A job loss—even if voluntary – will often throw even the most clear-headed adult into a tizzy. Suddenly, the ego is confused about who it is. That happened to a client I’ll call Lunch Lady.
Lunch Lady built a marketing program for a huge school system’s nutrition program in another state. She did it from scratch, with nearly NO budget. At first there were flyers, going home to parents. Then there were lessons for the kids, delivered by local farmers. Later, there was a Health Walk that generated thousands of participants, media coverage, and partnerships with a large hospital group and local YMCAs. Next, there was a healthy cookbook, created by school kids. Then, there were awards. Lots of them.

Quite a flurry of activity for Lunch Lady. Then, she moves to Texas. For months, her job search is stalled because she is wandering around in “I don’t know what I want to do.”

Sometimes, the best job change is going BACK to the scene of your glory days. We talk ourselves OUT of so many opportunities:
“I don’t really have the right education.”
“They didn’t really call it PR.”
“I’m not that skilled at media relations.”
“I don’t know the latest software.”

Before you talk yourself OUT of the perfect job for you, here are some tips for reclaiming your “glory days.”

  1. Look at your projects as an outsider would. Figure out how many people participated, how much money was generated, how big was the target audience? Who responded? How were they affected? Estimate the results; then document them.
  2. Create a “brag book.” Gather pictures, fact sheets, emails, certificates, thank you notes, etc. and put them into a notebook. Be prepared to present your latest career achievements in an interview. If you don’t do work that is visual, get graphics from the internet, or use your company’s advertising, packaging or employee newsletters to illustrate your book.
  3. Globalize your achievements and consider going back. If you can market for a school lunch program in Michigan, you can do it in Texas. If you can create an event, you can do it for any organization. If you can negotiate a multi-million dollar deal, you can do it again.
  4. Study the company and prepare to do your magic. If you get a face-to-face job interview, be prepared to work for the job. Many employers are asking job candidates to create a sample work product during the interview! Be prepared to offer strategies, ideas and plans that apply to your target job.
  5. Go back to the scene. If your best job ever was doing mortgage lending, chances are you can do that again—and enjoy it again. Separate the job circumstances that made you quit, from the great work you enjoyed. You don’t need a new career – you just need a better job!

I’m happy to say that Lunch Lady is about to get three job offers. After she got clear, her interviewing skills soared. Lunch Lady got her groove back. With her new-found excitement, networking contacts started giving her more ideas. She discovered, not surprisingly, that we have school nutrition programs here in Texas, too. And, she’s finding employers are THRILLED to find someone who has been there, done that.

What about you? What can you PROVE you can do? Why not pursue THAT?

 PS: You can reclaim your glory days. All it takes is the Career Passion® Test, a couple of conversations, and an expert Resume Makeover. Want to talk about it? Schedule your free Career Review here.

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