Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Helping" for Career Success

The Career-Building Power of “Helping”

One of the most common complaints that I hear from job-seekers, especially those over 45, is that “the company where I was interviewing said I was overqualified for the job”.

I have come to believe that this is “company-speak” for several serious concerns on the part of hiring executives including “I don’t think I could work with this person”, “I am afraid he/she would take over my job”, “I really felt that the candidate was thinking about him/’herself and not our company in the interview process” and other similar negative conclusions.

The point is that companies are not actually concerned that the senior candidate is “over-qualified”. They want highly qualified people.
They are really saying they are worried that they will not be able to manage the experienced senior candidate because they are too taken with themselves and their success, and as a result, represent a threat to the hiring manager and perhaps, the company.

Think about it. Most of us look at the interviewing process as a chance to prove ourselves, “strut our stuff” and impress the people conducting the interview. We are taught to “sell ourselves” and cite specific achievements and successes. In short, we are taught to “bowl ‘em over”.

This may be true in the early stages of your career where you needed to impress the company with your educational record and personal dynamism. That’s because you hadn’t accomplished much yet.

However, once you are twenty or more years into your career, your resume and your bio (hope you have one) will tell your story and clearly illustrate your expertise.
What you really need to do in the interviewing process is “get them to like you”.
You don’t succeed at getting them to like you and want you to join them by over-whelming them and over-impressing them with facts, figures, and other fireworks.
You will succeed at getting them to like you and want to hire you if you use this approach::

- “I am an experienced (your professional focus) who has succeeded and is
dedicated to first and foremost, helping my fellow employees, company and clients succeed. My primary role is to help others. And that is what I would like to do at your company.”

Importantly, this takes the focus off of you and places the spotlight of your energy on THEM and their challenges. By the age of 45 or so, you are now an expert, someone who knows how to get the work done. Your resume and bio explain all of this.

But more importantly, you are someone who knows how to work with and through people to achieve those goals. So, make sure you convince, first yourself, and then others that your primary mission is not to take responsibility for achieving all sorts of goals and objectives. Your mission is, instead, to portray a sincere interest in others and in helping others.

Yes, you will have to do accomplish all those important goals and objectives, but the way you want people to believe that you do it is through helping, aiding and supporting others to get the work done.

Think about this and try it out. In fact, try it out with your family and friends, and watch them begin to look at you differently.

I hope this “perspective adjustment” makes sense to you, and helps you obtain the kind of work (not just a job) that is perfect for you. You deserve it.

Good luck.

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