For many people, being laid off can be a cause of panic. They fear they may not find another job, they might have to take a pay reduction, or they may need to accept a job they dislike to pay the bills. But circumstances like this bring hidden opportunities, and having a positive mindset can help you seek them out!
Alison was working in the travel industry, and when the pandemic hit, she was laid off from her role. While people around her panicked, she saw it as an opportunity to show off her skills and ability to add value to a different company. She secured a new role in just three weeks and she joins me this week to share how the combination of self-confidence and a positive mindset helped her land her dream job.
Tune in this week to hear how having a positive mindset allowed Alison to turn being laid off into a positive experience, and why believing in herself enabled her to land a better job than the one she left behind. We discuss the importance of knowing your own value, and why once you develop self-confidence, there’ll be no limit to your success. You have a choice in the way you view things – choose wisely!
This is the Get a 6-Figure Job You Love Podcast. This is episode 20: Success Interview with Alison.
Hey there, welcome to the Get a 6-Figure Job You Love podcast. I’m your host Natalie Fisher. I’m a certified career mindset coach who also happens to want to skip all the BS and get to what it really takes to create real results for you in your career. On this podcast you will create real mindset shifts that will lead to big results and big changes in your career and your income. No fluff here. If you want to get a 6-figure job you love and create real concrete results in your industry and make a real impact you’re in the right place. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Hello, hello. Welcome to the podcast today. So today I’ve got a special guest on, Alison. She’s one of the most accomplished people that I’ve worked with. And we’re going to be talking about a lot of things. I’m going to get started by asking Alison to introduce herself and tell us a little bit about where she started.
Alison: Hi. Thank you for having me on your podcast, I’m very honored. Yeah, so about me, I am a marketing manager at a tech start-up in Victoria, BC. And what kind of background do you want? I don’t know how to introduce myself for everyone.
Natalie: Yeah. So let’s start out – but what kind of inspired the podcast, which was the pandemic hit and you had lost your job. And let’s take it from there, because I know I told a lot of my clients this story and they were really impressed and really interested in how you moved through it. So I know a lot of people lost their jobs during the pandemic. And some people are still struggling with it. And you had a really successful story that I think will inspire a lot of people. So let’s start there.
Alison: Sure. So I think part of the reason my approach when being laid off during the pandemic was a bit different was because I’ve had quite few a jobs in the past. And I had been through layoffs in the past, although during the first time, I was laid off several years ago. I had a very similar approach and basically I just thought of it as an opportunity. And when things like this happen in the world, yes, we always fear the worst possible outcome, which is that we’re going to be without a job. We’re not going to have money to support our families.
We might have to take something that isn’t as good of a fit for us that pays less. All these thoughts go through our mind. But realistically there is always still opportunity. And it’s just about the way you approach it. And during the pandemic there were a couple of different opportunities I saw. First, the job I was laid off from was directly impacted by the pandemic because they were in the travel industry.
And the way I thought about it was while I have all this new experience that I gained from that job. And I was excited to apply it somewhere else in a company that is going to be growing during the pandemic and not stagnating for the next year or two while all of the travel stuff got sorted out. So I really was very excited to use those new skills somewhere else. And the other thing was, when looking at things like the stock market, which is not as job related but there’s a lot of opportunity there when there’s downfalls like this and the market crashed.
And it’s funny because I was working with a financial planner at the time for the last several months because I was actually on mat leave and we were planning for the mat leave year where we would be on reduced incomes. And she was making sure that we had this emergency fund. And she didn’t want us spending any money on unnecessary things. She wanted to make sure that we would be okay in the case of one of us losing our jobs, and also handling that reduced income.
And basically I took all of my emergency savings and I didn’t tell her and I invested all of it into the stock market. And this was after I got laid off. And for some reason I wasn’t worried about this at all, it wasn’t a scary thing to me. I thought the stock market’s crashed, it’s down. It’s only going to go up from here. The only chance is to make money out of this, even if it’s not a lot. And I did and it wasn’t a lot, but it was definitely something. And I certainly didn’t lose any money. So it kind of reinforced that decision to just go for it, take the risk.
