Courage & Job Hunting
Episode 30 - The courageous job hunter: Braving the market in times of uncertainty, with Dina Pozzo
In today's job market and work environment, everything is changing. Almost nothing feels the same for professionals in the corporate, nonprofit, and public sectors, and it is challenging to see where we are heading, let alone plan for our careers. To have the courage to face the unknown will be crucial to getting us, as individuals and as a community moving towards our preferred future. So, where can we get our courage from, and how do we apply that in our career?
In todays' episode, I interviewed Dina Pozzo. Dina is a highly skilled facilitator and coach with more than twenty years of experience in learning and organizational development both locally and internationally. Dina completed a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Melbourne and was trained by Brene Brown as a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator.
We address the following questions in this interview: What does courage look like during a job search? And in the office? What does being vulnerable has to do with courage? Can you practice "courage" and get better at it? And how can you use your strengths to develop courage?
Courage is an intentional constructive or moral action taken by an individual in the presence of perceived personal risk and uncertainty of outcome (personal or organizational) to resolve or avert a workplace issue.
Sometimes it takes courage to do nothing.
What I may need courage for, you may not. And vice versa.
If we stop and think and unpack the past, we can say when we've been courageous in the past, we can say what we did, how we did it, how we felt, who enabled us, all those things.
Be a courage spotter: Call it out when you spot courage in someone else because that helps build your self-awareness.
Know that vulnerability is a strength.
BRAVING stands for – Boundaries, Reliability, the Vote, Integrity, Non-judgement, and Generosity.
If you come back to your values whenever you reach that fork in the road, we know whatever decision needs to be made will be an easier decision to make. I'm not saying it's going to be an easy decision, but it will be easier.
Three questions to reflect on to job hunt with courage
How worthwhile is that action?
How risky is it to apply for that role?
What action will you take?
Four key skills of courage
Rumbling with vulnerability.
Living your values
Learning to rise
Four Character Strengths that sit in the virtue of courage
Authenticity and honesty
Zest or energy
Transcript of this episode
I’m Renata Bernarde, a virtual career coach, I teach frameworks and steps to help you find great jobs, change and advance your career with confidence and less stress. I’m also the host of The Job Hunting Podcast, a weekly podcast where I interview expert to discuss recruitment, job hunting and jobs of the future, or do solo episodes on specific topics relating to job hunting. You can follow and listen to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or you can listen and watch it on my YouTube Channel by searching for Renata Bernarde.
Every week I also record a live career coaching session, where I discuss an important and current topic related to career progression. Because it’s live, my followers can, if they want, interact with me, ask questions live or send me questions in advance – anonymously if they prefer. The live Coaching Sessions are filmed on my Facebook and Instagram accounts, and available on my YouTube channel and website https://www.renatabernarde.com/ . So, make sure you subscribe, follow and participate. To make sure you can easily find me, I have added all the relevant links to my social media accounts and to my website in the episode show notes.
Renata: So how, how were you doing during covid? What's your day like?
Dina: My work day is actually quite full. It's really interesting to begin with, all the work was taken out of my diary. And what I mean by that, all the work I had planned was stopped and understandably so. But what's probably happened in the last three weeks or so, clients are now reconnecting and saying, okay, we actually want to try things, you know, virtually. So, you know, look, my typical day is we walk the dogs every single morning. We're now walking them for about an hour and a half in the morning, get started on some work, have a little break, take the dogs for another walk, come back, do more work. So it's a fairly full day and it's actually becoming really interesting because as I said, more clients are wanting virtual connections and virtual sessions. I'm spending a lot of time working in the space of wellbeing. And how do we remain well at this time.
Renata: Okay. And are these sessions for employers? So are they group sessions?
Dina: Yeah group sessions, some of them have been more successful than others.
Renata: I see.
Dina: Technology is interesting.
Renata: Okay. So you mean in terms of technology or in terms of the culture?
Dina: The technology. And clearly technology impacts everything else. Yeah. The technology provides its challenges.
Renata: Yes. Okay. And you know, I'd love for you to describe to everybody the work that you do because you have a finger in a few pies and I'd rather you explain than me try to.
Dina: Oh thank you Renata. Probably the easiest way to give you a broad overview. I work in the space of leadership and teams development and also executive coaching. So I work with organisations with the large, small, medium organisations, whether they're corporate or not for profit. And my purpose, I'm really clear on what my purpose is, which has been very helpful.
