By Emily Merrell
With unemployment at an all-time high due to Covid-19, now is the chance to take a good look at your job and re-evaluate what you really want to be doing with your life. While all sorts of emotions can come up during a time as unpredictable as now, it’s important to go into the job search with a fresh perspective. Wade Thomas of Aim to Win left a successful HR career behind to focus on taking his clients to the next level. Read more about his advice on tackling the job search and how to excel in leadership roles during this tumultuous period.
SDS: As a successful HR professional, you started your own successful company Aim to Win. How do you help your clients get to the next stage of their career?
WADE THOMAS: You need to consider three things:
1. Find out what is important to you, dive deep and unpack what you liked and didn’t like in every phase of your life (both professionally and personally.) Think about your dreams as a kid – often, they are still valid.
2. Be honest about what you are good at and what you could be good at.
3. Research the marketplace and learn what the market is willing to pay for. For example, I really enjoy eating chocolate, and I am quite good at it, but the marketplace is most likely unwilling to pay me for it.
Look at the intersection of those factors (think of it as three rings). This intersection is your sweet spot and a great place for your next phase. Once you find that, take action. Epic careers are rarely started by inaction.
SDS: Now more than ever, we need leaders to step up. How do you recommend people step into a higher level of leadership?
WT: Take the lead, don’t wait for it to be given to you (even on small things.) Leaders of large things become famous, but the world advances on the small things. Don’t be afraid of taking the lead in undesirable areas, they are often the best places to make a difference. Take risks and put yourself out there. Learn from failure. The difference maker for many successful leaders is simply that they failed more.
SDS: What advice do you have for leaders as they navigate the multitude of layoffs and societal changes during the Covid-19 health crisis?
WT: Get out in front of the recovery. If history tells us anything, it is that we will recover—it’s what we do. After every significant event, there are winners and losers – they are not the same winners and losers that existed before the event. Look for the opportunities and prepare yourself now. Play to win, not to avoid losing. Winners will be the ones that used this time to figure out what’s next, to hang on to their employees (or even add good ones from their competition) and to stay in the mind of their customers.
SDS: There are more than 22 million individuals filing for unemployment at the moment. What steps do you recommend they take to re-evaluate their job search?
WT: Look at this as an opportunity to reset their career if needed, a chance to get out of a job or career path that made them unhappy. Many career pivots and new entrepreneurial ventures have been spawned out of bad economic times. Remember this is temporary. Take care of your short term financially (which the government is assisting with) but prepare yourself to come back in an area that makes you happy.
SDS: What is the best piece of advice you’ve heard about job searching and what do you wish you had known when you started your career?
WT: It is now more than ever about who you know and how well you know them. In this era of computer screening and other AI hiring tools, going through the “front door” by filling out an application and hoping for the best is a long shot. Building and leveraging your network to get in the “side door” is the key to success.
SDS: Lastly, can you share how our readers can learn more about your upcoming offerings?
WT: Like/follow me on FB and IG, register for my newsletter at www.aimtowinllc.com
To hear more of Wade’s insight, join him for a SDS digital event on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30pmET/4:30pmPT: Becoming The Beacon – Enlightened Leadership in Uncertain Times with Wade Thomas. In this workshop we will work on the five keys for leading in uncertain times including getting your mindset in order to successfully connect, inform and lead your community. Reserve your spot here.