Shifting Your Mindset During Your Job Search |

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Salary Negotiation: After Defer and Deflect
So often, people develop a mindset that can only be described as “stinkin’ thinkin'” or “doom and gloom.” It doesn’t serve you. On today’s interview with Lisa Rangel, we discussed how to shift that mindset and recalibrate.

So my guest today is the one, the only Lisa Rangel. She’s the president and CEO of Chameleon Resumes. Chameleon is the only executive resume writing, LinkedIn profile development and job search consultancy hired by LinkedIn for a years to help premium members win interviews faster and negotiate the maximum compensation. Lisa, welcome.

I’m so happy to be here Jeff, thank you so much for asking me.

You’re very welcome, love to see a smile on your face.


Good. Essentially, we’re going to be talking about shifting your mindset because most of you have a case of, what Zig Ziglar used to call stinking, thinking and he made rules that still serve you, so it creates the question to start off, why do people struggle so much with this kind of stuff?

You know, it’s obviously been a rough year and people struggling the reasons could be numerous, many valid and even if it’s not a big reason in some people’s minds, it’s still valid in their minds, right, so it’s been a rough year but I find that a common theme for those who’ve been successful in landing jobs during this tumultuous period is that, not that they have nothing negative going on in their lives but they tend to really zero in, on the moment that they’re sitting at their computer or they’re on a phone call or on a zoom call and they just tried to make the best of the moment that they’re in, so they’ll send the most positive pointed email that they can or they’ll send a positive vibe on a zoom call like, they’ll just not necessarily think about everything else going on in their life or the world but they will zero in and try to be mindful of the moment they’re in and make the best of it and I find that’s a common theme in the clients that we’re working with that have success is that they’re just focused on, what’s working and what’s in front of them.

It’s funny we must be from social work school which I have an MSW, they used to call that partial sing, you zero in on the one thing that’s right in front of you and push the other things aside for a period of time, so that you provide best performance right then and there. Because….

It’s funny you bring that reference to social work because I come from a sales background, you know recruiting and sales background and I called it, what’s closest to the money, focus on what’s closest to the money, you don’t get wrapped up in all the things you can do that sidetrack you and get you off your game and it was like, what’s the one activity that’s the closest to the money and in job searching, it’s what’s the activity that’s going to get you closer to landing the job. Some days that’s starting over and reaching out to somebody that you haven’t talked to in a while sometimes that’s preparing for the interview that you have right in front of you, I think, if the concept is similar that you’re mentioning, it’s just interesting to hear that from the Social Work standpoint, I hadn’t heard that before that’s not my background but I think we’re all basically peddling the same stuff, it’s really just staying focused on, what you can do and doing your best to compartmentalize, what you can’t help in the moment, just so you can move forward to, what you can do.

And this obviously existed pre COVID and folks we’re recording this in March 2021, so now when Lisa is referencing, no tough year, it’s the Covid year obviously but she and I both have been around the block a couple of times in recruiting and as a result we both know that this existed way before that.

Absolutely. Yeah, it just became compounded in the Covid, it’s something that we needed to do, to try to still move forward even if it’s slowly, even if it’s threeShifting your mindset steps forward and two and a half back, it still directly move forward and it still the best you can to move forward and I find that a lot were of you meditating officially or just taking moment to breath or not packing your day with fifty things to do when you have control over that, just anything you can do to just take a moment to appreciate the moment that you have a roof over your head, you have your health hopefully that day and then just doing the activity that is in front of you and leaving the result up to the universe to bring to you, what it supposed to bring to you. I think it sounds a little woo and I am not necessarily a religious person but I find that just, what you do it’s just some kind of the best you can, the universe will provide and that drop you.

That’s was such a tough one for people to hear because especially in US culture, of course, we’re action oriented, we want to take control, we got to do stuff because otherwise we look lazy or what your partner will say, “Okay, what are you doing today? Rejuvenate the house as fast as possible”. Oh….

