Why You Can’t Keep Your Options Open, with Caroline Adams

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Transcript

Find Your Dream Job, Episode 154:

Why You Can’t Keep Your Options Open, with Caroline Adams

Airdate: August 29, 2018

Mac Prichard:

Hi, this is Mac of Mac’s List. Find Your Dream Job is presented by Mac’s List, an online community where you can find free resources for your job search, plus online courses and books that help you advance your career. My latest book is called Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. It’s a reference guide for your career that covers all aspects of the job search, including expert advice in every chapter. You can get the first chapter for free by visiting macslist.org/anywhere.

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 Mac Prichard, your host and publisher of Mac’s List. I’m joined by my co-hosts, Leila O’Hara and Jessica Black, from the Mac’s List team.

This week, we’re talking about why you can’t keep all your options open when you look for work.

One of the most common questions you’ll get when you’re looking for work is about what you want to do. Many job seekers say, “I’m keeping all my options open.” That’s a mistake, says this week’s guest expert, Caroline Adams. She says when you get clear about what you want, you will find your next job easier and faster. Caroline and I talk later in the show.

You’re at a networking event. You have a terrific conversation with someone you just met. And you want to remain in touch. LinkedIn now lets you use QR codes in order to connect with others online right away. Leila tells us more in a moment.

Are you more likely to get a job if you’re the first applicant? That’s our question of the week. It comes from listener, Wayne Cramer, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jessica shares her advice shortly.

As always, let’s start the show by checking in with the Mac’s List team.

Leila, you’ve been out there poking around the internet, looking for those tools, books, and websites that people can use in a job search and in a career. What have you found for our listeners this week?

Leila O’Hara:

Yes, Mac, I’ve been looking around and this week I’ve found a great resource. Let’s say that you’re at a networking event and you make a great connection with a reputable leader in your industry. You eagerly exchange business cards with them and hope for the best.

But business cards might be a thing of the past because LinkedIn has recently introduced a few new ways to connect virtually that will save you time and help you connect instantly during the event. The first is a new feature where you can create a QR code for your LinkedIn profile via the LinkedIn app.

Simply open the LinkedIn app on your phone and scan your new connection’s QR code to instantly connect with them. There’s many more creative ways you can use this new feature. You can add it to brochures and event materials, you can display it on your website, you can include it on conference badges and lanyards, you can add it to your email signature, or even import it directly onto your resume.

LinkedIn also shared a great idea that I wanted to share with our listeners for how to make the most of your new connections and recap the event. They suggested to, “Take a moment to keep the conversation going so you can easily stay in touch. For example, share a video from the event you’re at with people you just met and connected with, or write a post recapping the meeting and tag them using the @ sign, mentioning the people you just added to your network.”

Another new feature LinkedIn is developing is called “Find Nearby.” This feature allows you to find other LinkedIn members that are nearby, using your mobile device. This is another great tool that can allow you to connect with fellow conference attendees and industry leaders by searching for their LinkedIn profiles based on their proximity in location. If you find this level of location tracking slightly creepy and invasive of your privacy…

Jessica Black:

Yeah, I definitely do.

Leila O’Hara:

Yeah, that’s one thing I immediately thought of, “Oh. Are they going to be tracking me all the time? That’s a little frightening.” But there’s no need to fear. LinkedIn says you’ll need to opt-in to use this feature and you’ll only be discoverable when you are on the Find Nearby page. LinkedIn doesn’t track, monitor, or store your precise location data at all times. They don’t just follow you around all the times, that would be a little much for LinkedIn.

Jessica Black:

It would also drain your phone battery.

Leila O’Hara:

Definitely. We all know that LinkedIn is the largest social media platform for professional networking and it’s a great way to make new career connections and find new job opportunities. I think it’s great that they are innovating and giving us new ways to connect. I think these new tools will be helpful for anyone attending a networking event or conference, whether you forgot your business cards or you just don’t want to bring them at all.

