- On March 13, 2014
Emotional Intelligence in Career Transition—the Job Search (Part I)
While coaching clients in various stages of their career, I have found that certain Emotional Intelligence (EQ, emotional quotient, for short) elements are more relevant depending on what phase of career transition the person is in.
This is the first of a series of posts highlighting EQ elements that may be most helpful to you in the various stages of career transition:
Job Search—Interview–Hiring Decision–Job Offer/Negotiation–First 30 Days in the job
First, a quick intro to what I mean by “Emotional Intelligence.” I generally like Daniel Goleman’s definition. Goleman is the author of the 1995 book Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ.
Emotional Intelligence is the “capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others…for motivating ourselves…and for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships.”
In my own words, EQ gives us the capacity to recognize and manage our emotions, and those of others, so we are more effective in getting things done.
The EQ model that I usually use as a starting point for a leadership coaching relationship (the EQi 2.0, based on Dr. Ruevon Bar-On’s EQi work) distinguishes 5 components of EQ with 15 different elements:
Self-Perception component comprising Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, and Emotional Self-Awareness elements.
Self-Expression component comprising Emotional Expression, Assertiveness and Independence elements.
Interpersonalcomponent comprising Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy, and Social Responsibility elements.
Decision Making component comprising Problem Solving, Reality Testing, and Impulse Control elements.
Stress Management component comprising Flexibility, Stress Tolerance, and Optimism elements.
EQ in the Job Search phase
If you are in “Job Search” mode, you are researching, seeking opportunities, doing more networking, and revising, revising, revising your resume. If you are not employed while job seeking, this phase can seem like a lonely and demoralizing time. There will be a lot of alone time, disconnectedness, and lack of feedback–feeling like your resume has fallen into a black hole and recruiters too busy to return calls–and your own impatience with the slowness of the process. The five EQ elements most important to leverage during this phase are:
What it is: Respecting yourself and understanding and accepting your strengths and weaknesses
Why it is important now: You need to know and accept yourself before you can do your best work; Self-regard requires you to recognize where you do well as well as what doesn’t play to your strengths. This helps you do better targeting of opportunities that could be right for you. The job search can be a very deflating process. When your application is rejected, it is easy to take it personally. If your self-regard is not well-developed, you may tend to focus on your weaknesses and failures to a high degree and not appreciate the strengths that you have.
Statements that demonstrate Self-Regard: “That job description includes a lot of things I really enjoy doing so it might be a good fit for me.” “Well, chasing that opportunity didn’t work out as well as I expected. Next time I’ll do this differently.”
In the next post, I’ll discuss the importance of Emotional Self-Awareness, Stress Tolerance, Optimism, and Independence to the Job Search phase of career transition.
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