July 31, 2023

Don’t be desperate, be determined!

Many candidates are really motivated to seize a new opportunity. If you are looking for your new challenges, be strategic about it. Think hard about what you wish to accomplish and for what type of environment. Denying the latter will only bring potential failure, loss of time and disappointment.

When you are on a career hunt, you filter the available opportunities, your network and your special contacts. Once this is done, what do you do? Should you follow up or will you look like you are begging for a job? Well, it depends how you proceed. Most of it is strategy, a part of it is instinct and the little part that is actually crucial is your attitude. When you follow up with a recruiter or a professional that could give you easier access to an opportunity, how is your approach? Would you give yourself a chance if you were on the other end of the table?

Determination is not the same as desperation.
I often see really motivated candidates sound desperate in their application. It starts in their motivation introduction and it is worse during the phone interview. I try to coach them for the interview with the manager related to the position, but not all recruiters have the time to do that. When you are determined, you have the ability to pursue a goal even when it becomes difficult. In short, it is the ability of not giving up. On the other end, desperation is the feeling you get when you are out of hope. Desperation is not an asset, but determination is. Don’t be desperate, be determined! Show a positive side of you at all times when job hunting. Any leader looks for a coworker that will do their best to achieve goals. Nobody wants a quitter or a person that will give up when things get hard. That being said, how do we show our determination in the beginning of a job hunt? I mean how do we sweat determination before even going to an interview?

It is simple, but not that easy. Let’s start with basic vocabulary. Let’s eliminate or correct a few words from our vocabulary.

We all need to breathe and eat. But in terms of employment we wish we had an opportunity. We would love to be part of an organization. Obviously, if you apply, you are interested in this position. But the word need makes it look like desperation. If, the employer really chooses someone closer to what they are looking for, will you be devastated or will it make you stronger and ready to take on a new path? Leaders want to be reassured that you will do what it takes because you want to, because you have to and because you are fit for it. They certainly don’t want you to need anything as a need may attract desperation strategies.

I understand you are really motivated for a position and a company in particular. However, it is not an honor for you to apply or to get called for an interview. If an employer considers you, it should be because you earned it. You can always thank them for the consideration, but be confident of what you bring to the table.

When I want to learn, I open books, search online, go to school, get training or coaching, but mostly I engage in the steps to learn. When it is time to work, I adapt and grow as the projects come and go. Of course, I will learn, but mostly I am hired to get things done, not to learn. But Erica, if I don’t know how to do something, I will do some research, learn and apply it to get the job done. Yes! However, you had to do that in order to achieve a goal. You did learn, but mostly you completed a task. Ok and when I do training or go to a class relevant to my position? Well, you still learn, but you mostly develop your skills to be more efficient at work or improve some areas of your role. Let’s not get stuck on the work we learn. You learn once you are hired. While you are searching for a career, you need to put your abilities and skills upfront. Save the learning for students at this point. Show that you will adapt, work hard or look for the answers when in front of the unknown.

Old school term meant to show an individual will work non-stop to ensure the results are spotless. Hence, looking for perfection. Perfectionism is also known as one of the biggest pet peeves in management. How will you reassure your manager that the work will be delivered in time and that you won’t abuse the resources you have? Saying you are a perfectionist may have sounded good in theory, but in practice it translates into a nightmare. Imagine, your colleague harassing you all day back and forth to please their expectation when you know the work is done and no longer needs a review. Imagine you need a file by 3 pm, it is 2:30pm and your colleague is still working on it and has been working on it since 2 days ago? Is it still perfectionism or rather lack of efficiency, organization and understanding of expectations and timetable?

No or don’t know
If you don’t have the answer to a question, don’t fake it. Tell the truth. You don’t have the expertise at the moment, but would never hesitate to find the answer the best way possible. Sometimes you won’t find the exact answer, but will be able to provide the right resources to get the answer. Therefore, never answer no or don’t know without an explanation. People want solutions, not problems! When facing the unknown, leaders want to see if you will take initiatives or simply leave a teammate in a bad position.

When you are job hunting. Read as many job offers as possible, but don’t apply everywhere. Don’t waste time sending your resume unless really interested. Be selective. It makes you create a proximity with your future employer already and it prepares you for what comes next. How many times did you get a call from an application you had sent and barely remembered you actually applied? Then they ask you about the position and the company and you have no idea what was in the job offer and forgot everything about the company. Does not look good, trust me!

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