E001 How To Spot a Job, a Career, or a “Calling”? What Do They Mean, and How To Approach Them?

May 10th 2020

Claudio Corrao is a Leadership and Team Performance Coach that focuses on creating healthier working cultures in startups and organizations. His goal is to foster a sense of meaning, trust, engagement, alignment, and creativity among team members and organizations as a means to achieve healthier work environments that lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction. Claudio conducts workshops on how to influence our minds to define our vision and how to use the inner motivators that push us forward and overcome the saboteurs that hold us back, with the final goal of gaining the results that we want. Furthermore, he has coached several startup founders by providing them with the clarity and strategic plan that they needed to bring themselves and their companies to the desired state.

With a background in business management and leadership, Claudio is passionate about communication, human behaviour, leadership, and organizational culture. In this webinar, Claudio focused on how to nail job hunting. How to spot a job, a career, or a “calling”? What do they mean, and how to approach them? How to give ourselves a purpose, a vision, and goals, which are especially important when looking for jobs? How to develop a value-based approach? How to master self-expression when applying for jobs?

Claudio’s LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/claudio-corrao/

Please contact Claudio if you need some advice concerning (1) Optimizing the strategy when applying for jobs, (2) Communication strategies during a job interview, and (3) Aligning skills and competencies for a career transition to a different field.

The episode was recorded on May 10th, 2020. This material represents the speaker’s personal views and not the views of their employer(s).

Natalia 00:13 Thank you guys for coming to today’s webinar and I’m very excited for today. Today we are hosting Claudio Corrao, and welcome Claudio, a Leadership and Team Performance Coach. Today he will share his thoughts on the dream jobs and how to get them which is, I think, a holy grail of the recruitment industry. And I think all of us are interested in how to spot and catch their dream jobs. I’m very excited for this conversation. Thank you so much, Claudio, for accepting the invitation.

Claudio 00:56 No. Thank you. I’m very excited indeed and I want to welcome as well. And thanks to our listeners for dedicating their time here. I appreciate that.

Natalia 01:09 Great. Okay, Claudio. First, please tell us what is your personal story? Why did you decide to get down to this topic? It’s a monstrous problem and dream jobs, it’s a very complex problem. Please tell us a little bit about what is your story?

Claudio 01:34 Well, yes . I’ll be very happy about that. First of all, it would polite to say that, my story is kind of a little bit unconventional. Why is that? I’m originally from Italy; from Sicily. However, I have not lived in Italy in the last 8 years, I have traveled around in Australia and lived there for like 4 years, then I moved to Sweden. And now … I’ve been living in the Netherlands in the last 2 and a half years, and surely deciding what to do in my life was like a very big topic for me.

Claudio 02:10 It’s always really hard to focus and trying to understand what is your mission; how you want to really bring value to others. And what I realized that my educational background as well, and my educational journey and career as well. I realize how very little is put into education. Like into, what is self-development, personal development, getting a grip on our strength, weaknesses. And as a consequence, what is our vision or what, direction we’re going to.

Claudio 02:55 What happened is that, while I was in Australia about 6 years ago, I was managing a restaurant belonging to a pretty large company there. And you know, you start having some first-time managing experience and you get to bring people together. You start understanding how important it is to value engagement and involvement, motivation and trying to become a leader.

Claudio 03:27 And I got to say that, it’s extremely hard. It’s really beyond the imagination. However, that was exactly what brought me to getting into leadership and self-development. And yes, now I am an entrepreneur. I’m a solopreneur right now and I help founders and team leaders develop themselves; to develop even better soft skills, people skills. Because what happened is, that very often I deal with engineers or software developers or marketers that have been into you know, the technical part of the job for 5, 6 years.

Claudio 04:16 Because they became so good in what they do, for the first time, they’re experiencing management. They realize how hard it is you need a completely different set of skills. And you know, it has a lot to do also with the culture that you want to create.

Natalia 04:38 Your work would be invaluable in academia, I think. This is no secret, you know, that in academia, unlike in industry, people who get promoted to managemental positions are the best specialists. If you have the best academic record, that’s when you get promoted. I think in academics, you know, your soft skills and your management skills are not a part of the equation when it comes to giving tenure positions to people.

Natalia 05:09 And that comes with the cost of mental health of everyone around sometimes. Because sometimes, you know, like, and I think many P.I.s are even aware that they would need such a training, but they are not. It’s a hard decision for them to ask for help. It’s definitely more leadership training in academia. I think, maybe one day, who knows. Maybe one day we’ll see you lecturing across both, that will be super good.