Jessica Black:

It’s a really interesting resource. I do really like the concept of this and it’ll be interesting to see how it works in actuality, just to see if it catches on. Because I remember a couple years ago, there was another app that was called Bump or something like that where you were supposed to bump your phones together and it would exchange contact information like this.

Mac Prichard:

I remember that one, too.

Jessica Black:

It never caught on. Leila, you’re looking at me with a blank stare.

Leila O’Hara:

I haven’t heard of that.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, because it didn’t catch on, so I’m curious… I’m hopeful that LinkedIn has utilized some additional technology that will help. Plus they have a larger brand name and things like that. People already use LinkedIn. Hopefully, that will help spur those connections.

I like the concept because I am always looking for ways to reduce paper usage but I also struggle with that because when I am at a networking event I am so focused on the in-person connections, I don’t want to be having my phone out and worrying about how to be connected to that. I like that at networking events you can just exchange business cards, you put it in your pocket, and you look at it later.

I’m curious to see how it works in execution, I guess.

Mac Prichard:

So am I. I think they are all great tools and I’ve been hearing about the death of the business card for about twenty years. This might be the thing that does it, time will tell. Some things just hang on and one of them is business cards. There are still organizations that use fax machines, which is shocking to me, but I think these are terrific tools. I encourage our listeners to check them out.

Leila O’Hara:

Thanks.

Jessica Black:

Thanks, Leila.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, thank you, Leila. If you’ve got a suggestion for Leila, send her an email. We’d love to share your idea on the show. Her address is leila@macslist.org.

Now it’s time to dig far and deep into that Mac’s List mailbag because it’s overflowing.

Jessica Black:

Sometimes it does.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, it does. It does fill up, and you’ve pulled out a letter for us, or an email I think.

Jessica Black:

It was an email.

Mac Prichard:

Have we ever gotten a letter? I know we’ve gotten voicemails.

Jessica Black:

No, I don’t think we’ve gotten a physical letter. That would be nice.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, maybe one day. Tell us about the email you got this week.

Jessica Black:

I got an email from Wayne Cramer, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He asks,

“Is there any advantage to being one of the first people to apply for a job? When a new job listing pops up on LinkedIn or Craigslist, I sometimes feel the urge to apply as soon as possible. Does getting your application in early make any impact?”

I really like this question because I think that this is a common, I think, misconception. Although I will say that it will always depend on the employer or the hiring manager receiving those applications. Some people may find value in getting that first applicant. Once the first person that meets the qualifications applies, they’re done, but I do think that it benefits you as the job seeker to take some time to really process.

We talk about it a lot here on the podcast, of, looking through the job description to pull out those specific keywords that are going to match on your resume and really tailor those cover letters and tailor those resumes to make sure that you are the best fit for the job rather than the first one to apply. A one-size-fits-all resume doesn’t really do the trick and in this case I would say it doesn’t give you a better chance or a bigger impact, just because taking more time will allow you to really convey what you’ve done. Your accomplishments, your skills, and how you will benefit that actual employer and that actual job that you’re applying for.

What would you, Mac and Leila, add to that?

Leila O’Hara:

Yeah, I think that’s definitely the right strategy to take. It reminds me of the tortoise versus the hare metaphor. Would you rather be slow and steady or speed through it and potentially miss something? I think it’s a lot better to slow it down and take an extra step to review it multiple times to make sure your job application is complete and that you’re showcasing why you’re the best person for the job instead of leaving information out and rushing to be the first one to submit it when you could have spent more time on it. Most job applications have at least a two-week window for applications so there’s not a huge rush to be the first one to apply on the first day.

Jessica Black:

There are no prizes for being the first one.

Leila O’Hara:

Exactly.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

I agree, as an employer, I put postings up for our company at eight o’clock on a Monday morning and I’ll get responses at 8:10am and I appreciate people’s interests but to your point, Jessica, it demonstrates that they haven’t done the homework. They’ve just responded and it’s hard to take an application like that seriously.

