culture, extend your network, broaden or deepen your skills and get further experience on your CV.

Be prepared to invest in yourself while you’re job searching. Think of yourself as one of those top level footballers whose skills are so sought after, so valuable. Take on-line courses, check out your local evening classes, consider longer term education such as Masters courses and professional body accreditations.

2.       Take feedback on board – admit when you need to change direction

New Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola faced huge criticism in his first season regarding his choice of goalkeeper. Bravo (the new goalie) couldn’t perform the passing football style that was required. Pep accepted he had made a mistake and brought in a replacement with Ederson this season and the results speak for themselves.

In your job search, first of all seek out feedback – about yourself (your strengths and areas of development) as well as about your career direction. A client of mine has a particular direction she would like to take in graphic design, but when she contacted the owner of a marketing agency found that she just does not have the correct knowledge, skills or qualities presently to pursue this area. Either she stubbornly continues in this direction regardless or she accepts the advice and changes course.

3.       Success often takes time – we must be resilient

There were huge expectations and pressure on Pep Guardiola that City would win the League within their first season with him.…and they didn’t. Even when you’re paid million of pounds sometimes it just doesn’t work out straight away.

Securing a new role or internal promotion can take time, often many months. Try to keep perspective and break down the process into bite size goals. Celebrate that you have secured a networking meeting with a new contact, that you have phoned a recruitment agent in addition to starting a new exercise regime, volunteering one evening a week and enjoying producing vegetables from your allotment.

4.       Take it one match, one step, at a time

On holiday only a month ago, in April we sat in The George Pub in Lisbon watching City get totally thrashed 3-Nil by Liverpool in a Champions League match. It was a dismal night! This was followed by further defeat a week later. We had lost out on that League, could we get things back together to hold onto the Premier League? In his post-match interview Guardiola spoke sensibly about how you have to compartmentalise matches and take each match as if it is a fresh opportunity. It is all about mindset.

This is so true when you are going through interviews isn’t it? I was delivering a webinar last week and a delegate said that after a first interview rejection he had stopped applying for roles because he didn’t want that sense of defeat. After discussing this I believe he went away realising that instead, he needs to see the interview process as a learning journey; he recognises he could prepare more thoroughly next time, do wider research, practice more achievement examples. Don’t let these knocks control you. Think about how they help you to improve next time and keep that “growth mindset”.

5.       Never give up..ever!

In their final game of the season this Sunday against Southampton, City had to win to gain the vital three points that would achieve the magical 100 points which had never before been achieved in the Premier League. Literally in the FINAL minute of extra time they scored that vital goal. Thank goodness we didn’t turn the television off early in disappointment thinking there was no way City would achieve it!

So, you know what the message is for your job search – keep at it, never give up. Always consider what else you could do to control or influence the situation positively. If I can help you in any way to keep motivated and energised then do get in touch at sally@swcareercoaching.com

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