Job Search and Personal Values
Sometimes these days job search seems to take such a long time that when you do find something that looks a good in terms of role, other considerations go out of the window. This can be dangerous.
So you’ve seen this advert for a wonderful job. It is just what you have been looking for the last three months.
It’s a global organization that is doing well in the current market and the part of the organization you are considering is expanding. You have the skills, knowledge and experience they are asking for.
So where is that doubt at the back of your mind coming from – why have you got reservations? Surely at this point you can’t afford not to go for it?
Please pause for a moment and take a few deep breaths. Now sit quietly and think about what is really troubling you. Might it by any chance be about fitting in?
You have been around long enough to know that getting a job is usually about more than simply demonstrating the right competencies. You know there will be some unwritten rules they will apply that have to do with what they regard as your “organizational fit!” Note; I’m not talking here about discrimination on grounds of race or sex, although I do think age discrimination is often an element.
This is about your compatibility and how their conception of the organization’s values and their mode of operation will influence the panel. You know that scrutiny at job interviews and possibly an assessment centre is going to give them lots of opportunity to find out about you and your values, and whether they think you are right for them. And of course if that doesn’t provide all they need what about the reference checks?
How can you prepare to make to make the most of the opportunity and get that job? Well, in my view you, unless you are an actor at Oscar standard, it really isn’t wise to try to fake it! Nor do I think faking it is ethical – but that is something for you to think about.
But, as you are a wise job seeker, you will be researching the company before you get to interview stage. You will look at what they stand for and how they interact with the environment outside the organization. You can also find out something about their operating model and how they treat their staff – this is where having a wide network of contacts is a real advantage.
Then spend some time thinking about what you need to help you succeed in a job. Most of us need to have some belief in an organization’s purpose and vision to feel comfortable. Moral compass sounds a very old fashioned expression but it really does matter that you understand your own values and what you stand for. Is your moral compass compatible with theirs? If not, what is working with them going to do your self esteem?
Do you now think this is truly a good fit! Has that uncomfortable feeling gone away or got stronger? Think very seriously about how much you want this particular job and what it really means to you! Clashing values can lead to lots of frustration on both sides.
When you have made your assessment and committed to the interview, think about how to articulate who you are and what you stand for – how to make your values clear in what you say.
Wendy Mason is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.
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