Terminate Your IT Job Search with Arnold Schwarzenegger
When Arnold Schwarzenegger was a little Austrian boy in his lederhosen he set some major goals. Goals that were laughable in many people’s eyes. Arnie wanted to be the world’s greatest bodybuilder, he wanted financial success, he wanted to become a box-office hit, he wanted to have an impact in politics. Achieving one of these would be impressive in anyone’s eyes but Arnie’s not just anyone.
His approach to life and achieving goals is often lauded in the business world by entrepreneurs. This approach can also be applied to the dreaded job search. What can we learn from the Governator?
Set Clear Goals
Arnie pursues goals with a hunger. When he had his mind set on becoming a bodybuilder this obsession caused his parents to call a psychologist as they couldn’t understand why their son obsessed over photos of greased up, ripped men on his bedroom walls. This didn’t discourage Arnie.
After setting his goals his thought process was to vision himself where he needed to be, his end goal. This allowed him to envision what he needed to do to get there. What did he need to change? What skills did he need to learn? This same idea can be applied to an IT job search. Say your goal is that in 5 years you want to be leading a team responsible for developing the biggest mobile app since Angry Birds. What do you need to get there?
This vision of his is summed up in one of his famous quotes – “I knew I was a winner back in the late sixties. I knew I was destined for great things. People will say that kind of thinking is totally immodest. I agree. Modesty is not a word that applies to me in any way – I hope it never will.”
Arnie was up against it as a young man in Hollywood. He faced rejection on a constant basis when it came to his pursuit of being a Hollywood star. He dreamed of making it big and initially had a hard time getting others to buy into his dream.
As he said himself in 2000, “It was very difficult for me in the beginning – I was told by agents and casting people that my body was ‘too weird’, that I had a funny accent, and that my name was too long.” Despite what he was told, he kept at it and saw strengths where others saw a weakness. He was told that Schwarzenegger was a name that people would never remember. His response? It was a name that people would never forget.
Job searching can be a soul destroying process sometimes with a daily influx of ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ emails from companies. When the going gets tough just think of Arnie, a 250 pound piece of ‘Austrian Oak’ who wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Find Your Niche and Differentiate Yourself
When Arnie first moved to America he needed to make ends meet in between his training and acting classes. He and his friend Franco Columbo began a bricklaying and patio business to earn some cash. Arnold found that America had a thing for European names – Irish whiskey, French design, Swedish meatballs. He believed, rightly, that he could differentiate himself from competition and stand out from other companies offering the same services. This resulted in European Brickworks, which went from strength to strength.
Use your assets to an advantage. Arnie was told that he could never be a leading man because of his accent and body. Instead of getting discouraged he used these traits to differentiate himself and become the standout action movie star of all time.
On your job search look for ways that you can stand out in the eyes of the recruiter or hiring manager – what makes you different? Create a personal brand and show the person behind the resume.
Learn New Skills
Arnie’s a big believer in self improvement. When started his acting career he would spend hours repeating phrases such as, ‘the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane’, in order to soften his thick Austrian accent. He knew that in order to make it he would have to learn new skills such as voice control. The IT job market is no different, it is constantly evolving, making learning and self improvement a central aspect of any successful developer.
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