Thursday, March 7, 2013

Walk Away Pt I

Sometimes, when hiring processes drag out and seem endless, perhaps their priorities or circumstances have changed. Perhaps it was never really a priority or there never was an opportunity - not really. Among the recruiters I know there is a cliché, which states time kills all deals. Meaning the longer the processes drag out, interest on one or both sides subsides. Some situations occasionally resurrect themselves, but when you’re waiting on the receiving end,  stuck in a stagnated process that is going nowhere, what can you do? 

Suppose you’ve already had at least one interview of some kind and, after a lengthy period of time, everything just stopped and you’re waiting and waiting and have heard nothing. At some point you are going to reach a level of frustration and think, “Enough is enough; I don’t care what the decision is I just want an answer, one way or the other.” Who knows, it all might be in your head and there could be good reasons why things have stalled. On the other hand, maybe you’ve been totally ‘dissed and it’s dead. In either case, it is fair to want and seek an answer and, if the company dropped the ball, you want closure one way of the other. 

I often suggest the use of sales skills applied to your job search efforts because, as people get tired of hearing me repeat over and over again, your resume is your marketing brochure and you are the product. Closing techniques should be an integral part of your job search and interview efforts. The Take-Away Close is the option of last resort and, as such, you should handle it with care. Used wisely it is helpful and powerful; used frivolously it will be counter productive and can be downright damaging to your efforts. So, if everything started out well and then grinds to a halt, you don’t know where you stand, and can’t seen to get any info or learn anything; when you reach a point of frustration and hopefully have other job leads to chase, walk away. But, of course, first let them know. Make an effort to contact whomever you spoke or met with and however you want to say it, tell them, “I have not been able to learn anything, so perhaps there is no urgency or interest. Although I would very much like to work with XYZ Company, please keep me on file but I will concentrate on other opportunities, thank you.” I understand this can be a very hard thing to do and some people might think I am nuts, but in situations where you are left hanging out there and a lot of time has passed – I’m talking a month or more - is there, and was there really an opportunity for you? Perhaps they made a selection and never bothered to tell you; maybe there is a hiring freeze and you didn’t get word. Perhaps a budget wasn’t approved and they are occupied with more pressing matters. Never mind the lack of courtesy, these things happen in business, they are not doing anything to you so don’t take it personally, but let go and move on. Who knows, they may just call you back, or conclude they are interested in you and explain what is going on – which is all you were trying to find out to begin with. One way to avoid having to make tough decisions like this is to have and keep generating activity for yourself; don’t stop pursuing opportunities because one company called you with interest. When you create for yourself other options, walking away from one is not as big a deal.

(Part II will be posted on Monday) 

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