Dina: My purpose is to open doors. And what I mean by that is, sometimes we have verbally and intentionally shut some doors. Sometimes we've wandered past doors and not even notice them. And clearly there'll be doors in our future. So in my practise, whether it's coaching or in group facilitation, I encourage people to courageously open their doors and to explore what's on the other side. And whether they're doors of the past, current or future. We may not like everything we always find, but it's just about at least exploring it and honouring it. But we can learn from it.
Renata: And what led you to finding that purpose and focusing on it?
Dina: It must be now, six or seven years ago I was at a little bit of a crossroads in terms of what next. I've been in my own business, in my own practise for 15 years. And at that time, six or seven years ago, I was just thinking, what do I do now? You know, where do I go? And so I actually headed over to the U S to participate in a programme which was called authentic leadership. And the whole purpose of the programme was to distil your own purpose and then as a result of distilling your own purpose to actually operationalize it. So actually come up with action plans to put into place. And that's where it became really crystal clear what I wanted to do and where I wanted to focus.
Renata: Okay. But you've been doing your own consultancy for quite some time. Were you able to, you know, as a consultant and a business owner myself, I'm curious if were you able to transition your clients and your work into this new purpose? Were you able to just remain with that clientele or did you have to move into a different area of operations?
Dina: Really good question. I would say 90% of my clients came with me at the time because it was about repositioning with them what my passion was and it was about repositioning within what would bring me energy, which then allowed me to be the best possible version of myself for them. One of the things I pride myself on Renata is keeping in touch and keeping in touch purposely, not just for the sake of ‘hi how are you? And so I think that's one of my strengths. And so my clients at the time knew me, trusted me, I was part of the teams internally, so I'd say probably 90% of my clients came with me at the time. And it was just about repositioning.
Renata: I'm so glad that you mentioned that because that's sort of a very important topic of my podcast and life coaching is that idea of keeping in touch. And I have always been what I, I call myself a calling street girl. Calling street for those who are listening from overseas or outside of Melbourne is the main business hub of Melbourne CBG, where all of the, you know, big buildings are, and I'm usually walking up and down calling street to go to meetings. We have to translate that virtually now don't we. So I pulled out my online course and I'm redoing some of the modules to do, to translate that networking and that, the importance of remaining top of mind with your network virtually and how to do so, how to translate leadership in zoom meetings and how to position yourself. There's a lot out there about how to present on zoom, but it's more than that. It's the narrative is how to, it's a different type of body language and a different type of engagement.
Dina: Yes, absolutely. Definitely.
Renata: Okay. But the way that we met was a really lovely, because it was a conference that you organise here in Melbourne focused on courage. And was it courage to lead or?
Dina: We just called it Courage Conference. It was the first Courage Conference in Australia. So we thought we keep it simple.
Renata: Yes. And I thought that that would be a great topic for us to unpack for the listeners of this podcast who are job seekers, who are in between jobs, who are maybe currently have a job but are very interested in their careers and in developing and advancing in their careers. So they could be looking at promotions, they could be starting to position themselves for future job hunting.
Renata: And taking that leap into it requires courage. I also as a coach that works with executives that are trying to come out of organisations or are already out of organisations. I have dealt with issues of courage, you know, you mentioned, and I want you to unpack things like moral courage and how to deal with in working environments that have a lack of courage and how does that translate so that people can listening to your examples and stories kind of go, ah, that's what it, that's why it was so hard for me. Yeah. So why don't you start, why don't we start by defining courage? That would be great.
Dina: Okay. Really big question because there are many, many definitions of courage and definitions of courage have evolved over time. And I'm talking about definitions of courage go way back to the ancient Greek philosophers. Our definitions of courage has evolved over time as society has valued different aspects of courage and as societies have also changed. So there's still many definitions of courage out there. And we can look at, you know, courage includes, and we can go into detail about this if you would like. It includes physical courage, it includes vital courage, it includes moral courage that you mentioned. Psychologists such as Chris Peterson and Marty Seligman talk about courage as a virtue under which four different strengths sit. And then we've got our definition of courage, which is based on my study and based on a review of the literature as well as my own experience in organisations. And this is terrible, but I can't give you the whole thing verbatim.
Renata: That's OK. I've read your definition of courage and I will add it to the episode show notes and I'll make sure that when we promote the podcast, it's there as a quote, but maybe, you know, just do your best. I'm sure you can manage.
