Monthly Archives: September 2021

Fear of success: Why it happens and how to overcome it.

In a recent episode of my podcast, The Job Hunting™ Podcast (ep.100), I discussed success, but with a twist. I see the following behaviour happening all the time with my clients: when job hunters go from getting zero responses to suddenly getting calls from recruiters and job interviews, they freak out.

The happiness and the excitement about finally getting opportunities can quickly turn into anxiety. This happens with all my services. From getting more views following a LinkedIn audit service to coaching clients who get a fantastic job offer, the success leads to conflicting emotions. But why?

Success and Failure

Success doesn’t feel like what we think it would feel. With success comes more work (get ready for the calls and interviews) and more responsibility (now you have to do the job you wanted!). When we dream about success, we usually don’t think about the day-to-day reality of achieving our goals. You may have envisioned yourself as feeling confident once you reach your success goal. In reality, when you achieve your goals, chances are you don’t feel ready!

In this episode, I discuss the most common feelings I have observed as a coach, explain the reasons behind them, and how to overcome the anxiety and enjoy the spoils of your hard work. We talk a lot about impostor syndrome, but in my view, there are many more success fears that we need to address.

How to overcome the “freaking out” period of success.

1. Understand it: Sword of Damocles

Sword of Damocles is an old tale about a King, Dionysius, who allowed one of his men, Damocles, to experience what it feels to have great power. Damocles sat on Dionysius’s throne, surrounded by countless luxuries. But above his had, Dionysius arranged that a sword is held at the pommel only by a single hair of a horse’s tail.

In this episode, I discuss three different meanings for this story, which I believe should be considered by anyone willing to advance in their careers.

2. Educate yourself: Stoicism

Some things are within our control, and some aren’t. When you are job hunting, there are so many variables affecting your recruitment and selection and your work. You can control your output – job application, answers to job interviews, but you can’t control what others are thinking of you. So the key is to move forward with tranquility, knowing you won’t be able to control every aspect of this experience.

In the episode, I also discuss how we suffer not from facts themselves (i.e., you got the job), but from how we imagine what that means (i.e., I don’t know if I can do a good job. What if I fail?).

3. Be strategic: coaching

Working with a coach can be incredibly beneficial for executives. It can speed up steep learning curves and avoid career-limiting moves done at the heat of the moment.

Freaking out due to success is why I usually continue to work with clients as they onboard their new jobs until they feel they have better control of their new situation.

If being freaked out is a problem you wish you had, I’d also be happy to help! Please go to my website, renatabernarde.com, to learn more and book my services.


Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job HuntingTM Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. Click here to download Renata’s free workbook The Optimized Job Search Schedule.

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Posted in Job Hunting Made Simple, The world @work

5 ways to navigate through the current Tech talent shortage

‘Talent shortage’ and ‘skills gap’ are terms that have been thrown about – at times, in my opinion, haphazardly – in the Australian technology sector since I first started recruiting in the space over a decade ago. But never before have these terms rung so true as in the past twelve months.

The heavy blow of the COVID-19 pandemic on our economy, and its subsequent ripple effect on the local technology sector, has created an incredibly challenging landscape for organisations looking to secure Tech talent.

It’s thrown the sector into a two-speed conundrum: an accelerated demand for skills versus a decline in available talent.

Demand for technology skills within Australian companies has reached fever pitch over the last year. The need for organisations to offer online services to customers, implement remote-working infrastructure for employees, and the continued overall appetite for ‘digitisation’ across the board has been exacerbated (with little to no notice) by the lockdowns we’ve seen due to the pandemic. Coupled with a sudden decline in available talent as we shut our borders to skilled migrants, visa-holders returning home to be with their families, and the inadequate pipeline of technology graduates coming through our higher education institutions, employers are now facing a fiercely competitive battle for technology talent.

Scarcity has seen the remuneration expectations of top Tech talent suddenly increase by up to 30% in the past year alone, further adding to the already difficult hiring conditions faced by employers.

