Monday, March 18, 2013

Obstacles in Your Way, Part II


I grow tired when I suggest to someone they should do a little research, determine the identity and contact information for a particular manager, who might be in charge of a segment or department in a company, and then initiate direct contact. I suggest they introduce themselves, having prepared to be able to introduce, present and suggest how their experience can be a benefit to that manager and the company. On more than one occasional the person I am trying to help will reply forcefully. “No, I just can’t see myself doing that.” Oh really, and why not? Everyone wants the nice shiny ring but most people are unwilling to invest in the prep time, effort and sweat equity necessary. How about you? Don’t kill the messenger, but the truth is that most people are barely making any effort and, as a result, they barely scratch the surface of what they could be doing to help themselves. Most people are not willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. “Eeeew, you want me to do what?” is the implied reaction I often get from people. On the other hand there are those who would like to do more but they don’t know where to start. Your professor certainly doesn’t know. In fact when I lecture students their professors tell me afterward, over and over again, they appreciate the insight I provide to their students. I am of the opinion this information should be somehow developed and added to the curriculum of high schools in a workshop format prior to graduation. And yes, I’ll speak to any group who wants to bring me in, I’ll help any institution with real interest to develop a curriculum to re-teach the skills lost to an entire generation handicapped by their dependence on digital solutions 

Just look at how far we’ve sunk; whether you are still in school, in a government sponsored re-training program, or name just about any scenario, you are likely to be placed in front of a computer monitor and the training is primarily digitally based - you name it - your resume, looking for and finding job listings, etc. But there is NOTHING and nobody teaching people how to interact, communicate, negotiate, innovate when they find themselves sitting opposite a hiring manager. There is no training for how to best present one’s skills and accomplishments, how to answer and overcome an objection or a concern they may need to answer. Most people don’t know the best manner by which to follow up after an interview. Do you know the best manner to follow up, when to follow up and what to say when you do? Nope! But everyone is told over and over again about rules, what they cannot do, shouldn’t attempt, and cannot accomplish on their own. So let’s start to turn this on it’s head; if you want to really help yourself, throw their rule books out the window, because when it comes to helping yourself, searching for and competing for a job, there are no rules but one, the Golden Rule and always conducting yourself with professional courtesy.  

(Part III and the conclusion will be posted on Thursday)

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