Dina: I can give you the key words and, and the reason. So there's one key word in particular which I'll come back to, but key words in attic mission of workplace courage. Intentional. It's a moral law or constructive act and there's a degree of risk either to the individual, to the team, to the organisation and it's to either avert or resolve a workplace issue.
Dina: The word that is really, really important for me is the intentional pace. Because courage is a spiritual strength that sits in the middle of a continuum. And at this end of the continuum, it's quite a way away. We have cowardice and at this end of the continuum we have recklessness. So we have intentionally put the word intentional in our definition because that means that you have stopped and thought about the act that you were about to embark on. And if you stop and think about it and reflect on it, and it might be a couple of minutes, it might be a day, whatever the case is. But if you've stopped and reflected, you're more likely to sit in courage rather than ticking to cowardice or recklessness. And there are three questions that we encourage you to reflect on. And if I give you an example, and perhaps the example is about applying for a new role in the current environment.
Dina: So the first question I would ask you to consider is how worthwhile is that action? And we also suggested a quantitative scale from one to five where one is not at all worthwhile and five is extremely worthwhile. So how worthwhile is it? And those questions conjure up a number of different reflection questions for you depending on the situation. So if I think of applying for a new role in the current environment, how worthwhile is it? Well, okay, covid 19. Yes, that's out of my control. But in the current environment, I may be unhappy in my current organisation, I might be frustrated by a lack of autonomy in the work from home situation, whatever it might be. So how capable the questions might come up that helped answer the worthwhile piece.
Dina: The second question we'd like you to reflect upon is how risky is it to apply for that role? Again, not at all risky to very risky and you'd consider that. And then based on those two deliberations, the third question we ask you to consider is what action will you take? So if I stop and think of those three things, it's more likely to keep me encouraged, as I said, rather than take me over here or here. The thing I need to be really clear about, sometimes it takes courage to do nothing, to not act. And the other thing I really need to be clear about is what I may need courage for. You may not and vice versa. So it's a very subjective thing.
Renata: Yes, no, these are all very good points, especially in the workplace, you know, and in the way that some people may deal with news of let's say, restructures and redundancies with the news of going under administration or having to lock down. And you know, some people may, we talk a lot about anxiety and stress. And we use those words maybe because it's very hard for us to kind of go deeper into understanding what's happening. But I think courage is a great way of thinking about it, especially when we think about decisions that the leaders are having to take. And then of course there is that input is policy leavers and big decisions. And then the output, the courage from the people that are on the receiving end of those decisions, those big decisions and then what they do about it and how they react.
Renata: In my experience working with people that are in career transition. What I have found, however, is that there is a big issue of inertia. People have dreamed and romanticised about changing careers for decades and they haven't because they probably, you know, without even thinking much, they look at that scale of the risk and you know, the, the benefits and the costs of moving and they think, Oh, well, you know, life is okay here and I don't know if I am courageous or brave enough to actually take this leap and change my career or change my life. What covid has done now is just taking you out of that comfort zone to the point where it's, you have to be brave. What would you say to people that have not chosen to be brave? I mean you mentioned intentional, right? But now we all are. How do we unpack this?
Dina: One of the things that we encourage you to do and it's really curious that courage is part of the word encourage is to reflect on when you've been courageous in the past. And anytime I make that statement peg, Oh, I've never been courageous. What's really curious? We've done a number of interviews over the last two years and everyone I've interviewed has exactly said that all, I've never been courageous. And then we stop and we unpack and I just ask questions about, well, when has there been a risk in the past? When have you felt vulnerable in the past?
Dina: What did you do? When were you proud of something you did in the past? And what we find when we unpack those kinds of questions, and I will sit and listen as we do. And I will say, well, there's courage. And people go, Oh, and they go, ‘you’re right.’ So if we stop and think and unpack the past, we can say when we've been courageous in the past, we can say what we did, how we did it, how we felt, who enabled us, all those things. And then effectively what we're doing is collecting metadata in ourselves to then be able to apply in the future where we need to be courageous again. And I'll use an example, Paul Kennedy is a journalist on the ABC and I interviewed him, Oh, it must be two years ago now, I think. And, I was just asking him about some of the stories that he's reported on and written.