So how do employers combat these challenges in the current state of the market?

In my view, there’s no single solution for addressing the talent shortage, but there are a number of things you can do to position your organisation better in current market conditions:

1. Be Prepared

Oftentimes, recruitment is a reactive activity – be proactive and plan ahead. Understand what your organisation, product, project or team will potentially need for the future and get the wheels in motion before you’re ready to hire. Speak to your talent team, align them with your product/project roadmap, and give your supplier partners the heads up.

2. Reassess Your Expectations

The candidate market is competitive. Many organisations are vying for the same candidates – what can you do differently to avoid a bidding war against the competition? Reassess your expectations on hard skills and consider hiring on candidates’ transferrable skills and potential for growth. Don’t pay the premium the market is currently demanding unless you absolutely have to.

3. Upskill Your Team

If there are skillsets that are missing in your current team, upskill them. Investing in your team members will keep them engaged, uplift existing capability, support staff retention and help shorten the ‘shopping list’ of hard skills you’re looking for when going out to market for new team members.

4. Understand your EVP

In a candidate-driven market you are competing with other organisations looking to hire that same individual. Know your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and how you’re going to ‘sell’ the role/opportunity within your team. Whilst a desirable brand helps, this isn’t about having a ping pong table in the lunchroom. Understand what the organisation’s values are, your vision for the role and how it fits in the team and be able to share this with the candidate. Why should they want to work for you?

5. Move quickly

In such a competitive landscape, it’s important to make a decision on a candidate before your competition does. Assess your current recruitment process and streamline it as much as you can.  How quickly are you contacting candidates who have applied? Which interview stages are critical? How long in between stages? How quickly can you present an offer to the preferred candidate?

There’s never been a more critical time to pay closer attention to how you find, attract and secure Tech talent. How are you navigating through the current Tech talent shortage?

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Posted in Synchro Partners, The world @work

R U Really OK?

Imagine this: You witness one of your colleagues, a solid performer in their area of expertise, become so overwhelmed with their workload, that they break down during a team meeting (on camera, because we are meeting virtually), when asked, “How’s your week looking?”

What an eye opener. Yet, this is the reality for many of us, working from home, during the current lockdowns in our major cities in Australia.

It made me think we really need to reach out and take some of the pressure off those we work with, whether colleagues, clients or candidates.

When asked, we have a tendency to reply automatically and say, “I’m good”. So here are some of the things I’ve heard those in my professional network trying to say:

Clients:

“I’m feeling isolated WFH. I’m usually a homebody, but I’m getting lonely.”

“It’s hard to stay focussed. I feel like there’s no purpose to my job.”

“There are only so many walks I can go on for exercise or to get fresh air.”

“So tired of all the virtual meetings!”

Candidates:

“I’m feeling uncertain about finding a job during the current restrictions.”

“I’m nervous about what future lockdowns will mean for my career.”

“My self-esteem is suffering, even though I know I’m highly capable.”

Coworkers:

“I am missing my work colleagues and the social face-to-face interaction. I have no one to vent to.”

“I have plenty of work to keep me going, but I am lacking motivation because of the uncertainty.”

“I just want to come back to the office to have a sense of purpose.”

“It’s hard to stay focused and concentrate on my job requirements due to lots of stop-starting.”

“I’m so sick of looking at the same four walls.”

Carers:

“Home schooling is so hard with young children. My kids are missing the mental stimulation of the classroom and having their friends to play with.”

“I just want to cry!”

Often lending an ear is enough to give someone we care about a leg up. R U OK Day this year is a timely reminder that a conversation could change a life, but starting the conversation at work isn’t always easy. We’ve partnered with Prima Careers to include a helpful infographic below.

R U OK infographic

For more information, go to ruok.org.au or contact Lifeline on 131114 if you or someone you know needs urgent assistance.

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Posted in Interchange Bench, The world @work