Sunday, August 1, 2010

Using Passion to Help Your Search

Passion is a term defined as strong emotion. The term is hardly synonymous with job search. But in these days when job seekers outnumber jobs by six to one, passion is precisely the emotion that bears harnessing if you want to distinguish yourself in the job market.

So what does it take to harness passion. Words like enthusiasm, energy, engagement, excitement, eagerness, elation, exhilaration, esprit, and élan are apt terms to describe the characteristics hiring managers are likely to look for when narrowing down the list of best candidates. Passion is the essence of your persona and your organs are the tools required to effectively demonstrate the essence of whom and what you are. Your passion should be evident and abundant in all that you do in your job campaign. Let me elaborate.

• Brain - The chief operating organ or COO. The brain is the central source of your knowledge, intuition, intellect and memory. Use it well and use it often. It is a requirement when you are writing your resume, cover letters and thank you notes. It perhaps is most useful in interviews and should be employed liberally to demonstrate knowledge, wisdom and common sense. Warning: do not use it to overwhelm, intimidate or obfuscate.

• Mouth, Vocal Chords and Larynx - You talk with them and produce a voice. Your voice should emanate authority, authenticity and enthusiasm. If your voice is clear, strong and decisive, you will likely capture the undivided attention of your interviewer. Attenuating your voice to emphasize facts, figures and feelings can amplify your energy and heighten interest in what you are saying particularly if the interview is by phone. If the interview is in person, the quality and tone that you employ, combined with good eye contact, can communicate the energy of your personality. Note well: active voice trumps passive voice.

• Eyes - Keep them open and use them. Eyes are the windows on the mind and communicate a lot about a person. If you are in an interview use your eyes to look into those with whom you are speaking. If your eyes wander, gaze and generally avoid contact, those with whom you are speaking certainly will wonder why the lack of connection. Game over.

• Ears - There is a reason you have two. Listen and hear. The words may seem like synonyms but have subtle differences that matter. Use your ears to hear so the brain can listen and absorb what is being said or asked of you or about you. Refrain from using your voice until you have comprehended the words you hear. The brain is required here and should be consulted often in the process.

• Heart - Speak from it! The heart is an essential partner of the brain, mouth and voice. And speaking from the heart can be a confirmation of your sincerity and integrity. Speaking from the heart can also add just the right amount of emotion that validates your authenticity. I cannot emphasize too much that the brain also plays a critical role here. The knowledge from the brain gives the heart the intellectual ammunition for authenticity. So, be real!

• Torso & Limbs - The torso contains all the body parts and connects the limbs. The torso is an important vessel for it houses all of the essential organs required for a successful job search. It also connects the limbs you need for self mobility. And when used together as a unified body in harmony and synchronicity, they can telegraph a great deal about attitude, personality and transparency. It is called body language and must be used in concert with the heart and brain.

Torsos and limbs vary greatly from person to person. So take that into account. How they are wrapped is a critical element to successful job campaigns. The material employed to cover the torso and limbs should be attractive to the interviewer and or hiring manager for maximum effect. If the job interviews are in person, the torso and limbs should be appropriately dressed in garb that reflects your professionalism, style and passion and complement the culture of the organization for which you wish to work. If you are a public relations professional, a bit of flair in your garments could be an important ingredient in communicating your passion and creativity. If you are an accountant, perhaps a blue suit or skirt with a white shirt or blouse is adequate. You be the judge. If the interview is by phone, PJs will suffice.

• Constitution - It better be strong and enduring. I know that the "constitution" is not an organ. But you have one. We all do. And you need it to be courageous, fearless and enduring. During the job search you will encounter people that are inspiring, encouraging and supportive. Hopefully they will offset those who are not. You will also surely face rejection, ignorance, complacence and arrogance. The constitution is wonderful in that it will help you get past the morass and give you the passion and fortitude to drive forward.

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