Over the last 2 weeks, we have published a series of stories on how to find one’s dream job. As stated in the beginning, when we raise the bar to find the work we love, every other aspect of our lives improve. However, there are no guarantees of success. In fact, it is healthier for us to focus all of our energy on increasing the probability of our success.
In Finding Our Dream Job, we have discussed the importance of defining what we love to do, research and identifying the organizations and people we want to work for, and becoming stupefyingly well-prepared to the interview process. I shared, at length, how skilled interviewing isn’t about pitching ourselves, real success emerges out of our fully understanding the needs and expectations of the hiring manager.
That sounds good, but what does it mean? Really?
Here is one of my favorite dream job stories and one of the greatest examples of understanding the needs and expectations of the boss.
A few years ago, one of my clients called and asked if I would meet with her son. He had just graduated from Cornell with an MBA and wanted to get into the entertainment industry. As you can imagine, there is an extreme level of competition for these opportunities. I told her that I would be happy to work with him all day. Truth is, we were finished within the hour and he learned the secret sauce in less than 5 minutes.
Of course, I was happy to meet with him. When we sat down, I said, “I understand you are interviewing for 4 positions with the studios and agencies. Tell me a little bit about the hiring managers. Do all of them routinely hire entry-level talent?”
This happened to be the case.
I continued, “What is their biggest pain?”
“Looking for the best candidate?”
“Nope. If they have been hiring entry-level talent, their greatest pain is in firing the new employees with bad work ethics, who show up late, they feel the work is beneath them, they don’t respect others, they don’t know good manners, you know, the stuff that young people have had trouble with for thousands of years.
How many of your competitors are coming from a good school?”
“All of them.”
“How many are going to be talking about their good grades?”
“All of them.”
“If the person you are meeting with has hired 20 entry-level graduates, what do you think is her greatest pain? I’ll help out. With 20 candidates, how many of them have failed because of poor work ethics, arrogance, showing up late, viewing their word as “beneath them” or leaving the instant they find a better job? I know both of your parents, so here is what I suggest you tell them:
I know you are interviewing a number of candidates like me. All of us have good grades and come from great schools.
I want you to know how I was raised. Both of my parents are highly successful studio executives. They have been my primary role models.
My parents raised me, to be honest, dependable, on-time, to demonstrate the best work ethics. That means treating every job and task with enthusiasm. It means being respectful to everyone whether they are inside or outside the organization. It means looking at everyone that I meet with kindness and civility. My parents taught me that taking out the laundry is to be treated with the same level of commitment as saving the life of the CEO. If I am given the privilege of working with you, you will find that I live in gratitude. My parents lead their lives in ways that produce goodwill in others. But, they taught me to express even greater appreciation to others.”
He didn’t need to rehearse.
It was the truth.
He received an offer on every interview.
He delivered on every word.
Last year, one of the industry’s iconic brands named him, “Employee of the Year.”
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