Claudio 05:43 I would love that. Here’s the problem. At the end of the day, leadership is nothing else than a skill. It is a skill like learning, speaking another language. But somehow, when we talk about leadership to people, they take you personally. Soft skills, it is a skill. it’s something that is learnable. It is trainable, and it has nothing to do with who you are. Instead, there is a lot of ego in between; ‘Should I get training, I’m already a manager,’ you know. This is a very wrong approach.

Claudio 06:17 And as you say, it goes to their mental health or the people that are under or at least subordinated to the leader. Very often, I see people gaining certain positions believing that is like their dream job, or that is like the career that goes for (suits) them. They ended up having a bigger responsibility. But with them, they feel like they’re having a big chance (opportunity) as well.

Claudio 06:53 Here again, it’s really important to understand in which game you want to play, and with which type of rules as well. For example, talking about a job. I guess that most of our listeners here are PhD or PhD candidates. And I guess that a lot of you would like to continue your career towards academia and research.

Natalia 07:22 Maybe, could you guys type in the chat at what stage you are?

Claudio 07:27 I’m very curious, actually to understand more. What is your goal, for example?

Natalia 07:35 I think I’ll start. I’m just graduating from PhD. Yeah, okay. I’ve completed the same stage as me. You were saying who’s a PhD student.

Claudio 07:57 Yep.

Natalia 07:58 And what are your postdoc? Okay. Yep.

Claudio 08:04 – could get a PhD? Very well.

Natalia 08:08 It’s actually the academic community. Okay.

Claudio 08:11 Fantastic. Very well. And here is the thing. We had a conversation previously with Natalia saying how like are they could be funding it, I can see, within the research environment. Very often, I think there’s a lot of persons at a high percentage looking for industry job, there we go. A lot of PhD candidates ended up not working in an academia and they just go for corporate startup, and so on.

Claudio 08:51 I guess that it must be feeling very frustrating when you dedicate so much time, money, energy or any 80 of your resource towards a goal, and that you have to pay back towards something else. It must be really hard. And to be honest, I’ve did some research about that. And what I realize is the approach of the industry and the approach of the corporate world towards a PhD. It’s quite interesting to see in their job description, how sometimes they value certain skills like stakeholder management, or how to handle political relationships within the organization and outside their organization.

Claudio 09:39 They have the sort of bias, like cognitive bias, that when somebody comes from an academic environment; doesn’t have those skills. This is something that I found through some of the research that I did is one of the main components is the mistrust that is built. They probably would prefer somebody coming from the corporate as well?

Claudio 10:05 I personally believe it’s absolutely wrong. Because somebody with a PhD is, I mean, has so much knowledge and the way that you guys can solve problems is absolutely outstanding. And at this point, I understand how hard there is competition. Especially in this period where it is hard to even networking; it is hard to go to business events. You can’t put yourself out there and all you are do is looking at the screen all day scrolling 1000s of job description, positions, send a CV.

Claudio 10:49 And if you’re lucky, you’ll probably received like a justified percent of your CV that you’ve submitted gets a response. And you must feel a lot of anxiety, you must feel very stressful. And I do understand that because I’ve been through this process myself as well. Like being probably bro a few years back, and you see every day costs money that we cannot afford. Here are some tips that I want to give. I want to do a premise.

Claudio 11:26 I don’t put myself out here like a guru or somebody that is going to say, ‘Hey, with these tips you’re going to find a job in a week. No, I really want to be humble on that, because we can control only the things that we can control. We cannot control their reaction and emotion; who is going to be in the human resource handling your resume, of course. We have zero control in that, but we at least can try to increase our chances for winning.

Claudio 11:59 And here’s the thing, what I see on LinkedIn, is how everyone pays so much attention in creating this perfect LinkedIn page. When we go out there and visiting other profiles, it can feel like a lot of pressure, I believe. And it can feel like we should put on ourselves certain expectations. I should add these types of experiences, these types of skills, this type of that, that and that, because if I don’t, I’m not going to succeed, I’m not going to get a job.

Claudio 12:34 Now, this is I believe is one of the worst ways of approaching job hunting because it just drives you crazy. You start building up expectations. And literally there, you start building up a monster in your mind.

Claudio 12:54 What is really important is, in terms of self-development, do not compare yourself with the market and with what is out there and stop competing. And start understanding. Maybe you’re already doing that, which is awesome. I just want to make sure that, you know, it’s a good reminder, I believe. It is a good reminder to really understand what value you want to bring in a society, aside from your PhD or from your paper and from your skills. What is that really makes you unique and in which way you actually want to contribute?

Claudio 13:32 Because at the end of the day, we don’t necessarily need to be better. But we need to be different to survive, let’s say, in this case. And we can only be different by understanding what are our strengths and our weaknesses. Yeah, that’s mainly the way. As I was actually talking with Natalia before. There is like this sort of bias usually coming from the United States in between with an employee and with an entrepreneur.

Claudio 14:15 And they make this sort of different distinction about, what is success? Which is success being absolutely relative to the person. While the distinction that I would like to bring in here to have a better clue, a better direction of where to go, is the distinction between having a job, a career or a mission, a calling. Now I know that it might sounds fluffy, saying it in this way, but I’m just going to proceed to give a little bit of an explanation. With a job, it is just something that is going to pay the bills. That’s it.

Claudio 14:56 It’s not going to bring anything else than that. It is not sustainable. It is going to bring you in a loop of frustration. It is okay to get a job if we really need it. But probably is not the direction that we want to go. While a career, a career is already like, … you’re in a better position, because it makes use of your skills. It will lift you upward. But still, probably the goals that you’re going to achieve are usually of extrinsic nature. It can be because of money. It can be because of better life quality. It can be because of status.

Claudio 15:44 But it’s not talking to your soul. When we talk about a mission, we go a little bit deeper in our personality. It’s more about, as I said before, which causes are you fighting for. Is this something that you really want to improve in this society? Is that a problem? Is that something that you really feel as a moral person?

Natalia 16:07 I have a question for you there. It’s always bugging me. Is a mission, something that everyone needs or only some people need? Because what I also experienced while talking to PhDs, and other intelligent people out there who are looking for jobs, is that there is the whole spectrum of between people who are very close to their job, like mentally so they really identify very, very high extent with what they do. And they really want to express themselves by what they do and insights, you know,

Natalia 16:37 If you offend, or if you have critiques about what they do, it’s like, they will find it personal. If you tell a painter, ‘I don’t really like this picture’, they will be personally offended. This is like an artist-type. And I think a lot of scientists are artists in a way. Every of their research project is their baby. And they feel very territorial about it, and very personal about it.

Natalia 17:10 There are also people who are much more detached from what they do. And they are much more willing to just sell their time for money and be in a safe environment. And for them, you know, 8 hours a day, they have to sleep, 8 hours they have to work and the remaining 8 hours is their real life for them. And I see that this is the whole spectrum. I always like wonder, you know. Is it that everyone out there actually needs a personal mission? Or maybe this is just through about some percentage of people?

Claudio 17:44 That’s a very interesting question. It’s about thinking what fulfills you. I mean, it’s the idea of success that we have. It doesn’t have to be related to money or career. Again, this is something that comes mainly from the United States and all that. I can feel that I’ve reached my success, and I’m living it by having a family. Being family centered, or being community centered.

Claudio 18:19 It can be also like trying to gain as many adventures as possible and traveling, you know. Yeah, definitely, it doesn’t have to. Unless, we want to make sure that the job that we do doesn’t drain us, or doesn’t drain our energy; at least gives us some excitement. It is something that we can just attribute some meaning to it, usually, to make it sustainable. But of course-

Natalia 18:45 That’s very interesting in what you’re saying. Maybe it’s also a sort of a skill. In fact, you can find a mission in many jobs; actively find it. I recently had a conversation with some tax advisors, it was actually at a Venture Cafe in Rotterdam where we met. And I had a conversation with two tax advisors and we had a nice chat. At some point, I asked them, you know, ‘What do you find interesting about your job?

Natalia 19:20 And typically, if you do tax advisory, like you wouldn’t tell that, you know, it’s a very passionate, a very inspiring thing to do. But these two people, they were very enthusiastic about the job and they basically found this as a type of creative job. They treated this as a sort of, a game for the rules. There is the law. There’s the tax law. You kind of play a game. You try to sort out the tax declaration in a way that is the most beneficial to the client.

Natalia 20:01 You help them reduce their expenditure on taxes, in a way, you help them to reduce their costs. You help them and its sort of a game, that’s how they treated this. And they really found it as an enthusiastic type of job. And I would never think that you can find something creative about the tax advisory but they were really hyped to do this.

Claudio 20:30 That’s amazing. I mean, at the end of the day, this is like trying to see what is happening out there and what are the things that really make us feel alive. This is like solving problems; connecting. Apparently for them, this is like something extremely … They seem to be very driven. That’s a really good thing.

