When looking for a job, it’s tempting to spend a lot of time sharpening your job-search attributes and skills.
You get your resume professionally written (cough-cough). Hopefully, you also make sure that your LinkedIn profile helps position you powerfully online. And you should give a lot of thought to your career achievements, so that you can talk about them fluently during an interview.
I recommend that you do all of those – because they are critical for making you stand out apart from your competition.
However, there are more subtle, intangible attributes which make or break you during the job search process.
Your Inner Game.
Last year I read the Steve Jobs biography and it made me realise just how differently people of his calibre view work. More interestingly, after reading the book I experienced one of the most productive and empowered periods in my own job.
I felt like, by virtue of reading about and deeply understanding his character, I subconsciously tapped into some of his approaches and habits, and was able to implement them in my own career.
I have made it a habit to periodically read the stories of successful people ever since.
Reasons Vs Actions.
Your actions are important. You get up, you go to work, you try to do your best. However, the reasons you get out of bed provide a context for your actions.
And how other people experience you (and the quality of results you create) will be determined by the motivations that drive you, not the actions you take.
A classic example of this at work is the cheesy used car salesman. He looks the part, he says all the right words, he smiles – but deep inside you know that it’s all a facade. Your gut tells you that this guy doesn’t have your best interest at heart.
To the contrary, the slick look and the smooth pitch are there to hide his true motivation – to shake as much coin out of you as he possibly can.
I think that the people who are high achievers in our society – people who seem to naturally stand out and be noticed – mostly get there not because they have extraordinary skills, but because their motivations empower them more.
They view themselves, other people and work in a way which allows them to create better quality work, make better connections and create more value.
To that effect, I compiled a list of people who, in my view, wrestle with the question of “Why?” in a legitimate, authentic way. I follow them, because they attempt to cut through the hubris of the everyday existence of life and get to the core.
1. Steve Pavlina Blog: If you’re ready to squeeze the most out of your life, look no further. Covers topics of productivity habits, empowerment, and fulfilling career.
2. Jonathan Fields Blog: Jonathan interviews inspiring and successful people who have a unique view on life.
3. Unlabel by Mark Ecko: Even a guy with a billion-dollar business wrestles with problems – surprisingly, not too different ones to those you and I have to face. A real, raw story of a man who almost didn’t make it; it stands in stark contrast to chest-beating autobiographies by the likes of Trump.
4. Steve Jobs Biography: I already said all I have to say about it – a must-read.