Put Yourself First

Author: Manasa Sai Sekar

Some of the drivers behind the job searching process are – the need to be financially independent, wanting a better quality of work and life, putting education to use, wanting to achieve something, etc. The job application process usually begins by updating the resume, floating the resume with friends and families, and uploading it on job application websites. Although the process starts with hope and vigour, along the path comes filling out long applications, sitting in job interviews for long hours, and rejections. While the journey is humbling, it also creates scope for insecurities. When we get into a job, we feel dejected just to realize after one week that this is not our intended role.

So where did things go wrong?

We wanted an ‘X’ job, but we ended up applying for a ‘Y’ job because our friends/families told us that the ‘Y’ job would improve our lives.

We asked for an ‘X’ amount of salary but ended up with a ‘Y’ amount of salary because we failed to negotiate.

We wanted to work for ‘X’ company, but ended up taking the role in ‘Y’ because someone felt that ‘Y’ company was better for us.

Why did we let them decide for us? Because…

Before beginning the job application process, we failed to be clear and specific about what we wanted.

We took rejections personally and it made us question our abilities.

We ended up discussing our feelings with our friends/families and they decided to intervene in our process to help us.

And most importantly, we let others decide for us because we do not know “how to put ourselves first”.

This is what “putting yourself first looks like”,

Will this company hire me?  Is this role worthy of time and energy?

Will this company provide ‘X’ amount of salary? Will the compensation help me achieve my financial goals?

Will my family be okay if I take up this role? Will I be happy if I take up this role?

Should I ask them for ‘x’ ‘y’ and ‘z’ things? Will this organization provide ‘x’ ‘y’ and ‘z’ benefits?

I wish this organization gave me more flexibility to work on other things… Will this organization honour my personal and professional goals?

Curbing the need for external validation, and developing the courage to speak up helps access our goals. Our successes and failures depend on the expectations we set for ourselves. Our self-worth depends on how much we value ourselves.