Claudio 20:54 One important aspect, however, I always like about jobs that I want to tackle and say that it is about you know, … Aside from having a mission or anything, it’s the type of approach that we’re having aside from sending a resume. Why am I saying that? I want to bring a little story if I can, something that happened at Adventure Cafe.

Claudio 21:24 I met this guy; he’s actually very smart person. He’s a senior manager engineer at Tesla in Tilburg. Studied at Columbia University. He’s a very inspiring person, I had the chance to have a conversation with him. We were talking about jobs, job hunting. What was funny about that is that he actually treats the part of sending a resume, the process I would say the traditional process as dating on Tinder.

Claudio 21:59 In the sense of when you send a resume is like, there is a profile that can be swiped very quickly. Like what is happening on Tinder, for example, when you’re using the dating app. And what’s being compared is standing out in the crowd, not from the crowd. It’s like a person that goes up to the other person and taking the (chance) courage. And with that, is to say that what happened at Tesla.

Claudio 22:34 There was a guy driving for 8 hours from Germany without any job appointment, or any interview appointment. And he’s right there. And he basically says that he knows how to do or how to solve certain situations better.

Claudio 22:52 They have a conversation at the time. They basically got the job without any resume or anything like that. Okay, this is a very extreme story. We surely don’t need to necessarily drive for 8 hours in other countries and tell Tesla how to do better. This is a very unique (situation). But the point of this situation is, now there are different strategies to find the job or to stick out from the crowd.

Claudio 23:22 Direct message the person, the HR person. Give people a call; study the job. Let’s not focus on the requirements. Because those requirements that we see, you need to have at least 3 to 5 years, 6 years of experience plus all of that. I don’t think it’s something that we should look at (focus on). Yes.

Natalia 23:45 It’s also that my observation is that of LinkedIn and some of these other big platforms, it’s also that you’re basically filling in a template. If you want to post a job offer, they kind of tell you how to do it. And you can even use the template you know, so you don’t even have to … You know, if you say data scientist, they will make a proposal, like a proposed template with all the requirements already there.

Natalia 24:09 You know, a lazy way of posting the job offers is just a tweak or something in that offer. I’m guessing that a lot of job offers are created like this. They are created from these templates by just rewriting them a little bit. This is something that, you know, doesn’t even have to be close to the reality of what they’re looking for. It’s just something that is so standard that it’s always put out there and that the same list of requirements, but they are not necessarily. Yeah, they don’t correspond to what is really on the offer.

Claudio 24:43 Yeah, exactly. Exactly. No, you’re totally right. It’s quite outrageous indeed, in this sense. That’s why I really welcome for example, in this case, our listeners like not to get anxiety when we look at the job description. Not the job description, their requirements. Bypass that part. Let’s give a call and let’s go to the basics, ‘Why there is a job out there?’ The basics is that, very luckily, the company needs to solve a problem or needs new opportunities.

Claudio 25:20 They need resources as they need, like financial resources, they need human resource. Here’s the thing, where else better than you guys, can actually solve problems. I mean, after going through the entire PhD journey, I think this is quite remarkable. By giving a call to them, I know that creates some anxiety. It is uncomfortable, it makes you feel uneasy. But it is a way for you to understand more about the job; why there is a job opening? What are you trying to solve? But what is the main problem they want to get around? And how can I help you, you know?

Claudio 26:02 This is what goes through sending a resume or writing your, say the motivational letter, all the things that you are capable of doing. Thank you, remember, so I really appreciate that.

Natalia 26:21 Yeah, I really appreciate this conversation. Please go on, please go on.

Claudio 26:28 Yeah, what I was trying to say is: At the end of the day, applying for jobs is nothing else than trying to give value; we need to have a proper value-based approach. We want to understand why there is a job out there, and how we can actually bring value to them. And that’s why it is important to know, to understand our strengths, our weaknesses. It is important to understand what is the Wi-Fi for and how we can bring our uniqueness to an organization that goes way beyond just a resume with the skills that we have.

Claudio 27:08 And, yeah, another thing that you can do, for example, is make a video of yourself. I know that can be extremely uncomfortable. Understand that. But the goal of it is giving the human resource, another dimension of your personality; that is not just a piece of paper, that it is not just a resume, bringing up your voice and being in a video, you just get … Remember, it is a way for you to start building up an emotional connection with a human resource manager.

