Here’s the deal: I like to keep it simple! Let’s talk about just three things that you need to be conscious of in order to get hired and stay hired! These three things are actually the only ways you can get fired as well, and that’s why they are so powerful.
Hiring and firing are two sides of the same coin.
You know that for most of my adult life, I was the manager of a team of about 35 people, responsible for a turning over in excess of £10 million per annum. What I found was that the employees who were giving me a headache, costing me too much in terms of time and aggravation, maybe even on their way out, were the ones who did not appreciate the three things that I, as an employer, had a right to ask of them.
They knew their rights; there are loads of rights to protect employees but an employer has only three. So, what are these three rights and why are they relevant to you when you’re looking for your dream job? I’ll tell you now, as if I was your manager.
1. I have the right to expect you to be here when you are supposed to be.
2. I have the right to expect you to complete the work to the required standard.
3. I have the right to expect you behave appropriately towards clients and colleagues.
So, in short, if you turn up (on time), do the job you’re being paid to do, to a decent standard, and you play nice, we’re going to get on just fine and you should have a fabulous career ahead of you. Poor attendance, time-keeping and clock watching do not go down well. If you miss deadlines, don’t complete your work or reach your targets, there’s an issue. Finally, if all I hear are complaints from team-members or from customers about you, I’m very concerned about your suitability to the role. If you screw up once, it’s ok, we all make mistakes and can have an off-day. We’ll discuss the error, complete re-training if necessary, offer coaching and monitor your progress for a while.
If you keep screwing up there’s a path called Disciplinary Way which has sign-posts on it to help you get back where we want you to be; the other route, called Success Street. 🙂 If you miss the sign-posts and get to the end of Disciplinary Way, you’ll find yourself job-hunting again and I’ll find myself recruiting again. Ugh! It’s not an outcome either of us wants.
When I’m recruiting next time, am I going to want to make sure that the person I hire won’t make the same mistakes as the one I just fired? You bet I am. And so would any employer in the same position.
So, here’s the thing, when you are applying for your dream job, put yourself in the employer’s shoes for a minute. When preparing your CV, your application form and most importantly for your interview, can you give the recruiter enough confidence to tick these three boxes?
Understand that every question you could be asked will relate to one of these three main topics. Informally:
1. Will you be here when I need you? (Punctuality, flexibility, availability for overtime….)
2. Will you do a great job? (I won’t want an ‘average’ worker.)
3. Will you play nice? (Bring a smile, be cheerful, helpful, go the extra mile…)
Now, think about your experience (work related and socially) and come up with some concrete, real life examples which demonstrate that you have been super-reliable, done a fabulous job, contributed positively to a team and given excellent customer service. Your examples should exceed the bare minimum. You must stand out from the crowd to land your dream job. If you’re finding it tricky to come up with some great examples, you could ask your friends, family members, teachers or colleagues to help you out. We are all better at seeing the strengths in others than in ourselves. I have some great coaching exercises too that will help you identify your strengths and answer these all important questions.
Remember, your CV / application form is only there to get you invited to the interview. Don’t waffle or give too much detailed information. Just whet the reader’s appetite. At the interview, it’s your job to shine brightly, to live up to what you wrote and to get hired!
Good luck in your search for your dream job. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d love to hear from you!
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Photo credit: Sun Ladder, Wikimedia Commons