Meet the Coaches – Clare Edwards

Enter Stage Right…Clare Edwards!

Teambuilder, facilitator and Neuroleadership expert, with a love of Emotional Intelligence and how it can transform adversity and change. Clare is highly qualified, highly attuned and loves human-centred-design.

Clare is the founder and director of BrainSmart Consulting, and also another member of our fabulous coach community.

Make my brain smarter Clare!

Clare, what is your top tip to lead to successfully getting a job?

My top tip is doing everything within your power and influence to set yourself up for success. Ask for help, get support, listen to those who have gone before you, get a mentor. Know yourself, believe in yourself and every time you fall, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again.

Name one thing you would do if you were looking for a job today: 

I would spend as much time preparing mentally and emotionally as I would in searching for a job. There are a number of techniques you can practise to maximise your chances. One great tip is to watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on ‘Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are’ – 50+ million viewers can’t be wrong!

How long is “too long” to be searching for a job without successfully getting a job?

That’s a really interesting question. The first thing that comes to mind is “never ever give up” – the right job is out there for you; it just hasn’t presented itself yet! The next thing that comes to mind is to reflect on your actions and experiences to date. Is there anything you might need to change in order to improve your chances? You might not be aware of it which is where a career coach can definitely help you.

My advice to a job seeker who feels stuck or like their job search is taking too long:

Take time to reflect, ask yourself “Am I being too fussy? How am I preparing myself mentally and emotionally for the interview? Am I proactively asking for feedback?” Your job is out there, it may just need a little tweaking on your side!

My advice to applicants who want to stand out:

Focus on being interestED rather than trying to be interestING! Research the company, find out as much as you can then find opportunities in the interview to genuinely compliment something that the organisation has achieved. Show that you really really want to join this specific company and articulate why. 

The most common mistake I see people make when searching for a job:

Ah yes, I do this myself! They go straight to the required experience and skills and if they can’t match them 100%, they give up and move on to the next thing. It’s OK if you come up short on a couple of the requirements, your attitude and personality can more than make up for a couple of years’ experience or tertiary education. 

The most common career mistake I see people make:

Is to believe that they can’t go after what makes their heart sing. They are afraid to take risks and so become stuck in their comfort zone. My mentor is famous for saying “Don’t die with your music still in you” – find what you love to do and find a way to turn it into a career. Be patient, it might not be an overnight leap, but it could well be a worthwhile transition. 

What’s the most common thing you see hold people back from getting the job they really want?

Lack of self-belief and confidence, time and time again. They’ve often talked their way out of the interview before they’ve written the application letter. Also, they struggle to match their existing skills, competencies and attributes with the job they are going for. A career coach can help you map your strengths to what’s required of your dream job. It’s a question of thinking laterally which can be hard to do alone.

What does it really mean when you get a “thanks but no thanks” reply to a job application?

It doesn’t really mean anything and this to me is a really important point to take in. When we get a “thanks but no thanks”, we can so easily go into mind reading and berate ourselves for being no good then the self-talk kicks in “you’ll never get a job, no-one is interested in you, blah blah blah”. Remember it’s a competitive market out there, don’t take a ‘no’ to heart and try to find the gift in the challenge – by the law of averages every NO is one step closer to a YES! 

What is something someone searching for a job can do today to improve their chances of landing a job?

Get support, ask for help, get feedback, practise interviews, get someone to read over past applications, get your resume professionally looked at. You have to give yourself the best chance possible so leave no stone unturned.

What’s your favourite piece of advice or “words of wisdom” to give the people you coach?

I like to quote someone else’s words of wisdom, that great philosopher from the film ‘Castaway’ Chuck Noland ? “I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”.

Each day brings with it a new opportunity for you to find that ideal job. At the end of every day, find one thing that went well, maybe you made your target number of calls or committed to the research you said you would do. Treat getting a job like having a full-time job and plot your progress and successes – no matter how small.

Now let’s discover a bit more about Clare herself…

Clare, what gets you fired up in the morning?

Living on purpose. I left a very high paid corporate job to follow my passion of helping others to fulfil their potential, so every morning is another opportunity to do that. Might sound crass but it’s true!

How do you maintain your motivation?

I think when you find your meaning in life it’s not that hard because all motivation comes from within. I have though had a number of challenges in starting from scratch three times in succession, so I keep myself motivated by reassuring myself that I’ve succeeded in the past and can do so again. I also have the attitude that people need what I have to give, so I’m never selling, only serving.

What do you do when you just don’t feel like it?

I do it anyway! I’ve always been quite self-disciplined, so I don’t get urges for example to throw in the towel early and watch a film (or hit the Shiraz!). I will though give myself a mini break and say go for a 15 minute walk then get back on the horse.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

For this I need to thank my hero, Martin Luther King Jr who said “If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”

It’s not about getting into the C Suite (though that’s fine if it’s your goal), rather it’s about doing your best job possible in the role that you perform. That way, you can finish each day with a sense of achievement and contribution.

In my career I’ve cleaned toilets for a living and even at the young age I was, I visualised the hotel guests coming back after a long day’s work or sightseeing and saying “what a lovely clean bathroom” and that was all down to me!

What’s the worst?

Not so much advice but a strategy to avoid. Every time I handed in my notice in a job, I was offered more money, but still left. If you are unhappy, a rise in pay might appease you for a while, but it won’t last long. Motivation comes from within and we often leave jobs because boundaries have been crossed and personal values compromised. Stay true to yourself, always.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in your career/working life?

That my career journey has been more of a rollercoaster with broken down carriages and dodgy twists and turns than a straightforward upwards trajectory or series of amazing highs! And that’s OK, for it’s been in the dips that I’ve learned my greatest lessons.

If you could go back and tell your teenage self one thing related to jobs/career, what would be?  

Believe in yourself, know what you’re good at, learn what energises you and makes you feel good and make a career out of it.

Oh and if you need to clean toilets and serve coffee, that’s OK too ?

Connect with Clare here: