My guest this week is certified career and mindset coach, Natalie Fisher. Natalie is the expert when it comes to all things job search related and she helps her clients see the full extent of their own value and capabilities so they can go after the job they love.
The job search realm can keep us spinning in drama if we don’t know how to best approach it. Maybe you’re not entirely happy right now but you’re unsure if it’s the right time to leave your job, the mechanics of the job search process feels so overwhelming you’d rather not take the leap, or you just hate interviews. Well, this is your lucky day because Natalie is here to help you move forward with confidence.
Tune in this week as Natalie gives us insight into some of the most common challenges she sees in her work and how she helps her clients overcome them. We’re diving into how to prepare for situational interviews, her best tips for networking, especially if you’re an introvert, and some incredible mindset shifts you can make that will result in a more successful job search.
You’re listening to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast episode number 30.
Welcome to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast. I’m your host Paula Price, lawyer turned certified executive coach. This podcast was created to empower women lawyers just like you to create a life and practice you love. Join me every week for a break from the hustle so we can focus on you, what you truly want, and how you can create it.
If you’re over the overwhelm, done with putting out fires, and ready to create a life and practice that brings you more joy, you’re in the right place. Ready for today’s episode? Let’s dive in.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m so excited to have you join me here this week. We have a very special guest. Her name is Natalie Fisher. She’s a certified career and mindset coach. Natalie and I dive into all things job search related. For a little sneak preview of what’s in store for you, we are going to talk about how to know when it’s time to leave your job. Then we talk about the mechanics and strategy of the job search process.
So we’ll talk about things like networking and how to do it effectively, especially if you’re an introvert. We talk about situational interviews, what they are, and what you can do to prepare for them. We also talk about what to do when you find yourself getting stuck at a certain stage of the job search process. So maybe you’re really good at getting the interview, but you don’t seem to make it past that stage. Finally we talk about mindset shifts that you can make that will result in a more effective and successful job search.
So I know you’re excited to meet her. I know you’re going to love her. So let’s meet Natalie. Thank you so much for tuning in. Enjoy our interview. I look forward to seeing you all again next week. Bye for now.
Paula: Hi everybody and welcome back to the podcast. I’m so excited to be introducing today’s guest. Her name is Natalie Fisher. Natalie is a career and mindset coach. She has an amazing podcast called Get A Six Figure Job You Love. I had the pleasure of working with Natalie not in relation to getting my own six figure job, but in relation to creating this very podcast that you are listening to right now.
I knew when I was working with Natalie that I really wanted to have her as a guest on this podcast because she has so much valuable information to share for anybody who is looking for a job or thinking about looking for a job or who is in that process of looking for a job. So I’m so, so pleased to have Natalie here today. Natalie, welcome to the podcast.
Natalie: Thank you so much. I could not be more excited.
Paula: I could not be more excited either. It really has been such a pleasure just working with you Natalie. You’re amazing. Granted we were working on the creation of this podcast. So we were working around all sorts of issues in relation to that. But what are the coaching questions or the topics that you normally coach your clients on?
Natalie: Yeah. So I’m a coach for professionals of all different industries. I have worked with several lawyers before too. Basically I help them to create their six figure job that checks all their boxes, so to get what they want. A lot of times we’re looking at what’s available and try to fit into those boxes. I’m kind of shifting it so that you can make the decision about what you want and then go get that. So short story, that’s what I help people do.
Paula: Fabulous. It’s like you’re moving away from here’s the checklist that the employers are seeking and putting the control almost back in the hands of the job seeker by having them look more intentionally for what they want and then finding a match. Is that right?
Natalie: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. I mean it’s got to be a win/win both ways, but a lot of people kind of just don’t even know what’s possible for them so.
Paula: I love that. We’re going to get into that more as we have our conversation. Absolutely. Natalie, I think for a lot of lawyers, a lot of the clients I have worked with, some of them are thinking about making a transition. They’re thinking about leaving their job. What would you say are some of the signs? How would you know if it’s time for you to move on from your existing job?
Natalie: Yeah, absolutely. I really love this question. When you posed it, a whole bunch of stuff came up. So the first thing I would say if you’re having that feeling like you want to leave, you want to look at that. You want to be like, “Why?” You want to have reasons, like list out some reasons why you want to leave.
So I’ve worked with many people. In some cases, the environment is not a good environment for them. They’re either not fitting in, or in some cases it’s them that could be the problem. They might go somewhere else and find the exact same issues appearing in a different environment. So I would kind of do some assessing as to whether or not it is a toxic environment. Some indicators of that might be people just being disrespectful, no failure is tolerated, no mistakes are allowed.
I know that maybe you can speak to this in the legal community because I know that that happens a lot, but I also know that we’re all human. We have to manage these mistakes somehow even if we do it in a productive way or an unproductive way. So looking at is it a toxic environment? Is it the environment or is it something that you can shift within yourself that maybe it’s uncomfortable for you? Maybe you need to move out of your comfort zone to provide for value in that.
So without knowing the specifics, that’s kind of what I would say. A lot of the time people can move to another job. Then they can end up just bringing their problems with them and being unhappy anyway. Sometimes it is definitely the environment and they can move environments and thrive in a different environment.
