Far too many people, candidates, and recruiters alike think of the job hunt as a game, or a thousand other competitive metaphors. And here is where my problem starts. You see, if we start thinking of the action of getting a new job as a game, it implies there are winners and losers. It is inherently adversarial and needlessly so. Yes, I know that there are millions of people who think that recruiting is a game and think they need to “win” the job or the candidate, but I truly feel that this sets us all up to fail in the long run. Related: 5 Things Successful Job Seekers Do Before Applying For A Job How? Well, let’s think about this, shall we? We are all really quite unique and amazing, in our own ways. And yet, when we are in the process of getting a new position, we often times try to figure out what will “win” us the job. What answers do I need to give so that the hiring manager can see me in the job? How should I adapt my language, dress, my needs to “fit in”? We change to win, which is unsustainable on a full-time basis and leads to losing our passion for the job. If we stop treating the job search as a game with winners and losers, we might be able to change our trajectory. If we treat the job search as a journey, not a destination, we can get more. What if you went to work everyday and felt challenged and fulfilled? How would that transform your life? What would that job or company look like? Now, open your eyes, and ask yourself: Why aren’t you there now? Any time I have made a career misstep, and there have been – ahem – a few, I realize that it was based on a few common mistakes that I’ve made. It may have been failing to listen, or failing to ask enough questions to understand the culture, but the mistake I only made once: failing to be transparent. I have a lot of quirks. I talk too much, I am incredibly opinionated, and I lack patience. I am also incredibly passionate about my work and solving problems and fixing things. I will work tirelessly to get something right and achieve my goals. And you know what? I think my employer should know all of that about me. I want to tell them what I am all about so there are no surprises if we choose to work together. Bonus side effect of this strategy: It sets the stage for them to come clean to me about some of their not-so-charming traits. Transparency can be contagious. All that being said, transparency is important in your career. It helps people know what to expect. And trust me, people want to know what to expect, just like you want to know what to expect from your employer. It isn’t a game; it’s an agreement. Now, please understand, I am not advocating that you show up to an interview in sweats because “that’s how you roll.” No, what I am saying is know a few things about yourself that are important to you in life and that you do not wish to compromise at work. I am also not saying you should be a jerk and that people should deal with it. I am saying that you need to be yourself and be okay with who you are. The decision to join a company is a two-way street. You get to decide to accept an offer. So, don’t spend time on companies you know will not fit your personality, aspirations, or goals.
May 31, 2016