I have gotten this interview question a few times in my career, and every time I thought to myself, “Well, that’s negative, isn’t it?” But, as you take a step back and think about why the interviewer is asking it, you begin to realize exactly what they are trying to figure out.
If you ask me what my biggest career move, this is how I’d answer:
Out of college, I entered the world of sales. I was good at it and made a lot of money. I made a natural progression into Recruiting. But, there came a point where I wanted to see what else I could do. So, I left sales/recruiting and was hired as the Executive Assistant to the CEO of a biotech company. It was a role completely foreign to me, but one that I wanted to explore. I wanted to see what else I was capable of.
Within a few months, I knew that I had made a huge mistake. I was miserable, and immediately started my job search. It had absolutely nothing to do with the company or the people I worked with. It was me.
I quickly learned that I was a proactive employee. I like being responsible for my day. I like knowing that I will “fail” if I don’t continue to put in work. I like knowing that the work I put in today, pays off tomorrow. I learned that some people are reactive employees, and like being given projects to be done on a deadline. I was not that person.
Being proactive is like a game to me. I’m competitive by nature and can’t just stand by and watch things happen. And, that’s how I landed back in Recruiting. My work is measurable and defines my success.
So, my “mistake”? Going outside of my comfort zone.
The real question behind the real question?… What lessons have you learned along the way?
As always… head up, chin down! GOOD LUCK!
Friends, we have all been there. The wonderful world of dating! Whether you are still courting your neighbor, flirting with every cute girl that walks into your office space, spending your time with your one-and-only (for now), or fully committed to Prince Charming… we have all “been there”. The trials and tribulations of dating teaches us so many things in life.
… Like how to job search!
What?! Seriously, Lianne? Yes! Let me explain.
PART 1: Finding the “one”
- Setting standards. As in dating, we need to know what we want. If you have no direction, how will you ever find Mr. Right? Take your standards and apply them to your job search. What are you looking for? What excites you? What is an absolute deal-breaker? What are you willing to compromise on? Do you have your heart set on anything?
- First impressions matter. Ask anyone about what they first noticed about their partner? For fun, I asked my sister’s boyfriend and he responded, “How put together she was compared to everyone else”. Couldn’t have said it better. What is going to set you apart from everyone else? How will the employer remember you, and not the guy who interviewed before you?
- Desperation stinks. Who wants a stage-five clinger? Don’t be that person. Employers want to know they are hiring someone with options, not someone who will take the first thing thrown at them. They want to know they are investing in YOU and what you bring to the table.
- Be yourself. You want your date to like you for who you are… not who you pretend to be. In the same regard, employers want to hire YOU! Not who you are pretending to be. Facades only get you so far.
- Two way street. Dating is a two way street. Do you like me as much as I like you? No? Then it probably will not work out in the long run. A job hunt is the same way. While it may work in the short-term, the company has to be just as much a fit for you, as you are for them.
- No big egos. Big egos are a turn-off in almost any situation. Need I say more?
PART 2: Stages
- Courting. Flirting with disaster? Luring the forbidden? Whatever you call it, you need to find a way to make them notice you! How will you do that? Wearing a big sparkly hat at the restaurant? Maybe. In a job search situation, being an industry expert certainly sets you apart.
- Dating. This is essential. It is where people learn about each other, where they learn whether or not they like what is under the makeup, where they determine if you fit their “standards” (see Part 1, #1). Dating is like interviewing. It’s a time for both parties to ask questions, to probe and to prodder about things that they want to know about, to find out what they love and hate about you.
- The Close. After a few weeks, you know you’re 100% into her. You want to spend all your time with her, and no one else. You know you’ve found the match! Now what? Close to deal. Make her your “better half”. Just as in dating, when you find that company that is a mutual fit, find a way to seal the deal. Sell them on your ability to transform their organization.
What do you think now? Dating and job searching are pretty similar, huh? That’s what I thought.
I wish you all a life full of happiness together 🙂
As always… chin up, head down!
I completely understand. Recruiters can be annoying. We email you out of the blue, email you again when you don’t respond, call you at work, and research you on all your social media sites. This does not make it ok to be rude to a recruiter. Keep in mind, the position we reach out to you about today may be your dream job tomorrow. We may recruit for a company you would never even consider working for. But, in five years, we may end up recruiting for the company you’d give your first born for. A simple, “Thanks, but no thanks” does wonders.
Ever wondered what burning bridges looks like?
Here you go:
I have to say it. I hate it when I find the perfect passive candidate, who says they are selectively looking, who seemingly is perfect for the role I sought them out for, who said they were mutually excited to chat… falls off the face of the planet. I get it, though. I really do. You may have spoken too soon, or now your boss loves you, or what if your boss finds out you’re interviewing! I understand completely. But, if you’ve changed your mind about your job search, just tell me up front and honestly.
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
You have to treat a job search like a relationship. You don’t know what bridges you are burning, so keep everything nice and respectful. You wouldn’t dump your girlfriend by completely ignoring her for a few weeks, right?
Don’t answer that.
Whatever you do, be respectful of the recruiter’s time, and it will pay off in the end. The recruiter at Company A (that you’re not so excited about) may end up being the recruiter for Company B (your dream job) some day. We don’t forget names. We don’t forget faces.
We will forgive you if you say our company isn’t a right fit for you. But, tell us that it isn’t the right fit for you.