Avoid the top 7 career mistakes
November 14th, 2011 - 45 Comments
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post.
I talked to staff members for advice, I talked to friends who run similar businesses, and I just couldn’t figure out how to get the words out right.
A few weeks ago, I announced a small group that I’d be personally helping to find their Dream Jobs, including identifying what their Dream Job was, learning how to use their own personal network, interviewing, negotiating their salary — all in all, using a new strategy (and super-detailed tactics) that I created for finding jobs.
Then I opened up one scholarship to an IWT reader. I offered to pay thousands of dollars in their tuition, give them the same access as my paying students, and even have them come to NYC to learn inside techniques I’ve never revealed anywhere else.
After receiving hundreds of applications — and reviewing them all — I’m disappointed to announce that I can’t select even one applicant for the scholarship.
This surprised me. I would have expected 15% of applicants to become finalists, then one to win. I know these basics stats since I’ve won hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships myself, so I know how the game is played.
Yet not one scholarship application was as qualified as my paid application, whose acceptance rate was much higher. Some scholarship applications were simply unrealistic: people who wanted to earn $100K, but only earned $50K right now. (That’s not going to happen in 1-2 years.) Others didn’t know what they wanted — which is fine — but had taken no steps to discover any areas of interest. They were simply waiting to “figure it out” or wanted a magical system that would tell them the exact job they should pursue. And others had extenuating life circumstances of crushing barriers that I couldn’t help with.
And so I had to pass on every single application. This isn’t what I wanted — I’m still troubled by this, and I would have loved to help one of you with this program — but I’ve always said that I can’t help everyone.
But I do believe in being brutally honest, and showing you how to improve. With a few hours of work, I believe many of the applicants could dramatically improve — not only for this application, but for applying to many other areas of life.
The Top 7 Mistakes for Finding a Dream Job
I went through the applications with my staff and studied the patterns of what made us reject the applicants. We identified 7 critical mistakes.
For example, when it comes to finding a Dream Job, have you ever caught yourself saying:
- “I just need to figure it out” (Except you’ve been saying that for 6 months and nothing has changed)
- “Yeah, I should update my resume” (Missing the entire point)
- “I have all these interests…I don’t want to close doors” (Staying broad vs. getting specific)
- “I don’t even know what I want” (Trying to do Magical Matching instead of testing your way there)
- “I’m lucky to even have this job” (Not true for top performers)
I decided to hold a live talk this Wednesday, 11/16, at 9pm EST (6pm PST). I’ll be covering The Top 7 Mistakes for Finding Your Dream Job.
Some of these are very subtle and I only discovered them after reviewing tens of thousands of data points. I’ll be sharing them — free — in the hopes that you can improve your applications and, next time around, I can get better applicants to help more of you.
My goal is for you to walk away with at least five actionable steps to find your Dream Job after the one-hour call. And since it’s live, I’ll leave plenty of time for Q&A.
I have limited seats available, so if you’re interested, sign up below to get details on the secret URL. If you can’t make it, sign up any way and I’ll try to send a recording to the people who signed up (no promises, though).
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