Natalia 27:51 Now, that’s a great piece of advice. That’s amazing. I’m just wondering now if it’s possible to actually post a video in LinkedIn; I’ll check it out. Because Yeah, that might be a life changing piece of advice. Thanks so much for this. And I totally agree with you with what you said about conducting HR and contacting people personally, because that’s also what I see.

Natalia 28:19 People tend to spend 90% of their job search time on searching through open job offers and writing the letters then applying and 10% not on networking. And in fact, 90% of people get the job in the end because they knew someone who knows someone, and maybe 10% get the job because they responded to the job offers. What I mean is networking has much higher conversion rate than answering job offers. And just the one hour spent on networking, has so much more output and higher probability of success, like reaching success than one hour spent on reading these job offers.

Natalia 29:07 I think it’s important to push yourself to get over this mental barrier because networking requires getting out of your comfort zone and job offers. Writing the motivational letter is safe in a sense that, it’s not a personal contact. I think, especially for us academics, sometimes we have to push ourselves to really get out of our little network and get out there, meet new people who are from a different world. And I think this is sometimes a mental barrier, but it’s so much worth it.

Claudio 29:43 Absolutely. Also, I agree. I mean, I understand that the fact of being a mental barrier. Because at the end of the day, most of the things that happen in our lives that we consider problems are our own saboteur and our own mental barriers; those things that we believe that are impossible. And we believe if I do that, I’m going to be sounding stupid, or I’m going to be sounding you know, a certain way while it’s not like that. Sorry, I’m just seeing Marcus. –

Natalia 30:23 I will read what Marcus is saying. ‘Being unique is important. There are a lot of PhDs applying for jobs, for example, soft skills or transferable skills. The question is not if you’re able to solve a problem, but how? For instance, create a solution. Maybe organize a webinar on how to “Corona” network.’ Yeah, true. Yeah, indeed there are not a lot of real-life events where you can go to. I agree. Again, like I think, that’s really good advice to compact 8 hours.

Natalia 30:56 Maybe for LinkedIn even, that’s also possible. That’s still possible at all times. But it’s true. I mean, like the scope of possibilities decreased in the times of the lockdown. That’s true. But I have to also say that, paradoxically, sometimes it’s even easier to get jobs in terms of the longer. And the reason is because normally, there are two types of professionals that are looking for jobs.

Natalia 31:26 One group is basically those who badly need a job because their contract is expiring or because it’s already expired and they really have to get income. They have to find something. And the second group is basically people who just want to build their career. And they want to think ahead and just change because they feel the stagnation. And they don’t really need a new job, they just want to develop and that’s why they want to change.

Natalia 31:52 All these people now are, you know, sitting at home and waiting for what happens; they feel insecure. They don’t want to risk and go out there looking for jobs. This group is inactive now. Now, people who look for jobs are those that really need them. But at the same time, companies are still hiring. I mean; they get grants, they get new positions to fill, they get investments and they still have to fill this position.

Natalia 32:19 The positions are still arriving, maybe not in such large amounts. But at the same time, the number of applicants also dropped to a very low number. Now paradoxically, often, it is actually easier to get the job.

Claudio 32:35 That’s true. I got contacted by three head hunters, maybe because they’re also forced to look on LinkedIn. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, surely LinkedIn is having, quite a central role. That’s why I wanted to also like bring it up in this conversation, because it seems like everything is revolving around social media. And it is really good for you, Marcus, that you’ve been contacted by three headhunters. That’s good. At least, it’s a matter of having some options. And so, Natalia, you were saying that it is paradoxically easier to finding a job because there is a very low number of applicants.

Natalia 33:22 Yes, personally, people feel insecure, because there is a crisis coming up. You know, for many years now, the market was strongly dominated by the workforce. It was easy to find a job, especially in highly qualified professionals in IT or Biotech. They could dictate their conditions with the salaries and benefits. They could actually change jobs like gloves, because there was just a good supply of jobs.

Natalia 33:51 And now in the crisis, the supply on the market is slowly going down. It’s quite probable that the market will turn and now dominated by employers. And so, that employers can be picky and the employees have to worry now. This goes in cycles. It’s similar with the housing market.

Natalia 34:16 It’s either there is a cycle when the market is dominated by house owners or the buyers and it’s going back & forth. Now, it’s probable that this year there will be a change and from now on, it will be harder to find a job and the employers can dictate the conditions now. That’s why people are now more bound to what they have and they’re less likely to search out for new opportunities.