I think that, as you say, Leila, most employers are going to allow a two-week window, so I think it’s good to get your material in during the first week when the review is likely to begin. I think that most employers are looking at them every day but they’re getting serious about identifying people for phone interviews by day four or five. It only takes a few hours to put together a really good application and do some homework on top of that. It’s doable during the first week.

Jessica Black:

I agree. That is really great advice. Thanks, Wayne.

Mac Prichard:

Let us know how it goes, Wayne. If you’ve got a question for Jessica, send her an email; her address is jessica@macslist.org. You can call that listener line; that number is area-code 716-JOB-TALK, or post your question on the Mac’s List Facebook group.  You can even send an old fashioned snail mail letter.

Jessica Black:

That’s right. Our address is on the website.

Mac Prichard:

It is. If we use your question on the show, we’ll send you a copy of Land Your Dream Job Anywhere.

We’ll be back in a moment. When we return, I’ll talk with our guest this week, Caroline Adams, about why you can’t keep all your options open when you’re looking for work.

I meet with thousands of job seekers every year. People who struggle to find meaningful, rewarding work that matters. I see many people make the same simple mistake in a job search. It’s a fatal error. It makes the hunt for work longer and harder.

What’s this critical blunder? People don’t have a clear job search goal.

You might think it’s wise to apply everywhere. But the more you narrow down your job search, the easier everything gets and the happier you will be in your next gig.

Stop chasing every lead. Instead, put all your energy into the opportunities that you really want.

Of course, setting your goals is easier said than done. Especially when all you know is what you don’t want to do! That’s why I created a new resource that can help. It’s called Finding Focus in Your Job Search. This free step-by-step guide will help you figure out what you want in your career and in your next job.

To get Finding Focus in Your Job Search, visit macslist.org/focus.

Now, let’s get back to the show!

Now, let’s turn to this week’s guest expert, Caroline Adams.

Caroline Adams is a career coach, writer, and business owner. She helps millennial women design careers with purpose. She works with clients all over the world and divides her time between Chicago and New York City.

Caroline, thanks for being on the show.

Caroline Adams:

Thanks for having me, Mac.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, it’s a pleasure and I love our topic this week because you’re a career coach and obviously here at Mac’s List we talk to a lot of job seekers. This is something I hear a lot from job seekers when I ask them what they’re looking for; they say, “Well, I want to keep all my options open.” Caroline, why is that not a good idea?

Caroline Adams:

Yeah, it’s a great question and it’s one I hear all the time, as well.

I want to start by talking about a subtle difference perhaps, but an important shift on how we think about generating options. This is a shift from, as you said, keeping your options open to opening your eyes to the right opportunities. It is perfectly fine to want options, all of us want options, but I think that too often people, when it comes to their careers, go about it in a way that doesn’t serve them and they end up pretty frustrated in the process.

Often, and maybe this is familiar to some of your listeners, the way people approach generating options is casting this wide net. “I don’t want to eliminate any of my options so everything is basically on the table by default.” Typically the way they do this is by going to the job posting boards and they take this, “I’ll know it when I see it”, approach. The challenge with this is that it actually limits you because already you’re trying to match yourself to what someone else wants as opposed to what you want. By resisting to committing to even a few criteria at the outset about what you actually want to narrow your focus on those options, you run the risk of keeping things so open that you either pick an option that’s just the best of a lot of bad options, or you might stay exactly where you because none of the options really match.

One of the things I see a lot is people actually getting sucked back into the very same opportunities that they’re trying to get away from because it’s familiar to them. Because they haven’t taken the time to narrow it down in any way… It’s our nature right? We gravitate towards the things that we know. They get out there and they’re looking at options that are slightly different but actually pretty much the same.

The idea behind this, when you keep your options open, it’s really hard to get traction and it’s also exhausting. I’m kind of exhausted talking about it this way. Unfortunately, what happens a lot of times is when people search this way, by the time they get to me, they’re not only exhausted and overwhelmed with all these options that are not really right and don’t really fit; they’re deflated and maybe they’re questioning whether there’s any job out there for them. Sometimes your confidence flags a little bit.

