By: Kyle Tothill
“What do you want?” a simple question answered far too often with responses like, “I want a job where: I can grow, the company is stable, the money is better or a place where the boss is nicer, etc” or worse is answered by, “I don’t know, that’s why I am here.” Sadly, most of the responses I hear don’t really answer my question.
This simple question is generally the first one that I ask almost every candidate that I interview, from C-level to entry level. From my perspective, their answer is the ultimate measure of how dedicated someone is to changing jobs and how smart they are about being in control of their professional destiny. What I have learned is that the great candidates know and have thought through what they want, and meeting with me is very much a part of their plan. I measure that response very carefully because it helps me to determine who is worth spending time with and who will stand out to my clients.
In my opinion, job seekers all too often don’t think strategically about their careers, which locks them in a tactical spiral on a road to anywhere, leaving luck and good fortune as the directors of their professional fate. Remember back in elementary school when someone asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? For me it was a sales guy, others gave more normal answers: Veterinarian, Doctor, Policeman, Fireman and Nurse. Life was simple and structured then; you had a very simple vision for your future life. The answer represented a self projection that was visual in nature and socially driven by what surrounded us. For most of us that went to college this concept was even more developed as we chose a school, then a major and mostly driven by a more refined vision of how we envisioned our lives to be after we graduated with a more complete set of criteria like: compensation, aptitude, job availability, personal interests, etc.
What I have seen in my 14 years of recruiting is that somehow this simple concept gets lost on most of us several years after graduation or entering the workforce. Sure, we may still be in our chosen field or have changed slightly after entering the work force but the transition to “Real Life” has eroded or clouded that refined vision. This happens for multiple reasons like, marriage, children, success, failure, just trying to pay the bills and simply incurring adult life responsibilities.
It is my opinion and firm belief that before one can set out to change jobs or transform their career, they must reestablish a new vision or desire for their life, and develop a structure or plan to obtain it. Below I have listed 5 simple steps to reestablish the Vision and thus regain control of your professional destiny.