Claudio 34:45 That’s right. It’s going to be quite interesting to see what is going to happen to the job market in a few months; in upcoming months as well. Because there’ll be a lot of people being fired or been laid off. There are different opinions around that. But it seems like that a lot of people will just aggressively trying to look for jobs once this situation with the Coronavirus is going to be over.

Claudio 35:22 And again, it is going to be really important to be creative. Also like in Marcus’s suggestion, creativity at the end of the day, just pays off. It’s always happened in history. There are other platforms, like Meetup for example, and many other platforms that usually were like even Bright as well. They were aiming for bringing social events. Now they moved towards online. Probably, we can use that to have a little bit more visibility. And what else? Just bringing up of their worth or like our worth, or our contribution.

Natalia 36:07 Okay, great. Do you guys also have questions? You can post your questions in the chat, if you’d like. Let me ask you another question then, that came to my mind in the meantime. Because I feel like another problem that a lot of people looking for jobs have these days is that there is a curse of abundance as well. There are so many different jobs. You know, you make a decision, okay, ‘Now I’m going to look for my first job outside academia.’ You sit down, browse through LinkedIn and there’s like 10,000 different types of jobs.

Natalia 36:46 And then, you get flabbergasted because you just have no idea there’s just so many and. Each one of them promises you these opportunities for growth and you know, great working atmosphere. It’s like this brave new world, you know, it’s also everywhere. And like, pleasure everywhere, you know. This is what the promises are and you know, it’s really hard to choose. It’s another reason to feel fearful because you also fear that you might choose wrong. The question is like, this is a very hard question. But the question is, how do you choose right (correctly)?

Claudio 37:25 That’s right. Here’s where we were talking about is the paradox of option ability. The more choices you have, the harder it is to choose at the end of the day. And on the other side, who you are. Maybe like being a person with a lot of skills; you have like multipotentiality. You’re a person that can go and is being chosen by different organizations. You have so much that you can bring there.

Claudio 37:52 And the best way to do, as I was saying at the beginning is having clarity. As somebody like Tony Robbins says. I’m not a big fan of him. I’m not a big fan, but there is this bit that I love, which is clarity is power. Why is that? Because if you have a clear idea, 360 degrees, what is important for you, the easier it is to make a choice to make a decision.

Claudio 38:16 Even before making a choice, okay, what happened is that you’re going to have most likely an interview. There is a part of the interview where you can ask questions, and that is the moment that you need to tackle what is important for you, and how is the organization will give you that? That’s the advice that I can give in general. And in general, I mean, every time anytime we want to make a decision, the clearer we are the better it is. Also, what happen is that sometimes we need to experience things.

Claudio 38:54 We don’t have all the answers every time within ourselves. We can imagine, we can simulate in our mind how a scenario could be. But at the same time until we don’t live some certain experience, we don’t really know. I find it hard to just put my PhD skills into an industry job description. I find this job description very old fashioned. I can put my skills in a single description; how to find a job description that fits the diversity of our PhD skills. Beautiful. Very well, job description.

Claudio 39:30 I wouldn’t really look at the job description at all, Marcus. And I’ll tell you more about that thing of what I mean. I mean, there are hardly 50%, 40% of the job advertisements not out there on LinkedIn. What I would recommend in this scenario is find a company, an organization, under your points of view and to your current understanding of it inspires you, makes you feel excited of the product of this company; makes you feel excited and call them.

Claudio 40:09 Tell them what you can do. Tell them about the PhD and see if you can contribute to their growth to solve certain problems. Because we cannot be depending from the job description or why is this being controlled. We got to step up, and we got to play the game with different rules. The best thing I would really suggest is, you know your skills are hardly transferable. The job description is very old fashioned, I totally agree with you, unfortunately. It’s like almost having a personal brand about yourself.

Natalia 40:56 I couldn’t agree more with Claudio. And I think there is also one more problem associated with answering these top offers online, especially if you feel that … That’s a good advice in it very good. There is also one more issue that I see. It’s also that if you apply through this, like open solicit taxes, then often big companies especially they get like hundreds of applicants for one position. And they often use this software to basically, you know, filter out a number of applicants. –

Claudio 41:30 -I think is one of that. This software-based on artificial intelligence.

Natalia 41:35 It’s not very intelligent software. They are basically looking for these key words. And this is just a very basic comparison of the text and the number of key words. Basically, people who know the rules of the game usually win this game. And if you are a person who is really competent, and just writes the things as they are and describes themselves faithfully, sometimes you are sorted out just because the algorithm doesn’t like your application. You can lose a lot of time applying. That’s just one more reason to do exactly what Claudio advised. Go personal and go straight to the company.