Dina: And you know, he said to me, ‘you know I’m not at all courageous.’ And I reflected back to him some of his stories and he said, and this is the other thing that people say, but that's my job. It's what I do. And in unpacking that as well, I've then asked, well, why do you do that? And then it's, it's always tied to values. So again, if we can think of when our values have really risen and come to the fore and unpack those stories, we can then actually find instances in the past where we've been courageous. So it's even with Paul with these courage, he went, Oh yeah. So it happens every single time. And I'm a big advocate of people being courage spotters. So when you spot courage in someone else, call it out because that helps build our self-awareness.
Renata: Can you practise courage? Is courage something that you can practise and enhance? I mean the spotting is a great idea. Identifying it in the past is another one. Can you also, is it like a muscle that you can train?
Dina: Absolutely. So I'm not sure if you know, I was accredited by Dr. Brene Brown in her work Desolate. Yes. So Brene talks about four key skills of courage. One is rumbling with vulnerability, two is living your values, three is braving trust. And the fourth skill is learning to rise, which is all about building your resilience. So in understanding those skills, you can then put plans into practise to build courage. And to be more courageous. Definitely.
Renata: Okay, so how, can you give an example of something that somebody could do if they are in between jobs and you know, trying to boost their courage to go out there and the job market again and reconnect with networks that they have that this person may have neglected for a decade or so. You need a little bit of courage to do that. How can you boost yourself up?
Dina: So there's a number of ways. The first thing that comes to mind is to sit with that sense of vulnerability. Because if I'm thinking I haven't connected with my network for years, I may also, and I'm making assumptions here, but I may also be thinking, Oh, if I connect with them now, what am I going to think? You know, I haven't, what reason am I going to use to connect with them? Now there's the risk. You know, what if, what if they don't return my call? What if they don't respond to the email I send? What if, what if? What if? So there's a risk. So clearly with that risk comes courage and clearly with that risk, there may be that sense of vulnerability. And vulnerability put really, really simply is that discomfort, the emotion felt when we're thinking we're about to embark on something and there's no guarantee of outcome.
Dina: So the first thing I would suggest is sit with that vulnerability and know that vulnerability is actually strength. You know, sometimes there's a few myths around vulnerability and one of them is that vulnerability is a weakness. But when you think about it, reconnecting with the network that potentially I haven't spoken to in a little while. Applying for a new job, transitioning my career, having the conversation with my current leader to say I'm not happy in my current role. That's on the work front. On the personal front, you know, building a relationship with someone, you deciding to start a family. Saying I love you first. You know, might there be discomfort, might it even feel awkward? Yeah, absolutely. But that's not weakness. That's strength. That's actually showing up and being seen. That's actually saying this is what's important to me. That's actually saying this is okay, this isn't okay. So actually to sit with that vulnerability and know that acting on it is actually a real strength and what we know is courage is contagious. So then someone else might go, Oh, if she can do that. Perhaps I can too.
Renata: Yes, I agree with both. Both things. Of course I do. I mean there's enough research that shows that, but the idea of vulnerability in the job hunting world is such an important one. People make so many excuses not to apply for jobs because they, the excuses are all you know, out there. But the truth is it makes you really, really vulnerable when you do apply and chances are you're not going to get it. This is what I always tell my clients, you know, you have, and this is a practise. We're going to practise, practise, practise. We are going to get data and feedback and we're going to improve your game and then you're going to nail it. But you need to get into that vulnerability. And it's, it's really, really tough, especially for the type of clients that I have, which are more senior execs and have a lot of experience under their belt. It's a completely different muscle that you have to use when you're job hunting.
Dina: And Renata with that too. Sometimes it's about building trust with yourself. So trust is one of the other skills that Brene speaks about based on her research and she's come up with the acronym BRAVING. And what I love about this acronym in terms of building trust is that it's actually my trust. I'm very tangible and demystified it. Because you know, again, trust is this beautiful strength, but it's also a little bit mysterious. We talk about, I trust this person. I don't trust that that person or whatever we say, but what does that mean? And so Brene came up with this certain acronym BRAVING and you know, there's more information on her website around it, but basically BRAVING stands for boundaries, reliability, accountability, the vote, integrity, non-judgment and generosity. And in terms of building trust, you can actually choose the elements that are most important in a particular relationship.
Dina: So rather than kind of thinking, I don't trust this person, well what is it? Is it because you haven't set boundaries with each other? Is it because you don't think they're accountable? Is it because integrity is an issue? Whatever it might be. And you can actually work on specifics now just as you can use this acronym to build trust with other people. You can actually use the same acronym to build trust with yourself. And I'll give you a, for instance, when I was in the States being accredited by Brene, you know, she took us through the acronym and as a facilitator I was sitting there thinking, Oh, you know, she's now going to ask us to identify someone and apply it. And sure enough she asked us to apply it, but she said, I want you to apply it to yourself. I sat there Renata and I went, Oh.
