In an era of personal branding, what does authentic career communication mean for job seekers?
This article discusses the 2 essential ingredients of authentic and effective career conversations during job search and career transition.
What does it take communicate authentically during career change and job search?
We hear a lot about authentic communication nowadays.
When you look up authentic in the dictionary, you’ll find definitions such as: original, true, genuine, trustworthy, and “acting on one’s own authority.”
But what might this mean for you when you are making changes in your career?
Here are two essential elements of career communication that works for job seekers and career changers.
1. Authentic Career Communication Begins with Self-Awareness
First, you need to understand yourself. What are your career goals? What’s most important to you about your work? What are your strengths and skills? How does work fit into the rest of your life?
This sounds simple. But job seekers and career changers often skip this essential foundation for their career communication.
If your responses to these questions are a bit fuzzy, take some time to review your career up to now. What does it teach you about yourself that is relevant to where you want to go next in your career?
Clarity about your own strengths and skills is the first step to communicating them effectively with others.
Expand your understanding by getting feedback from people who know your work. Ask managers, co-workers, or mentors for their input. If this is not an option, consider professional coaching to support you to develop the clarity you need.
Perceptual biases, cultural conditioning, and career-related worries get in the way of seeing our own strengths and skills objectively. Yet, clear and confident career communication is essential for your career success. Knowing your strengths is a great start.
2. Authentic Career Communication Requires Awareness of Others
Self-awareness is key. But it is not enough for effective career conversations. The second essential element of authentic career communication is understanding your audience. Being authentic doesn’t mean talking about yourself without considering your listeners.
It’s important to remember that career communication is a two-way process. Say, for example, you’re looking for opportunities to advance in your career or bring your skills to a new area.
To do this, your career communication needs to be persuasive. You need to bridge the gaps between you and your listener.
Clarity about your strengths makes it easier to speak confidently. But you also need to understand how what you say intersects with the needs and interests of the other person. It is when you identify shared interests that you can speak with authority and build trust. So how do you do that?
If you research ahead of time you will have a better understanding about the problems that a prospective employer is facing. This enables you to quickly engage in a relevant conversation. What better way to let your authenticity shine through that to discuss a shared area of concern?
Authentic Career Communication: Summary
Authentic career communication is key to your ability to communicate effectively during job search and career change. Communicating authentically is not about blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. Authenticity is a two-way process. It involves listening as well as talking.
The more aware you are of both your personal strengths and the needs of your conversation partners, the easier it will be for you to communicate with authority about your career.
Career & Work Life Matters, ISSN 2150-6299, Vol 8, no. 3
About the Author
Jennifer Bradley, Ph.D. helps professionals lead their own careers, empowered with the information, tools, and resources that they need. She offers individual coaching and consulting, teaches classes, and publishes articles on career development and career transition.
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