Three stories. All told last week. Three different people. Three job opportunities.
Only one gets the position.
Sophie went into her interview full of confidence. Piece of cake. She was highly qualified, and met the job description perfectly. Her interviewer – an older woman. Another piece of cake. Sophie leaned back, relaxed and prepared to ace the interview.
Then a question came – a tough question – and Sophie wasn’t prepared. She assumed this older lady was going to be an easy touch. Sophie stammered. Sophie couldn’t find the right words. Sophie felt flummoxed.
She went from leaning back to leaning forward. Heart racing. Bombing it.
She did not get the job.
Janice went into her interview a little panicked. Panic that had started two and a half years ago when she lost her job. And immediately went on a large contract that ended up getting pulled. And then tried consulting. But couldn’t generate any work. She feels like the last couple of years have been all about failure after failure. Plus, she has the kids, and then there’s her husband, and they all have their demands on her time. She really thinks they would prefer her to stay home and take care of them all day. And, frankly, a part of her would like that, too.
But women who don’t work – who are they? And is it really reasonable to ask her husband to shoulder all the expenses? Especially in this economy.
So Janice went into the interview conflicted. And the energy she gave off to the interviewer was confusing. Did she want the job, or not? Because Janice asked few questions, and never really talked about her own strengths and capacity. She mostly sat there, looking nervous.
She did not get the job.
Kate didn’t have a job interview this week, but she got a new job.
Kate had explored how she could be happier in her work. She analyzed who she enjoyed working with, and what kind of work energized her. Then, she identified people and organizations she’d like to work with, and developed a pitch about how she could specifically help them – how she could do what’s not getting done, and do it efficiently.
And then at a meeting already scheduled with one of her target companies – a client of hers – she said, “What if I joined your team and took care of this for you?” Eyes lit up. Hands were shaken.
And she had the job.
What do these stories tell you?
They tell me that not only has the economy changed, but so has hiring. No longer are organizations hiring warm bodies because the plan says there are six people in that department and we only have five. Today, organizations hire because they are in pain. Something’s not getting done. Something important, that affects the bottom line. And the maxed out people currently in the department are already doing the work of three people. Each.
So someone gets hired. One someone.
Someone who makes a good case for himself. Someone who has good energy. Someone who is not afraid to take a little risk to get what they want.
This is the way people are getting hired. These are the new rules.
If you are looking for work, check yourself. Are you playing by the old rules, or the new ones?