Let me present yourself one of the deadliest and yet often most easily neglected mistake you can do as executive in career transition: Having a big EGO. Let me show you three examples and the negative consequences of a big ego for job search success.
Mistake Number 1: “I can do it.”
Your resume tells who you are. Simply put, you are what you write, and not what you think you are. An executive maybe a worldwide SVP of Sales, but the resume presents you as a middle manager. You may be an industry-agnostic General Manager, but your resume makes you an automotive industry expert. You may rank high in an investment bank, but you fail to communicate your responsibility and 100 staff under you.
When it comes to resumes, most executives cling to their resume as if it were their baby. They feel compelled to take action themselves. They also strongly believe that with their ivy league MBA and big corporate background, they have all it takes to write impeccable resumes. But embarrassing mistakes such as “I have “in-debt know-how” versus “in-depths know-how” even happen to the very best of you.
When you have a legal problem, you pass it to a legal expert. When you have a dental problem, you go to a dentist. When your water pipe is leaking, you turn to a plumber. When your car needs maintenance, you go to a car technician for an overhaul.
Conclusion: You say you can, but you can NOT. The resume you present me is your best possible attempt and is the very proof you are underperforming. Powerful C-suite resumes and career marketing collateral are sophisticated documents requiring expertise you do not have. Why bother and not give it away to an expert? Your Ego is not your Amigo.
Mistake Number 2: “I will try first on my own.”
Many executives brand themselves like commodities. Rather than expressing their unique value, personality and leadership, they start selling their employers’ brands. In my interview coaching conversations I emphasize that job search is about YOU, not your company’s brand. I challenge them: Who are you? In other words, you lack the self awareness and marketing know-how about the very individual you try to sell: The brand called YOU.
I tend to give some executives a second and third chance to see whether they are able to do it. I wonder how much dynamite it takes to break his/her ego. And then something happens that does not make sense. Even after getting the evidence several times that their career marketing and interview performance is miles away from making even the cut for the first round of screening and showing them mistakes they tend to repeat again and again, they are proud to persevere nonetheless. “Well, let me try first on my own.”
“I want to give it a shot first and see how it goes” is their surprising answer
Conclusion: Albert Einstein said: Doing the same mistake again and again and expecting different results is insanity. Would you give it a shot with a new Intel processor, a new car model, a new Apple flagship product, a new Amazon web service or a new Nestle beverage drink? No! Why bother, and listen more to a career advisor and international job search expert? Your Ego is not your Amigo.
Mistake Number 3: “I’m Ok. I am doing fine.”
Most executive massively overrate the quality of their resumes, interview and job search performance. Let me ask you: Why does your company have a Marketing Department, a Product Marketing Director and a PR & MARCOM Director: To get your communication right and across first time. What about you? “I’m Ok. I am doing fine.” says the same executive that on the same day told his marketing director that the new brand concept sucks, that two days ago told his PR&MARCOM Director that the corporate homepage would need urgent redesign and that three days ago gave his approval for getting hired the best marketing experts for the company’s marketing department.
Conclusion: Why bother and team up with someone who will help you get where you want to be in the shortest possible way? Your Ego is not your Amigo…
It is time to rise and shine by overcoming your own comfort zone. Marshall Goldsmith is pointing out: “What got you here, will not get you there”. I help global leaders overcome their limiting beliefs and behavior so that they attain a higher level of success in their career transition. I fondly hope that you and your executive fellows in career transition come to realize that your job search success maybe at risk not because of lack of opportunities, not because of lazy executive recruiters, not because of unfair interview assessment, but because of one of your greatest hidden enemies: Yourself. At least by now you know better: Your Ego is not your Amigo.