By taking the right steps in life anyone can reach their career goals. Many people try to get a job or move up in a company but find themselves unable to do so because of the mistakes they have made. To help understand common mistakes that people make when attempting to reach their career goals and what someone can do to successfully reach their career goals, I have interviewed therapist M.J. Klimenko MA, MFT, CHT.
Tell me a little bit about yourself:
“I have been in private practice as a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist for the past seventeen years. I got my Bachelors and Masters in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and continued there as an instructor in Creative Writing for two years. I later came back to the University of San Francisco to study psychology and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Psychology in 1987.”
What are common mistakes that people make when attempting to reach their career goals?
“Many people don’t realize that they have about ten seconds to make a good impression, for a potential employer or when seeking to move up in a company. It is important to be well-groomed by having clean hair, nails, clothes, and shoes. Also it’s important to make sure to wear minimal jewelry and skip the perfume or cologne. Don’t try to look sexy just try to look smart. Be friendly by smiling and being polite. Many people don’t understand that an employer or potential employer is looking at them and thinking about what kind of impression that person would make on their company.”
“Don’t act weak by whining and complaining. For example, don’t talk about your cold, cough, or last surgery. Acting weak also means not looking employers in the eyes, groveling and offering to do everything and anything including things not in your job description. Act as if you are capable and that your life is fine, even if it isn’t. Your employer doesn’t need that information. A good way to think about it is to remember that bullies on the playground always pick on the weak kids and make buddies with the strong kids. This is because the weak kid will allow the bully to bully them because they feel powerless, afraid, and cower in such a way that the bully feels free to do what he wants because he doesn’t fear any reprisals or consequences. It might be sad to say, but no one wants to have a weak person onboard. They want to feel like you’re a go getter and if you don’t have the answer, you’re quite capable of figuring it out.”
“Do value your company but also value yourself. Don’t spend three extra hours a day toiling away after work. You’re sending the wrong signal. You’re saying you don’t value yourself or your time and that you’ll do anything for your job. Employers will respect you if they see that you value yourself and your time and that you work hard at the job and also take time to go home and rest up or enjoy your family.”
“Be a team player. You don’t have to bring everyone cupcakes every Friday but do meet with associates, ask questions, listen to what others have to say, show that you value everyone you work with and that you think their thoughts and ideas are important. That is a good leadership quality. People who isolate, don’t share information, are hostile when asked questions or cold, are people who wouldn’t ever make a good employee at the top. Being at the top requires having the personality characteristics that put the projects before the personalities.”
What type of impact do these mistakes have on their overall life?
“These mistakes will be repeated in their outside life and will have the same consequences except at a personal level. That’s not to say one isn’t a lot more in one’s personal life, a loving mother/father, soccer coach, son, daughter, etc. Of course what you dress like on your own time is your business but you will turn off perspective partners and have a difficult time maintaining relationships if you don’t follow the personality suggestions above. Partners don’t respect weakness or manipulation and they will soon tire of whining and selfishness. At the end of the day a person like that just becomes boring and uninteresting and won’t be on anyone’s “A” list. A person who can handle themselves well at their job is also a person who does the same in the outside world. They have self-respect and self-esteem and don’t have to have everything, be everything, get all of the attention, and most important, believe that what they think, feel, or want is more important than what other’s needs are. We’re all living in a Village in case no one has noticed.”
What are some tips you can give someone who would like to reach their career goals?
“Do all of the above, really, it’s not hard. Hold your head high but not so high you can’t see your fellow co-workers. Know what you are doing, don’t pretend. If you don’t know the answer to something, ask. It’s better to ask and let others help than act like you know it all and then make a mess of things. People like to feel like they are helpful and won’t mind helping you find the answer to something, unless you do it six times a day, of course. Study your field. Don’t assume you know everything you need to know about your job or the job you’re seeking. Read about it, think about it, and then read about it again. If you know your field and you know what you’re talking about and can demonstrate that you’re an asset to the company because you haven’t taken the job lightly, employers will be impressed and perceive you as a valuable employee.”
“Every evening before going to sleep, visualize what you’ll be doing the next day and visualize yourself having a positive experience. Then, imagine yourself having already achieved your goal, notice how good you feel. This exercise need only take five minutes or even less. The subconscious mind doesn’t know time so positive visualizing can be a powerful technique to help you achieve your goals.”
What type of professional help is available for someone who wants to reach his or her career goals?
“There are career coaches available. They can help you polish your skills and coach you on the dos and don’ts of the job you’re seeking or seeking to move up in. Sometimes therapy is a big help because it can help you work through any issues that might negatively affect the above. When you know yourself and know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you are always better prepared to meet the world, professional or personal. If you’ve worked through issues that cause you to feel insecure or anxious or any number of things, you will have more confidence and that will help you in both areas. Find someone who is doing what you’d like to do and ask them if they would give you a half an hour of their time to talk about the job. Offer to buy them lunch or coffee in exchange for their (and you want to tell them this) valuable time.”
“Hypnotherapy is helpful for achieving goals both in your personal and professional life. When you are hypnotized, you are able to harness your subconscious mind and it can go on working for you all during the day, even when you’re not thinking about it. Hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to bolster self-confidence, help you relax and take in all that you are, so you feel emotionally prepared to get what you want.”
“And that last line is probably the most important. Never, ever think you can’t get the job or rise up the ranks because what you believe does influence outcome. If you believe you can do it and put your energy toward your goal, you’ll get there, maybe not the first try and maybe not as quickly as you’d like, but you’ll get there. You just have to believe in yourself.”
Thank you MJ for doing the interview on how someone can reach their career goals. For more information on MJ Klimenko or her work you can check out her website on http://www.mjklimenko.com/index.html.
Reducing Unemployment Stress
How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job
How to Get the Job You Want