What is an abundance mentality and how can it impact your executive job search?
First let’s look at the opposite condition, a scarcity mentality.
With a scarcity mentality, you focus on the thing or things you’re lacking, which can be anything – money, friendship or love, time, or a rewarding job.
You have the feeling that there are only so many pieces of the pie and, if you take your share, there’s one less piece available.
You navigate the world blocked by limitations instead of noticing opportunities.
There can be benefits to having a scarcity mindset.
For instance, if you’re heavily focusing on your debt or financial woes, it may compel you to become better at budgeting the money you do have.
But mostly there are the downsides that make you anxious, fearful, and aggressively competitive over resources.
Your scarcity mentality may be self-perpetuating, branching out to infect every aspect of your life including, of course, your job search.
You can feel that you’re not good enough, or deserving enough, to land a great job.
Fear and anxiety can impel you to stick to job search methods you’ve always used, even though they aren’t working this time around.
You won’t let yourself explore other options or ways of getting into a fulfilling job.
Author and speaker Jay Acunzo describes how some of us tend “to exploit our current position rather than explore new and potentially better options”:
“Chronic and acute stress prompts us to cling more fiercely to options we know and reject the notion of exploring the unknown. As a result, we act like nervous squirrels insisting that there will be just a few more nuts left in this tree and ‘OMG what if those other trees are barren or HOLY WALNUTS what if there are foxes and hawks out there? Let’s just stay here. Yup-yup-YUPYUP! Here’s good, here’s good, here’s good …'”
Flip That Toggle from a Scarcity To an Abundance Mentality
Flipping back to the positive, with an abundance mentality you feel your options are more expansive.
- You break away from the fearful mindset that has always driven you.
- You move from “exploit” to “explore” mode and things begin opening up for you.
Your mindset becomes:
“There’s not just one right-fit job for me out there. There are plenty.”
According to Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, an abundance mentality starts with:
- A sense of personal worth and security, that you deserve good in this life and
- A belief that the possibilities are endless, that there is enough to go around.
Framing all this in terms of executive job search, being in explore mode opens you to learn about ways to land a job that you didn’t know or never tried.
Does Your Job Search Include Networking into the Goldmine of Hidden Jobs?
I write a lot about tapping into the hidden job market which, according to Executive Talent Agent Debra Feldman, includes these 4 scenarios:
1. The budget for a position has been allocated . . .
But for a variety of reasons (timing, prioritization, inconvenience, internal communications, etc.,) the announcement has not been distributed. You have to know someone who is aware of this situation in order to access this unadvertised job.
2. A position where the incumbent has plans to leave, (a promotion, relocation, personal leave, etc.) . . .
But until their replacement is found, that person/that role is not going to be released. In such instances, there is never a vacancy. The position passes from the incumbent to their successor without any gap in coverage.
3. A position known only to the hiring decision maker and their trusted inner circle
It’s a position that will be created when the team is reorganized or a merger or acquisition or other stealth process is completed. It’s a matter of when not if new talent is going to be brought in.
4. The most prized of the hidden executive jobs
A position created for a specific individual that did not exist until an individual was available. Job responsibilities may be shifted to accommodate a new team member or a new role created designed to maximize an individual’s skills and abilities.
As Feldman notes, the only way to land one of these jobs is by networking your way in through a recommendation and becoming known, liked and trusted by hiring authorities.
Here’s my advice to you:
Stop spending so much time on the job boards and go strong on networking.
The kinds of jobs you really want may never be posted anywhere. They may only exist in the hidden job market, which is only accessed through focused networking.
How do you find out about hidden executive jobs?
Start with a good list of companies, say 15-20, that are a mutual good-fit. Then position yourself as a good fit for them in your personal marketing materials (resume, bio, LinkedIn profile, etc.).
And then you’ll network your way towards hiring decision makers at each one, so that you can circumvent the gatekeepers (Human Resources) and, hopefully, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
A key piece of information many executive job seekers don’t know or forget about . . .
Getting referrals from employees, or even one employee (at pretty much any professional level), at your target companies gets you an “in” at that company.
- Employees usually know about openings at their companies that may never be advertised.
- Employers like to hire people they know. Getting a referral or introduction from an employee makes you a known, recommended commodity . . . and more highly valued as a candidate.
- Many companies offer employees monetary incentives to bring in candidates to fill openings.
Look to connect with people at your target companies, nurture those relationships through “give to get” networking and, in time, you should be able to ask for introductions to hiring decision makers at those companies.
Adopt an Abundance Mentality
Put fear behind you and be open to trying new things. Explore ALL the many ways to land a good-fit job.
Learn how today’s job search works and take it from there.
Target specific employers. Determine which companies or organizations will provide the kind of work you want to do.
Research your target companies and industry to uncover the information you’ll need for your personal marketing communications (resume, LinkedIn profile, etc.) and when you interview and network.
Define and differentiate your personal brand around what showcases your unique value to your target employers.
Build your online presence. Make it easy for hiring professionals to find information about you in the places they go to source candidates like you.
Practice “give to get” networking. Don’t expect favors without giving something in return. Networking that works for everyone is all about helping, sharing, finding common ground, and being a good listener.
Prepare to ace your job interviews. Remember that interviews are not really about you. They are all about whatever pressing needs the employer has right now and how you will help them fill those needs.