We all get asked to make assessments– a more polite word for judgments – and frankly most of us aren’t very good at it. Typically the descriptive words we use are vague at best, can get easily lost in translation from one person to another, and have their basis in some assumed sense of common underpinning qualities. For day-to-day life it works mostly – until it doesn’t – and the bump can be large and noticeable (e.g. “banking credit problem”).Read More
The first step is to learn how to see with – feel free to channel Shirley Maclaine here – your “third eye” and make sure you know what you are actually experiencing and be able to assess it. While the patterns of behavior you are seeing are not 100% predictive, they are highly suggestive – and much more accurate as window into future behavior than any diagnostic personality test you’ll ever encounter.Read More
It might be nice – albeit less interesting – if job hunters interviewed successfully once and kept that role for the balance of their life. The reality for most is different.
The truth of the matter is that most of us over the years end up kissing lots of frogs –warts and all – to find roles that work well for us. No trying, no finding.Read More
It’s Late at the Candidate Pub: Part 8 – “Last Call” – of the nine part series “Choose Me, Hire Me!”[/caption]
Like looking for a spouse / partner when you hear some loud form of biological / life clock incessantly ticking, the scent of desperation is something that job candidates should avoid. That vibe evokes caution on the part of would-be-employers, and can torpedo promising job opportunities.
For people who are locked into job hell, “between jobs” or just plain out of work, the feeling of despair may feel inevitable. It’s not.
Part of that palpable sense can come from generating no other options – a sort of waiting by the phone (or checking e-mail as the case may be) hoping you’ll get summoned for an interview. Instead – for those people who are constantly working informational interviewing (see Part 2 of this series) activities and options continue to be generated while you continue to network.
I don’t want to minimize the frustration and dead-ends that may occur: it is possible, particularly in smaller areas and smaller job markets, to top out - to have met with anyone and everyone who is appropriate to meet. But if you don’t want to succumb to the malaise of the Seussian “Waiting Place ”, what do you do?
If you are working for pay at a job, keep doing research. In particular, take a look at analogues to the type of work you were considering (purchasing contract management instead of building negotiations management for example) as sort of a brand extension project. It may open up a whole new set of networks and people to meet as you explore a Plan B approach to your job hunt.
It can also be a time to circle back with people with whom you’ve met and felt connected – a chance to recount what you’ve been doing, talk more shop and to ask for other advice.
If you are out of work, what do you do then?
For those who can afford to, stay busy by doing things such as community and volunteer work. While it may be seductive to take the time to cocoon and read, work-out, and (in my neighborhood) sip lattes at Ritual , that energy is “passive” and inner-directed. It’s unlike to cut that desperation edge. Far better to be outer directed and to get moving and engaged with other people.
There is no shortage of help that’s needed for volunteers and while it may not be glamorous (I have one friend who volunteers at an animal rescue shelter where one highlight is scooping up animal poop), it keeps you busy and doing things that are worthwhile. It also keeps you around people – frequently interesting people - who have other lives and other networks that may be of help to you.
That sort of volunteering and community work also gives you a structure – a sense of place where you’re doing something of value: good for the heart rather than good for the bank account. Hours are frequently flexible, giving you the ability to either interview for jobs and/ or extend networking – even if it’s circling back with people you met before. From an interviewer perspective, I think it also shows initiative, a quality that is generally desirable for candidate to showcase.
And if you’re out of work and need income? Find work – any work – and hopefully work that gives you some flexibility while you continue your job hunt. Apart for the value of a paycheck, the work (and it could be any work) provides structure to your life and gives you something to think and obsess about then each job interview.
My own experience with people who were working in jobs that were – as the polite phrase might be “less than their abilities” – is fine if the candidates were matter of fact about it. At times it bolsters authenticity (another admirable quality). Candidates who hide their in-between work sort of dishonor both themselves and the work they do: it’s much better to show that you’re focused on a certain goal and supporting yourself (and family) while you go about that pursuit.
My experience from having seen interviewers report back on thousands of candidates is that people respond generally better to candidates who are interested in the role for which they’re interviewing, and also have other things – and perhaps options – going on in their life. These candidates have a sense of momentum and energy that is palpable, and makes them more attractive as prospective employees.
That friend of mine who helps out at the animal shelter is a great case in point. Though she is blessed with the ability to take the time off (the benefit of having worked hard all of her life and made some wise financial choices), she is probably as attractive a candidate as you can be. She exhibits confidence in who she and what she is doing, and stays busy doing things that interest her, from serving on several boards to the glories of the animal shelter. The next fulltime job she takes – and I suspect she will take one – will be on her terms and informed in part by the approach she has taken.
Up Next: Part 9 of 9 – You Kiss a Lot of Frogs to find a Prince(ss)
Like looking for a spouse / partner when you hear some loud form of biological / life clock incessantly ticking, the scent of desperation is something that job candidates should avoid. That vibe evokes caution on the part of would-be-employers, and can torpedo promising job opportunities.Read More
Even in a down market, jobs are can be hard for employers to fill for a variety of reasons and some form of search agency is utilized: hard technical requirements, over choosiness on the part of the employer, requisite discretion when replacing an unknowing incumbent, or the job is of such a nature or level where candidates are unlikely to come forward themselves and need to be surfaced directly.Read More
Road Trip is one of my favorite, nimble, and durable tools. As someone who works with leadership and start-up teams in the realms of team performance and team building, the exercise gets teams and groups moving quickly and nimbly to where they need to goRead More
Headlines blare: “Why You Should Hire Me.” While times may be challenged, there is work (and jobs) to be had. I’ve been in the people (and teams) coaching business for over 25 years , both as a coach to managers and teams and also as someone directly responsible for hiring thousands of people through roles running […]Read More
When most of us last caught up with Goldilocks, she had been outed for breaking into the home of the Three Bears, eating their porridge and sleeping in their beds.Read More
It may sound corny but interviews are best reframed as making friends. While not every interviewer is friendly, if you make the effort to connect you may be favorably surprised. If you’ve done the things you should have done – shown up on time, thoroughly field tested yourself through informational interviews, and done your research on the prospective employer – you’ll perform in the interviews markedly better and can relax a little and learn about the people with whom you’re meeting.Read More
When your parent(s) reminded you to “do your homework”, they weren’t just talking about school. Getting the right job in a place where you can do well is work – and trolling Craigslist for jobs for which you can send in resumes is the least of it.Read More