Renata: You weren't expecting that at all.
Dina: No. And I found it really confronting also, and I'll give you the short version of the story. Took me a long time to do it. But when I finally did it, there was this amazing sense of relief, because what she had us do was apply BRAVING to our call to courage. And my call to courage was about having a more balanced work life. But if we think of the current environment, my call to courage might be about, you know, career transition for instance. So if my call to courage is, you know, I am going to transition my career, I can then look at BRAVING and think about how I build trust with myself to be able to do that. And it could be, and again, clearly I'm making this up because it would be different for different people, but it could be about I'm holding myself to account, you know, if I've kind of said, okay, I am going to transition my career and you know, in the next six months I am going to with Renata’s help ongoing to apply for at least three roles, added my current sector out of my current organisation, whatever it might be in six months.
Dina: And then it's about keeping myself to account for that, you know, it could be the boundaries, well, what boundaries am I going to sit around the, you know, while I'm only going to apply in this sector or I'm only going to apply for these roles and I'm not going to apply if a job comes up. That I think is interesting. If it's outside of this type of role, I'm not going to apply. So you can use BRAVING to build trust with yourself to help you achieve your call to courage, whatever that called courage might be.
Renata: I wonder how courage fits into this idea of focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses, which always also comes from positive psychology and the whole Martin Seligman thing. Because what you want is for, you know, as a career coach, what I want for my clients is for them to focus on their strengths. How would the, I'm just sort of, you know, I went into this sort of tangent of thinking that maybe courage is taking them away from their strengths a little bit and opening up their horizons to look at things that they would normally not consider their strengths. What do you think about that?
Dina: Good thinking. My head's kind of going in all different directions.
Renata: You know, while you think, I think the reason why I'm kind of torn and, and you know, this covid situation has made us think about, you know, our paradigms and the way that we always define things and coach things a certain way. But especially if you think about clients that have a huge strength in working in a specific sector, that's all they've done, all their lines. You know, they've worked in the airline sector, they moved from Sydney airport to Quantas to Virgin airlines to whatever, always not as pilots, but as a HR director or operational CFO, COO, that's their strength. Their strength is really understanding how that industry works. And now here we are with the sector completely disappeared and they need to, you know, it affects not only their strengths but also their status quo, their ability to convey a message in a way that's understood by somebody from a completely different industry.
Dina: So I suppose Renata, what's going on in my head is, you know, based on work of Seligman and all the positive psychologists out there, when we think of a strength in knowledge of an industry, I think of that as a capability competency. So I have industry knowledge, I have knowledge of, you know, whether it's the HR director or CFO or wherever it might be. So I have competency and capability in an industry, in a particular role. If we think of strengths as those things that help us flourish, it's about for me then it's about using those strengths, those, and I actually picture in the graph that I use when I explain this and that's why I'm doing this and this, sorry, I speak with my hands. That's okay. I'm thinking of all the strengths that we use, that we flourish, that are outside of our competencies and capabilities and how do we engage those strengths potentially in a different sector. So if I think, for instance so let's say I was that person who was the HR director in the airline industry, perhaps I have the strength of curiosity. So how can I use that strength of curiosity to find out about a different sector and then apply myself that way? I might have the strength of, I don't know, I'm trying to think of another strength.
Renata: Now, I'm going to follow your lead on that because I think that that's a great cue for me and also for the listeners. You know, if they have done the strengths test from, the happiness website and they can, they know what their strengths are. So for me, for example is love of learning is my top strength. So if you have that strength, well, it has always been easier for me to transition from one sector to another. Anyway, I've done that in my career and I have taken in the past, I, you know, this is me. I'm such a dork. I get excited about applying for a role because it will teach me about an organisation in a sector that I don't know. So I'm, you know, such a student that I take that as an assignment and if I don't get the job, that doesn't matter because that week that I have applied for that role, I will have learned so much about that organisation. It will stay with me forever. So that's part of my coaching as well. I teach people how to be like that. But now that, in listening to you, I'm thinking I need to have, need to have my clients do the strengths test, and then I can then with that result, help them build their courage. That's really the leap that they need to do.
Dina: And know also in the via strengths, you've got the four strengths that sit under the virtue of courage. And those four strengths are authenticity and honesty, perseverance, zest or energy. And I've just gone blank. Oh, bravery, bravery. So there's those strengths that are amongst severe strengths. And we know that the beer strengths that we, well we actually had all of the strengths. We just express them to different degrees and heads. We have, you know, the top five or six strengths, which are our signature strengths and many other strengths. So even the strengths under courage, wherever they sit in your 24, you can actually, you do demonstrate them. But just in different degrees.
Renata: And I, the fact that you mentioned that courage is contagious is a great one because you may not have those strengths up there, but if people around you have them, you pick it up as a cough, you know, it's courage is not a pill. You take it, it's like the cough. You catch it. It, and I have seen that happen. So it's really great and you can see that a lot in the workplace. So I'd love for us to kind of for this tail end of our conversation to move away from job hunting and into workplace courage because I think a lot of people will relate to some of the examples that I've heard you talk about before. I was hoping that you would tell this new audience that may not have heard you before, talk about what courage looks like in the workplace and what the absence of courage looks like in the workplace as well.
Dina: Absolutely. So again, we need to be mindful that what I deem to be courageous and what I need courage for you may not, and vice versa. The workplace looks like lots of different things. It may look like speaking up in a meeting, it may look like giving someone feedback. It may be deciding that I'm going to, in the current environment if officers start to open up again, courage may be actually saying I'd like to continue to work from home. Courage in the workplace might be actually having work life balance. Courage might be bringing a new idea to the team. So, and the list goes on. We've put together a questionnaire Renata that has something like 35 different workplace situations that require courage. And that list is not exhaustive. You know, courage in the workplace might actually be when you see a group of colleagues go to have lunch together and courage my actually be going up to that group of colleagues and saying, do you mind if I join you for lunch?
Dina: So there are lots of different instances where courage may be required in the workplace. In the absence of courage. And this is based on the research by Brene, in the absence of courage, we don't speak about our feelings and fears, because we're concerned about what people might do with that knowledge. But in the absence of speaking about our feelings and fears, we actually find ourselves spending an inordinate amount of time managing bad performance. We don't give feedback and what we find, instead of speaking to people, we speak about them, which is totally unfair. Trust is corroded. We don't innovate because we're concerned about making mistakes and how will proceed. We get stuck in problem solving, which you may think, well that's a good thing, but we do it at the expense of actually identifying the cause of the problem.
Dina: And there's actually a quote out there by Einstein, which goes something like if I had 60 minutes to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes in problem identification and five minutes in solving that. What else? In the absence of courage we are, again, we're so concerned of doing or saying something wrong that we don't do anything. And I'm talking particularly around inclusion and diversity and equity. We're so concerned about saying the wrong thing. We don't say anything at all. And so we're actually by a lack of action. We're being exclusive and we're not being diverse. We look towards perfectionism and we know perfectionism is actually intricately tied to anxiety, which you mentioned earlier, and depression. So there's some of the things that happen in the absence of courage in the workplace.
Renata: You watching what's happening with covid and I yesterday, it's not available yet, but I interviewed Sandy. Do you know Sandy Hutchinson from Career money life? She's the former partner at Mercer HR partner at Mercer. And she has an outplacement platform that is used by many large clients going through restructures and she's forecasting more restructures to come out that we already have way more restructures than we've ever had before. The scale and the pace is much higher now doing covid and she's forecasting more restructures to come. How would that affect, do you think courage in the workplace? You would expect and want people to be more courageous because it's such a new reality that those new ideas and conversations and problem solving are so important. But also on the flip side of that, people might be scared of raising their voice because they might lose their jobs.
Dina: Absolutely. And again, it's about sitting with that vulnerability. And one of the, one of the big take outs that I took from Brene’s work was what's okay, what's not okay. And so having voice and actually being able to say, this is okay, and this isn't now tying that to your values. If you come back to your values every time when you reach that fork in the road, we know whatever the decision that needs to be made. Do I go this way or do I go that way is going to be an easier decision to make. I'm not saying it's going to be an easy decision, but it will be easier. So if we tap into our values and sit with the discomfort, but know that that just comfort that vulnerability is actually a strength, we're more likely to speak up. We're more likely to give feedback on what the restructure or how the restructure might impact. Now, please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying any of this is easy.
