You may be surprised to learn which I’ll value more. As an employer, I desperately want you to dazzle and surprise me!
Giving up is not an option
I’ll back up. I’m thinking about work, and about jobs (so what else is new”) and in particular about unemployment, and how so many people who still want to work are giving up. They’ve stopped looking, and have stopped trying to get hired, and I wish they wouldn’t. I get that it’s been hard on them, but what are they waiting for once they stop?
If you’re one of these people I’m talking about, I think you have to keep looking (assuming you don’t want to start a business of your own; that’s different.) Go for the job you want, and when you’re sitting with the person who can hire you, have a Fresh You conversation with them. Turn into a hot prospect.
Bosses aren’t necessarily the ones who define jobs
Not all the jobs they think they can offer, and not all the jobs they should be offering.
And every hiring manager I know will admit that when they have a “hot prospect” and “super attractive candidate” sitting in front of them, they make some kind of hiring work-around happen. Those get to be the most exciting, and satisfying days they work within their job!
Yeah, you have a lot of competition. So…
BE the competition
There has been enormous shift in The World of Work due to the Great Recession of recent years, and as a result, scores of people still struggle to find their place. Age and generation don’t much matter: They know it will be a new place. Even if they secure a job title similar to one they’ve held in the past, it is highly likely the work itself will differ, for expectations will differ.
That difference has both good and bad associated with it, however you still have so much choice, and you still must know this: So much spun from both good and bad will depend on you. You (i.e. your Ho‘ohana) can be the catalyst of whatever work will follow, and whatever Work’s Worth will be created in the future.
Hiring is happening. I notice that news programs have been presenting the employer’s viewpoint lately, and in doing so they continually stress talent, and their need for skilled, educated labor as opposed to entry-level employees. These needs can be unfulfilled, much to the disappointment and dismay of many employers, and reasons vary. The one I’d like to focus on for the moment is fear and intimidation; people who have been out of work for a while (or who remain too comfortable in an existing job) fear they are simply not good enough, and they haven’t the talent the employer is probably looking for.
‘Probably?’ How in the world do you know? You can’t be sure of what someone else may, or may not be thinking. To guess is a cop-out. If you’ve already had a bad experience or two, that employer wasn’t a good match for you to begin with, and it’s a good thing you didn’t get sucked into a workplace that is beneath your worth.
What’s For Sure trumps Probably
You cannot stop yourself from re-entering The World of Work — or stop yourself from trading up to a better opportunity — by guessing about The Probablies. You have to have the conversation and find out What’s For Sure. And why not give them a Fresh, Enthusiastic You to think about?
Education and experience is highly subjective
On the other hand, innate talent and enthusiasm is definitive. Fresh You is distinctive, and highly attractive.
Unless someone has been immersed in a consistently value-driven work culture for a very long time (itself pretty rare), the worth assessments of talent, education and experience barely match up between people’s definitions. That, after all, is what most of a job interview is about, isn’t it; it’s a determination to learn if both company and candidate speak the same Language of Intention, or have the best potential to do so in the shortest amount of time — the 90-day probationary period is designed to answer all remaining questions about your match (at least it should be. If you’re in one now, have a LOT of values-based conversations whichever side of the table you sit!)
When employers say they are looking for ‘skilled workers’ they’re taking a shortcut: It’s a deliberate move with screening out those who aren’t hungry enough, enthusiastic enough, and self-assured enough to demonstrate that they bring way more than just their education and past experience to the table: They can learn whatever will be required of them. Even the greenest high school graduates bring those two e’s with them; education and experience are simply tangibles they need help articulating in workplace language. All people (and I mean You) also bring talents that are still to be explored, and talents are flexible and pliable; your talents can be molded to a company’s needs and expectations. What must match from day one however, are your values (for that course, turn to Managing with Aloha!)
Get back out there! The world is waiting
Along with your talent, bring Fresh, Enthusiastic You to an interview, and believe me, you will get hired. Employers will invest in helping groom your talent and skills because they know you’ll be a bankable investment and not a gamble.
The workplace is changing, and it always will. That means you need to work on your self assurance and sense of confidence way more than anything else: Education and experience have a much shorter shelf life. You, on the other hand, can be forever fresh and new.