And I see finding a new opportunity similar to that. Yes, it’s risky to be without a job, but there is also opportunity to find something better and more exciting. And that opportunity always exists whether or not you see it right away.
Natalie: Yeah. And I think something really important to note there is that you immediately started looking for the opportunities. You immediately went to that place in your mind where you were like what are the opportunities, what is happening? To the point where you even got excited about it. And that’s not something that people do on autopilot automatically or very quickly very often. So that’s, I think one of the main reasons that led you to be successful so quickly, because I know you got the job within the month or less, right?
Alison: Yeah, it was within three weeks I got the new job. And I had only applied to a handful of positions at that time because I was still really wanting to find something that was a good fit for me. And I have this thing about not being able to work in a job that I don’t think would be satisfying to go to work every day. So I only applied to a handful of places and I got two interviews.
And while I was in the offer process for the job that I have now I was offered another interview that I ended up turning down because I had already accepted, or I already knew I was going to accept the other job offer. And the way I looked at it was there were job postings available, obviously there weren’t as many for the type of position I was looking for.
But the fact is, is if a company is posting a job regardless of the global climate, they are looking for someone. And they should be just as happy to find you to work for them as you are to have found that job that’s a good fit for you. So I think a lot of people have this mindset of I’d be so lucky to find a job right now, I’d be so grateful. And they don’t realize that a lot goes into recruiting, cost, and time, and finding that perfect skill set in the employees that you’re looking for to help grow your business. And they consider themselves just as lucky.
And I’ve spoken to employers and recruiters about this, and it is a really high cost. So if they find someone who is a great fit for the company, that’s a big win for them. So you should, yeah, people should remember that because it’s not just a one way thing where you’re the only happy one and grateful one. They are also really benefiting from finding a good fit as well.
Natalie: Yeah. So definitely a couple of things I wanted to ask you about there, because that has a big large part to do with how you think about yourself. So that is something that I work with my clients on a lot is how they think about themselves. And a lot of people are in that mindset of I’d be so lucky to have that opportunity. I hope they pick me, I hope they like me. And that’s kind of where they’re coming from. And you took a really different approach to that where you were thinking, yeah, they would be lucky to have me too.
And I think that requires an upgraded mindset and way of thinking about yourself in order to come to that place and believe that. And then align with the roles that are the caliber of roles that you are looking for. So would you talk a little bit about how you thought about yourself and your self-concept during that time that kept you aligned with the right positions and ultimately led to you getting the one that you have now?
Alison: Sure. I would say it’s definitely about confidence in yourself. It sounds cliché, but it’s a 100% the truth. If you’re looking through job specs and you’re reading through the list of responsibilities in the role and you can match yourself up to all of those skill sets, or most of them, you generally feel pretty good about applying for that job and interviewing, and you’re confident in what answers you would have to the questions related to the experience that you’d need to have in that role.
And that’s the type of confidence that you need going into interviews, knowing that you know what you’re talking about. And I think a lot of the time when you look at job postings there is such a large range of skills that you’re not necessarily going to hit all of them. And that might shake your confidence a bit.
But what I normally do in that case, and it always happens, there is no job posting that’s a 100% a fit, some of them are 80%, 90%, they all vary. But on those skill sets that you see that you’re not confident in, you cannot let them shake you up if you basically make yourself confident.
So if there are a couple of things in there that you don’t know how to speak to very well, just go and Google it and learn about it before you go into the interview. And have an answer ready for if you were in that’s situation and you had to fulfill this one responsibility in the job role. What is it that you would do, even if it’s something that you’ve never done before? And if you can feel confident in that answer that you would give, then that’s going to boost your confidence a lot.
And I had to do that in the most recent job that I’m in now. There was a skill set listed; it required to have knowledge about creating thought leadership content specifically, in addition to just other relevant content for marketing. And I hadn’t really done a lot with thought leadership content, larger pieces of content like whitepapers and webinars. And it was a little bit intimidating to me knowing that I would have to be in charge of those things and really drive those things. And I just did a bunch of research, what makes a good whitepaper? What makes a good webinar?
And I figured out the things that made me confident to speak to those topics and I was able to do that and I went into the job and I had to do those things. And yeah, it was a little intimidating but knowing that I had the knowledge even though I had never actually been through it myself before and having to do it, really, really helped a lot and just made such a huge difference.