What I like to do instead is I like people to be much more intentional about how they create options. The way I advocate doing this is to start with your career hypothesis. I think of it like a science experiment. You don’t walk into the lab, meet your team, and say, “Okay guys, let’s start discovering stuff. We’ll know our breakthroughs when we see them.” The same thing goes for your career. If you don’t have a career hypothesis, you are basically allowing circumstances or in a lot of cases, as I’ve mentioned, the job posting boards define it for you.

When I talk about hypothesis, just to make this a little more real for people, it could be anything. You start out with, “I want to work in a job that makes a difference in people’s lives.” Or, “I want to work in a job where I can really control my schedule.” Actually, as an example, I was working with a client a couple weeks ago and we were going back and forth to figure out what she actually wanted. She discovered that she actually really liked the work that she was doing. She liked her job duties and it was just really a mismatch between the corporate culture and what she actually wanted.

She said to me, “Wow, that is so much less reinvention than I thought I originally needed.” It was a huge relief for her because now we knew we were looking for a similar role, but just with a different organization that was a better fit. We could be much more laser-focused about our approach instead of where we started with her, which was, “What are all the things you could do instead of what you’re currently doing?” You can see that even something like that, as soon as you start to narrow a few of your non-negotiables, things that you already know, it just makes the search go a lot more easily.

Mac Prichard:

Let’s talk about that, Caroline, because listeners are thinking, “How do I do this on my own? Because I’m sitting down at the computer and I’m doing what you’re telling me not to do, which is looking at all the possibilities.” I think you know, too, and obviously many of our listeners do as well, that most jobs aren’t posted. If all they are relying on is what they see on the internet, they are missing out on a huge number of opportunities out there. How can someone take those first steps towards getting clear about what they want? What are some practical things people can do at home?

Caroline Adams:

Yeah, so I think the overarching initial idea here is what I call, honesty is the best policy. That is sitting down and being really honest with yourself about what you really want. What are you looking for? You have to understand what you really want and actually commit to that and put it down on paper. Being clear about what’s most important to you is going to put you on a path to find those things that are aligned with that.

I’ll talk about some specifics about questions to ask to do this in a minute, but… I don’t want to belabor this but I think it’s really important to underscore with people, I see a lot of resistance with this stuff actually. As you said before, people don’t want to narrow their thinking because they think it’s going to reduce their opportunities in the end. The idea is that you can always change your hypothesis. You can always, once you put something down on paper, you can always go back and refine it. In fact, I hope you do refine it as you go out and talk to people, and test your ideas about what you think you want, and prove out your theories.

It’s really about being honest with yourself first and I think that, like I said, sometimes people don’t do that because they think it’s going to limit their options. I think the other thing that comes up for people is that they start conflating what they want, and being honest with themselves about that, with how they’re going to get it. Let’s say they want a job with much better work-life balance, where they can do the things outside of work that they want to do. When they don’t see that immediately available, either because they’re looking at job posting boards whereas where you mentioned, they know they have to talk to people because most jobs aren’t posted. They start arguing with themselves about whether their vision is realistic, so I think the most important thing at this stage, and the very first step that they can take is, don’t worry about how or when you’re going to make this happen. Just commit to paper what you think you want. If you start making concessions before you even begin, you’re already watering down the end results.

Mac Prichard:

Well, let’s talk about the what. You’re at the table, writing down your job search goal. Is it as simple as describing the position you want, and the kinds of opportunities it offers, benefits, and the skills it requires? Tell us more about that.