I’m not recovering, busy a holic by far and I say recovering because I fall into it now and again, I’d have to get myself out of it but I think, compounded with that is the expectation. Managing expectations, I think is another huge one and you know, I had a conversation, it just reminds me of a conversation I had with someone recently who was really struggling because she felt the interviews weren’t going well, so she felt downtrodden to go reach out and get more, right because if it’s not going well, you don’t want to do more of it especially during a time we already not feeling so good to begin with, we had to reframe, what her expectations of the interviewer, okay, have some compassion for the person on the other side of the zoom screen. Maybe that recruiter or that hiring manager is also having a bad day and yes they have a job and you don’t but that doesn’t mean they are having a bad day either. So maybe your expectation for the interview is to really just make a human connection versus land a job which I know sounds really strange when you’re a job seeker but if you’re constantly being let down by an interview, not going as perfectly as it should or that the person on the other side of the screen not being as prepared as they should be.

Maybe you just need to make a human connection and that’s what’s going to be the expectation, lower your expectations without lowering your standards and it might actually make the conversation more fluid and you’re not going to walk away disappointed and that will just help with your mental health to then feel good about the interview, feel good about the conversation once that conversations over, go back to your list, go back to your LinkedIn connections and start reaching out to new people to make new conversation, so instead of saying “I’m going to go set up interviews”, maybe lower the expectations and say, “I’m going to set up conversations” and just have conversations and see where they go, we’re always going to be prepared for a big interview if it comes right or if that’s the nature of where that conversation goes but I said maybe you need to start preparing for the smaller, lower level expectations have conversations as well, so this way more meaningful things.

The Missing Ingredient in Your Interviews (Branding, Resumes, Networking)

You know, when I talk to people about interviewing because that’s my specialty, prepping people for interviews, I talked with him about competence is only one variable someone looks for and there you can execute this on your resume, be prepared to talk about honestly but they also look for self-confidence, character chemistry, maybe a little bit of charisma because in many roles, charismatic people are going to get hired over the nonferrous max but the final thing that someone looks for when they hire is they want to feel like they trust the person and that’s really about the connection. It’s about the relationship you can formulate with that other person where they can look across at you and go, “yeah, I don’t have to worry about her”.

Right, and feel the comfort, I often use an analogy of even though the person on the interview is the guest, they get the candid, I say, try to treat the interview as if you were inviting someone into your living room like you would try to make their life comfortable, you would try to make their life easier, if you want to make sure they had what they needed, I said, if you go into an interview even as the guests with that mindset is that you’re going to make someone feel better and I feel like most hires happen because the hiring manager feels like that person’s going to make their life easier. I mean, nobody’s getting hired because they’re going to make their life harder however that needs to be conveyed whether it’s fixing a challenge they’re having or helping them capitalize on an opportunity they have before them whatever the situation is specifically, the end goal should be, how do I convey to this person, that I’m going to make their life easier and part of that is, I think softening the expectations around the conversation, so you can listen more, come across more at ease, come across more like a business partner evaluating the situation not a candidate being evaluating by a hired manager which has this survey and kind of vibes to it. I said, so, just maybe take it back, take it down a notch in terms of the expectation and that in itself is a mindset shift too because now you’re going into this as a meeting of two equals versus the hiring manager and the candidate being evaluated, so much of this is the success comes from reframing things, lowering expectations in some ways easing up on things in other ways and just approaching people like humans. We’ve all been through a lot, some more than others but relatively speaking, it’s all a lot for each of us and if we can come to the table with even more compassion than before, it’s tends to pay off, nothing’s absolute, nothing’s 100% but you know…

It does…

That’s my take on it.

And I also think of that since we’re talking about shifting mindsets and you raise the scenario earlier, I don’t want to let go away. The depressed individual who’s just gotten slammed in some way and they thought they did well then they get the feedback that basically says, “You stack up the joint”. That’s the way they hear it.

That’s the way they hear it, right.

Yeah. You helped someone, I know you explained, how you did, in this particular case if you were giving someone else a formula for, “I’m really in the dumps, and I’m awful. Oh, woe is me. I’ll never get a job”.

