Five Dysfunctions of your Job Search

I have the opportunity to meet many people who are in transition.  Some of these come from my work, the executive search business, while others come from my vocation, to work with others to find their best fit in life.  While doing this work I also have the opportunity to listen, analyze and suggest ways that these individuals might change and improve their approach either for a role I am working on or just for their search in general.

I had the thought recently that Pat Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team might have some applicability to the job search.  My post today will be a review of the five steps in this model and then linking them to things I have seen in many job searches.  I’ll also try to offer suggestions to improve these issues as they arise.

Here is a picture of the Lencioni model for team dysfunction:

The model works from the bottom up, so let’s take a quick review:

1.  Teams don’t function well without trust-Job searches require trust also; trust in yourself and trust in others who can be of help to you.  If you don’t trust your instincts, have self confidence, and confide and work through others you will likely not be successful in your search.

2.  Conflict is inevitable, either with others or within your self.  Just like trust, you have to be able to deal with issues internally and beat back those thoughts that your mind will impose about your self worth in the job search.  These thoughts, those draining thoughts of failure, cause conflict and lead to inaction and even worse.  Even more, you will have conflicting thoughts and ideas when you talk with others about potential opportunities.  You may have to deal with conflict with potential firms and hiring managers or recruiters you work with.  As I said a the outset, conflict is inevitable.  You need to know your preference for conflict and a tool like the TKI will help with that process.

3.  Lack of commitment is a common issue with teams and even more with job seekers.  Finding a job is a full-time job, even more than full time.  You have to put in the time, work hard and follow the process to ensure success.  There will be times when you do the right things and still don’t get the intended result.  Those times require that you go back to step 1 and place your trust in God.  That is really the first step, what I would call pre-step 1 or Step 0.

4.  Avoidance of accountability is a real problem in our world.  We live in a time where people what responsibility, recognition and titles, but they shirk accountability.  Too often we want to point the finger of blame in a direction other than our own.  YOU MUST OWN YOUR JOB SEARCH!   It is your responsibility and yours alone.  You can trust in others, but you are ultimately responsible and accountable.

5.  Lack of focus on results is not surprising.  Too often we want to go through the motions, but not measure progress or results.  What gets measured, matters.  If you don’t have any metrics in your job search your potential for success is greatly diminished.  Have some measurable outcomes, definitely have goals, and monitor your results.  Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals as you go along.  You may have set your targets too high or too low.  Only time and reflection will tell you this.

Lencioni’s dysfunctions work well with teams working together.  They can also apply to those of us who are in the job search.

Put your trust in the Lord first and then go through the steps.  Without this firm foundation you may do all of the right things and still come up empty.