After a few weeks crammed into plane seats and hotel gyms, I’ve been spending more time outside when I am home. That’s one of the perks of living this close to the Rockies. Just as quickly as I can walk over to the gym, I can be at a trailhead. While I love the community element of visiting my gym and the “regulars,” I’m happy to trade my view of ellipticals for mountains at any time.
Bonus: I feel like a real badass when I hit the trails all on my own. While I didn’t grow up in the city, no one would say I’m a country kid either. We played in the dirt, it was just the dirt of an empty lot where a house was being built. We shot things, but mostly rubber bands at each other. You get where I’m going with this. I don’t know how to use a compass, and I most definitely do not camp.
But in Colorado, there’s some expectation that you actually know things about nature and trails to start a hiking adventure. There are some signs, but once you pass the first marker, you’re pretty much on your own.
I’ve learned this lesson the hard way more than I’d like to admit. I head confidently down a circled loop only to turn around halfway because my anxiety will get the best of me. I get nervous. Nervous I went the wrong way. Nervous I won’t come out where I think.
It’s weird. Inherently, I don’t trust a path. I know I’m not alone. People always think they need a different way, or there’s a better way. Maybe we’ve gone the wrong direction altogether in the past, and we feel lost before we even start. The paths get a little longer, curved, or higher than we think, and all of a sudden, we don’t believe it’s the right path at all. We worry. Everything feels uncertain.
That panic is easier to overcome when you’re staring at the sun than your future.
That’s what we do when we apply to jobs: start the unknown trail. But we don’t set them up for success. There’s this unspoken expectation that people just know what to do, how an ATS works, or what the hiring manager needs to hear them say. There are few “mile markers” in the form of updates in the candidate experience. Not a lot of signs. Confidence deteriorates at every turn. Most of the time, people don’t know if they’re on the right trail at all.
But they’re told there’s an end in sight and that this is just the beginning when often the digital experience is the beginning, middle, and end of that journey. “We appreciate your application” leaves a lot to the imagination after 30 minutes of typing in your work history.
That’s what I wrote about this week - those mile marker templates, and why we have to do better. I’m also including before and after job posts from my interview with LinkedIn. Finally, a blog that reminded me life is always too short.
Have a great weekend. Live it up, ok?