Paula: Yeah. I think that’s such a great answer Natalie because it really does set up that dichotomy. On the one hand, it may be the environment that you’re working in. You mentioned if it’s a toxic work environment and I imagine also if it’s an environment where that movement just isn’t available for you. I mean some jobs have a ceiling. Maybe you’ve outgrown that job, and those would be external circumstances.
Things that exist outside of you that you can’t really change on your own. Versus the other things that you’ve identified which is what is your role in that organization? Is there something that you can be doing to make that job more aligned with what you’re wanting from it, I gather?
Natalie: Yeah, really good point. I love that point. Yeah, sometimes there isn’t any room for growth. That’s completely a legitimate reason to say, “You know I’m taking this other opportunity because there’s more room for growth.” Anybody would understand that who also has the want to move forward and advance.
I think also touching on that point of whether or not it’s you or the environment, it’s kind of like can you honestly say to yourself I’ve done everything that I can here to make this work? I’m really proud of how I’ve been showing up. I’ve added the most value that I possibly could. If you can say all of those things and you’re still ready to move on then that’s probably a good sign that it is the right time for you.
Paula: Yeah, that is such a great point. Thank you so much Natalie. So I imagine that the clients that you work with, when they come to you, what kind of challenges are they having?
Natalie: Yeah, so mainly like the most general challenges are low self-confidence due to having failed in the past. So a very common one is they’ve been rejected several times, and their confidence has decreased from those rejections. So they’ve made those rejections mean something about their value. So they have low confidence. So that’s been going on for a while. So it’s difficult for them to build that back up on their own.
Then another challenge is low belief that what they’re going after exists, that it can happen for them. Then going back to the value piece, they’ve kind of lost sight of their own value. They’ve done a lot of great things. They’ve had a lot of great results. That’s not on the forefront of their mind at all, and that’s where we start.
Paula: Yeah, and it’s so interesting to hear you say that Natalie because it makes me think of some of the lawyers that I’ve worked with where to your first point, the rejection point. For some lawyers, there’s a real transition point. Maybe they’re moving from one city to another city and they’re putting their CD out there. They’re trying to make some inroads in the application process, and they’re not getting any traction. So then they start to lose confidence, as you said.
Or that belief piece that you just mentioned. Lawyers who have been working in a particular field for a number of years or they may not see it as being possible to transition out of say litigation into solicitor work or vice versa. So what I love about your approach is that you don’t come at that equation thinking that there is a predetermined way to get to a certain job. That there are skills that you’re developing enroute that you can then bring with you into a new capacity. It’s that belief point that if the applicant is seeking it and believing that it’s possible to find something that they approach that quest with a different energy.
Natalie: Absolutely, yeah. I do find that that is very common thinking. It’s very rigid. It’s like well in order to do this, I have to have done this before or I have to do this next. That’s just how it is. That’s just the path. Sometimes people will try to explain that to me like it’s fact.
My job is to not buy into that story and question it. Be like well is it? Could there be a different way? What about this? What about this? They kind of start to open up and be like, “Okay maybe I was kind of too rigid along the path. I think that’s an important thing when you’re going somewhere is to allow yourself to kind of be flexible with how you decide to get there versus this is how it has to be. That’s where a lot of people can get stuck.
Paula: Absolutely. I love that you’re bringing that approach to the lawyers, for example, that you’re working with because I think often in a law situation there can be a lock step system. It may seem like there’s a path that you follow. Lawyers work with rules. So I think there’s a tendency to see the rules that are already in place.
So your work there is really questioning whether those rules are whether they exist, how much you’re bound by them, and what happens if you try experimenting, as you’ve suggested. Trying to fit things and seeing where that takes you.
Natalie: Yeah. I think that’s a good point too because your whole job is rules as lawyers, and they serve you, right. They serve us. The law serves us. Like we need that, right. So there’s a place for rules, and then there’s a place where they don’t serve us and we can actually let go of a lot of them. It can become a lot easier to get where we’re going. So there’s a time and place for rules, but sometimes they get in the way. Especially if they’re not real.
Paula: Absolutely. Absolutely. When lawyers are looking for jobs, often there’s this notion of finding an environment where there’s a really good fit. I’d be curious to know what your recommendations would be for somebody who’s trying to find an organization, whether it’s a law firm, whether it’s an organization where you’d be working in-house or in another capacity. How you would set yourself up for finding a good fit.
Natalie: Absolutely, yeah. That’s a great question too. So the first thing is deciding what that fit looks like for you. So deciding what kind of environment you want to be working in, how it would feel, what kind of work you would get to do, how the people would be. Then exploring and having conversations with people in other law firms. Having conversations with people and asking them. Like what’s it really like to work there? What’s a day in the life there? How does it work for you, right?
Just being open to the understanding that there’s a bunch of different ways to do things, even in law firms. One’s going to run one way. One’s going to run a completely different way. I have one client right now I’m working with. He’s a lawyer for the government, and he wants to transfer to private sector. He knows the differences there, and he wants to transfer to private sector for a reason because he believes it will be a better fit.
So just kind of exploring. First deciding. Deciding what that would ideally look like for you, and then exploring. Kind of building that belief that there is a place available that meets that criteria and being open to that. Then it’s going to be a lot easier for you to find it.
