The Dalai Lama’s Thoughts On Job Search

Apr 4 2011 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

The Dalai Lama gives some brilliant insight into job search, even though he’s never had to search for one himself.

I’ve personally seen a speech by the Dalai Lama – He’s like your favorite Grandpa, but talking to you from a stage, while sitting on a throne. He does teach some wonderful life lessons and gives an enlightening view on personal as well as world problems.

This is an article written by career coach Sunitha Narayanan, (‘The Dalai Lama and Career Transition’) after attending a talk by the Dalai Lama.

“I was privileged to hear His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama speak as he accepted the International Freedom Conductor Award in Cincinnati, Ohio in October 2010. As a career coach, I reflected on his words to see how these might apply to life and work, especially for those in a life or career transition. These ideas are applicable to both career coaches and clients alike.

  • First, look inward. I was particularly struck with what the Dalai Lama called ‘freedom of thought.’ A transition is a perfect time to ‘free’ ourselves from expectations and listen to our inner voice that quietly whispers to us and might not be heard in the rush of daily life. What causes motivate you? What activities naturally attract you and fill you with action? What opportunities do you seek out that bring out your talents? When you look back at your career path, what gives you the most satisfaction and why? Taking the time for this reflection will help you create a joyful, productive and proactive plan as you embrace what the future holds for you.
  • Second, make a human connection. The Dalai Lama endeared himself to the large crowd by reaching into his bag and pulling out a visor to shield his eyes from the brightness of lights in stage and said, ‘if I can see you, I feel I am talking to a real person.’ A simple idea with amazing outcomes. Have you reached out to someone in person today and asked or answered a question? Have you nourished a relationship today and planted a seed for a future rich harvest? Or are you hiding behind social media and missing out on face-to-face conversations? What are you doing to invite curiosity and engage someone in a conversation? Tap into your unique, brilliant self and be ready to offer ideas, skills and talents to a conversation. Give people a reason to remember you and your career focus.
  • Third, believe in yourself. Imagine this powerful sentiment from someone who has been in exile for 45 years: ‘there is no need to feel hopelessness.’ If you remember that the word transition also means evolution, you can embrace hope in the midst of despair. You either are in the process of reaching a new destination, embracing a richer opportunity or switching your career field. A simple way to build confidence is to share your success stories as you create your marketing plan to arrive at your new destination. What problems have you handled? How do your skills bring a sharp solution to an employer’s problem? Point out the connection your results have to position deliverables. Stories create a visual picture of confidence, both in you and your listener. Do you want to be ‘a’ candidate or ‘the’ candidate? What can you do to make your competition irrelevant? This inner confidence will translate into all your job search efforts and make you a distinctive, stand-out candidate.
  • Fourth, have infinite compassion. I know you are wondering what compassion has to do with your job search. A central theme in Dalai Lama’s message lies in ‘ … the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.’ So, compassion is in the way you care and respond to someone’s pain. What do employers want the most from you? An ability to identify, recognize and empathize with their pain and a talent for making it disappear. Have you analyzed the trends in your field? Why are some of your target companies in the news? How can you use research and analysis to clearly connect your value to business needs? How closely do your personality preferences and traits match those demonstrated by high performers in your target company? Compassion also means being kind to yourself during your transition. Establishing a routine by including exercise, healthy eating habits and inviting your ‘nourishers’ into your search will help you manage the stress proactively. You can also be kind to yourself by instilling accountability in your search. Tracking what is working and what isn’t working will help you celebrate small successes and alert you to what could be done differently for positive outcomes.

A transition can be painful as much as it can be joyful. The very nature of a transition is that it is temporary. The process of looking inward, having self-confidence, finding ways to connect at a personal level and showing compassion to oneself and to others has worked for the Dalai Lama. Don’t you think it should work for those of us in life and career transition?

By Sunitha Narayanan, Original Article ‘The Dalai Lama and Career Transition’ can be found at http://associationdatabase.com/aws/NCDA/pt/sd/news_article/41127/_PARENT/layout_details_cc/true

This is an excellent analysis – Of course there are some obvious advice points made here: Believe in yourself and Look inward.

But I’m most struck by the wise advice of Make a human connection – I take this to mean that even though we have such great information sources available to us (Social Networks, Online directories, even job ads), those who spend most of their job search depending on a computer screen will likely end up being very frustrated. Social networking is a great way to identify contacts, but making a human connection is the key. Have conversations, build trust, and gain information about your target companies.

I think that Have infinite compassion is even a stronger statement to job seekers. How can you better recognize a potential employer’s pain and match it with your talents to make that type of pain go away? Or how can you see a target hiring manager’s needs/goals and pair it with your unique experiences in attaining those goals?

So you’ve got that going for you … which is nice.

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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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