Natalie: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that is for sure something that a lot of listeners are going to struggle with is using the job descriptions against themselves. Because I know that many of my clients do that and they could often look at the job description and get really discouraged. So those are some really good strategies that you worked through there to be able to turn that around so that it wasn’t an issue for you. And agree that they always want to cast a wide net and they want to ask for every single possible thing.
And the most important thing to be able to have is the confidence that you can figure it out. So just like you were talking about in the beginning when you lost your job and were able to find a new one quickly, just like that in the same manner you have the same kind of mindset that that’s where you’re sort of telling yourself in some capacity, I will figure this out. One other thing that I wanted to ask you about was – well, actually I have a lot more questions.
But the next thing that I wanted to ask about was the interview process itself, because I know that when, like you did your interview prep, and that was really good to talk about how you did that. When you actually got into the interview what were your thoughts during and as you were in it when you were being asked things that you might not necessarily have had experience with, how did you handle those questions?
Alison: Yeah, that’s a good question. And it kind of depended on what I was being asked about that I didn’t have experience with. If I didn’t have experience of something, depending on what it was, I would just be honest about it. And I would say…
I was actually asked if I’d be willing to write a lot of the content instead of outsourcing to a writer. And I said, “Yeah, I mean I could write occasionally, but to be honest that’s not my strongest skill set and it’s something that I would prefer not to spend my time on because it’s very time consuming. And it’s more cost effective to outsource this. And it would be better quality as well because writing isn’t my skill set. I can do a lot of other things that you want me to do, but that’s not one of them.”
And I was very upfront and honest about that because I knew going in that that’s not something I wanted to be signing myself up for. With other things such as the webinars and whitepapers, I kind of faked it till I made it a little bit. Because even though I didn’t have experience with those things, I knew that I would be fully capable of doing them.
So with the research that I did prior to, and the bit of experience I kind of had in previous jobs, being involved in some of those projects, I knew that I’d be able to do it myself, it was just that unknown, the fear of unknown, because I’d never actually done it before. But it didn’t mean I didn’t think I could do it.
Natalie: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that the self-confidence, so I talk about this concept of regular confidence versus self-confidence. If you haven’t seen or heard me talk about that, it’s essentially regular confidence is you’re leading on things that you’ve already done in the past and you know that you can do them. But that’s limited because it runs out, because you’ve only done so many things in your past. So what you need is to rely on what Alison is talking about which is self-confidence, which is your ability to figure things out.
So, Alison, would you expand a little bit on your thoughts about yourself when it comes to your self-confidence and how that’s grown once you figure more things out as you have and been able to build a track record for being able to figure out more things that you’ve done since you started the job and now? What are the kind of main thoughts you have about yourself besides you can figure it out that you think have led you to where you are?
Alison: Yeah. I’m just thinking about what to answer for that. I think definitely the more that you do and the more often you can get yourself out of your comfort zone. Because that really helps confidence as well, and if you’re growing, that’s kind of a requirement, is to be out of your comfort zone and do things that you’ve never done before. In my case I had to host a webinar a few weeks ago and I was pretty nervous about that. But now that I’ve done it I feel confident in saying, “Yes, I can host webinars.”
Just that’s a new skill set that I’ve added and in future job opportunities I’ll be able to speak very confidently about that. And yeah, I’d say just the more experience you gain the more your confidence grows, which makes sense. But it does require some work to push yourself to doing those things that you haven’t done before. If everything’s too easy then you know you’re not really moving forward.
Natalie: Yeah, those are some really good comments, and also definitely being aware that moving towards your growth is going to be uncomfortable. And getting out of that comfort zone is something – it’s just an important realization that none of us get to escape, not even the most successful people. They still have to be uncomfortable when they do something they’ve never done before.
Another thing I wanted to ask you to talk about a little bit was in the interview itself I know that you got thrown off sometimes when somebody didn’t necessarily give you the approval in the interview. And that’s something that a lot of my clients struggle with sometimes. They’ll get thrown off when they don’t receive that validation, or that approval, or acknowledgement from the interviewers.