Caroline Adams:

Yeah, so I think where you started is really good. We can add a lot of layers to it, but I’ll just give you three very simple ones to start with. The first thing I call People, Places, and Things. What do you want to spend your day doing? Who do you want to spend it with? What do you want to do outside of work? Think of, from the time you get up in the morning to the time you go to bed. What are the things you want to do? Yes, this involves your job and your career, and the stuff you want to do everyday but it also includes the things outside of work. If you don’t love getting up at four-thirty in the morning, well let’s fill that in because we want to make sure that we get a job that doesn’t require you to do things that you don’t want to do. I think it’s really thinking about those People, Places, and Things first off.

The second thing where I see people getting caught up a lot of times is because they don’t have these things already and so they want them. They use terms like, “I want freedom”, or, “I want autonomy”, or, “I want flexibility”, or, “I want to help people”. Those are great terms to start with. What I encourage people to do is go the next layer beneath that. What does freedom mean to you? Your idea of freedom in the workday and my idea of freedom in the workday might look totally different, and they probably do. Strategic is another word I hear all the time, and as you know, as you’re going out and talking to people, when we use a word like strategic, it can be applied in so many different ways. I think that the second key is to take those words and really define what they mean to you.

How do you want to help people? In order to help people, what sort of interactions do you want to have with the people you’re helping? What do your coworkers look like? How does your boss help you do that? Take those really broad words and fill the next layer down, as I said.

The third and final thing, and again these are just starting points because you can definitely answer a bunch of other questions, too, and I think what you mentioned about skills and strengths is really important, too, but as far as what you want, I think it’s really important to think about those things that we think about a lot of the time as ancillary, but that can really make or break a great role. What I mean by ancillary is, I know a lot of people who have miserable commutes, or they work in a windowless office, or the dreaded open-plan office space. You can have a really great role, but if there are elements in your environment, or with the people that you’re interacting with, or with the dress code, those details matter because they can really affect you in a way that it doesn’t matter if you really like the details of the job because those other things aren’t there.

If I can share a quick example of where a client of mine did a really good of this…she was a runner, and she decided, to her credit, she decided really early on that one of her main criteria was that she wanted to start work at ten in the morning, at the earliest, so that she could run in the morning. She just eliminated all of the options that wouldn’t let her do that because running was really important to her, and health was a key value. I think that is absolutely brilliant and I think a lot of us don’t think that way. We get so focused on the nuts and bolts of the job itself that we don’t think about all of those other elements of our life. We focus so much on the job description and then we try to cram our life in around the edges, then we’re confused and upset as to why we’re not enjoying it. I think that was a really great example of where she really thought about the entire life she wanted to lead first, then she fit career as an important piece of that, but just a piece of the overall life that she wanted to live.

Mac Prichard:

Write down what you want to do, think about how you want to do that work, and then also consider culture, commutes, and other circumstances that might not be part of the job’s responsibilities but are an important part of the work day.

Caroline Adams:

Yeah, that’s a great summary.

Mac Prichard:

Okay, so you’ve done that work, you’ve made that list. What do you do next, Caroline?

Caroline Adams:

Yeah, so I think a lot of times people will take a look at this list and they fall into what I call “either/or thinking”. I want them to trade in either/or thinking for “yes/and thinking”. Let me explain these terms a little bit more.

I think what happens a lot of times, let’s say people have a list of all of the things they want after they go through those prompts that we just talked about, and they fall into this binary thinking that pits your career goals against one another. It forces you into these impossible decisions. Some examples I hear are, “I can do something creative, or I can make money.” “I can have a real impact at work, or I can have a life outside of work.” Or, “If I take a new job I’ll have to lose my current flexibility”. Those are all examples of this either/or thinking because you’re assuming that you’re going to have to sacrifice something important.

What I like to challenge people to do is take this yes/and approach. I took this term from improv comedy so if folks don’t know, the idea behind it is that you accept what your partner on stage says and then you add to whatever they say to take the idea further. You say “Yes, and”, to build on the idea. When you apply this to your career, it’s looking at all the different ways you can combine these things that you want so that you don’t have to choose. To use that example I used before, it’s, “How can I do something creative and make money?” I work with a lot of clients that actually do this so I really enjoy this process of turning over all these disparate things and say, “How can we make this work together?” I have a client that I’m working with right now, she wants to be an expert in her field, she wants to run a business, she wants to write, she wants to teach, she wants to speak.