When you’re interviewing, you’ll be asking questions about how they operate to figure out if it is the right fit and if it does align with you versus just trying to do everything that they want and be able to be everything to them. You’ll also be asking questions about how you’ll fit in, how it will work for you.
Paula: It’s so fabulous. You’ve got a podcast episode that just aired, I guess in the last couple of days about creating that premium job offer.
Paula: I started listening to it. I haven’t finished it yet. You started talking about designing that premium job offer for yourself, and that it’s going to look different for everybody. What kind of steps would you recommend somebody take to get clarity around what their ideal job or what the perfect fitting job would look like for them?
Natalie: Yeah, absolutely. So one great way to start is by recalling what you don’t like, what you don’t want.
Paula: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. What do you not want to do?
Natalie: Well because sometimes it’s hard to be like well, I want this and I want this and I want this. It sounds like it’s pie in the sky, but you know for sure you know what you don’t want right? We have to experience what we don’t want in order to move into what we do want. I’ve done a lot of that in my life. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s probably the first step is to go there and be like, “Well, these are the things I didn’t like about my previous position. These are the things that I know I definitely don’t want, right?”
So for example, a place where they don’t tolerate any mistakes or they are very hard on you. There’s unreasonable expectations, things like that. There’s jobs out there where people are under a lot of pressure. They have a lot of anxiety all the time. It’s not a healthy environment for them.
So I think we can all safely say we don’t choose that. That’s not our first choice. So where do we want to be? How do we want to feel in that environment? What kind of people do we want to be working with? What kind of law do you want to be practicing and why? What is it that you like about it?
Then talking to people who are doing that thing that you want to be doing, and then talking to different people because they’re all going to have a different perspective. On that same type of work, they’ll all have a different perspective on it. They’ll be working in a different place. So just exploring what’s out there would be the next step so that you can kind of build the evidence for yourself that there are really great environments out there that you can be a part of.
Paula: Yeah, and I think that ties back to what you said in the introduction, which is moving away from this idea that there are existing precedents if you want to call them that. Places where you can go and apply to it. Those jobs, of course, exist, but the way you’re describing it, it’s almost like you start within. You start looking at what you don’t like. You start looking at what you do like. Then you start that exploring phase so that you’re seeing what else is out there. What are you doing?
So it doesn’t sound like it’s step one, let’s apply for every job that you see on the job poster board. It’s really getting clear about what you like, what you dislike, your strengths. Then going from that place to then explore and find. So I think that really aligns with what you said at the beginning. Let’s take control of the process and tailor it to ourselves.
Natalie: Yeah, kind of have a plan. Be like I know this is what I want. Because when you know this is what you want, you’re going to be able to identify it a lot easier. So what I can hear people saying or thinking as they listen to this is, “Well, yeah. We can’t just pick what we want and then go have it.” I’ve had clients say that. They’re like, “No, no. You have to cater to what the market needs.”
Like yes that’s true, but you already have something to offer that is needed, right. So if you’re a lawyer, you have a skill. It is needed. You get to decide where you add that value.
Paula: I think being so intentional about it in the job seeking phase and then carrying out that intentionality once you’re in the role, right? Really shaping that role around the strengths that you have. Having that self-determination is such a key ingredient for finding work that is fulfilling to you or that you really enjoy what you’re doing and where you’re best poised to grow.
Natalie: Yeah. If you take care of that in the interview phase, you’re going to be much more likely to end up in a place that supports that growth for you and wants to see you succeed and helps you do that.
Paula: I love that. You have such great advice for interviewing. For anybody listening who is going through the interview phase, I highly recommend searching through Natalie’s podcast episodes because there is something in there for pretty much every situation. It’s so helpful just to have that guidance and to have Natalie’s voice in your ear offering some ideas and suggestions and examples of what that can look like.
Natalie: I think it’s a really fun process. Too often people hate it. They’re like, “Oh this is the worst.” But I actually think it’s really fun. So I think that’s one thing you can get from the podcast is come on over, and it will kind of change the way you’re seeing the job hunt process.
Paula: Absolutely. Absolutely. Because that’s a huge part of it. Natalie, one of the things that I wanted to ask you is about situational interviews. I understand that for some firms, the hiring process is very conversational. It’s casual. It’s less about fixed questions.
Some firms are moving towards more of a situational type of interview section. Especially when they’re doing recruiting for example where they’re interviewing a large number of candidates and they want to level the playing field so that everybody has a fair chance to resonate, to compete, to shine. What would you recommend for those who are…Maybe if you wouldn’t mind maybe giving a bit of context to what a situational interview is?
Natalie: I was going to go there for sure.
Paula: For anyone who hasn’t gone through it or doesn’t know what we’re talking about, and how you would recommend approaching that type of interview.
Natalie: Yeah, absolutely. So situational and sometimes known as behavioral interview questions or situation interview questions are questions where they ask you, “Tell me about a time when you…” blah, blah, blah. So tell me about a time when you went through a challenging situation and how you overcame it. These are very standard. They’re asked in pretty much every interview.
The reason that they asked then is they want to get an insight on who you are. They want to know how you deal with things when things are not going well. They want to know your accomplishments. Then like a situation interview, it’s just where those are the standard questions. They’ve just got a list of them.