And I just wanted you to talk about how you kind of thought about that during the interview so that it didn’t mean that you showed up any less confidently throughout the whole thing?
Alison: Yeah, that’s a good one. I think a lot of interviewers will have a bit of a poker face in most cases, and in my experience, interviewers don’t kind of like to give any sense of how they’re feeling about the interview. And yeah, I have been thrown off lots of times in lots of interviews. I think as well – how do I say this? Yeah, the interviewers want to – sometimes they try to intimidate you a little bit because they want to see how you respond in that type of environment.
And I remember interviewing for a job quite a few years ago and I felt a bit tested by the interviewer. She was asking me how I would rate myself on certain skill sets and using certain tools. And I was afraid to rate myself as a 10 out of 10 because I was worried she was going to ask me, “Well, how is that possible? Everyone always has learning to do. You can’t possibly be a 10 out of 10.”
And so yeah, I think that it depends on the interviewer. But you have to understand that that really means nothing, the way that, you know, the way that they’re behaving in an interview it honestly means nothing. And they’re probably going away and debriefing with other team members and talking about how impressed they were. That’s the likely possibility.
If you feel confident about the way you’ve interviewed then you just have to walk away from it feeling like you couldn’t have done any better. And if they don’t like you based on that interview then nothing could have changed because you did the best you could have possibly done. You were happy with all the answers you gave and just conclude that it wasn’t a good fit for you.
Natalie: Yeah, I think that’s some really good comments there. And I think that when people do – because you were still able to be successful even when those things happened. And I know that a lot of people have thought that they have – kind of outsourcing their validation to whether or not somebody else is approving of them or not. And so when that happens then they feel like they start showing up less confidently because they are kind of looking for that validation.
So the fact that you were able to go through despite that and kind of some of the thoughts that you’ve shared about how it doesn’t mean anything, their reaction doesn’t mean anything because it’s about how confident you are and if you’re happy with your interview. I think that’s the key mind frame to take away from it, because that’s the only thing you can control. So while we’re talking about other people and other people’s opinions, there is something else I wanted to go back and ask you about.
So when you first lost your job you had the mindset of that was going to create success for you. But other people around you didn’t, other people were saying things like, “That’s not – you might try but it might not be realistic.” And remembering, and we all have this happen where other people come in and they give their opinions and stuff. And I think that the way that you kind of were aware of that and navigated it, is important to know. Would you talk about how you kind of think when other people kind of give you their opinions and they don’t really serve you?
Alison: Yeah. I like talking about this one because I feel like everyone experiences this. Yeah, so my husband, he was pretty bumped out when I lost my job, and I think more so than I was. Because we’re at that point in our maternity leave year where he was about to take six months off of work and I was about to go back to work. She he was really bumped because he thought he wasn’t going to be able to take that time off and that he’d have to keep working.
And he has a completely different mindset to me, it’s like complete opposite and I have to battle it sometimes in these types of situation because he’s been in the same job for over a decade. And he’s got such low confidence when it comes to finding jobs at different companies. And he would be terrified of losing his job, he just wouldn’t know what to do or where to start, it’d be like starting over for him.
And with parents who they’re a bit of a different generation, they’re used to working in the same career for their entire lives or very few careers compared to our generation now. So if you lose your job to them it’s a huge deal and what are you going to do? You could be unemployed for months and months. And my boyfriend or my husband’s parents also kind of had that reaction and thought oh no, that’s great that Alison is so confident that she’s going to find something but she has to be realistic. And the chances are she could be unemployed for months to come still.
And I’d hear my husband and his parents having these conversations on the phone. And I’m just thinking to myself I’m going to prove them all wrong. And I’m going to come out with something better than I had before. And I kept telling all of them, “You’re ruining my vibes. Let me do my thing and let me just show you that I can get a job.” Because I was so confident in myself to be able to find something else, I had no doubt in my mind.
And it was just annoying to have these people around me telling me that I couldn’t do that for these reasons. And I was like, “Yeah, that might apply to other people but it doesn’t apply to me.” And as long as there are job postings out there that are ones I’m interested in and fit what I can do, I’m going to get one of them. And I think part of the reason I felt like that is because – I mean yeah, probably the confidence I gained in the past couple of interviews that I’d had before in previous roles, I just, I nailed them.