Renata: Yes, it is a privilege sometimes, isn't it? I mean, we speak from a place of privilege where, you know, we lose our jobs in Australia. We have job seekers, we have a safety net. My podcast is listened to in many parts of the world where that privilege doesn't exist. So it's very hard to speak up. Having said that, people do all the time. And it's amazing. So amazing.
Dina: And again, I come back to, you know what I don't want people to walk away from today is, well I'm just going to go out there and speak up, you know, come back to intentional, stop, reflect. How worthwhile is it to speak up? What's the risk associated with speaking up? And then as a result, what I do, and there's no magic answers there, there's no magic formula. But if we stop and think about it were more likely, again to sit in courage and remember, sometimes it takes courage to do nothing. The other thing to remember is we're not on our own. You know, sometimes this is, an I, this is something that I tend to do, which I'm trying really hard not to. Another part, another myth around vulnerability is that, you know, I can go it alone and all I know is that when I'm feeling my most vulnerable, I tend to shut people out.
Dina: And that's probably the worst thing I can do. Cause these are people who love me, who support me, who want me to succeed, who want to be there for me. We are neuro biologically wired to connect. And if we think we can go it alone, we're actually pushing against our own neurobiology. So, and I need to listen to myself when I say this and take my own advice. Connect with people who are going to give you strength, connect with people who can even give you a perspective on those three questions. You know who can, you can have conversation with, is it worthwhile? What's the risk associated? And when I say connect with people, connect with people who aren't going to tell you just what you want to hear, but actually who people who want you to succeed. And so I'm going to be honest with you and give you a perspective that you find valuable.
Renata: Yes. I'm so glad you mentioned that. You know, I mean, this is the reason why I have so much free content out there because you know, for years I've been doing career coaching. I've been very lucky to always have a client working with me. Now I have more because this is a big project for me now. But the amount of people that come to me and say, I love what you do, but this is not for me. You know, I can do this alone. And people that listen to what I have to say, but stay really quiet, they just sort of like a sponge. They're absorbing it at all. But they are, they really feel so, I don't know if there is a sense of shame of losing your job and, and they do not want to open up and there is no better person to open up and somebody who all I want is for you to get another job really, really quickly.
Renata: Believe me, you know, it's good for my reputation to get a job really quickly. That's all I want. And I think it's really, it gives you permission to be vulnerable with somebody who wants the best for you, but not like your best girlfriend or friend. You know, somebody that will have some tough love and guidance and to culture in the right direction and give you all the best advice to get you on your way to your new career or your new job. But some people are really reluctant to do that. They really, they cocoon themselves and they apply for jobs as if they were a factory of job applications at home all alone. And they really missed a great opportunity, I think to build their confidence, network, connect, get workshop ideas and get to a next job quicker.
Dina: There's a couple of paradoxes in Brene’s research and one of the paradoxes is, I consider when you show vulnerability as a strength, well, how fantastic for Renata to be vulnerable and how strong is she, you know, to be able to do that. But then I consider vulnerability in me and weakness. So, you know, one of the things to think about is that, you know, when you had looked to other people and gone, wow, you know, how strong is she he for demonstrating that vulnerability to apply that to self as well.
Renata: Yeah, that's a good point. Let's leave it at that. And you know, the good thing about, , this platform is that if people, what we discussed before in the workplace environment, and if people feel like they have, , something that they are uncomfortable with and they want to unpack that in a private, safe environment, we have a private group. This podcast has a private group for members only and it's free. It's a, you know, you sign up and there's some rules that you have to abide for. If you are not following the rules, you're kicked out. I've only kicked out two people so far, so it's okay. And you know, and you can ask away, you can share your concerns and there's lots of interesting people in there to answer and help you out. So if you're listening here and you want to unpack a situation, join the group. Dina, thank you so much for your time and your experience. We love, I loved having you here. Thank you for the opportunity. I love speaking courage. So I am very, very grateful. Thank you.
Thank you for watching this episode of The Job Hunting Podcast. I hope you found it useful and that it helps you with your job hunting and career plans. To find out how else I can support you, please visit my website and check my free tools and resources for job hunters, career changers and career enthusiasts, as well as the Job Hunting Made Simple online course and my private coaching and other services I offer. Most importantly don’t forget to subscribe to Reset Your Career, my community, so I can send you my weekly newsletter and all the perks and resources I give them. And please follow me on social media: I post daily on Instagram and Facebook to help professionals who are job searching, and looking to revamp their professional careers. I hope we keep in touch. Bye for now!
About the Host
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.
Contact Renata Bernarde
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