What does ‘reinventing yourself’ mean to someone who is job searching?

We’re in a new world, getting prepared for what the post-COVID world will be like. And nobody knows what it will be. In times of uncertainty, the best we can do is focus on what we know and get ready to face the new. The future is uncertain; the things you can control are the mindset, attitude, and the competencies you can develop to meet this new world, whatever it will be! We need to get stronger to face it! But what does it mean to someone who is job searching? When we face a brand new situation, we need to reflect and understand some basic elements. Who am I? What do I want? What is my context? What do I have in my hands to make what I want to happen in this context? Which challenges does it bring to me? How can I overcome them?

Even under normal circumstances, I know that people who are job searching need someone to guide them through orientation with specific and essential questions and answers in this job searching project. It is sad to know that many people aren’t even aware of their need for help and continue to try with no direction, focus, or a strategic and structured approach, accumulating frustration and feelings of failure. They don’t know which mistakes they are making, don’t reflect upon their strategies, and don’t know which way can take them to higher chances of success. 

What to say now when we face a market full of unemployed people? What will make the difference between who will get the vacancies and the ones who won’t? The old answers are more than ever still the same: self-knowledge; clear and defined goals; a phenomenal résumé articulating your success stories in the market language focused on the market expectations; a good profile on LinkedIn and a sound strategy for its use; job searching strategies articulated into a plan that is continuously revised and improved; preparation for interviews teaching you how to articulate your stories, impress, convince, and offer a valuable proposal to the company. A simple list of items, but there is a lot of learning and practice in it! We always stand for the idea of BECOMING the best applicant, it is a profound process. 

Now the process will be even more intense! Whoever is better prepared and more creative in their job searching strategies will win. As professionals, at this moment, we need to invest in all the competencies involving creativity, adaptation, and flexibility to face new situations. In new situations, old tricks won’t work; therefore, they demand new strategies. Those circumstances defy us to grow, innovate, try, and discover new ways. 

As a person who came from the world of art, the creativity and adaptability subjects are not a novelty to me. Besides being an artist, I’m an immigrant, and no one understands better about adaptation than an immigrant; adapting is the art of the immigrant, reinventing themselves is their daily verb. For this reason, I would like to propose some alternatives for you to stand out using some strategies from the world of art. 

Any artistic process starts with raw material. In the case of job searching, you are the raw material! The sensorial handling of the raw material is part of the artistic development process: the clay, the paint, the movement, the fabric. Feel, realize, play, experience, visualize (from several angles), and listen (also through different listening angles). What are you made of? How do you work best? What makes you exhilarate? Only the artist who knows the raw material very well can handle it with mastery. Using Altitude’s analogy, you need to check the aircraft before you can pilot your airplane. How has your aircraft been these days? To fly higher, it needs to be in good condition. 

At this point, I highlight a significant role of art: it promotes well-being! Along with necessary measures of personal care, such as sleeping and eating well, doing exercises, investing time in meditation, mental development and spirituality, art can enrich your day, bring peace, encouragement, and ultimately strengthen you. In times of COVID, take care of yourself! And taking care of yourself goes beyond just putting on a mask. I suggest a daily diet of at least half an hour of art, aiming at your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Only when you get to know yourself better and get emotionally stable will you be prepared to face the real-life jungle. That’s why we count on a psychologist at Altitude. When someone has a chronic emotional problem, it needs to be worked out first. That is one of the first instructions I received in my course. To be creative and reinvent yourself in job searching, you need to understand the raw material you are!

And right after that, comes the next artistic development step: know how to express yourself through the chosen art form. Visualize new color shades, new expression possibilities, and new ways of exposing who you are. Those colors and forms will attract, enchant, and communicate who you are at your best performance, inviting the recruiter to dance with you. It happens when you visualize new ways of expressing who you are in your résumé, on LinkedIn, and during your interview. Starting from your particular language, you transfer what you want to communicate to the market language. 

Then we get to the strategic part, the structure, or art form. All that articulates and get structured into a plan, step by step. That’s when creativity takes the most critical role. And if you are submitting yourself to half an hour of art, you will be open to new connections and see new possibilities. How can I approach my network in a more creative way? How can I articulate my presence in the media in a more interesting way? Which new approach will I use for my professional contacts? Which new process will I adopt to make my résumés get to the right hands? Which means of connection will I create? How will I communicate in a more interesting and effective way? What new opportunities will I open to myself? Which strategies haven’t I explored yet? Which different ways can I use to explore the strategies I have already used?

The final step in artistic development is ascribing value, symbolizing, and systematizing. It’s when the artist goes beyond art to meaningfulness. Knowing how to articulate a value proposition is the final result expected in this process. Deeply analyze the company and identify how you can make the difference. Show enough creativity to indicate a logical, coherent, and innovative solution to the company. The applicant who manages to get to this point and reinvents themselves will be  successful. Articulating yourself at the maximum level to produce value is the essence of job searching. That is the factor of maximum differentiation in a world full of unemployed people. Whoever gets to that point will hear: employed! That’s the art of job searching!

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