Job Search Talk: What’s that?
I think of it as the career communications you put out there in the universe, intended to sell you (the product) to the potential buyer (the employer) or to those who might help you (contacts and network). I was recently touched by a movie that carried with it, some very good job talk lessons. I’d like to share three.
I have wanted to see this year’s Oscar winner, The King’s Speech since it came out, but missed it in the theaters. So I was delighted to be able to catch it on DVD recently.
If you’re not familiar with the movie, it’s based upon the true story of King George VI, played by Colin Firth. In 1936, George—or “Bertie” as he was affectionately called—found himself in a frightening situation. As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne.
Well, life happens. Upon the death of his father and the abdication of his older brother Edward VIII, Bertie became King of England on the eve of WWII. England needed a strong leader. This was terrifying for Bertie. He had dealt with a severe stutter his whole life; and now he was to lead his country in its most public role. He tackled this challenge by engaging an unorthodox speech therapist, Lionel Logue. As a result of their work together—and an unlikely friendship—Bertie was able to find his voice and courageously lead his country through war.
Here are some The King’s Speech lessons applicable to job search talk:
Job Search Talk Lesson 1:
Believe in your own voice. As a child, Bertie was mocked and ignored by the authoritative men in his family. His stutter grew worse; he did not believe he had a voice. Many job seekers lack faith in their value—their voice. They need to get back or acquire faith in themselves. This comes from persistently pushing through obstacles; never giving up. Note this dialogue between Bertie and Lionel:
“King: L-listen to me.
Lionel: Why should I waste my time listening to you?
King: Because I have a voice!
Lionel: Yes, you do.”
Are you just wishing others would notice your value? Are you out there talking about your message and brand, or just silently sitting on the sidelines?
Job Search Talk Lesson 2:
Give yourself permission to seek help. Bertie had to push past ego and put his trust in his wife’s and therapist’s guidance. Do you have a support network around you? Would you benefit from enlisting a professional coach or counselor to help you with your job talk? Are you encircling yourself with encouraging, positive people who will inspire and motivate you? The more you surround yourself with those who can help you, the more powerful your job talk will be.
Job Search Talk Lesson 3:
Invest your time. Bertie started to experience success and improvement with his therapy only when he threw himself into the process. It was hard work and it did not happen overnight. There really is nothing like solid preparation, and job search talk is no exception. Are you prepared with your pitches for both employer and networking audiences? Have you role played and practiced to sharpen your interview skills, starting with the phone interview?
Are you prepared to tell people what you want and why you deserve it? If not, are you sabotaging people’s ability to help you?
The King’s Speech is full of analogies to job search success.
Do you have others from the movie to share? I’d love to hear from you!
Photo: Lancashire County Council