61. Are you a perfectionist? It can hurt your career.
Here we are, at the end of 2020, a year that turned our worlds upside down and inside out, and starting 2021 with a new sense of hope that ours lives and careers will get back on track.
As my team and I take a break from working non-stop since the launch of this podcast back in October 2019, I have selected for you a special episode from our catalog, which I feel is a perfect listen for this time of the year. You may not have heard this episode yet, or it may be worth re-listening if you have. I have picked it to match the times we live right now, and I feel it will be a great companion as you walk your dog, prepare a meal, or get ready to take action on your New Year's resolution.
About this episode
Since I decided to start a podcast, Lynne Cazaly was on the top of my list of potential guests. There's something about her leadership style, her unassuming way, and the quiet confidence that she exudes, making her the perfect guest speaker. Last year, while trying to lock her in to record this episode, she was the hardest guest to pin down: she was in such high demand as a conference speaker. She was never in Melbourne long enough for us to get together. With COVID and quarantine, life has changed, we zoomed in, and finally, we had our chat a few weeks ago.
Lynne's training and speaking gigs have included working for Australia's largest organizations, like Telstra, Australia Post, nab, CBA, and the AFL. She regularly travels to New Zealand, where she has a loyal following and delivers training and keynotes. Lynne has also done keynotes, workshops, and training in Europe, the USA, and Asia.
Her latest book, "ish: The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough," got a lot of media attention. Lynne was interviewed extensively on TV and in magazines. The topic of Perfectionism is one that everyone can relate to, and for that reason, I was able to see my friend in many morning TV shows over many weeks!
In this interview, we have pivoted the discussion about Perfectionism to focus primarily on career planning, job hunting, and the selection and recruitment process. A "perfect" resume, a "perfect" match for the critical selection criteria, giving the "perfect" answer to an interview question, "the perfect" job, being the "perfect" candidate" - these are sayings we through around all the time while job hunting. But they impact our mindset and create an unhealthy, unhelpful, and not sustainable expectation. After listening to this episode, I hope that you will feel free from "perfectionism" and ready to embrace "good enough"!
- 5:08 - Lynne's career progression and her experience in the corporate sector the need to be perfect
- 8:55 - Difference between going for perfect, which is impossible, versus going for complete and accurate information, which is an achievable goal
- 10:35 - Perfectionism, job hunting, and how to improvise
- 13:50 - How Lynne wrote the book using improv techniques and how this is an excellent example of how to treat your resume, and the concept of version control
- 22:25 - How "Perfect" is still expected: in the recruitment and selection world, and the corporate world in general: Lynne's tips to dealing with sectors and industries where Perfectionism is expected. 3 main types of Perfectionism.
- 26:30 - Me explaining the dissonance between the perfect picture put together by companies for job applicants when they go to market looking to hire versus the candidate working solo trying to meet what is most times "over the top" expectations from recruiters and hiring managers.
- 29:13 - The Pareto Principle: How job hunters can prepare themselves for the job market and not worry about not being "perfect."
- 31:57 - Why putting more effort into something can get you worse results and the idea of iterative improvement of resumes
Links mentioned in this episode: