When you’ve finished studying, if you don’t yet have a job, and you really need one, something happens… It’s an obvious response, and it makes sense why you would do this (everybody else does…) - you may even have been taught to do this by your last educational institution…

Unfortunately, this practice dramatically (dramatically) reduces your chances of success. And in the unlikely event that you get a job this way, it is highly unlikely that it will last.

…What am I talking about? Simple. It is the practice of trying to be whatever the hiring organisation is looking for.

Why is this a problem? That’s easy to answer. You aren’t “whatever the hiring organisation is looking for”. You are you.

“You” is a unique proposition.

When you are yourself and know how to explain that - in motivational and ‘organisation behavioural’ terms - to others, you certainly won’t fit every opening. But you will be exactly what someone is looking for. You may be the person they have almost given up hope of ever finding.

Be that person - that person is real, sustainable and of immense value.

If, on the other hand, you decide to just try to fit with every opening that is going, and say (for example) “yes I have enormous attention to detail”, even though the truth is that you are far more intuitive in the way you approach tasks (or vice versa), you now are indistinguishable from the other 3,499 people who are all pretending to be this person (for this particular opening).

Like you, they are also, simultaneously, pretending to be some other person for another job opening. You are now part of a herd of increasingly baffled and distressed cattle, trying one fence after another, trying to find an escape from the angry bear of joblessness. No one wants to be that person.

If you know who you are and can express that with confidence and clarity, you can ignore the wrong jobs (a huge saving in time, effort and emotional despair).

You may not even need to wait for the right job: if you know who you are, and can see that fits with a particular organisation’s mission, approach them directly. As with so much in life, refusing to see yourself as a victim (of a system, an economic climate or anything else) is very powerful.

So: what is it going to be? One of the stampeding herd, or cool, clear and confident?