Stephen Covey's Career Advice To Get Any Job You Want - Part 2

By James Mills, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

"I have given this counsel over and over and over again to many people through the years. A small percentage took it, and in almost every case, they succeeded in getting the job they wanted."

- Dr Stephen R. Covey, Author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

So, you've taken the time to identify the industry, the profession and shortlisted the organisation(s) you want to work with and you come to preparing to approach them. So what's stopping you?

How do you absolutely know you will be able to turn your dream job into a day-to-day reality?

How do you get your foot in the door and stand out without the experience or qualifications they have advertised for?

Part one of this two-part article series will help you with the discovery process of working out what to go for. This article will take the second part of Dr Stephen R. Covey's advice around the practicalities of making a compelling case for any potential employer.

The Principle of Empathy

How often do we go into an interview or discovery meeting with a potential employer worrying about what we're going say and what we're going to be asked about?

Whilst this is important, worrying reveals that we have been limited in the way that we have done our research and discovery.

How do we want to actually be in the interview?

Are we hoping they'll like us and offer the job or are we going there as a potential partner who shows an understanding of their situation and can be part of the solution to add value?

Stephen Covey's advice in The 8th Habit makes it very clear that the people who know what their potential employer is actually looking for will be the ones who get the jobs:

"Show an understanding of their most significant problems better than most of the people in their present employ. Show a level of passion and commitment to meet their situation better than most of the people in their employ. Suggest, if necessary, a trial period, even at your expense, until they become convinced that you are a better solution to their problem than anyone else they're looking at or than many they may already employ, simply because you're a leader. You take initiative to make good things happen. You don't wait to be told. You're not always being acted upon. You act but you're not foolish in your action. You are very aware. You're very sensitive. You're very empathic and respectful.

You also engage in this job-finding process in a principled way. There is no exaggeration for effect, no deceit, no manipulation, no lying, no cheating, no duplicity or putting other people down. You become very focused on the organisation's needs, their concerns, their problems, and on their customers' needs, concerns and problems. You talk that language.

Anyone that will take such an approach with a decision-maker will get attention, and in most cases, will blow them away with the depth of their preparation and discipline and willingness to pay the price and sacrifice." 

Seek First To Understand, Then Be Understood

This approach is very much putting the principles of empathic communication into practice. We stand out when we back up our words and actions with sound discovery rather than trying to impress with buzzwords or hype.

The reality is that an organisation is employing a person and not a CV or indeed a robot! Whilst this may sound incredibly obvious, the reality is that so many people make the mistake of thinking their value to an employer is based solely on the qualifications, experience and information contained in their head.

However, when we have the ability to take the lead in everything we do, starting with how we approach an employer, we will naturally stand out.

We wish you the best for your career search; our team will be more than happy to help in bringing this advice to life in a way that relates personally to you. If you'd like to speak to a career mentorship coach, just contact us on live chat below...

Want to see how the essence of Stephen Covey's advice was put into practice? Here's how Unai Emery impressed the Board at Arsenal FC to become the team's manager.   

How To Apply This


    Why do you feel most people don't take Stephen R. Covey's advice in getting any job they want?


    Believe they know betterLaziness and lack of initiativeDon't know what they wantAren't sure what questions to ask themselves and othersLack the discipline to keep going when it gets hardAfraid to speak to new peopleOther:


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