Three Things Employers Need from New Employees - February 2013

First of all Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope Cupid is good to you all month long. I wonder if we could find a Career Cupid?

Three Things Employers Need from New Employees

Last month I gave you a check list of the 7 steps necessary to be well prepared for a job search or career transition. Many of you wanted more in-depth information on some of the steps, so today we are going more in-depth on a very important subject.

Employers want 3 things from a new employee:

  1. Someone who can DO the job (Today we will assume you have this covered.)
  2. Someone who WANTS to do the job
  3. Someone who they WANT to work with

What Would Happen…

If I could give you one way to accomplish all three of these things at once, how would your career search change?

  • You’d stop spinning and bouncing
  • You’d feel and sound more confident and directed
  • You’d have a clear and concise message that does not get you tangled up
  • This clarity would make it easier for you to talk about what you want/ are looking for
  • Your clarity would make it easier for others to refer you
  • Your clarity would give others the confidence to help or refer you
  • With a clear direction you would begin getting traction in your career search
  • You would be a much more appealing candidate to an employer
  • You would show that you WANT to do the job

Where Many People Get Stuck

When I talk to clients and acquaintances about transitioning to a new career, they tend to be stuck in one of two ways.

  1. If you don’t have a clear career direction, you may feel as though you are spinning without a focus. You may be having a hard time deciding which way to go,  as if you are a boat without a rudder. You most likely feel like you're going in circles, bouncing from one idea or direction to the next without gaining any traction.  Does this feel familiar to you?  Looking at the boat metaphor, you need a stable rudder and a direction, a map or plan to move forward. It is nice to wander around a lake aimlessly on a beautiful day, but this is not what you want to do if you are trying to find a new career opportunity. If you want ‘that' job, to get ‘that’ job you have to be focused in ‘that’ direction.
  2. Then there are those people who tell me “I am open; I just want to keep my options open in several directions.” On the surface this strategy seems to make sense. After all even though the job market continues to improve, it is still an employer’s market and you don’t want any opportunity to fall through the cracks.

So why, you ask, don’t I (and other career strategists) recommend this strategy?  

Let me give you a few scenarios to illustrate this point.What would you be looking for if you were trying to hire a baby sitter or nanny? My guess is that you’d want to hire someone who likes children and really wants to care for them. To assess their interest in taking care of your children, you ask each person what they like to do most. Suppose one of your applicants said their favorite activity is to garden. When you ask about caring for children they reply “Oh, I could do that too.” Would you be inclined to hire them? Or would you move on to the next applicant?Now suppose you receive a call from a former colleague. In the conversation you learn that your colleague was looking for a teaching position in the local school district. You offer to keep an ear open for possible opportunities. Then… later you hear from another friend that the person you are helping look for a teaching position was looking for a position in banking. What!? Confusing isn’t it! Makes you wonder about the person’s focus.  Would you feel very confident referring this person to either position?

Hiring managers are just like you. They want to hire someone who is good at what they do and shows a passion for it too.  If a candidate does not possess these two things they may be able to do the work for a while, but their heart really isn’t in it. Most likely they won’t to a great job. They’ll likely leave and move onto something better when the opportunity presents itself. If they don’t move on, they are likely to be miserable and mediocre. Do you see how this isn’t a winning scenario for the hiring manager?

Here’s the bottom line:
Employers hire people who are focused!

  • What is the job you want most?
  • Are you qualified for it?
  • Does the market need it?

If you answered yes to the last two questions, FOCUS on ‘that’ position, and only that position. Go for it. Commit to your focus, invest your energy in your search, and you will get traction.

If you’ve realized that you are not focused, please sign up for a strategy call with me so we can talk about what your next step should be.

This is your Cupid’s arrow for career search, use it well and let me know your results!