Each time I didn’t apply to many positions, I went in super confident, not arrogant but confident in my ability to be able to do exactly what they wanted to do which was drive results. And in each instance I was able to do that and felt really good about the work I had done in those companies which really gave me the confidence to tell the future company that I work for now that, “Yes, this is what you’re looking for. I can make this happen.” And I think that gave them the confidence in hiring me and it actually gave me a lot of confidence when negotiating a salary as well.
Natalie: Yeah. So the takeaway from that is when someone tells you that you have to be realistic and to be prepared for not achieving what you want the thought is I will prove you wrong, just watch me?
Natalie: And I think that the only – the reason why you wouldn’t go there automatically is because you yourself have the doubts, and so when, Alison, the perfect demonstration of when you are confident in yourself then that’s where your mind goes. It doesn’t go to, you’re right or you might be right, it goes directly to just I don’t need to hear that. I’m going to prove you wrong, just watch. So I think that’s a really good just mental shift for everyone to know that is available to you if you are in a position where somebody is kind of bringing down your vibe.
So yeah, let’s talk a little bit now about how you had several opportunities going on. And I remember one of our conversations was where you were thinking maybe I should interview for this other role even though I’m getting the offer for this role. And a bit about around self-doubt and what we talked about there, because I know one role was going to be, you were going to be reporting to somebody and in the role you’re in now you’re basically starting the department and you are leading the department now.
So talking a little bit about your decision around that and your thought process around what led you to make the decision.
Alison: Yeah. So the two different options I had was the role I have now which is Head of Marketing, it’s leading the department. It’s working with the rest of the leadership team. It’s at a smaller company so it’s a little bit different in the sense that that structure isn’t already there. And that strategy doesn’t already exist which is a really great opportunity to grow as a leader as well is the way I looked at it, which is ultimately why I went with that job.
The other opportunity that I didn’t end up interviewing for, I ended up canceling, was a larger company which there’s benefits to that as well. They’re just more well established, it’s a little bit more stable because they’re making positive revenue. And the only difference was that I would be reporting to a VP or a Director of Marketing. So I wouldn’t be leading the team. I would be at a lower level but probably making a very similar salary just because it was at a larger company. And I would also have a few people reporting to me at that job as well.
So I think that was the most appealing part was getting that people management experience. But overall it wouldn’t have been on the leadership team, it wouldn’t have been the Head of the Department, which is the type of skill set that I wanted to develop. And it was out of my comfort zone but again a lot of the things I kind of had to figure out.
And part of the intimidating thing there was that, I have a lot of experience managing marketing teams. But I’d never been on a leadership team before where we talk about company level decisions to do with culture, and to do with hiring and all that stuff that’s not marketing related but is discussed at a leadership level. So that actually has been out of my comfort zone but it’s been such amazing experience. And it’s experience that I wouldn’t have gotten at this other job.
And the other way I looked at it as well was long term opportunity and if I can help drive results for the smaller company as a Head of the Marketing Team, there is a lot more opportunity there for growth. There isn’t already a VP of Marketing, so I don’t have any competition. That would just be me moving up and it would happen faster and it would happen easier as well. Whereas with a larger company where I’d be reporting to a VP of Marketing, well, if they don’t go anywhere that’s never going to be me.
So I had to really weigh up the pros and cons, but I’m pretty comfortable and happy with the decision that I ended up making.
Natalie: Yeah. And obviously it was a really good decision. And we’ll talk a bit more about the value that you brought away and everything. But in the beginning when you were making the decision I remember you did have some self-doubt in one of our conversations where you were thinking, you had a moment of how am I going to deliver on this? And so we talk a little bit about how looking back now what you have accomplished and what you have delivered and kind of what you would tell your past self about those fears back then.
I guess it was just a few months ago because you’ve only been in the job six months, so yeah.
Alison: Yeah. I think there is always fear about being able to deliver what you promised. And for me it was, I was really scared because when I had the interview and I kind of gave my little speech for negotiating my salary. I basically told them that, “Yes, I’m the person who can help take your company to the next level. And I can deliver these great results that you’re looking for. And yeah, give me six months and I’ll show you that I can do it.”
