Preparing to Move on in your Career
Second in a four part series…
How to Nurture Yourself Into Your Next Position
In Part one of our “Primer” we laid out that the various parties involved in the hiring process (Job-Seeker; Hiring Manager; Human Resources/Legal; Senior Management; Friends and Family) are part of a communal process and that each has responsibilities to insure that a healthy and happy match is hatched.
Today we will explore the responsibilities of the job-seeker.
To Thine Own Self Be True
You are embarking on a new path! Begin by exploring why you’re ‘unhappy’ with your current employer (boss or company). It’s all too easy to find fault and lay out what dissatisfies you. Take some time to explore those complaints deeply. What was your role in getting to this place and what might you have done differently? Now that you understand your ‘pain’. Begin to examine what your next home should be like.
One of the pioneers in the recruitment business, Pete Lefkowitz, teaches recruiters to seek applicants 5 key motivators: estimable advice. Explore what is really important in your next position, what will make your work meaningful (and define it for yourself), what does a good employee life look like for you; what can you excel at; compensation and benefits; and finally, culture. Write out your answers and rank them. Apply only to jobs that meet at least your top three motivators and STOP the process on any position where it becomes clear you’re not going to achieve these.
The Interview Process!
- Be Prompt. 15 minutes early – not more, not less.
- Be Prepared. Do your research on the company and on the interviewer(s).
- Be courteous.
- Be honest with your answers. Avoid the temptation to give answers that you think the employer wants to hear. If you need to be disingenuous with your answers, chances are either this is the wrong job for you, or you are the wrong person for the job. A long term relationship with a foundation in dishonesty is unlikely.
- Don’t waste people’s time with fishing expeditions. If you do not have a serious interest in the position at any time in the process, inform the other party and move on.\
- Be a good listener. Avoid forming your answers while the interviewer is still framing the question. Try and discern what they are truly seeking with a question.
- Don’t pontificate. It’s not your turn for a soap box
- Don’t exaggerate. It’s a good idea to illustrate and share your accomplishments but, again, be honest.
- Ask good questions. It’s OK to bring prepared questions about things that truly matter to you. Write down additional questions about concerns, or ideas or great things that you uncovered in the interview process.
- Provide feedback to the interviewer about your experience with their company.
Post Interview Etiquette
Write a thank you note. Emails are acceptable, hand written notes will stand out. If you’re working with a recruiter you should forward thank-you notes to the recruiter for them to share
Timing – We had a great date! Should I call her back tonight? Is that too eager? What if I wait too long? Roses or mums? Follow up is good, stalking is not! It’s fine to communicate your interest within 24 hours but you cannot expect feedback to be as fast, a week is still within the norm. If you’ve asked for feedback and been told you will receive it wait 3 days before asking again. In another 3-5 days you can stop asking, some interviewers are just cads and will never get back to you. Sorry, wrong number.
If you want the job ASK FOR IT! If you’re on the fence be clear about the pros and cons and share them. Consult your motivators. By this time the employer should understand your current compensation and expectations. There should almost never be a negotiation. Make sure you’ve given as much thought and sought advice, chatted with your significant before the offer arrives. Just imagine that the money is in the right place – Go ahead and weigh things out. It is best if you can accept or reject the job on the spot. Employers want someone who wants them. Imagine proposing marriage and your intended asks you to wait to see if any other proposals come along that are better! It’s very hard to compare to different companies/offers so decide on each opportunity on its own merits. Follow these simple rules!
Next week: Part 3 Wise words for the hiring manager