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Stand up! Getting a new perspective

Written by: Laura Paradise
Published on: Jan 1, 2024

stand up office - IPD Gutenberg UK

(Image: IPG Gutenberg UK)

Perspective has everything to do with success in a job search (and in a job). Your perspective influences your attitude and energy, which influences your communication skills and your motivation.

All of us get caught in perspectives that don’t serve us: the times we say we’ll never get a job, or that we need the perfect elevator pitch or cover letter, or that we’ll never get a chance because of our age, gender, background, or any of a hundred things.

It’s hard to see what else is possible when we’re caught in a particular perspective, and it can affect us in characteristic ways: rendering us quiet or nervous when interviewing, reaching out, or networking.

And yet, changing perspective can be as easy as standing up. Or looking out the window. Or trying on a different voice.

Want to show up alert, energized, and confident? You can use these tips while gearing yourself up for a face-to-face encounter, interviewing over the phone, or getting through a hard day – anytime a perspective shift might help.

Stand up. You’ll have more energy, feel a greater sense of weight and substance, and be more in contact with your feet and legs, causing you to be more present.

Take a walk and look all around you. Walking gets you out of your mind and into your body, and looking outward counters the depleting effects of navel-gazing. Together, they remind you that there is a vast world beyond your worries (and your computer screen). Make a point to look in all directions – north, south, east, and west – and think about where each could take you.

Use visual symbols. Reflect on qualities that inspire you and give you strength, then choose a visual you can look at, or picture, to connect with that energy. For example, a redwood tree might convey strength and growth; an image of Rosa Parks might say “speak your truth”; a mountain view might represent the satisfaction a goal reached. (You can even get a talisman to put in your pocket and carry around as a “tactile” version.)

Shift into the third person. The third-person voice can free you up to identify and celebrate your strengths, shifting your mind from a self-defeating perspective. Think in terms of “she” instead of “I”; How did she resolve a challenge with her co-workers? What did she do to win a journalism award? Write out answers in the third person, and read them out loud. This is especially helpful if you have trouble talking up your accomplishments!

Channel another’s perspective. Pick someone you admire and ask, What would they do?  Ponder how that person talks about herself, and see what you can learn.And lastly, sage advice from my beloved grandmother: Get outside. Take a break, feel the fresh air, listen to the birds. Remember that you are a living, breathing being who needs to move and to exercise all her senses.

Laura Paradise is a certified career coach specializing in career searches and leadership advancement who shares her expertise on the Career Search Wisdom blog.

This article was fact-checked in January 2024, and originally appeared in a slightly different form on Laura Paradise’s blog.

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