Although I focus on issues that come up working while living with chronic illness, I believe healthy & people with illness face the same issues. Just a different emphasis. As a member of a new community of resume writers and career coaches called the Career Collective, this post is one of many responses to the question, “Are you a cookie cutter job seeker?” I encourage you to visit other members’ responses, linked at the end of my reply! Please follow our hashtag on Twitter: #careercollective.
“Are you a cookie cutter job seeker?”
I’m going to start with a story. “Alan” is 32, married with no children, and has lived with relatively mild rheumatoid arthritis (RA) since childhood. After graduating with a masters in Physics, he hopped from job to job, working on short term contracts and left a job he didn’t like.
But then an interviewer told him that his resume looks sketchy because he’d moved around so much. Living with illness, Alan had been told since childhood he should “play safe” and not take risks. He already believed he’d taken too much risk getting a degree in physics that didn’t translate into a job. That comment convinced him to find a job he could stay in.
He’s worked as a web designer in a bank for 6 years, has been bored and frustrated since the first 6 months and is desperate for a change.
Alan wants a different job and maybe even develop a career path. But he’s afraid to leave a secure job for the unknown because he’s afraid of making the wrong choice. His family and friends tell him he’d be crazy to leave. What if he hates the next job? Where will that leave him ?
Alan feels stuck because he’s trying to force himself into some cookie cutter mold. He’s struggling trying to fit into other people’s ideas of what his resume should look like and how he should live his work life. But he lacks any alternative. He doesn’t know what he wants to be.
In fact, Alan’s fear that he’ll make a bad choice for his next job is grounded. In all likelihood, without sufficient data to make a good choice. He needs to clearly identify what he wants in a career. He needs to see his unique needs. He needs the fundamental element to finding the right job for you: a clear vision of who you are and where you want to be.
There are plenty of online interests/values/needs assessments — and some are quite good. I’ve created an easy to use version designed specifically (but not limited to) people with chronic illness. It’s in my workbook, Keep Working With Chronic Illness.
It can be a scary world for all sorts of reasons – good health or not. But it won’t get safer by limiting yourself to being cut from the cookie cutter mold so you might look like everyone else. Or by limiting your options because others think you should. Go find your own shape and size and flaunt it.
Want to read more on this topic?
- Career By Choice’s Expat Success Tips – Ongoing Career management is No Longer Optional for the Expat in Today’s New World of Work
- Top Margin Gayle’s Blog Sabotaging Your Prospects: Cookie-cutter Style
- CAREEREALISM: Cookie Cutters are for Baking…Not Job Searching
- The Emerging Professional: On the “Cookie Cutter” Approach to Job Search: Do You Need a Recipe?
- Sterling Career Concepts: Job seekers: Break out of the mold!
- Dawn Bugni, The Write Solution: Dawn’s Blog Is your job search “cookie-cutter” or “hand-dropped”?
- Rosa Vargas, Creating Prints Resume-Writing Blog: Being a Cookie-Cutter Job Seeker is a Misfortune
- Heather Mundell, life@work: How Not to Be a Cookie Cutter Job Seeker
- Sweet Careers:Passive Job Seeker=Cookie Cutter Job Seeker
- Barbara Safani Career Solvers Blog Cookie Cutter Resumes Can Leave a Bad Taste in the Hiring Manager’s Mouth
- Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Career Trend Blog: Eating Bananas Doesn’t Make You an Ape
- Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers: How Can a Job Seeker Stand Out?
- Quintessential Resumes and Cover Letters Tips Blog:Avoiding Being a Cookie-Cutter Job-seeker In Your Resume and Throughout Your Job Search
- Heather R. Huhman, HeatherHuhman.com: Break the Mold: Don’t Be a Cookie Cutter -