Staying Relevant

When someone, you said, hears that they stink up the joint, I love that, your analogy. I’ll just try to break it down with them and say, did they actually tell you that or you filling in that blank? so, I really tried to tell someone in absence of information, “Don’t fill in the blanks” and if you’re going to fill in the blanks intuitively or instinctively, certainly don’t fill it in with false negative information until someone tells you, “Get the hell out of here, we don’t want you”, It’s not a no, it may be a frustrating not yet unanswered scenario but that doesn’t mean no and it certainly doesn’t mean no because you’re terrible, so in absence of information, “Don’t fill in the blanks” and I think that we have to treat ourselves the way we would treat others, we often all of us have an advisory component to us in some capacity. Most of us do whether we’re officially a coach or not, we have friends and family that come to us for advice and how would we talk to them, so I’ll remind the person having that doom and gloom moment or period, say like, what you’re telling yourself, would you tell your best friend who came to you with the same scenario?

No, I wouldn’t do that.

For your adult child or your coworker, of course not, so just easier said than done, I know that and I say that as someone who some days doesn’t want to get up out of bed and who some days feels the weight of the world and I can’t fix it, so I empathize as much as I can but we just got to zero in on, what is exactly the task in front of us and if the task in front of us is to send an email to a hiring manager then that’s the task in front of us today, if that’s the only thing somebody who is really down in the dumps gets done that day that’s a victory, so it’s just boil it down to one really simple thing. Typically, when you do the one thing I find that it snowballs into getting a few more things done but frankly, if you get that one thing done and that’s it that day then that’s still a win, you just start again tomorrow.

But I got so much more time here, I could be doing more stuff, what should I be doing? You know and I know I deal with that.

I know, doing nothing is an action. I’ve learned in COVID, doing nothing is a box checking activity on my list sometimes, we have to be okay with doing nothing sometimes because it really fuels us and rests our soul, rest our minds or rest our heart and then it gives us the energy to do that next right thing that we have to do for ourselves, it sounds overly simple but I have allowed myself to sit on the couch, I’ve allowed myself to just play on my phone, I have allowed myself to take a nap at two o’clock in the afternoon. I’ve allowed myself to sleep in, I’ve allowed myself not to go to the gym that day, I’ve allowed myself not to go for a run that day, I’ve allowed myself not to do that for a week, just the next day you start over and that’s it but I think we have to be kinder with ourselves, I have my list of things I was going to accomplish in COVID like, learn a language, learn this, learn that and I’ll be honest with you, all those extra things I haven’t really done and that’s okay but I’ve done a lot of other things, I’ve helped other people and I just tried to count the wins versus the things I didn’t do.

Amen, sister. I also think about the anxious situations, why aren’t they getting back to me? Like, it seem they’re not getting back to me and, how do you encourage people to cope with those situations?

Yeah, it’s challenging, I find that the best, explain again not perfect but the best elixir to waiting is having more things in the pipeline, if you’re waiting for somebody to get back to you until you have that signed offer in hand with a start date, you keep reaching out to people and you keep your job search going, it is not over until you’re starting in my book and I feel there’s a Murphy’s Law thing, the minute you stop looking is when everything takes longer. I have literally told people, keep looking and the offer comes in that day, it’s by no means a scientific process but I swear energetically, somehow it works. I think when you are focused on, it’s like watching a pot of water boil, it always seems, it’s taking longer but the minute you go do other things, all of a sudden, you’re like a holy crap, I am going to turn that down because boiling is over, so you have to keep looking, you have to keep having conversations, you have to keep starting new things until the offer is in and negotiated, signed with a start date and I feel, it’s bad juju, the minute you stop everything before all that stuff happens. I don’t know, why it works but I mean between recruiting for 13 years and doing chameleon for resume for, 12 years, I think it’ll be 12, it works. Literally just keep doing stuff and I swear the offers come in faster.

I’ll let you folks in all…

Reading this, the kiss of death, you know.

Here’s the secret that most of you don’t know and I know, Lisa knows this one as soon as you get the first offer, things come out of the wood work and suddenly they’re more offers that show up.

And then the problem you have is, “Oh, I like this one”, but it’s not moving fast enough, I have this other one. I’m like, that is a lovely problem, so the way I see it, is as I tell my kids, you’re never going to be problem free ever in life. We are always going to have problems. You want good problems versus bad problems, right? Good problems are when you have a couple offers and you don’t know what to do or they’re not exactly what you want but you still have offers, bad problems is no one’s getting back to you, no one’s interviewing you, no one’s giving you an offer, all that stuff, so you want good problems and don’t worry about problems you don’t have yet. I always check a little bit when somebody is like, “What am I going to do if giving notice”, I’m like, you haven’t even gotten an interview yet, why are you worried about giving notice already, like just again stay in the moment is best you can worry about, what you got in front of you, not what you don’t even have this problem yet, so that can reduce the anxiety that you brought to, I just strongly believe that the universe takes care of itself, if you just keep doing, what’s in front of you as best you can that somehow just all kind of works out in ways that you don’t even know.

The universe, what did the universe?

I know, I sound like a woo crazy lady when I say that, but…

However someone wants to phrase it, events take care of themselves. You’re worried does nothing to change it.

Improve Your Odds with the Applicant Tracking System

No and I only recently learned this phrase but I’m not necessarily religious person but I believe in this phrase, you know rejection is God’s protection, so maybe you weren’t meant to go to that place even if you made a terrible mistake on an interview that caused you not to be considered anymore, maybe that’ll happen as a way of you not getting the offer there because it was going to be a bad experience, if someone is religious then God is everything or he or she is nothing, you have to just trust the process, if you’re going through something and you just keep doing it, you’re going to eventually land what you need, if you keep making tweaks to your performance, getting feedback, getting help and just keep showing up, keep reaching out, it’s going to eventually work out but the key thing is you have to keep trying that’s to me, the common element in so many of these successful scenarios is not only do they reframe things and stay in the moment but they keep trying.

One foot in front of the other push and…

Yeah. Just keep trying, I was a recruiter in New York City when I started recruiting and my second job, I was responsible for getting job orders, so I’d have to then make phone calls. Email wasn’t as prolific then, I would have to smile and dial and make appointments, I was doing finance recruiting, so I make appointments with tax directors, controller, CFOs, and pitch the accounting and finance recruitment services that I worked for and come back with jobs hopefully, some days I was pretty good at it, some days were great then every once in a while there was every other salesperson or just in general, every other person, you have bad days and I would be like, “oh my god, I’m never getting another job offer again, never getting another job assignment, again, oh my god and I was pretty much on commission”, so I was like, “they’re going to fire me and I would go into the twist”, I was in Manhattan that was my territory which was already, pretty intense and ruthless to begin with and sometimes I would just go to a top of a building when pre 9, 11, you were allowed to do that.shift

I would just look at all the windows. I would look at all the buildings and all the windows and I go there behind every windows in every office, how many offices, how many windows and so I was like, I just need one person to say yes and give me a job to work on, so I was like, I just got to keep going to see people behind these windows and eventually they’re going to give me a job when you see hundreds and hundreds and 1000s of Windows before you in Vista, all of a sudden you go, “Okay, this is doable because there’s like 1000s of Windows and I just need a few” and so that’s the analogy I try to convey to people is turn off the news, you don’t need to solve the unemployment problem, you don’t need to solve the knowledge gap, you just need one job, just keep talking to people, keep asking for referrals and you just need one offer, if you’re lucky, you’ll get more than one but you really just need one, just keep talking to people keep and then when if that person’s like, “Oh, you’re not the right person, I can’t help you”, go, who do you know and get that person’s name reached out to that person and just do the constant conversational chain, it really is to me the magic solution to all of this, it’s not easy. It’s mentally sometimes exhausting but if you can just get yourself the gumption to just reach out to one more person typically, it keeps the (Inaudible) going.

Do one quick anecdote because you mentioned something?


Who do you know phrase because we are both extra praters and an old girlfriend’s of mine used to work at the old marrow lunch, it was the first woman (Inaudible) so it was tough for her and she came home one day with a cassette recorder, a cassette recording of a junket, it was for the top one tenth of the one percent of the producer (Inaudible), I speak with her to justify the production from the junket, she basically said woo (Inaudible), woo I would like to learn, how would you do seven percent of more business in three seconds, I paused and said, why not, okay, turn me on this, you are going to do this with (Inaudible). Is there anyone else you know, who I could be helping, it’s always asking for the referrals, who you don’t know who and…

And specifically in this job search context, “Who do you know”, that I can speak to that might give me some insight on x, whether it’s an industry, a profession, a project, whatever you’re not going to ask that person directly for who do you know can give me a job but just, “Who do you know in this field that I can bounce some ideas around or might be able to help me with x or I might be able to help them with x” and just keep the conversation going and if you keep that pipeline full, it eases the anxiety of waiting for something to come because you have other things and frankly when you have other things in the pipeline when that thing comes in, it will help you even negotiate from a stronger position because you know you got other stuff going on, if you’re negotiating, going on, “Oh, my God, this is all I got” that’s going to come through but if you’re negotiating from the standpoint of other things are in the hopper, it’s going to be okay, if this doesn’t work out that feeling of where you know, what I’ll walk away, if it’s not right because when you don’t have that ability to walk away from something that’s when you might be taking something that isn’t going to make you happy, so you need to keep things moving to make sure you take something that makes you happy that also may be exam anxiety, too.

Why Your Job Search Is Failing

Of course and thus folk of, at least has been repeating over and over again, yes, it’s important that on the day that you have only the one activity, it’s okay to take a break and you have to be moving forward overall, taking actions daily that are going to help move the needle forward, so that you get to the destination you want which is the right next job however you define it, so right next job.

And take the action and leave the expectations, leave the results up to the universe to take care of it for you. I think where people start to have a lot of anxiety and I noticed some personal experience is when we try to control the results, like “okay, this offer is going to come” and all you can do is show up and do your best on an interview, you don’t know, what’s going on behind the scenes on that other side of that zoom call. You don’t know when that hiring manager hangs up the phone, did the budget get cut, did you know the president bring in their cousin, and now they want to interview that person. The next person you’re supposed to interview with is now going on, taking a vacation even if it’s a stay vacation at home, they’re just not taking calls for a week.

Now your next interview is delayed a week when they didn’t know, there’s so many things that happen on that other side of the hiring process, as you know, first hand that all you can do is control, what you can control on your side of the interview, so you just have to control for lack of a better word, the action that you can take, you can control, how many times you pick up the phone, you can control how many times you send an email, you can control how you perform and, how you prepare for an interview. You can control if you send a thank you note, you can control if you send a follow up two weeks later but you cannot control, what other people do, and you just got to make sure you do enough of activity of those things you can control.

I’m going to throw a curveball question at you, recruiters love them or leave them?

Oh love them totally love them. No and a lot of my friends are still recruiters but I don’t subscribe to the resume writers or the job training coaches or career coaches that crap on the ATS, crap on the recruiters, crap on everybody and crap on the fact that they only spent six seconds on a resume, everybody’s doing their job. You know that recruiters have a job whether their search firm recruiters or corporate recruiters, they have a job, they have metrics, they have the hit, their client is the company they serve and who pays them, there’s needs to be improvement in recruiting but that doesn’t mean the people doing the recruiting are bad and I think people can own as a job seeker, what they can control, they’ll start to see that everybody’s doing the best they can.

Including you, including every person in the process. There everyone’s trying, it’s hard and part of it is, people don’t communicate.


For job….

And they assume the negative on both sides, they assume the negative and they fill in the blanks with information that is not confirmed and yes, we’re not meeting face to face, so sometimes there’s implied, misunderstandings based on seeing texts and emails and that sort of thing but it is complicated, I think if everybody just took it back a notch and gave everyone the benefit of the doubt, a little bit more than once, it would just take a lot of (Inaudible) out of the world.

Amen sister, Lisa, this has been a lot of fun. How can people find out more about you, your work, everything?

Everything, so if you like the idea of job landing mindsets, I have a book, “Job Landing Mindset”, it’s on Amazon, It’s also on our one website, and our main business is, so those are two places you can find me. You can also find me on LinkedIn, so….

And tell me the URL on LinkedIn.


Super and folks, we’ll be back soon with more on in “TheBigGameHunter”. Hope you enjoyed today’s interview. I sure did.

And me too.

Good and if you’re watching on YouTube, click the small icon in the lower right, it’ll allow you to follow me there and in addition, you can visit my website, “”, I’ve got a tons in the blog that will help you with job search, charging more effectively, managing and leading workplace related issues. I also want to mention connect with me on LinkedIn at and lastly, I’ve got a terrific book as well. It’s also available as a video course, if you go to that takes you to the video course for the ultimate job interview framework. It’s also available as a paperback and Kindle book on Amazon. Folks, I hope you have a terrific day and most importantly, being great. Take care.


Should I Volunteer That I Am Interviewing With Another Company?


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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