Friday, December 7, 2007

The Importance of Attitude, Intention, and Perspective in the Job Search

I’ve been working with several clients recently who are in the final rounds of interviewing, eagerly anticipating job offers. In each meeting, I’m constantly reminded about the importance of how each person approaches their interviews. This means that how one shows up for the interview may be as critical for success as the skills and experience one has. I’m specifically thinking about three intersecting components: Attitude, Intention, and Perspective.
Attitude is the belief that we will get the job offer despite any previous rejections or earlier disappointments. Think about it this way: You are one of two equally qualified candidates for the job. Your competition is pushing hard to sell their skills and qualifications, seemingly confident, but underneath not fully believing they will get the offer. You, on the other hand, believing you will get the offer, are relaxed and see the interview as a time and place to share your story in a positive and compelling manner. You convey an inner sense that the job will be yours. Who gets the job offer?
Intention is the ability to be in the moment and not being overly concerned about the future or getting bogged down in the past. It means that as we go through the interview process, we listen in order to learn and we use that real time learning to demonstrate our capabilities. We express appropriate enthusiasm, but do not get overly eager. We tell our accomplishment stories with justifiable pride, but do not feel the need to say any more than is necessary to make the point.
Perspective is seeing and appreciating the span of our career for what it is: the good, the not so good, and everything in between, and using that knowledge and understanding to present ourselves as the unique and gifted person we are. A past failure becomes a powerful learning experience. An impossible boss has shown us how to be a better manager and taught us skills in influencing without authority. A merger, followed by a layoff, has taught us how to be agile and resilient.
I believe it is important to pay attention to each of these throughout the job search process. As we become aware of these subtle aspects of what we bring to the table, we become more able to communicate with clarity and confidence, thus enhancing our ability to convince a potential employer that we indeed are the best candidate for the job. I will have more to say about these in future blog entries and we address these issues in our training and coaching. For more information about upcoming workshops or individual coaching, please click on the link . . .

--Mark Guterman