Today while helping a career coaching client think through their follow-up message with a potential employer, my client admitted that they felt like they were “playing mental chess in my head again.”
It’s so easy to overthink things, especially when we lack confidence or clarity.
While career-building is absolutely a “chess board” of pieces that we move in different ways at different times—I’ve even built this very concept into CareerOS—it’s critical that we don’t try too hard to “play chess” with the relationships we build.
You’re human, and the hiring leaders you’re interacting with are human. Of course, they know that you’re following up because you want to know if they are going to move forward with you. But if you make it only about that, you’re making two mistakes:
- You’re missing an opportunity to build a relationship that could lead to other opportunities beyond this one
- You’re making them feel like that’s all they are to you—a gatekeeper to something you need
The purpose of CareerOS is to make career-building human, and part of this philosophy means keeping your mind open beyond what YOU need (the job, the contract, the money). Empathize with the people making the hiring decisions. Realize that they’re complex, emotional humans just like you.
Don’t limit your connection to the potential of working together—express genuine interest in THEM as a person, and you’ll find that things work out in your favor much more often. 😊
Have you been playing chess in your head?
Originally published Nov 1, 2021