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Career Coaching by Former Fortune 500 Recruiters

Job Search Lessons From “Sway” By Ori and Rom Brafman

Who knew that financial compensation had the same effect on the brain as snorting a line of cocaine?  After reading “Sway” you know this, as well as a number of other surprising facts.  This must-read is subtitled The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior.  While it isn’t a career coaching book its lessons are applicable to jobseekers:

Hot dog company Nathan’s couldn’t get people to try their hot dogs so they paid doctors to eat it.  If doctors liked it, then they must be okay for the common folk, and hot dog sales took off.  This is how the Brafmans demonstrate value attribution.  Jobseekers, think about who is giving you referrals and recommendations.  Get a highly regarded person in your corner and let value attribution work for you.

My heart is still in my mouth regarding the story of the toddler who died after doctors in the ER repeatedly missed her symptoms.  Diagnosis bias caused them to overlook what the symptoms could mean and instead see only what they had predetermined.  Jobseekers, if you’ve already diagnosed your search as beyond repair, then it is.  You will see only what is wrong.  You will be too easily discouraged.  You will miss opportunities that do arise.  Change your search first and foremost by changing your thinking.

Anecdotes from politics, sports, business and everyday life teach other lessons in commitment, loss aversion, the chameleon effect and more.  Jobseekers, you don’t want to go down a road that’s not working just because that’s what you’ve always done (commitment).  You also don’t want to play it so safe that you don’t take enough chances to win the job (loss aversion).  Finally, the chameleon effect warns us that we take on the characteristics that others ascribe to us.  So jobseekers, in this often tumultuous job market, keep company with people who believe in you so you live up to their high expectations.  Avoid the naysayers, lest they convince you to be less than you truly can be.

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