“Whenever I see a turtle on a fence post, - I know I don’t have the whole story.”
Some candidates reach heights they can’t get to on their own. Maybe like the turtle, they had some help. I’ll have to uncover the rest of the story.
(Old fable, old joke, still true)
Life is unique, different and the surface story is often only part of a candidate's true picture. If the underlying story makes sense, I'm fine with that. Or, maybe it doesn't make sense. Perhaps what's being presented is not true. Either way, it's part of the hiring decision.
I get a little tired with the relentless focus on salary. The long game is not about the size of your salary, - it’s about your net worth, your equity. Salary stops at some point, but your net worth carries you forever.
The irony is, - your salary does not determine your net worth. Your financial IQ does that.
Everybody who earns $100k doesn’t end up in the same financial position. So how well you live can’t have that much to do with salary?
How to overcome the problem. Self actualization detours, even with whale pictures, never help a professional resume. What to do. Get strong, solid reference from past managers. If your past boss is still with that company and willing to say good things about you, you will overcome any other weaknesses in your past employment history. I may have questions about a candidate and a resume, but if I can get solid references, - assuming you know what you’re doing, - chances are you’ll get hired.
True incident. A Civil estimator 35 yrs old, commands $120k plus salary, showed up at Red Robin for a Saturday interview, - with a hoody on, to meet my client. Oh happy day. He wants to build our highways and bridges.
If you’re asked to an interview, just go. Don’t qualify the opportunity with salary and working condition requests. Explore it, I always learn something. They’ve read your resume, they have a reason for asking you to a meeting. Take 45 minutes out of your life to meet people in your industry. At worst you make a new contact, at best you accept a new position. Doors open and close. Soon, this door will be closed again.
Travel is good, it tends to make us a bit less presumptive, boring and provincial. But at the same time, no client has ever asked me to find him a controller with exploration and discovery experience. It’s okay to be a lifestyle person. It’s not useful to advertise it on your resume. If you’re using words like “Two years extended travel through Europe, including, blah, blah, . . . . “ You’re in the “B” pile. I had a great controller candidate with two separate lengthy stints into places you should only watch on TV. Ushuaia, and some other place without hot water. If they think you might go on a self discovery journey on their watch, - they won’t hire you. You may not know the meaning of life but for the sake of your career, just pretend you’ve made peace...
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. In this instance I’m talking about your current employer’s behavior. Whatever career progress you’ve made with your company in the past five years is exactly what your next five years will look like. Things aren’t going to change much from what they’ve been. If your company won't make your future, then you have to do it. Move.
I no longer think there is such thing as "management styles". Business gurus and schools have turned that subject into a reliable revenue stream. Today I know there are screamers and non-screamers. If you employ a screamer, you end up sending people to management seminars, have lots of turnover, sick days and poor productivity. How to not hire screamer managers, - that’s worth studying.
Play the interview forward and see where it goes. You never talk about money in your first interview. Since nobody in the history of business ever got hired without somebody mentioning money, you may not have to mention it either. If you don’t like the number, - then you say no.