Why a Winning Mindset Matters in Your Job Search, with Juliet Murphy

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Looking for a job is exhausting, and it can make even the strongest of us doubt ourselves. How can you overcome self-doubt so that it doesn’t come through in your search? Find Your Dream Job guest Juliet Murphy says you start by believing that you have something to offer. You also need to think about what your colleagues praise you for. Juliet reminds us that it’s normal to be nervous when interviewing for a position but when you believe in yourself, your energy is high and you project confidence that you are exactly what that company needs. 

About Our Guest:

Juliet Murphy is a leading career strategist who specializes in executive advancement and millennial leadership development. Her company’s services include resume writing, executive coaching, and career branding.

Resources in This Episode:


Find Your Dream Job, Episode 332:

Why a Winning Mindset Matters in Your Job Search, with Juliet Murphy

Airdate: January 26, 2022

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. 

I’m your host, Mac Prichard. I’m also the founder of Mac’s List. It’s a job board in the Pacific Northwest that helps you find a fulfilling career.

Every Wednesday, I talk to a different expert about the tools you need to get the work you want.

Find Your Dream Job is brought to you by TopResume. TopResume has helped more than 400,000 professionals land more interviews and get hired faster. 

Get a free review of your resume today. Go to macslist.org/topresume. 

Your credentials, resume, and job search skills all make a big difference when you look for work. So does your mindset. 

In fact, says today’s guest, if you don’t believe in yourself, there’s no point in applying.

Juliet Murphy joins us to talk about why a winning mindset matters in your job search. 

Juliet is a leading career strategist who specializes in executive advancement and millennial leadership development. Her company’s services include resume writing, executive coaching, and career branding. 

She joins us from Orange County, California. 

Well, let’s jump right into it, Juliet. How common is it for job seekers not to believe in themselves? 

Juliet Murphy:

The job search process sometimes can get very exhausting, and after going through different efforts, putting in many efforts, they can sometimes doubt themselves, and that’s where the mindset comes in.

 And before I move into mindset, I just want to give a little bit about the meaning of mindset. 

Mac Prichard:

Let’s talk about that. Can you walk our listeners through that, Juliet? 

Juliet Murphy:

Yes. Your mindset is a set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world and yourself. It influences how you think, how you feel, and how you behave in any given situation. 

So, when you’re approaching your job search, after putting through so many efforts, and you start to get deflated, start to doubt yourself, that can really set you back. That can impact how employers view you, how you present yourself, and the energy that you give out in your job search. 

And so, it’s key to always stay grounded and to always stay positive because, again, that energy is going to define how you present yourself for your job search. 

Mac Prichard:

What does someone who has a winning mindset look like to an employer, Juliet? What are they doing or saying? 

Juliet Murphy:

Yes. When you have a winning mindset, you believe in yourself. You give off that positive energy, and for a job search, I say… a long time ago, Nike had this ad, and it says, “If you can’t win, don’t play.” 

So, when you’re going for your job search, you should always believe that you can win, regardless of how many people may be going for that same job. You have to believe that you are that number one person, and it comes out in the way you present your resume, the way you talk about yourself, the way you showcase yourself, and just the vibe that you give out around yourself. 

Mac Prichard:

How do you recommend to someone who wants to project that winning mindset to keep it grounded in reality? Because there are jobs that we’re all qualified for, and some might be a stretch, but we could still do them, but there are others that are out of our reach. How do you coach your clients to distinguish between those different kinds of opportunities? 

Juliet Murphy:

Yes. And that’s a great point because, sometimes, you see this job, you know you can do it, but there’s certain specific requirements for the job that’s there, and I always say, if it says “required,” and you go through that list, and you see that you have nothing in that list of required, even though you feel that you can do it, in today’s environment, that creates a big challenge. Nonetheless, there may be, instead of required, they may be preferred. 

