When I left my last position, I had no idea what I was going to do next. I had college degrees. I had more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, instructional coach, and program director. I was too old (over 50) with too much education and too much experience. I was unhireable.
And I stayed unhireable – until I changed my perspective.
I went to job fairs, job clubs, and attended workshops by job recruiters. I was surrounded by people like me: too old, too educated, too experienced, with no desire to retire. We were hungry for work and willing to take massive job cuts in exchange for employment.
And then I heard a recruiter use a word that shifted my attitude: seasoned.
I attended a workshop hosted by a employment recruiter for those who were looking for work in the age of technology. All of the rules were different now. Thirty years ago, we typed cover letters and meticulous resumes, delivered them to potential employers, and politely waited until they called. There was no LinkedIn, social media networking groups, Google+ communities, email, or cell phones.
The recruiter agreed that large corporations and school districts were eager to talk to young college graduates because their salaries were lower and they were not tainted with previous experience. However, he added that many small and mid-sized companies and organizations were especially interested in seasoned professionals with rich experience, wisdom, and skills. This kind of experience was particularly valuable to new organizations and companies in transition that were shaping new paths and new direction.
Words have power.
I realized that as long as I perceived my own gifts and talents to limit rather than empower me, the opportunities I was looking for would elude me. When I shifted my thinking; when I felt pride (instead of discouragement) about my experience, education, and skills; job offers and opportunities flowed in my direction.
“America was not build on fear,” insisted Harry S. Truman, former U.S. president. “America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”
Your job in this moment is to become crystal-clear about who you are, what you value, what gifts you possess, and what positions align with your passion. When you are clear about what you bring to the employment table, you will become more aware of the positions that best fit your skills and experience greater confidence when you apply and interview for those positions.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Words of inspiration have the potential to shift your perception and see new opportunities that may have been buried by negative self-talk, self-criticism, and pessimism.
Allow these words to inspire you when you need encouragement:
Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. – Napoleon Hill
You cannot expect victory and plan for defeat. – Joel Osteen
You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. –Zig Ziglar.
You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you and, in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. – Brian Tracy
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. – Albert Einstein
Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford.
Your most important work is always ahead of you, never behind you. – Stephen Covey
A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships were built for. – William Shedd
Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. – Tony Robbins
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
If you own your own story, you get to write the ending. – Brené Brown
You will find the opportunities you are looking for when you allow yourself to experience pride in your experience, talents, skills, and unique gifts. If your confidence needs encouraging reminders, write positive affirmations and post them in places where you can often see and reread them.
“Your life doesn’t just ‘happen.’ Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you,” maintained Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. ”The choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure.” He added, “Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.”
Your self-talk affects your attitude. Your attitude influences your perceptions. Your perceptions impact your decisions. And your decisions shape your life.
What words boost your confidence and remind you of your invaluable self-worth?