Top Skill for Career Changers & Job Seekers

What is the most important skill to possess these days to maintain some sense of sanity?


Most of us have already experienced the bizarre nature of life, with its twists, turns, surprises, joys and lessons. What is the one thing that can keep us on an even keel through the ups and downs? Perspective.

This also holds true during a career transition or job search. If you can’t maintain a sense of perspective, you are in for a rather dramatic roller coaster ride and a strong possibility of losing your cool.

What is perspective? Here’s my take. It’s the ability (and propensity) to see the same situation through different lenses so as to provide some emotional distance from the issue at hand.

Why am I bringing this up now, you ask? While reading a guest blog on CAREEREALISM (@JT O’Donnell) I took note of a post by Colin Nanka.

Colin referred to a story about Ted Leonsis’ brush with death back in 1983 and how it transformed his life.

“Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Capitals and an Internet multimillionaire, may seem like a guy who has it all. But he hasn’t done it all. When he survived a plane crash landing in 1983, he made a list of 101 things he wanted to do in life.”

At the time of the article, Ted had accomplished 78 things on his list and was still going strong.

Colin’s point was that many of us don’t take stock of our lives very often. (Of course we don’t – we’re ‘too busy’ or distracted most of the time)

If we want to be happier people and lead rich and fulfilling lives, it might behoove us to think about this more often. I like how Colin said it; “Many people meander through life, letting life blow them around like a leaf in the wind”.

If we have perspective, we can glide more easily through the difficult process of career transition, unemployment, or the ups and downs of a frustrating job search. Because in the scheme of things, just how life-altering is it that the CEO was rude to you or that you haven’t heard back from the biotech firm you interviewed with 10 days ago?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the journey (career transition or life) is easy by any means. But keeping perspective let’s everything fall in its place in due time without as many deep bruises.

So the next time you feel slighted by that new contact that hasn’t returned your call, remind yourself that you have clean water to drink and air to breathe…and you probably heard the birds singing today.

One of the best methods of maintaining perspective is by focusing your energy on someone else who is in a tougher situation than you are. There are plenty of people out there that probably fit that bill.

And while you’re waiting for that recruiter to call you back, start writing a list of the 101 things you want to do in your life before you die.

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2 Responses

  1. I would have to say perspective and perseverance. Some people may have the better of perspectives but don’t always have the strength and the patience to bear the hardships of searching for a career.

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