Claudio 42:16 For a company, I don’t even mean the human resource department. I will just bypass that just go directly they text directly the departments that you’re interested in. Or if it’s like a research and development, sales, whatever it is, and things managing their department. And yeah, send a message. And sorry, before I forget that. Very, very, very important. Let’s not just say how or what we can help the company.

Claudio 42:47 But our brain is hardwired for searching meaning out of things. Let’s explain why. Also, Simon Sinek say start with ‘why’, for companies. It applies to us as well. Why do we want to apply for like, contribute to that company specifically? And why they should choose us? It’s good to give reasons beforehand, before everything, then we can say what we’re going to do and how well we’ll be offering a service as a job. That’s mainly the thing.

Claudio 42:53 Again, it’s hard not to agree with you. Really wise in what you’re saying and totally I’m on the same page here. Okay, so another question that came to my mind is, do you spot some common mistakes that people normally do when applying for jobs?

Claudio 43:44 Yeah, just writing down all the things that has been happening in their life in the cover letter; my name is, and I have this experience, this experience, that experience, ‘blah, blah, blah’. It’s boring. It doesn’t stick out. It’s meaningless. I mean, it is important, of course, to maybe highlight, some of the most significant and relevant to the job experience or skills. That is okay. But again, let’s make your application employer centered.

Claudio 44:26 Imagine you’re talking to them, telling them how you’re solving that problem or what do you think you bring in the company. Just a long page of experience or skills, it’s not enough for sure.

Natalia 44:45 Yeah, I totally agree. What the problem is sometimes for applicants when they are interested in a position is that they want to adhere to this rule, and motivate well, why they want to go for a particular employer or particular team. But sometimes they have a hard time finding information. Because if the company is famous like Tesla, you have so much information. In the media, you can make up like a paragraph of text, ‘Okay, this is what I find cool about you. So, I really want to join your team, and this is what I can bring.’

Natalia 45:21 But if you apply for a company that has like 50-100 employees, and they are nowhere on the media. They are not in the public space and public opinion at all, then it’s really hard to really make it up. All the information you have is basically crunch-based. And sometimes Wikipedia, if you’re lucky, but most often not. And maybe LinkedIn page, but it’s really hard to come up with something that can persuade the employer that you really aim for this particular team.

Claudio 45:52 Sure, this is like some of the limits. Of course, that is what is really hard to overcome. But as I said before, at the end of every job description or like job ads, there is always something written for more information; send a email @ or call, there is a number there. As I said before, it’s always good to call just for information and just to make sure what we want to know more about that.

Natalia 46:21 That’s good advice; that’s a very good advice. Because I had a period of time after my contract expired when I was also applying for jobs. And I was ignoring those. I have to confess that I was ignoring those contact numbers, and I was going straight to application without calling. I think this is a good piece of advice. Because this is, I think most people think this as an emergency situation.

Natalia 46:53 You have an emergency. You just don’t know how to apply or you didn’t really understand some part of the job offer, then you should call. But yeah, I agree with you. This is just one more way of making a personal contact.

Claudio 47:07 Other than that, for sure. On top of that, there is the entire part of the interview. I mean, if you succeed during the first part, so you’re going to have the interview. That’s something that I’ve been helping a few people to go through and to succeed in going you know, like to get the job. And that mainly has to do with communication skills, all that. But there are like some basics that can be easily, you know, like paid attention to.

Claudio 47:41 For example, making eye contact. Sometimes there are those interview the last like 40 minutes but the employer already knows, during the first 90 seconds, if the candidate is going to succeed or not. 67% of that is due to eye contacts, dress code, body language. Of course, there are certain factors, certain elements belonging to the entire way that we portray ourselves. There are some mistakes, unfortunately, but that will require some deeper training.

Claudio 48:24 However, you know, smile, be calm and eye contact all the time. Asking questions, very important. It is important to ask question. Let’s not be the target that just received all the questions but especially, let’s ask questions as much as possible. This is extremely important and this is important during the interview. Again, as I said before, to give them the feeling that we are already working with them.

Claudio 48:55 How do you do that? Ask question about the problem that they wanting to solve. This position is here. Why is he here? Why is it open? What I’m trying to solve? Try to bring out as many information as possible. Because in the moment that you ask questions, is the moment that you start leading the conversation. You asking questions is what should lead the conversation. This is a general rule. It’d be good if you can do that during an interview.

