During my work as coach and consultant, I meet a lot of people. And they tell me a lot of stories regarding their work and personal life. And all those stories taught me an important thing: People are very agile. Even when life is not so ‘sweet’ for them. I never met a person who had a perfect life. Always there were ups and downs and sometimes those downs were heavy. And most of them, when they look back, they say: ‘But you have to do something, life is going on’. But the same people are also, like a lot of people, unsecure about the future, the changes that may come up. And that while they were dealing with some serious issues in their lives. They often don’t realize that with all the experiences they had, they become more agile to handle the ‘downs’ in life. And, in almost all cases, it is because of their mental image. The mental image that we all create ourselves influences our behavior. And our behavior influences the behavior of those who we have contact with. And that affects us also again. An example: A sales representative that has the mental image that he is selling a mediocre product or service. He has serious difficulties to sell the added value of the product or service. He shows that in his sales speech, but also the body language ‘sends’ this image of “nothing special that you could need”. When a sales representative is convinced that he has a great product or service to sell, he will be enthusiastic and also that you can see when he is with the customer. Selling will be easy.
The same counts for people who have to find a (new) job. If their mental image is that they are not that good, or they never thought about their strengths, I can predict that finding another job is very difficult. When I am asked to guide people to a new job, I start with asking them their life story. What people see as a normal life, just step-by-step and logical I see it different. It looks for them logic. But I see a person who had his battles. I see a person who survived every time again. I see a person who was so agile that he always found solutions. And when I confront him with that image, he hardly believes me. But by mentioning the steps he made, the battles he won, at that moment he realizes that hi is not so mediocre as he thought. He starts to see that he indeed has his unique strengths and that he can have a real added value for a company.
So, when you are looking, or have to look for another job, I have some tips for what you can do yourself.
Tip 1: Take some time for yourself. Take care that you can’t be distracted by other people, phone or television. Take a piece of paper and keep it landscape. Draw in the middle of the paper a horizontal line from left to right. This line is your lifeline. It starts at the left with the moment you are born and ends with the moment you make the exercise. Everything under the line are the moments that you didn’t feel good. Everything above the line are moments that you felt ok. How higher above the line how better. How lower under the line the worse you felt. You can start drawing the lines around the horizontal line starting with your birth and gathering all important moments of your life (ups and downs). In total, you are drawing 4 lines, so it is good to use different colors. One line is the line of health, another line is for learning (study and work). The third line stands for family and friends and the fourth line is how you were feeling yourself. Don’t worry if you were drawing wrong, you maybe need 10 pieces of paper before you are satisfied. After you finished the drawing look especially to the peaks (both above and under the line) and write down what happened that made that peak. Concentrate especially on the tops and the combination of lines that made the tops. That are situations you have to look for. When you have done this, you will see that your mental image is changed in a positive way.
Tip 2: Also for this exercise you need some time and taking care that you are not disturbed. Bring alive a memory that you have of a working day in which you went home, maybe tired, but also happy. Write down what elements made that you became happy that day. Don’t do this exercise too fast. You have the best outcome when you really know what happened. Write also down what you did and what your role was that day. When you bring this memory alive by writing it down it gives you immediately an insight of your strengths and the things you want to do, because they make you happy. By writing the elements, you can also see what elements you have to look for in a new job. And when you are invited for an interview for a job you like, you will see that your new mental image will help you.