Are you one of those people who laments that ‘life is too short’? Almost everyone says it or feels it, some more than others. For many people it takes a life altering event to jolt them into this realization, for others it is an underlying consistent acknowledgement and recognition of the passage of time. But whichever it is for you, talking about it and thinking about it is one thing; actually acting on it is something entirely different. As much as we might wish it, we can’t stop the clock from ticking or travel back in time.
So how about this for an exercise? Pretend that you have some say in your future. Wait. That wouldn’t be pretend. You actually do. So rather than continuing on the same path as you have and feeling frustrated, perhaps now is the time to make that change. You feel stuck in your job and don’t feel as though there are options. You behave as though the employers hold all the cards and if they want to hire someone, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have the opportunity to get your resume read and be invited in for a resume.
Okay, so how about this exercise? This is the one where you are seeking a new job or an opportunity to see if there is a better position in your current career or perhaps changing your career entirely. Resume in hand, you have the attitude that this is not necessary, it is simply exploratory. You submit your resume only to those companies that you actually want to work for and answer postings that sound ideal. You get calls for interviews. You are completely relaxed and confident in your approach because although you already have a job, you are just “testing the waters” to see if you might be happier elsewhere. The questions and answers flow between you and the interviewer. It is so comfortable that it feels as though it is more of a conversation than an interview. You are in charge.
You realize that you are interviewing them as well. This could be considered a “screening interview”. Not one where they are screening you, rather you are screening them to see if this is a place where you want to spend your valuable time. This is a place where you are probably going to spend 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 50 weeks out of the year. Liking the place, the people and enjoying the environment are not out of the question. It should be paramount to your decision. You may be giving up a decent level of stability to make the move to work for this firm and it is not out of line for you to ask questions. You may want to ask some of the following:
- Why is the position open? Or why did the last person leave?
- What are some of the objectives that you would like accomplished in this job?
- What are some of the more difficult problems that one would have to face in this position?
- In what ways has this organization been more successful in terms of products and services over the years?
This is different. This is not the passive approach. All too often people put together a resume with a wait and see attitude. As if someone out there with the perfect job is just going to know that you’ve just finished your resume and they are going to call you because they can just feel that you’re interested in what they have to offer. Pretty idealistic, isn’t it? So isn’t it time? After all, life is just too short!
Lauren Castle is the owner of Impress Express, a professional image firm, focusing on career development, resume preparation, presentation skills, etiquette and interview coaching. We are members of the Professional Association of Resume Writers. For help with your image, posting your resume, or preparing your internet-friendly resume, contact Lauren directly at 858-459-7400. And, as always, please forward your image and career-related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.