And it’s always going to be scary saying something like that and being confident about it because you know so little about the company. You don’t know what’s already going on with their marketing stuff or whatever department you’re applying for. And you have so little insight into the operations of the company that realistically you could walk into somewhere and it could be very difficult to drive results. But you have to be confident that if it’s possible, that you can do it because you know that you’re good at your job and what you do, and you’re an expert at that.
So yeah, I mean I’m the type of person who likes to deliver on what I promise. So that was a lot of pressure to be able to do that. But yeah, I mean I’ve been there for six months and in the first six months I’ve been able to increase their leads by over 30%. We’ve signed on a good chunk of new customers which is something that they had kind of seen stagnate for a while. So now we’re starting to see that upwards trend and that’s resulted from a lot of the paid advertising that I’ve been doing in the marketing team and a lot of the SEO stuff.
So yeah, I mean I kind of even exceeded my own expectations to be honest, the goals that we had set for me, the quantitative ones. I think we had set 20% lead growth. But yeah, so I mean I think that you just have to come up with a good plan and feel confident in the plan. And feel confident that if it can be done that you can do it.
Natalie: Yeah, absolutely, great points. And also coming back to that self-confidence piece of I know I can figure it out, I’ll figure it out and just having that attitude about it. And there were also some concrete ways that you brought value right away. So you had the goal set, you knew kind of what your results to achieve were, so you were very focused on that. But there were also some bonuses that you contributed value to the company by bringing in some leads from personal contacts and some other things that made the CEO really impressed.
So would you talk a little bit more about concretely adding value once you get into the role because then that allowed you to get your pay increase without any sort of questions? They were happy to pay you because you had already shown and added that value. So maybe you could expand a little bit on that.
Alison: Sure. So my goal to show value aside from the quantitative goals that I had set with my new boss was to just look for other opportunities for adding value so that it all just compiled on top of each other. And these things weren’t necessarily things that we had discussed that I need to achieve. But they were still very valuable things. So a couple of examples were, I just reached out to connections that I had at other companies that I thought would be a good fit for the product that we’re selling. And set up a couple of demos. And my boss was pretty impressed with that.
One of them was more of an enterprise level lead. So it would be a really high value to the company. And then another thing that I did was just worked really hard to get us out of this large expensive two year contract that we had with a vendor that we weren’t using, but we were locked into a non-cancellable contract. And I think the value was over a $100,000. And I jumped through lots of hoops and spoke to about 10 different people and just didn’t give in.
And they finally told us we could cancel and we ended up saving around $60,000 of the contract value, that we could then reallocate to something else. So yes, making money was kind of the key measurement for me. But you can also look at other ways to show quantitative value and cost savings, because that’s just as meaningful as making money. It’s basically the same thing, just in some cases it’s a little bit easier to do. So just looking at all the opportunities to add value and that way it all compiles.
And even if you miss some of your other targets it doesn’t seem as much of a big deal because you’re obviously capable of doing other things like negotiating big contracts or bringing in leads from your own connections, just examples like that.
Natalie: Yeah. So definitely just looking, even just looking for ways to add value and asking yourself that every day, how could I more value? And then your brain answering those questions is definitely what, like just that focus is what will lead you to add more value. Another thing that I wanted to ask you about was when you set the targets and at the beginning you kind of thought you were going to have to take a pay cut because of Covid, and you were kind of nervous about it.
And then you ended up negotiating a deal where they would give you $15,000 extra if you achieved these targets in the next six months. And something that you spoke about just now about being kind of nervous and having fear that you wouldn’t be able to deliver is something very common. And I think that it causes a lot of people to undersell themselves because they’re like, “Well, I don’t want to promise that because what if I can’t do it?”
And that leads you to then not speak very confidently about what you can do because you’re not thinking about what’s possible, you’re thinking about what’s safe and what’s conservative. And so I think there is a balance and that’s something that I work with my clients on a lot. Yeah, but the balance between believing in yourself that you can achieve something and then also not overpromising to the point where you have never done it before. So having that confidence based on enough of your track record, but also enough self-confidence to do it.
So would you talk a little bit about how your negotiation went and now how you were able to just go in and they didn’t even have to talk, like there was very short conversation about giving you the salary increase at the six months?