So, there’s a difference between required and preferred. Required means that they absolutely need that for the job, and your chances of getting that job, if you are not filling most of what’s required, if not all, the chances are very low. But for the preferences, then you can still have an opportunity and a chance, and there you can still get your resume in, put your foot in the door, make some connections, and try to showcase yourself in a manner that would make you a viable candidate.  

Mac Prichard:

You described a moment ago what a winning mindset might look like to an employer. What does an employer see when they’re talking to somebody who doesn’t have that winning mindset? 

Juliet Murphy:

The biggest thing is the low energy. When they’re talking to someone who doesn’t have that positive mindset that they can win, the energy is not the same as someone who is excited and enthusiastic. 

So often, you will see someone that says, “Oh, I’m really excited about this job,” and just everything about them shows that they’re just going through the motions. They’re not really confident, they’re not sure of the value that they bring, and they’re not able to articulate that. 

So, it’s really important to know the job that you’re going for. Be aware of the requirements, and go into that interview being ready. Speaking to that employer, what you say actually shows and ties in with the way you are showing up and presenting yourself in the moment. 

Mac Prichard:

I know we’re gonna talk about how to create a winning mindset but let me ask you this – is a winning mindset something that comes naturally, or is it something you have to create? 

Juliet Murphy:

I believe that the winning mindset for some it comes naturally and for others, it doesn’t, and usually when that winning mindset is absent, it’s usually when you’ve been beaten down, you’ve tried, you’ve applied many, many times, and you’re not getting the results that you thought you would get.

Now, oftentimes, this is what I’ve seen as I’ve worked with my clients. Their resume is not ready. The resume does not align with the job that they’re going for. Many people still today apply for a job using the old resume that they have used over the years. The same format and just keep adding tasks, adding tasks to that of what they’re doing in their current job and not really aligning it with the job description. And then, when they apply, they don’t get responses, and over time, that deflates them, and they start to think, “I don’t know what to do, I can’t get my resume I never get a response.” In that case, they lose the winning mindset. 

Mac Prichard:

Well, how else can you lose the winning mindset? You mentioned rejection, hearing no a lot after sending out many applications, you mentioned using a resume that perhaps isn’t as strategic as it could be. What are other mistakes that you see either your clients or job seekers, in general, make that can cause them to lose a winning mindset? 

Juliet Murphy:

I think also not updating your skills. Not updating your skills, not staying on top of technology, not really staying current in your field, not staying current in your industry. So, you oftentimes could feel less than, feel that you don’t have enough, you don’t have all of what it takes, and so you have to be very proactive in managing your career and staying on top of the skills in your field, so when opportunities come, you do feel like a winner. You are confident that you are a winner because you have what it takes. 

So, really, ongoing professional development is a critical part of creating a winning mindset, and also believing in yourself, you know, knowing, always feeling confident that you are enough, you have what it takes, and if you don’t have it, you can get it. 

Mac Prichard:

Well, let’s take a break, Juliet, because when we come back, I want to talk about how you get that winning mindset and the steps that you take your clients through to accomplish that. 

So, stay with us. When we return, Juliet Murphy will continue to share her advice on why a winning mindset matters in your job search. But also, how to get one if you don’t have one right now. 

So stay with us. 

Here’s another way to show a winning mindset. 

Use a resume that documents your accomplishments, not your duties. 

Do you know how to do this? 

Go to macslist.org/topresume.

One of the experts at TopResume will review your resume for free. 

Go to macslist.org/topresume.

You’ll get advice you can use to fix your resume yourself. 

Or you can hire TopResume to do it for you. 

Go to macslist.org/topresume. 

Now, let’s get back to the show.

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio. I’m talking with Juliet Murphy. 

She’s a leading career strategist who specializes in executive advancement and millennial leadership development. 

Juliet’s company’s services include resume writing, executive coaching, and career branding. 

She joins us from Orange County, California. 

Now, Juliet, before the break, we were talking about why a winning mindset matters in your job search, and what someone who has a winning mindset looks like to an employer, and what someone who doesn’t, how they also come across, and when we finished, we were just about to talk about how to create a winning mindset. 

When you’re working with your clients, Juliet, what’s the first step you take them through if they need to work on their mindset? 

Juliet Murphy:

Yes. The first step I take them through is to, first off, believe that they are number one. In their field, they’re number one. There’s no one else like them in their field even if they feel like they don’t have the education, they don’t have all the qualifications. That’s their field. They’re in it, there’s something that makes them uniquely different, and they bring their own contribution to that environment, to that workplace.

And so, I spend a lot of time getting them out of thinking of comparing themselves with others. Looking at, but I don’t have this, that person has that, and really hones in on what specifically their bringing to the table that makes them different, and makes them a stronger candidate in their own right.

 And so, taking time to get them to think about that really helps them, and I find that that is one of the biggest problems that they face when even going in for an interview. They start to think about the competition and what they’re bringing to the table and what they think they’re not bringing to the table. And I have to work with them to remove all of that and just focus on what they are bringing to the table and how they can make themselves different. 

So, it all, that whole mindset, all begins with you having the confidence in your unique value, being clear about that, and being able to present yourself in that manner with that level of confidence in an interview. 

Mac Prichard:

And how do you help your clients do that? Is there an exercise, for example, you take someone through to identify what makes them unique? And is there a trick you can share or a tool that helps your clients not think about the competition and let their competitors get in their heads?  

Juliet Murphy:

Yes. The first thing I do is to really have them look at their strengths. What are their strengths? What do they get praise for in the work that they do at work? I have them do, also, a SWOT analysis, which is – a SWOT analysis is looking at your strengths, your weaknesses, the opportunities, and the threats. 

And so, businesses use a SWOT analysis all the time, but I have my clients look at their own personal SWOT analysis, and as they go through and they start to look at their strengths, it really gets them excited and then looking at what opportunities all those strengths can present.

So, I do that. There’s also an assessment that I use, it’s called How to Fascinate. I absolutely love that assessment. It really tells them how their differences are strengths and how they can use that to describe themselves, and it just has powerful adjectives, powerful definitions of who they are, and that really helps. Once we start with that, I can see everything start to change, and then they start to move into seeing the value in the things that they do and how that makes them different. 

Mac Prichard:

And how do you help your clients apply what they learn about their uniqueness and their strengths, both into their application materials and interviews but also into their heads and help them change their mindsets? Can you talk about that? 

Juliet Murphy:

In their resumes, we use some of the descriptions that we get through the assessment and through them describing themselves and telling us the praises that they get at work and what people say about them. So, having someone point it out to them and having them hear it makes a big difference, and oftentimes I hear, “Oh, I never thought of myself in that regard. Thank you so much.” And I can just see them starting to come alive. I see the energy starting to come about.

So, once we start to talk about it, they start to feel it, and then once they start to feel it, it starts to come naturally from them. And they’re better able to articulate their strengths and their value in the interview, as well as in their documents. 

Mac Prichard:

One of the points you made a moment ago is that the comparison trap of comparing ourselves to others can weaken a winning mindset. Do you have tools or exercises you share with your clients so that they aren’t making those comparisons to their competitors? 

Juliet Murphy:

The tool that I use with them are the assessments that I mentioned before and also having them, again, list their strengths and list where they get praises for and just really seeing everything that they do as an asset rather than something to compare against the other person. 

Because an employer is hiring you for your unique gift and in a company, they need a variety of strengths, and so, they don’t want all of the same people, and that one thing that you may think you are missing is really what somebody else in the company offers. But the one thing that you have that you are discrediting is really what the company is looking for. 

And so, I try to help them to start seeing themselves as bringing value where they are with what they have. I help them with affirmations to know that, you know, let’s just say, I’m just gonna use my name. I’m Juliet Murphy, and I know that I’m enough. I believe I’m the strongest candidate for this job because I have this, this, this, and this. And I’m going to give it my best and, you know, this is not a life and death situation. I know what I can do, and I’m confident about it. If not this opportunity, the right one will come along. So, just walking them through that helps them a lot. 

Mac Prichard:

I’m glad you shared that affirmation. I imagine that must be very useful to share or do, rather, before an interview. Are there other tips that you give your clients to help them tap into a winning mindset that can help them in a situation like an interview where many of us are understandably very nervous? 

Juliet Murphy:

Yes, yes. And, you know, I let them know that it is normal to be nervous, but going into that interview, you have to go into that interview feeling that you’re coming from a position of power, and you do have power in an interview. 

A lot of times, people believe that when they go into an interview, it’s only the interviewer that has the power. But you have just as much power. That may be hard to believe, but when an interviewer is bringing in a candidate, they’re so excited that this is the right candidate, and they’re praying that you are the right candidate for the job. 

And so, I tell them to treat it as a relationship. It’s like you’re going on a date. You are going in to see if this is somebody that you want to have a relationship with, and it’s the same for the interviewer. So, don’t relinquish your power because that’s when you start to get nervous, and you start to think they have so much over you. 

Yes, they do have that job, but you don’t want to work in a place where you’re not a fit, and they don’t want to hire someone who is not a fit. So, you need to think that you also have power going in, and quite frankly, the interviewer is lucky that you said yes to come in for that interview. Go in with that mindset, and that really helps. 

Mac Prichard:

How do you see the day-to-day job search change for your clients when they adopt a winning mindset? What’s different? 

Juliet Murphy:

They approach it as if they also have a role in that decision. They have a role in what happens to them. Instead of putting everything over into the company that they’re hiring that interviewer, the hiring manager, they feel as if they are also a part of this decision-making. Because they do have a choice, they do have a choice, and so I point that out that you do have a choice. 

You don’t have to say yes even if a job gets offered. You don’t have to say yes. So, thinking of it that way and not a desperate, going in desperate, that’s when you get nervous. That’s when you feel, “I have to get this job. It is my dream. I have to get it.”

 Don’t go in with that mindset because once you start to make it like a life and death, you have to, that’s when you start to trip up and start to get nervous. 

Mac Prichard:

Well, it’s been a great conversation, Juliet. Now, tell us what’s next for you? 

Juliet Murphy:

Yeah, so what’s next for me is I, in addition to working with my private clients, I am extending my services. I’ve been working with corporations. I want to expand that more, expand into that more, and also expand into corporate outplacement. 

Mac Prichard:

Terrific. I know our listeners can learn more about you and your services by visiting your website julietmurphy.com, and that you also invite listeners to connect with you on LinkedIn, and I’ll hope they’ll mention they heard you on the show. 

Now, Juliet, given all the great advice you’ve shared today, what’s the one thing you want a listener to remember about why a winning mindset matters in your job search? 

Juliet Murphy:

The one thing I want the listener to remember is that always believe in yourself. You have to believe first that you are that top candidate for every job that you apply for. Believe that you are that top candidate, and approach it with that mindset, and that mindset, that energy guides what happens next. So, never doubt yourself. If you doubt yourself, you’re putting out the wrong energy and the wrong mindset about you. So always, you are number one. 

Mac Prichard:

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Next week, our guest will be Ebony Joyce.  

She’s a job search strategist, a speaker, and a diversity and inclusion consultant at Next Level Career Services.

It’s time to change jobs.

But you don’t know what you want. 

So you apply for jobs that sound interesting. 

Or jobs like what you have now. You’ll decide later what you really want.

That’s a big mistake, says Ebony. 

Join us next Wednesday when Ebony Joyce and I talk about why you need to stop applying for jobs you don’t want.

Until next time, thanks for letting us help you find your dream job. 

This show is produced by Mac’s List. 

Susan Thornton-Hough schedules our guests and writes our newsletter. Lisa Kislingbury Anderson manages our social media.

Our sound engineer is Jeni Wren Stottrup. Ryan Morrison at Podfly Productions edits the show. Dawn Mole creates our transcripts. And our music is by Freddy Trujillo.

This is Mac Prichard. See you next week.