Have you ever experienced the pain and frustration associated with following new trends, ideas or techniques because you found out that others were using them and you managed to justify the need to jump in with the rest assuming that it would make you more efficient or keep you in the competition, whether for a career progression or in your business?
There is a good reason why I’m asking this.
Last week I wrote my post about supporting our reporting colleagues at the office and shared 3 tips on how to help bring out their best when they need a champion like true leaders. Here’s the link in case you haven’t seen the blog post.
Call it a matter of coincidence, but a few days later; I got a request via Quora for an answer from a young lady who wanted to know what certifications she could get to boost her resume. From her question and details of her present education, I am gathering that she is either at the early stages of her career or about to enter the job market and is struggling to get a placement.
There were already a couple of answers which guided her to create her CV and tons of helpful tips which was the best that professionals whom she had approached could answer for a generic question. One of the other answers had spoken about passion and yes, that is important as is inherent ability, talent and inclinations.
Yet strangely, no one asked her what she wanted to do for her career and then guide her about her choice of certifications to her existing college degree. Typical of me, I asked and made it clear that it all depended upon the kind of job or industry that she wished to pursue for a career.
You can acquire many certificates for courses that you do, whether online or offline but if it isn’t relevant to the prospective employer, you won’t get an invitation to a job interview leave alone land the job. Since she hadn’t provided any specific information it was difficult to make any solid suggestions for her to research. The best advice I could give was that she first decide upon what she intended to do and then consult a professional career counselor for guidance on further studies to make her CV attractive to a prospective employer or recruiter which would also build on her Bachelor’s degree in Commerce foundation.
A bigger coincidence is that the topic of my teleclass for March is avoiding shiny object syndrome for business success and here is someone who is on the verge of heading off to indulge in the same activity for her career but has taken the time to consult Quora members for some guidance which if not provided with due care could send her off in search of El Dorado without improving her job prospects but a CV laden with diplomas and certificates which would then create the problem of being overqualified for a job that might just be the right fit for her.
How can career professionals avoid falling into the Shiny Object Syndrome trap?
I’ll be discussing the Shiny Object Syndrome for business owners during the teleclass but here are 2 tips for the career professionals.
Firstly, be careful about following your passion and getting more certifications in that area unless it is one where there is an active job market. Prospective employers won’t hire you for your passion unless it is aligned with their passion and you have skills to match it. A better way out is to do volunteer work in your spare time to find a creative expression and use that experience to spruce up your CV for skills that you have learned and which can be useful in your job.
For more details on how to do it, read my post Putting Unpaid and Volunteer work in your Resume
Secondly instead of joining every new course that you see on the internet or in the newspapers, think before you jump. Create a professional development plan and explore learning skills that help bridge any competency gap that you might have that can act as a barrier to your career progression.
Read about how I enhanced my own professional development plan and more tips in my post Did you know that a competency gap can affect your career prospects?
Business Owners too can catch flu like symptoms when faced with shiny objects
I’ve seen a lot of this in new business owners or self-employed professionals who have taken the decision to follow their dream. When a whole new world opens up to us and the scenarios are different to the ones that we have been used to back in the job world, it is but natural to want to experiment as part of our own learning process.
The problem starts when we continue learning without implementing or even stopping to think whether the learning or activity is relevant to our business.
We experience FOMO – Fear of Missing Out.
I’ll be honest with you – once upon a time I was immune to shiny objects and then when I started my own business and had to learn about new ways of marketing that was different to the accounting profession and tons of other things, I found myself ensnared by the charms of the bright shiny object. So, it’s safe to admit that I’ve been there and done that and I want to share my finger burnt knowledge with you.
The 4th birthday celebrations of Karmic Ally Coaching continue and you are invited to the party officially launching my Business Coaching service with a tele-class replay that discusses our biggest enemy – the Bright Shiny Object, that will get you demolishing the bane of your business– the Bright Shiny Object.
If you feel that you need to take stock of your version of Shiny Object Syndrome, then I invite you to sign up for the free class. You can do it by filling up the form below (the confirmation email has the agenda) or here to be taken to the page where I have all the details of the teleclass.
Your turn. Have you ever experienced shiny object syndrome, whether in your personal life, career or business? How did you tackle this time and money wasting monster?
Share with others!