What we’re focusing on right now, what I’m encouraging folks to do, is start playing around with the percentage of those things. If you want to do a certain thing, like in her case, speaking, if you could only do that once a quarter, is that enough or do you want to do that more often? What are the various ways you can combine those things? If you could speak outside of work and not get paid for it through your day job, would that be okay or is it important that that be an aspect of your job?

In this way, in playing around and really taking that yes/and approach and saying, “Okay, I’m going to start from the point of ‘I want something that allows me to do all of these things’”, you can generate tons of options, but they’re all in the right space. You’re not having to choose, “Oh I have to choose between these five things”, and then make concessions. You’re able to look at all of these things together because yes/and allows you to start from that place of, “How do I make this work?” Rather than starting from a point of, “What do I have to give up?”

Mac Prichard:

You’re identifying options that, again, come back to that earlier work about what you want to do, and how you want to do it, and the circumstances in which you want to work. You’ve got that list of options, Caroline, now what do you do next? Do you go back to the job boards? Do you talk to people? What’s the next step?

Caroline Adams:

There are different perspectives on this but I would advocate to stay away from the job boards and I am a big fan of going out and talking to people. What I say is to just talk to everyone and tell them what you want. Tell your friends, tell your family, tell people in your network, and also expand your network and look for people in the roles that you’re looking for in the organizations you think you might want to work for. Because in those discussions, that’s where, in articulating what you think you want, and hearing their feedback and ideas, you start to, first of all, get increased clarity on, “Oh, I didn’t realize until I said that out loud how important it is to me to have this certain thing.”

Then you also get feedback from folks. You might really be excited about an idea and then as you go and explore and talk to people who are actually doing that work, you find out, “Ugh, I’m going to have to work holidays and weekends and I really don’t want to do this.” I think the idea here is back to the hypothesis idea, you have to test it.

What I see people do here sometimes, the trap they fall into, aside from going back to the job posting boards, is they have a great idea, they get really excited about it, they ruminate on it and just think about it in their heads, and then after a period of time, maybe it’s hours, days, or weeks, they get discouraged and they abandon it. Then they jump to the next thing. It puts them in this loop of just being in their heads and going up and down this roller coaster of being excited, then getting deflated, then starting the pattern over again.

I think that’s another great reason to talk to people, because you can really get a lot of great reinforcement a lot of times from people that, “Yeah this is the right path”, and sometimes you might find that, “You know, this thing I thought I wanted, I actually don’t want.” That’s okay because in the spirit of taking all of the options off of the table and starting to narrow them, you can actually say, “I’m okay with not doing that option. I’ve eliminated that because it’s not interesting to me anymore.”

I think that the main question here for people to ask is, “Is this as interesting as I thought it would be? Does this, as I go out and talk to people, does this line up with my vision?” It’s not, again, “Do I know exactly how I’m going to do this?” We’re not there yet. This is just testing out your options and figuring out if the options you think you know are the right ones and maybe discovering some new ones. If it’s interesting, you continue; if it’s not interesting then we drop it.

Mac Prichard:

Well, it’s terrific advice and I’ve really enjoyed this conversation because I know that as we talked about at the beginning, people struggle with this. They want to find rewarding work, they’ve also got to pay their bills, and they’re not quite sure, I find when I talk to job seekers, how best to get clear about what they want to do. I appreciate your guidance here, Caroline. Now, tell us what’s next for you.

Caroline Adams:

Yeah, so my favorite thing in the world is working through career challenges with people one-on-one. Most clients that I work with, I work with over the long-term, but I actually just launched a new service. It’s called Ask a Career Coach.