Alison: Sure. So it was actually an interesting conversation when they made me the offer. And our company has this policy where they don’t negotiate because they don’t want to be taken advantage of by good negotiators is what they say. And they want to make sure that they’re being fair to all of the applicants. So when they first kind of told me how much they were going to offer me I was a little bit disappointed. I mean it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. It was the same amount that I had been making for the past year and a half.
And I knew I was worth more than that at this point and I’m ready to take that next step up. I think they offered me that because while you can only get so much information from one interview and they didn’t fully know what my capabilities were. And it’s probably a bit of fear on their side as well that I’m not going to be able to deliver results and because they’re not going to know that until they actually hire me and I’m in the role. It’s one of these things that’s so hard to tell.
So they made me an offer and I gave my spiel and said, “Look, I know I can take the company to the next level but it’s lower than I was expecting. And I was more so thinking about the higher range of what you had listed on the job posting.” And I just listed the number that was at the very top of their range, the highest amount that they were willing to pay for this job. And I thought well, you know what? They’re willing, I mean they put this on the job posting and they were open about what they wanted to offer and so I’m just going to shoot for the moon and just yeah, I want the very maximum.
I’m going to be exactly what you’re looking for. And like I already mentioned, there is always a bit of a fear in committing to something like big results because you don’t know anything about the company or you just have limited information. And everyone I think is always going to have that fear, even if you’re a very confident person just because you don’t have the insight that you need to be able to have all the answers right away. So I think you have to get comfortable with not having the answers right away and just knowing that you can get the answers once you start the job.
Give yourself time to learn about the company and what it is you need to know to then be able to come up with your plan to drive results. So I think that that’s the main confident shaker when negotiating, is that little fear in the back of your head telling you, well, I don’t truly know if I can do this because I don’t know enough. But you just have to tell yourself, if it’s possible you’re the one who’s going to be able to do it.
And I took that mindset. I had done it before which probably gave me some of the confidence as well. But I just knew, regardless of the situation, if they had a good product that people wanted and they had a good product market fit that I would be the one who would be able to help them sell it.
Natalie: Absolutely. And yeah, and then six months later when you went in to have your review tell us what happened.
Alison: Yeah. So I was actually a bit nervous about it because even though I knew I had hit all the targets, in the past I had been promised salary increases. And they’ve been actually taken back for various excuses that I don’t think were valid. But yeah, it was a very quick meeting.
I got on the call and my boss just immediately said, “Yeah, this is probably going to be a really quick call. You’ve hit all your targets. I’m really impressed with what you’ve done with very limited resources on the team. I think you’ve actually had a really big impact on the recent growth and success we’ve been seeing in the last few months. And I have absolutely no hesitations with giving you your pay increase and I have really enjoyed working with you so far.” So it was a really good satisfying feeling to have.
Natalie: That’s what happens when you add value and are thinking in that way to add value every day, so definitely a really good example of that, so a few more things. What advice would you offer someone who’s maybe in a position right now where there’s no room for them to grow and maybe they are being – because I know this is very common too. They’re being offered salary increases and then they get taken back and then they’re not really getting promised what they are saying they’re going to do.
Now with everything that you know, what would you advise somebody, what words of wisdom do you have for someone who’s in a position where they know that they don’t want to be?
Alison: Yeah, I’ve been in this situation before too in the past. And in some cases I’ve stayed in those roles for a little bit too long. And it’s taken me a while to realize. And I think a lot of people actually go through that because they get comfortable. And nobody likes to look for a new job and learn a new job and have that initial pressure of performing well and not being fired in the first three months.
But if you’re someone who is looking to grow your career and you’re in a job where you just know that it’s not going anywhere. And you know that in the back of your mind but you’re ignoring it for whatever reason you might have. I mean this sounds cliché, but just take the risk, just look for something else where you do think there will be potential. And just try not to let that fear get to you because that will hold you back. And I think the fear of the alternative is what motivates me the most.
So the fear of thinking I could be in this job for the next five years and still not go anywhere, and still not make more money, and still not be more respected, that fear is more motivating for me than the fear of I might start a new job and it might not work out and then I have nothing. Because I have the confidence to just keep finding something else. And sure, an emergency fund definitely helps take the leap. But yeah, I definitely think the fear of the alternative of what could be is worse for me than the risk of losing things.
Natalie: Yeah, absolutely. It’s kind of like you’re uncomfortable staying where you are because you know that you could do more. But it’s also uncomfortable to move forward. So it’s like which type of discomfort would you rather have? And I think you put it perfectly, where you’re kind of seeing into the future and what it looks like. And there are a lot of people who look back on their careers and think I really should have left sooner. But this is what we’re here to tell you today.
So yeah, and for those listening who are considering maybe working with me or getting some additional help to make things happen as far as their career goes, in advance. What would you kind of describe your experience of how I’ve been able to kind of work with you in a way where you have changed the way that you think? You have mostly done it yourself because you had a very strong mindset. But just to give people kind of an idea of what that would be like.
Alison: Yeah. We’ve had several conversations and I think every time I have self-doubt I’d call you automatically. It’s my initial response to that. And I think what happens on our calls is that you’re able to just ask me questions in a way that make me really think about things logically and put things into perspective. And make me realize that yeah, I have no reason to be doubting, or fearing, or being worried. And you just you have a way of really putting things into perspective and showing me what it actually really looks like.
It’s kind of a reality check, I just get in my own head sometimes and we think irrationally and illogically. And we try to make sense of things but it’s hard when you’re right in it and you’ve got all these unconscious self-doubts and stuff like that. So yeah, I’d say you just do a really good job of painting a really clear picture of the reality of the situation. And it really helps to create confidence. So yeah, I mean a lot of my confidence is definitely attributed to the conversations that we’ve had.
Natalie: Thank you for putting that so eloquently, Alison. So yeah, is there anything else that you would like to add that you think has made you successful? And looking back at where you were six months ago and where you are now how do you think that your self-concept has changed and what do you think has attributed to the success in the short amount of time?
Alison: I think the biggest thing is it’s kind of like a cycle. You gain confidence from being able to achieve the things that you want to achieve and drive the results you want to drive. But if you haven’t done a lot of that yet it’s hard to grain that initial confidence. So I think that’s when trying to create that confidence and convince yourself that you can do these things, I think it’s the hardest part, but it’s kind of what gets you going. And once you have that initial confidence you start actually seeing the results. And those results are driven by your confidence.
So that really is the key in all of it. And then those results make you even more confident. So it’s kind of that cycle of confidence and results and it kind of just feeds off of each other. And I think that that’s probably the biggest thing. Every time I drive great results I feel even better about myself and my ability to do my job, and grow my career, and move to the next level, because I know that I can drive businesses forward, yeah.
Natalie: Yeah, I think that’s really well said. And also just like it’s like a compounding effort. So the more you put yourself out of your comfort zone the more that you prove that you can do something. And the more that you start with what you do know, the more that you move forward and then there’s kind of no turning back because you’re building this confidence. And so it can just as easily happen the other way around.
If you’re training yourself to think about yourself in a way that does not make you feel confident or you feel unworthy, you’re training yourself in the opposite direction, so just making that distinction. And if you’re in that place right now where you’re not feeling very confident, that it’s not you, there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just a simple brain shift and then you can gain momentum in the other direction. So yeah, I think that was a really good way to put it. So was there anything else that you wanted to add or share with everybody before we sign off? No? Alright.
Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast, I think it was really great. And everyone’s going to get a lot, a lot of value from all the insights that you shared and yeah, thank you so much. Bye.
So if you love listening to this podcast and you’ve always wanted to coach with me, now is your chance. I am offering a few limited spots for free coaching sessions and it’s going to cost you one iTunes review. Pretty good deal, right? So all you have to do is submit your iTunes review, make sure you click the star rating and leave a written review. Take a screenshot of your submitted review and send it to my personal email at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s all you have to do. I will send you a link to book your free coaching session until spots fill up.
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Thanks for listening to this episode of Get a 6-Figure Job You Love podcast. If you’re ready to dive deeper into your career mindset and start creating bigger, more impactful results in your career join me at www.nataliefisher.ca/getstarted. I’ll see you over there.