Between the Trapezes - On Job Search! | July 2022
Help for when you’re between two career certainties

July 2022

You wouldn’t believe how many people tell me "I was looking forward to this promotion but now I realize I liked my old job way better".

It might even be a very old job that the candidate is now missing. Maybe that company was super supportive, maybe their manager was an amazing resource, maybe the team was a lot of fun AND got a lot of good work done.

While you cannot undo time, IS it possible to "drop back" to a level that you formerly held? So if you are a VP, can you be a Director again? If you're a Director, can you be a Manager again?

See this month's "Going back" article below for how you CAN do this, if you do so in a very smart way.

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Joanne Meehl
Resume expert whose resumes land interviews but she hopes you never need to actually use your resume. "The Resume Queen"®
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Networking guru who coaches you in elegant (not needy, gimme gimme) networking, finding hidden leads.
Interview prep that puts you at ease matching what they need and describing why they need you.

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How to get over this hurdle: "going back"

More times than you would expect, a candidate will tell me, “Although I’m a VP of Operations, my most satisfying job was when I was Director. I’d like to do that again.” 

I’m no longer surprised when I hear this. Why does it happen? 

First, the assumption in the North American business world is that one climbs a ladder or latticework to the next step in their career. Thus it’s hard for people to understand when someone says “I want to go back”. So coaches and counselors are more likely to hear this than colleagues or competitors. 

Some reasons this may be what you are thinking:
  • The VP role (or whatever the title) isn’t what you thought it would be, or what was portrayed to you when you interviewed for the job
  • That great mentor who was to have worked with you is suddenly transferred out or gone, and you are feeling without coaching or guidance
  • The pressures of the role are not a fit for you, so it’s affecting your performance
  • The role elevated you to working with peers you’re just not a fit with – meaning, you just don’t care to work with them because of their values or goals or ethics
  • The skills and characteristics required for the job are just not what you want to be using – you miss what you used to do
  • When you were a Director or Manager, you had a stronger sense of control over what was expected of you; perhaps the scope of the job fit you better than the scope of the new role

In short, you are miserable. And life is too short to be miserable because of your job.

There’s no need to instill doubt. Citing those reasons in a resume or cover letter, or on LinkedIn, may generate questions about your abilities, and a lot of doubt. Even for those less-lofty titles, you will get passed over for candidates who seem more certain about their right role. 
Reactions might include:
  • They won’t believe that you don’t really want to advance, get the bigger title or salary – “Who doesn’t want that?”
  • They will believe you’ll be bored in “going back” to a job title you held years ago
  • They may believe you would prefer to coast in that old job title now that you’ve held the more advanced title

Instead: A good career coach will help you sift out your values, interests, personality, skills, expectations, feelings – and help you come up with a new career goal statement. 

Then your strategy: do your search through your network
1. Contact your most trusted current and former colleagues, mentors, associates, coworkers, teams. Stop yourself from applying willy-nilly for “openings”.
2. Restate what you’re looking for and point out how it’s a match for you at this time. Here, you can mention how the more-senior title had its good points, but other aspects weren’t a fit, so now you have even more insights into what can make a team more successful.
3. Refresh them on your success stories using your gifts: how you make or save money/time, solve problems.
4. Ask what companies have your favorite kind of problem you can solve, research them.
5. Ask for names of people they know who you can talk with who are AT those companies.
6. Meet with those connections, “talking shop”, and stay in contact with them. 

Keep repeating these steps for greater success than throwing darts at a board – whatever your title.

You deserve it.


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This month’s Tip from Joanne:

Year after year, the sources of successful hires, according to consultants who survey hundreds of companies annually, are shown to be:
-  Internal referrals, or nominations from valued employees – biggest number by far, dwarfing the rest in this list
-  Internal recruiting programs: career days, internal job fairs
-  Internet advertising on job boards
-  Social media (company’s Facebook page, Twitter feed, similar) – growing fast
-  External recruiters
Companies seek nominations, especially in labor markets when it’s often tough to find good candidates - like now.

Thought of the Month

Summer: if you're not barefoot, then you're overdressed.

— Source unknown
Joanne Meehl Career Services LLC | Zoom or 612.440.6765 (by appt) |