It’s individual coaching sessions where you just come. It’s an hour-long session where you  can come and ask me anything about your big, bad career aspirations. We can work through particular challenges if you have that. I like this because it’s at a lower price point without the commitment of long-term coaching. It gives people the opportunity to not only try out coaching and see if they like it, but as well as get traction on their most pressing career changes.

Mac Prichard:

Terrific. I know people can learn more about you, your company, and your services by visiting carolineadamscoaching.com. Caroline, thanks for being on the show today.

Caroline Adams:

Thanks again for having me, it was my pleasure.

Mac Prichard:

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio with Leila and Jessica. What are your thoughts about my conversation with Caroline?

Jessica Black:

Well, that was fantastic. She had such energy.

Mac Prichard:

Amazing energy, huh?

Jessica Black:

She just shared so many amazing stories and anecdotes about how to get clear about your vision, which I really appreciate because I do think this is a place where a lot of job seekers get stuck, myself included. I think I’m a self-described multipotentialite, of having multiple interests and I’ve always had a hard time narrowing that down. She gave a lot of really clear and direct tips of how to go about that.

I really like that…the best tip that she gave and what job seekers really need to do is just sit down and process. I liked her focus on being really honest with yourself and taking the time to write down all the things that you both enjoy, that you’re good at, and all of those things. Rather than thinking about what you want to do, but how that will help you find that right fit. I liked everything she said about how to go about that.

Leila O’Hara:

Definitely. I liked the point that she made, because I think this has happened to me and I’m sure it’s happened to other listeners out there, when you’re identifying your dream career and you think, “Oh, these requirements would make the most sense for me”, then you think, “This is too narrow, this isn’t realistic. I’m never going to find something that meets all of this criteria.” I think the example she shared about her client who is a runner and was able to find a job that would allow her to start the day at ten a.m. as opposed to coming into the office at eight or nine, just really shows that you can make it work, and you don’t have to feel the need to apply for everything. You can be specific with what you want and then go after that.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, and also related to that, I liked that she shared about the fact that there’s a total package that comes along with it. It’s not just finding the right day-to-day job responsibilities but your environment matters, or your running schedule. The things that are outside of the actual time in the office also compound and make a difference. That’s something to think about as well, and again, be really clear about. I liked that she identified that and made it clear.

Leila O’Hara:

Yeah, me too.

Mac Prichard:

Her big idea here is that the job seeker should be in the driver’s seat. The way you do that if you’re looking for work is, you write down what you want, you tell others what you want, and you listen and learn, and ask for their help. That is very different than sitting in front of a job board looking for opportunities and waiting for others to come up with ideas that may or may not interest you. I think it’s a much more rewarding approach in the end.

Jessica Black:

I agree.

Leila O’Hara:

Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. Well terrific advice, Caroline, and thank you both for the feedback about the conversation, and thank you, our listeners, for downloading today’s episode of Find Your Dream Job.

Are you’re still working through the first step of your job search? Still don’t know what it is you want to do?  You’ll really benefit from my goals-setting resource, Finding Focus in Your Job Search.

Go to the Mac’s List website now. Visit macslist.org/focus.

Join us next Wednesday when our special guest will be Dorianne St. Fleur. She’ll explain how to find out if a company’s culture is right for you.

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

It’s a common phrase when you’re looking for a job, “keep your options open.” However, keeping all of your options open and applying everywhere is typically not the best approach. On this episode of the Find Your Dream Job podcast, career coach Caroline Adams reveals why it’s in your best interest to be strategic, intentional, and laser-focused with your job search.

About Our Guest: Caroline Adams

Caroline Adams is a career coach, writer, and business owner, helping millennial women design careers with purpose.

Before becoming a coach, Caroline had a 20-year corporate career focused on organizational change. She began as a management consultant at Accenture and ended up as a Director of Anti-Money Laundering at Citibank, making some pretty cool pivots along the way.

What she’s always loved most is helping people define their careers. She’s made it her mission to help people grow, contribute, and ultimately get wherever they want to go.

Resources in this Episode: