CPH Career: Standing out without home-grown expectations

I have a hard time sitting still when clients tell me: “I am looking for a job, but I am already so discouraged!”

Room for improvement
My mind starts buzzing with ideas, questions and suggestions. It is always a busy 10-15 minutes during which we go through all the main things the person has done in order to create a great CV and good application and use networking, social media and events.

In each case, believe me, there is room for improvement! And with many, unfortunately, there are huge gaps that mean the candidate needs careful steering.

Easily mistaken
Jobseekers often have the wrong self-image. They think they will be successful because they have titles and have attended courses – an MBA, those three magic letters, is often the worse culprit – and they think all the doors will be open.
Cluelessness about skills and capabilities is another problem, as is having no idea what you want or why you want it. Most often this bottleneck is rooted in cultural differences.

High expectations at home
Coming from a non-western European country can place a heaviness on the shoulders of a new graduate. Expectations at home are pretty high compared to those of a regular Danish graduate.

It is a fact that for our parents’ generation, Western European education was regarded as a high level of achievement that yielded a great, high-paying job. They encouraged it because they wanted to see their kids find a job and settle down.

Unhelpful concern
But those of you who have a family back home need to make it clear to them that being asked whether you have a job – every single time you phone! – does not help you get one.

Even worse, it stresses you out. And it can be precisely this stress that is blocking your mind from seeing your real needs and desires, and your real skills and abilities – not the ones you are ‘qualified’ as having by the text on your diploma.

If you manage to ‘isolate’ yourself from those expectations – and this takes work, believe me – you are most surely guaranteed to find your own way to stand out, get hired and be content with this!