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Boost Your Career By Saying “No” As Often As Possible

Written by: James Foo Torres, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


In the midst of the hottest job market in decades, and following The Great Resignation of an estimated 50 million American workers, many recruiters say now is the time to take your career to the next level. With employers desperately seeking workers and paying top salaries with generous benefits packages to land them, there can be little doubt that there has been a power shift from those offering jobs to those considering whether the offers are worthy of their consideration.

How to capitalize on these job market conditions – and when to jump ship or finally accept an offer – weigh heavily on the minds of a broad spectrum of people, from former fast food shift workers to executives planning their ascent in the C-Suite. Where does one turn to for useful advice?

Despite inflationary cost of living increases, and the prospect of a recession on the horizon, a leading executive career coach says the best strategy today is to listen carefully to what employers, Human Resources experts, and recruiters are offering and then tell them “no” more often than not.

“I tell my clients to say ‘no’ more to job opportunities,” says Soozy Miller, veteran career coach to executives and Founder of Control Your Career. “Too many people say yes, yes, yes, without thinking about which option is the most lucrative or the most fulfilling.”

Deciding which path to take career-wise and how it affects one’s personal life intersect far too infrequently, according to Miller.

“You can’t take every path,” Miller adds. “So one of the first things I tell my clients is to learn to reject up to 90% of the job offers.”

The rationale behind her advice is based on decades of personal experience and watching friends, family members, and colleagues burn out and wind up in unsatisfactory careers.

“The ability to turn down something that feels inappropriate or like a bad fit is very empowering. Every time you reject an option it gives you more opportunity to say yes to offers than may result in the job of your life,” she adds.

According to Miller, it boils down to not allowing yourself to get bogged down by wasting time and energy. Every job that is a bad fit is a distraction, and every distraction contributes to frustration, which can grow into inaction and missed opportunities.

“It’s about having the space and the time to pursue what you actually want,” Miller states. “If you take one of the first offers to come along, you may wind up jumping ship when it dawns on you that it wasn’t a good fit for your career trajectory after all. No one wants to waste that kind of time and energy.”

To avoid making poor choices that cost executives years of their lives and hundreds of thousands in lost income, Miller suggests the following job search guidelines:

  • Take the time to figure out whether a job offer presented to you is what you’re truly looking for or is simply a convenient choice to return to the working world.

  • If possible, begin your search while you’re still working. It’s much easier to find the optimal job when you already have a job and you’re not stressed out about money.

  • Read the job posting or job offer carefully. Look at the big picture. Don’t make short-term anxiety decisions which will potentially result in the same outcome.

  • Revise your resume. Most job seekers have outdated or poorly formatted resumes, yet resist updating them and changing the career focus. If it isn’t working – change it!

  • Scrutinize your LinkedIn profile. More than ever, the way the world and prospective employees view you is through the prism of your LinkedIn profile. Have trusted friends, preferably in the career services industry, and work associates evaluate it and tell you what they like and don’t like.

  • Work with a professional, accredited career coach. Finding the perfect fit for your next career move can represent hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars over the remainder of your working life. Invest in it!

In looking back over her years as a career adviser, Miller sums up her lessons learned succinctly.

“Regardless of where you are in your career – young, middle-aged, or somewhere in-between – do everything you can to avoid being motivated by a survival mode,” she says. “While being up against the wall can be highly motivational, it is very destructive when it comes to long-term decision making.”

In helping her clients, Miller says a fundamental goal is to ensure they make informed and educated decisions.

“Right out of the gate I give them the tools and methodologies to better understand and strategize in the job market based on their track record and where they want to go next. If they use these resources, they’ll get to where they want to go. You have the power to control your career, you simply need the right tools. And the right coach.”

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James Foo Torres, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

James Foo Torres is a renowned Public Relations Strategist, a host of a top 1.5% of podcasts in the world, a bestselling author and an international bestselling author. He is best known as Foo, founder of CEO of Imperium Authority. Following his service in the Air Force, Foo launches his company with the mission of amplifying the positive impact of exceptional leaders. Foo always aspired to be an entrepreneur and run his own business. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, his firm is popular in America and gaining international notoriety. In the last few years, Imperium Authority has helped accelerate the growth of a wide spectrum of brands and companies in various markets.



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