So a lot of people struggle to answer these because if they don’t have pre-stories that they’ve thought of, then they’re kind of on the spot. They’re like, “Ah, what do I say for this?” So yeah. In my program a big part of what I teach is helping you come up with these stories and helping you feel really confident about the stories that you’re deciding to share in the interview. I think that the reason why I was very successful job interviewing is because I have really good stories to tell because I’ve come up with them over my career. I enjoy telling the stories.
So I don’t really think of them as I have to impress this person with this story. I think of it as I’m going to share this story because it was either there was a funny part or I was proud of it. It just shows something that I went through that will connect me to the interviewer as relatable.
So there’s two types. One is where you’re going to be the hero in the story, and you’re going to tell them about something you did that was great. Then there’s another type where they’re going to ask you about a mistake you made or a time you failed. That’s also really important because they want to know how you’re going to be when things are not always going well. So the way that you answer that is just as important as how you answer when you have been really successful doing something.
So this is a topic that I can talk about for a long time. So the original question was what would be my advice preparing? Is that what the original question was?
Paula: Yeah, yeah, although I’m fascinated. Please go on. I’m thinking about the hero stories. The stories where it’s a learning lesson.
Natalie: Exactly. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So the advice that I would have if you kind of want to know what you’re going to talk about. So I have a freebie that we can offer to your audience if they are interviewing. It has 10 examples of the most common situational behavioral interview questions. So they’re like a time you received feedback, a time you made a mistake, a time you disagreed with somebody, a time you were successful, a time you overcame a challenge. There’s just a lot of examples.
So I would say looking at examples really helps me personally and has helped a lot of my clients. Just to kind of see, “Oh, okay. This is the type of thing that I would want to be talking about.” When you look through the examples, you’re like, “Oh, yeah, yeah. I did something similar to that. I could do this.” It kind of sparks your inspiration because you’ve got your own experiences.
Paula: I’ve seen that resource. I remember looking at it a few months ago. It’s wonderful. If I remember correctly, you talk about the underlying question, right. For each of those situational questions, they’re asking you something deeper. When you’re looking at the question from that perspective, it becomes so much easier to then figure out which story is most applicable where you’re demonstrating the skill that they’re asking for.
Natalie: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. You’ve got it. Exactly. That’s why I do that because then you can kind of put yourself in their shoes. It’s like they want to assess what would it be like if they were to get into a disagreement with you? What are they going to be experiencing? If they have to give you a piece of feedback that’s a bit uncomfortable or something, how are you going to respond to that? Do they want you to tell them how you’ve responded in the past?
That’s another thing. Like when you’re interviewing. People normally see it as kind of like an interrogation. They’re put on the spot. They feel pressure. Think of it if you were interviewing somebody because you’re looking to hire. Like you’re going to want some information on this person. You’re going to want a heads up about what it’s going to be like. So it kind of gets you into the space of compassion and being like, “Yeah, I understand why you’d want to know that. This is my story about that.”
Paula: Totally. Natalie, I think you do such a great job of this whole exercise. Of taking yourself out of the interviewees position and looking at it from the perspective of the interviewer. As I was preparing for our podcast today, I was listening to one of your episodes about the perspective of the hiring manager and really flipping the perspective. I think so often we go into interviews thinking that, and these are points that you make.
The idea here being that we think that there are these boxes that we need to tick. We’re thinking about, “Okay, how do I tick the boxes? How do I come across in a way that I’m getting the answers correct?” As a result, we’re not showing up as our true selves. We’re showing up a little bit robotic sometimes or a bit formulaic versus showing up as a human being, somebody who the person who is responsible for hiring can see as a potential colleague. Somebody that they would want in their office working alongside with.
So taking those different perspectives and really taking the pressure off am I getting the answer to this question correct and showing up with that. I think you talk about showing up in service, thinking about the value that you’re bringing to that equation. It’s such a powerful mindset shift. Which I think is why for you in interview context is fun versus others who may see the interview process as something that is really daunting, right. Where there’s a right and a wrong. If you don’t get it right, there’s consequences that flow from that.
Natalie: Yeah absolutely. Yeah, exactly. You nailed it. One of the thoughts that I do the most coaching on is I need to get this right. If you think, “How does it feel when you think I need to get this right?” It’s almost always going to be a lot of pressure put on yourself.
Paula: As your former client Natalie, I think you do an excellent job of really narrowing down for your client what is going on. We talked about that you’re a mindset coach. That you’re clear in mindset. That so much of the way that we show up is an extension of the words that we’re saying to ourselves.
So as you pointed out, if you’re putting all this pressure on yourself. How is it that you’re showing up and what are other ways that you can think about the situation that are more empowering that lead to that different more expansive energy where you’re creating the type of impression that you want to be creating with your prospective employer versus that more high pressure energy.
Natalie: Exactly. The great thing is that when you can do this, you stand out automatically because everybody else is doing this to themselves. So they’re showing up robotic and unsure of themselves and trying to get it right. If you can show up confidently as who you are with stories to tell and values to share, that automatically makes you the person who stands out.
Paula: Absolutely. I think in your podcast about hiring managers, you talked about that, right? Like when even at that pre-interview stage where the application materials are going in, I think you’ve identified four different categories of application.
Some of them, the person who’s reviewing them may just think, “Okay well they didn’t get my name right or they didn’t get the company name right. Are they even applying for this job?” There’s sort of that level. Then there’s the other end of the spectrum where it’s like, “Okay, this person really stands out on their paper alone. This is the must meet pile.”
So thinking about it from that perspective, from the perspective of the person who’s doing the intake can be so powerful in terms of the way that you’re showing up at all stages.
Natalie: Yeah. It makes it really easy for the person who’s on the other side, because I’ve been on that side screening the resumes too. So it really helps. It helps you and it helps them.
Paula: Exactly. Natalie, one of the questions that comes up quite a bit is how to find job opportunities and see what’s out there. You alluded to this a bit earlier when we were talking about exploring. Figuring out who else has a job that you think that you would like. I’d love for you to share your perspective on the roles that networking plays in the job search process.
Natalie: So people have a lot of connotations around the word networking. I get a lot of resistance around it. People don’t want to do it and stuff. I’ve done a few podcast episodes on it. I would say first, some people do get through the job application process. They’ll be able to apply with their resume. They’ll be able to get through that way. That does happen. So if that’s you, then you don’t have to network if you’re getting interviews without that.
So where networking comes in is I like to use all the strategies. It’s like why just stick to one, especially if it’s not working? It also makes the process more fun when you get to connect with other people. I feel like it inspires you along the way. I recommend starting with exploring, especially if you’re not quite sure what you want yet. Having really pressure free conversations with people. Just telling them kind of what you’re planning to transition to or what you’re doing.
When you have a conversation with somebody and you—I kind of treat it like a game. I’m like how can I help this person? If there’s any way that I could help this person, how might I do it? Right? People often don’t want to have networking conversations because they think I’m just asking for something. I’m just begging for a job. They’re not going to help me anyways. This is normally people’s narratives beforehand. They don’t want to do it.
Paula: Absolutely, people get nervous about approaching people. Absolutely. For those reasons.
Natalie: Yeah. It’s uncomfortable to talk to people you don’t know. To that I would say LinkedIn exists for that exact reason. So we should be using it. So I like to shift it as just having conversations asking them kind of how they got into the role they’re in? Why do they like it? How did they get into it?
I’m fascinated by getting into their heads and being like, “What were your thoughts about it?” Because a lot of people have done amazing things, made big transitions, landed roles. I’m interested to know about their interview process and how they did it. So when you express interest for somebody else, the reciprocity law comes in and they automatically want to know about you afterwards. If there’s any possible way that they can help you, nine times out of ten they will.
So I like to take the pressure off the networking completely. Not make it like, “Oh I have to get a job out of this. Or oh this is the only reason I’m doing it.” Make it like a game, a fun thing that you can do. Just start having conversations.
The majority of my clients have found their jobs that way. So I think it plays a huge role, especially if you want to do it faster. If you want to have more fun doing it, and if you want to build the network that’s going to bear fruit for the rest of your life. Because if you make these connections now, years down the line they’re still going to be like, “Oh yeah, I remember talking to you. We have an opening now.”
Paula: Absolutely. I love that last point Natalie because that has certainly been my experience. Some of the individuals that—I’m thinking in particular when I transitioned into coaching from law and reaching out to…Because there weren’t too many lawyers turned counselor or coach. So I reached out to a number of them, and they’d become part of my social and professional networks. So that idea that you’re setting up the groundwork for some really good relationships. Regardless of whether that person is going to offer you a job, you’re building.
I’d love to know what you recommend for lawyers maybe who feel a little bit shy about reaching out to people. There are some lawyers who are quite introverted who would much prefer not to have to reach out to people. Do you have any ideas for how they might approach others?
Natalie: Yeah, yeah. So I’m kind of like…I’ve taken the Myers Briggs test and I’m like just slightly over the line to the extrovert, but mostly introverted. I coach a lot of introverts. What I find for them is they are really good at having one-on-one conversations. They’re just more uncomfortable in a large group. They would much rather have a few quality conversations than a hundred surface level conversations.
So I actually think networking plays to their strengths because networking is, when it comes down to it and it’s going to be a meaningful exchange, it’s going to be a one-on-one conversation. So I would say yes, it’s going to be a bit uncomfortable in the beginning. It’s kind of like any road that you embark on. There’s going to be some things that are uncomfortable to do, but they do get easier.
So if you have a few really high quality conversations that you feel really good about, that’s going to fuel your momentum to continue to have more conversations. So yeah. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that. Some people have had some clients say, “Oh I had to have a glass of wine before I sent out that connection or before I sent out that message to that person.”
I was like yeah, I get it. It’s kind of like once you do it, you can kind of have that sigh of relief and be proud of yourself. With anything, it’s going to take a little bit of courage and a little bit of discomfort. It’s better than staying where you are and not moving. It’s like you get to choose that discomfort. The discomfort of staying stagnant or the discomfort of moving forward. So that’s your choice.
Paula: Totally. I love that. It really is hard. I think if you’re not used to reaching out to people on LinkedIn or by email or however. If that’s totally foreign to you, that’s a pretty steep curve to be climbing. Do you have any recommendations for how you create those conversations? You mentioned approaching the conversation from a position of service, thinking about the value you’re giving this other person. Do you have any other ideas that somebody could use to prepare for the conversations once they set them up?
Natalie: Yeah, for sure. So I always have these two questions that I recommend people ask. It kind of makes sure that you’re closing the conversation with putting forward everything that you could to get the favorable response that you want. I recommend asking without asking. So saying things like, “Are there any other recommendations that you recommend I take a look at? Are there any other people that you can think of that would be beneficial for me to speak to?”
So what they hear is, “Oh yeah, maybe I do know somebody or I can introduce you to this person or maybe there’s this, right.” They start going to work for you on what you could do next. That way I don’t feel like it’s asking for a job. It’s not asking for anything. It’s just saying, “If you think of anything, let me know, right?”
Sometimes they will right away. Sometimes they’ll be like, “No I don’t, but if I do I’ll let you know.” Not everyone, I will say. Like a lot of my clients have had some networking conversations that are not super pleasant, and that’s okay. Also had a lot of people who don’t respond, and that’s also totally fine. All part of it. You’re still on the right path.
Paula: I’m so glad that you said that Natalie because it’s so true. For all the messages that you send out, you’re not going to get a 100% response rate. Some conversations are going to be amazing, and some of them won’t leave you feeling as glowing as if you meet somebody who’s really keen to hear from you and they have ideas. They’re as enthusiastic about your job search as you are.
So I’m glad you mentioned that just to set the expectations. I think those are expectations that we can set for ourselves or you can set for yourself as the job seeker is okay I’m going to go out there and do this knowing that it’s unlikely to have a 100% success rate.
Natalie: Yeah. I mean it’s like that with anything we do, right. We’re going to have some things that don’t work and some things that do work. We’re going to look back, and it’s just going to be a pile of things that worked and a pile of things that didn’t.
Paula: Yeah absolutely. Lessons to be learned in the pile that didn’t.
Natalie: Exactly. We had to do all those things to get to the end result. So we didn’t do anything wrong.
Paula: Totally. Totally. Now I think one of your—You’ve got many, many strong points and many different insights that you share. I really love when you start talking about interviews. One of the questions that I have for you is in one of your recent podcasts, you talked about a job seeker who had lots of calls. I wasn’t sure if they had interviews as well. Certainly they made it through the door, but they hadn’t made it through that next stage.
So for example, somebody who does a lot of legwork and then they get the interview. Maybe they’ve had multiple interviews, but they never get to that next stage. What would you recommend for people who are struggling with that?
Natalie: Yeah. So I just had a client. He’s going to be a guest on my podcast. He had this, it was exactly what you described. He had like a ton of interviews. He had no problem getting the interviews set up. What this shows is that you’re qualified on paper, your skills are in demand. They want what you have to offer, but when they meet you, something’s going off.
So what I find normally what’s going on there is they’re overpreparing, and they’re falling into that trap of trying to get it right. Being a little bit robotic. Not showing up as the person who they would be if they were in the role working with their coworkers.
So this is something that I do a lot of coaching on, and it’s just to pinpoint the thing that’s going wrong, right. It will be slightly different for everyone. It’s going to be a mindset shift though. It’s going to be definitely something that they’re believing that they have to do that’s causing them to show up in a certain way that’s not landing.
Another thing could be they’re not sold on their own value, right. So maybe they had somebody help do their resume and their resume looks great and that’s working, but they don’t really believe that they have what it takes to succeed in this role or get this role. They might have thoughts that are blocking them energetically like there’s other people that are better than me or I don’t know that I’m really cut out for this opportunity. What if I’m not going to be able to deliver?
So there could be a lot of things that are getting in the way there. That’s kind of what I do is help identify and pinpoint what those are. Those, I would say, are the biggest ones.
Paula: I love the way that you set up that Natalie. I think one of the things that you and I talked about, and I did a podcast episode on this a couple weeks ago. The idea of blind spots. I think you do a beautiful job. In fact, maybe you could share that with us. You have a really lovely analogy. Could you share that with us in terms of the blind spot analogy?
Natalie: Is it the flashlight one?
Paula: It’s the one with the label. It’s so good.
Natalie: Oh yeah, yeah.
Paula: You shared it with me when we were working together. I heard it on one of your podcast episodes and thought we need to share this because it’s such a wonderful way of describing it.
Natalie: It’s the one where you’re stuck inside the jar?
Paula: Yes. It’s so good. Please share it.
Natalie: Yeah, so it seems like kind of what coaching is. It’s like when you’re stuck inside the jar and you’re on the inside of it, and you’re trying to read the label on the outside. You’re trying to read all the fine print and stuff, but you can’t read it while you’re on the inside because it’s blurry and it’s upside down and it’s the wrong way. Like you can’t read it. But someone else can come up and just read it to you.
Paula: Which I think is so fascinating and so powerful. I think a lot of the work that you’re doing is helping people, especially if they’re in that interview stage, right? What is it that’s happening in that dialogue, in that discussion that is holding you back?
You talked about the mindset shifts, right. That maybe you’re thinking something like I’m not qualified enough. I’m too senior for this position. I’m not senior enough. It’s outside my practice area. I don’t have the right experience. They’re going to take somebody who has more education than me. So there’s all these subconscious thoughts. Half the time we’re not even aware that we’re having them.
Natalie: Exactly, yeah.
Paula: Then they’re feeding into the way that you’re talking about yourself in the interview and other people pick up on them. So I think being able to identify those and then help people through that is such a gift. It’s such a gift for the people who you’re working with to be able to see that, and then take steps to figure out.
Well, going back to the idea of the belief point. Is it possible that you could have this job without having more years of experience or without going back and getting an extra accreditation or whatever that happens to be?
Natalie: Totally. Something came up for me when you were talking about that. A lot of the times when I’m coaching somebody, I’ll say, “Well how did you answer that question in the interview?” Then they give me this answer that’s kind of robotic and kind of cookie cutter.
Then if I’m just having a conversation with them and they know that I’m not judging them, they know that they’re in a safe space. I say, “Okay, well how did you actually do that? Just walk me through that if you were going to teach me how. How would you actually go about doing that?” Then they explain it beautifully, and they have no issues communicating it.
It’s because they were now in an environment where there was no pressure. I was like see you do know what you’re doing. You actually don’t have anything to hide. You actually know all of that stuff. Then they kind of have an ah-ha moment, and they’re like oh. It’s because of the way that they’re viewing the interview. They’re viewing it like this lion’s den where they have to perform.
Paula: It’s so—Oh my gosh Natalie. It’s so true. I’ve had that experience where clients go into an interview and they’re looking at what they think the interviewers want as opposed to approaching the interview with the stories that they have and sharing the value that they bring and their reason for being there in the first place.
What ends up happening is what you’ve described, right? I mean this is a person who’s perfectly capable of explaining with beautiful language and lots of example and a very natural way what they’re passionate about, the value that they can share. But they’re so caught up in thinking about what’s the right answer, it completely get watered down.
So absolutely. Being able to find that, to find that story. It’s like when you’re having a conversation with your friend, telling your friend what you want in a job versus sitting in that interviewer/interviewee position. The wires get crossed.
Paula: So I love that you shared that. For anybody where that’s happening, it doesn’t have to be like that.t here’s actually ways of working on that so that you can show up and present more authentically, to present in alignment with what you want and showing that to the interviewers.
Natalie: Yeah, exactly. I like to have people evaluate themselves on how they showed up. Like did they show up as their true selves? Are they happy with what they shared? Did they feel like they shared their value? How sold were they on their own value? These are the things that we can control that we can evaluate. That’s the candidate’s job is to show up so that you can leave saying, “I’m proud of that” versus “Oh I hope I got that right. I hope they like me.”
Paula: Absolutely. I think that’s so much more empowering. Then you’ve got a place to learn from. So maybe you have a few interviews, but each time you interview you’re doing that self-reflection afterwards and getting closer to the goals that you have for yourself, the way that you want to show up.
Natalie: Yeah. You’re shortening the timeline because you’re becoming more valuable as you interview, every time you interview. Instead of trying to fit into all these different boxes because every interviewer’s going to “want” something different, and you can’t know what that is. So the only thing you can control is showing up how you want to.
Paula: Absolutely. Here’s another question for your Natalie. We talked about these mindset shifts. What are some of the shifts that your clients have made that have helped them find their ideal job?
Natalie: Oh there are so many really good ones here. So a lot of it stems in realizing their own value. Like having a big ah-ha moment about their own value. It’s not something that we normally think about or bring attention to because why would we, right? You’re in the role. You’re doing the work. A lot of the times people might even say, “You did a good job on that.” And they’ll be like, “Yeah, I was just doing my job. No big deal.” Right? So kind of dismissing their own value, not really knowing what it is.
So I think that’s the main one is really tapping into that. You might say, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah I know. Or I don’t know how to say it, but I know I brought value.” There’s always a deeper level to that I find. There’s a level where you really are like wow. When you get that, it becomes so much easier to go out there and talk about it.
Natalie: Yeah, I’m thinking of there’s just so many other ones. I think also because a lot of my clients like they’ll be really nervous to go on interviews. So the shift of the paradigm of an interview, not having to be like an interview. It could be just a conversation to see whether or not this is going to be the right fit whether or not they even want that role.
Paula: Do you find that that’s enough to even move out of that robotic kind of nervous energy into something a little bit more conversational?
Natalie: For some, yeah. For some. Like the shifts are going to be slightly different for everybody, but anything that takes the pressure off you. If you’re put in an environment where you’re not feeling under pressure and you just get to share the facts of what you’ve done. You’re feeling proud and good about yourself, that’s where you’re going to have the most success.
Paula: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Natalie: Seeing like what’s possible too I think. A lot of clients have told me that from listening to my podcast and from listening to some of the things that people have done through coaching, being able to make a career transition and increase their salary where they thought that wasn’t possible. They’d be like, “Yeah, but I don’t have enough experience. I’m going to have to take a pay cut.” Or I’m going to have to do this. Just seeing somebody else do it. Be like, “Okay, maybe I can then. Maybe I was wrong about that.”
Paula: Totally. Natalie, I’m so glad that you shared that last example because that was exactly what I wanted to ask you about. This is our last question. It’s been so fun having you. Which is for lawyers who are interested in making a shift. Maybe they’re interested in shifting from one practice to another. Maybe they want to shift out of law all together.
There are certain hang-ups that are quite common like I’ve invested all this time in getting my law degree and practicing as a lawyer. I don’t want to lose out on the investment that I’ve already made. Maybe it’s something like I really want to go into this other field, but are they going to hire a lawyer? What would you recommend for that person who is looking to maybe explore alternative paths that at the moment just seem like out of reach for them?
Natalie: Yeah, yeah. So the first thing is I think there’s this idea of sunk costs. Kind of like if you’re trying to hang on to something just because you’ve invested a lot of time in it or a lot of money in it and those are the reasons you’re trying to hang on to it, but really you don’t like it anymore. Then it’s kind of a question of like do you like those reasons? Are those good reasons to hang onto something?
For a lot of people, they can be. Then they stop you if you’re eventually going to be moving on to something else anyways. Knowing that what you did is never a waste, right. It’s never like a complete waste. You always bring that part of you into the next thing that you’re doing. I think for law, that’s always going to be useful.
Before we were talking, you said, “Well what if somebody wants to switch from being a lawyer to being an HR professional or something?” Like that is going to be hugely useful in HR as well. So I would say like how can you use what you have to help you succeed and bring a unique kind of style to the next thing that you want to do? How can you use it? There’s always going to be an answer to that. There’s always going to be a way that you can use it. It’s always going to make you better at what you’re doing next.
So assessing the reasons why you want to make that change, whether you like those reasons, and then going all in being like, “No this is what I’m doing. This is how it’s going to be great. This is why I’m going to be even better at it because I’ve got my law degree.”
Paula: I love how you frame that Natalie because it’s really what are the questions that you’re asking yourself. The ones that I’m hearing from you is how is my past experience going to support me in this next role? How does this past experience make me an excellent candidate for this role?
So asking yourself those questions and coming up with those answers, you then are reinforcing the value, which is what you would be talking about earlier. Right? How do you show up feeling like you’ve got that value to contribute? This is one of those ways where you can actually start to see it for yourself, by asking yourself those questions and focusing on that instead of well I’ve wasted the last 10 years of my last. Instead of at it from that perspective, it’s like what have I learned over the past 10 years that is setting me up for success in this next position?
Natalie: Exactly, yes. Yes. When you’re interviewing and when you’re thinking that way. When you’re like, “Okay well I have this law degree,” and using it as like the most powerful tool. Even if the job is for, let’s say for example say an HR professional or whatever thing you might want to do next. If you’re going in there thinking, “Oh they don’t care about my law degree. It’s useless now. I’m doing this new thing. I have to go get new stuff.” You’re going to kind of wash the value that that could give you, right.
So if you’re thinking of it in terms of the law degree could be super valuable for them, how could I apply it? How could I incorporate it in what this world needs? How could I help them achieve their goal using this knowledge and skill? Then you’re going to be looking for things, and the value’s going to come out. It’s going to be easier to find.
Paula: Absolutely. It’s so great. Natalie, thank you. You’re so amazing. I’m just delighted to have you here. I’m thinking of all the listeners who are benefiting from your wisdom and sure that they want to know more about where they can find you, how they can work with you. So can you tell us what that looks like?
Natalie: Yeah, absolutely. So the first thing if you want to come on over to my podcast. As Paula mentioned earlier, it’s called Get A Six Figure Job You Love Podcast. You can find it on iTunes. Yeah, you can go over there. Just dig through, see if there’s anything that catches your attention. From there you can learn about everything else that I do.
Paula: Beautiful. Beautiful. What about clients who want to work with you? What kind offerings do you have? Are you still doing coaching?
Natalie: Yeah. My program is called The Six Figure Curriculum. It’s where I take everything that I’ve learned from all my one-on-one clients and put it all into one. So everything is there for landing your first six figure goal or your next six figure goal. From building the self-confidence to opening up the opportunities to interviewing. I have a concept called whole interviewing where you interview as your whole self. Kind of what we touched on today. Aligning with the salary that you want, and then setting yourself up for the maximum impact that you could have in your career.
It’s called The Six Figure Curriculum. Yeah, you can learn about it if you go to my website www.nataliefisher.ca. Yeah, I’d recommend starting with the podcast.
Paula: So beautiful. Thank you so much Natalie. Yes, we’re going to provider links to all of these sources in the show notes. I love that you just said what is the maximum impact that you can make in your career? It reminds me of how I first learned of you. Natalie was interviewed in a podcast, and I listened to it. She mentioned that this is a question that she asked her clients. What is the maximum career impact that you can make? It’s such an opening question for somebody to think about, and maybe one that we haven’t thought about. So thank you Natalie.
Natalie: Yeah, you’re welcome. That’s what it’s all about. Just expanding your mind because if you don’t have intentions for these things then the likelihood of getting there is lower.
Paula: You’re the one who can show us how to get there.
Natalie: Yes. Absolutely.
Paula: Thank you so much Natalie. It’s been such a treat reconnecting with you.
Natalie: Thank you so much for having me on.
Paula: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Natalie: Thanks for everyone listening.
Paula: Oh thank you to everyone listening. Hope you enjoyed this week’s podcast with Natalie Fisher. She is amazing. Bye Natalie.
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