May 21, 2004, Newsletter Issue #18: Definition is Key!

Tip of the Week

Candidates tend to short cut the process by underestimating what`s involved in finding a job that will make them happy. If you`ve been reading my newsletter for any length of time, then you know my theme is HOW TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CAREER.

But people go off to interviews without searching inside themselves for what they want, without knowing what makes them happy, what their ideal job would be like, and as a result, they lapse into trite phrases that mean nothing and aren`t impressive when uttered.

If asked to explain what they mean, they stumble or make something up - and end up severely compromising themselves in the process.

Have you said this one?
"I`m looking for a company that is progressive."

The generally understood definition of "progressive" is forward moving, making progress. Well, of course! And if you DIDN`T want a progressive company, does that mean you`d want a backward or stagnant one? No!

So the real question is IN WHAT WAY do you want a "progressive" company?

What it`s doing? How it`s thinking? Progressive externally or internally? New products? New marketing strategies? Unconventional employee configurations, policies and procedures? The way in which the management approaches problems? The way in which you are allowed to do your job?

Those are but a few examples of "progressive," and each of those could be further defined.

Here`s another one, spoken by probably 95% of every job seeker: "I`m Interested in a growth oriented company."

As opposed to one that is shrinking? Or going out of business?

Small start ups are growth oriented, and so are $50B corporations, but there is a great deal of difference between the two.

Knowing which one you prefer, why AND being able to articulate that in an interview accomplishes three things:

1. It shows you as a person who takes the time to dig deeply, address details, attend to issues of importance. If you are doing that for your career, the company generally assumes you are likely to do that in relation to your job....and vice versa, by the way.

2. It causes you to stand out against all the OTHER candidates who have no idea what they want and are busy uttering stock, lame phrases.

3. It assists you in finding exactly what you want! Because when you articulate specifically what you want, you find out if the company IS that....or ISN`T.

And THAT puts you in control of your career and one step closer to finding your perfect job.

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Byron White