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Monday, September 20, 2010

Dating My Next New Job

Having recently been a job seeker myself-I have opinions about the people I was meeting during this process. The problem, I believe, is in the approach to the job search and to the interview. The issue is about spirit and purpose. The interviewees mostly can't communicate a vision for themselves in the company. They had no idea why they wanted this job as opposed to a marketing job somewhere else.
Are candidates and job search strategists forgetting about dating? Which is one of the cardinal metaphors of a job search.
A job search is like dating.
That means you don't talk incessantly about your old employer (significant other) when courting a new one. You don't base your salary request on the income provided by the old employer, but focus on what's within the means of this one.
It reminds me of the idea that the need to be dating someone...anyone.....emanates off the other person like cheap cologne. Making the person across from you feel interchangeable with everyone else is the wrong way to forming a long term bond.  An interviewee needs to ask, "Is this company meaningful to me? Do I like what they do and want to be a part of it?" Am I expressing this thought?
A manager (a good one) wants to know what part a job candidate wants to play.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
FOCUS your attention on this manager and group of workers and ask how you want to contribute. What are they doing that excites you? How far do I want to go in this company?
Give them the satisfaction of feeling that thier department is important, even desirable to you, as it should-and then see if you can't get more interesting conversations started than the ones you've been having.