Natalia 49:26 That’s great. This is very good advice. It’s also that you know, in big companies, sometimes they have a few different HR … Like they have a few different interviews. It’s not always possible also, in my experience, because I had those interviews myself. Sometimes, you talk to the HR (human resources) and they don’t really know about the team and there are big problems they are solving.

Natalia 49:56 They only know about how to build the team personality-wise, so that people will work with each other well and not necessarily about the problem. And sometimes you talk to a technical person in the team, and then you can only talk about the problem. It’s also, I think, good to be aware of that and also adjust to the conversation. Because it’s not always that you have everything in one in the interview.

Natalia 50:22 Sometimes it’s split but I totally agreed. And Claudio, could you just tell us like a little bit about what you are doing at the moment? And what are your like, you know, because you do a lot of amazing things. I would like to ask you more about that, because I’m curious. Because you have a really broad range of activities. I’m curious about that.

Claudio 50:47 What I’m doing at the moment. Okay. At the moment, let’s say that I’ve been trying to readjust myself, due to the situation with the Coronavirus. Why is that? Because I wasn’t working online. We met like during a business event in Rotterdam at Venture Cafe. And that was the main way, during events, where I used to go to network and seek for opportunities & collaboration. Now what I’m doing.

Claudio 51:20 First of all, I’m starting my own podcast as well; really soon. And I’m building a workshop, webinar, that I will give for free as well. Which is all about personal development for leaders, for team leaders or founders, that want to improve their soft skills. They are, you know, different modules where people are going to start defining, as I said before; strength, weaknesses, understanding more about themselves, vision, try to have a proper strategy. And then we’re going to go home with emotional intelligence.

Claudio 51:58 And then from emotional intelligence, we’re going to tackle communication. In terms of negotiation, coaching, like asking from curiosity, listening, all that. And then moving on to team building until we define a culture and I am helping couple of teams for now with this process. And also, I’d like to define their processes within the team, cultural wise.

Claudio 52:25 Basically coaching; trying to give as much value as possible for free, writing articles for Impulse. This is the main thing that I’m doing. Let’s say that I’m also like starting some, probably some collaborations soon. And, yeah, we’ll see how it goes from now to the next few months.

Natalia 52:55 – doing amazing. It’s very necessary with what you’re doing. Because I can definitely see that this discrepancy between hard skills and soft skills are now how leaders are often being promoted from specialists. Like we talked about it before in this course. But I can see that there are so many areas of industry where what you do is really necessary. And it is very exciting. I hope that you’ll be involved more often. Maybe you should write a book about this. I would really like to read your book if you ever decide to-

Claudio 53:31 Absolutely, yeah. It is in my 10-year plan, so writing a book it is up there. But right now, I’m just practicing with articles. I also want to gain even more experience and just go out there. I really want to have a lot of cases that I can work on. And it’s quite interesting, and it’s quite hard. As I said in the beginning, I’d like to go through the ego of a lot of people because they always associate their soft skills to their personality.

Claudio 54:07 And that’s not it, you know, that’s not how it works. It’s just another skill that is trainable. We’re going to try to train as many people as possible to improve the life of employees and whatsoever.

Natalia 54:24 Great. Okay, I guess, if you still have questions for Claudio, please ask now because we are slowly coming to the end of this webinar. You have a chance now to ask questions. And otherwise, you can find Claudio on LinkedIn. I strongly encourage you to contact each other after this webinar. I’m still waiting. I’d also like to thank you for your kind words.

Claudio 54:54 Thank you the same. I appreciate that.

Natalia 54:57 I agree. I was really hyped for this episode and I’m very satisfied with what you got here. A lot of good content from Claudio. Perfect. Thank you so much guys for attending. And again, if you have further questions then please find Claudio on LinkedIn. Let’s hope that we meet with you guys at some other occasion. And I wish you all the best Claudio. I would like to see you more in the public space and like I would like to see you … You know I could-

Claudio 55:45 Absolutely, we can stay in touch for sure.

Natalia 55:48 And I hope you know like more and more companies will actually realize that they need some expert like you. Okay, thank you so much for attending and have a nice evening guys.

Claudio 56:04 Thank you very much. Thank you. It’s been a pleasure. Bye!

Natalia 56:08 Bye, bye.

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Please cite as:

Bielczyk, N. (2020, May 10th). E001 How To Spot a Job, a Career, or a “Calling”? What Do They Mean, and How To Approach Them?? Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com/career-development-strategies-e001-how-to-spot-a-job-a-career-or-a-calling-what-do-they-mean-and-how-to-approach-them/

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