Don’t be a robot: Your job, your choice

Getting a job is simply selling your know-how to the employer of your choice. I said to the employer of your choice. Traditionally the employer chooses its employers, to do things that the employer needs or wants to be done.

Wouldn’t be the same if the employer had a choice of robots for its needs?  

In a way robots are slave of man, regardless of the complexity of their tasks. Don’t be a robot. But in some cases it is the other way around. 

In fact, that is the reality of the workforce of today, here or anywhere, where the employee follows orders and execute them. Any deviation from their assigned tasks would be considered  a disobedience  wouldn’t it? As such subject to punishment or reprimand.

Where does it leaves a person with initiative, intelligence, imagination, entrepreneurial skills,  who wants to exercise his/her own given talents and abilities to fulfill his/her own potential.?

Now, the crucial question here is: whose responsibility is regarding the above choice. (That is, as Maxim Gorki said it just right: “When work is a pleasure life is a joy. When work is a duty life is slavery.”) 

The employer or the person who wants to be employed or work for himself?  i.e. Do you have a choice? You certainly do. Isn’t a fact of life that we, at any moment in our lives, are the product of our choices? Unfortunately not too many people think that they have a choice. The majority take the easy path; that is: the employer chooses him/her, of course for its own benefit.

In fact, most people will celebrate this common outcome, by saying: “I have been chosen to work for IBM, starting next week.” And be happy about it. Is he?

Now, honestly answer to this question:  If you are a person, (that if is in capital letters,) of innovative ideas,  has  lots of imagination, talent and  abilities, all that in conjunction with a selected related work experiences, and want to show the world what you are made of, you certainly not going to be allowed to be chosen by any company? Wouldn’t you? Remember you are a sensible human being, with feelings, emotions, dreams.

 You, only you, choose the company you want to work for. Not the other way around. And how do you do that?  First select a few companies you would like to work for. What is even more, you can also choose the place (country, region) where  you want to work. And take your family along. Preferable you want to talk to the person who has the power to hire people. It is better than sending a résumé.

Now that you have zeroed on the company and the place you want to work, your very next   objective is to work your way to be interviewed. How? Here is how. A masterfully crafted cover letter, plus, a résumé (it has to be a directed one) in which you state two must read items by the prospective employer. And what are those 2 must read items?

Here is how you résumé should look like: First right below your name (page centered) and your contact (phone and email) you clearly, precisely, and to the point, state your OBJECTIVE.  That is, what exactly are you going to do with the desired job for the benefit of the   employer. 

And right below that, you enumerate your ACHIEVEMENTS. These achievements have to be directly related to the job in question. Like you have been targeting that company for a future employer. Only relevant achievements as stated in the criteria for the job at hand. Do not deviate much from them.

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Now, this is the popular belief; once you get in front of the interviewer, everybody expect this person to start asking question based on your résumé, that is about your “duties and responsibilities”. Not so in this unique strategy. You interview the interviewer. Yes sir! After all, who knows more about yourself than you? Nobody.  And how do you do that? 

Let us agree on one thing first. Once you look for a job, and want to land a particular job in a particular company   and place, you must  rely a 100% on the basis of your strengths. Those strengths are your salable points and based on that, you want to convince the future employer that you are the preferred candidate for the position. Hard   to do it? Not so. Facts speak for themselves.

Now here is your turn to convince the employer of these facts. Prepare beforehand (that is as soon as the company wants to interview you) 4 or 5  121/2” x 71/2” cards with the 4 or 5 strengths that the company has stressed in its criteria for the ideal candidate.

And this is what you say to the interviewer  or panelists as soon as the interviewing business starts: Better yet, if the interviewer is a smart cookie and right off the bat he ask you thus: Mr. candidate tell me something about yourself? It is not even a question, rather a suggestion. Your response is as follows: “Here, Mr. interviewer, in these 4 cards are my main strengths for this position. Which one would you like me to talk about first?  If the employer is looking for a candidate with strong management capabilities, the interviewer definitely will choose the card that says MANAGEMENT on it, it could be accounting, marketing, etc.

Now you must be prepared to say in a precise, clear, concise, and to the point your best relevant experience in your previous jobs regarding this topic. And then after your brief exposition, you add: Does this explanation satisfy  your requirements or should I expand a bit more? If the employer’s interviewer feels satisfied, he will also ask to touch on other strengths that he feels is needed for the job at hand.  

That is the best strategy to sell yourself on your best attributes to the job. This way you show to the interviewer that you know who you are and can sell your best strengths for the benefit of the company. 

You see, getting a job is a selling job, you are the product. Might as well sell yourself to the interviewer or a panel for that matter. And don’t sell yourself cheap. Remember you are not begging for a job.

Now as a matter of analogy. Suppose you, 

In your mind, have chosen a car you want to buy, year, color, etc. (a company you want to work for and the place). Do you expect the car dealer to ask you questions or he goes ahead and rattle everything that is good about that particular car? Of course he will do that (that is you). 

Entirely disregard the traditional way. This approach is highly effective and cut your hunting time right in half. Don’t you believe me? I have tried myself. It really works!

And just to consolidate your newly found strategy, check with you librarian and ask for Orlando’s book.

The above model of résumé is commonly used by leading institutions as Harvard and Columbia Universities, the Peace Corps, Exxon, G.M., IBM, etc.

Unfortunately in Samoa, we do not know how to hire or fire people, neither how to train graduates for future employment. … ends in a high? Eighteen percent or higher? Note to the eager job seeker: Comments or criticism, I can hardly wait. 

[email protected] 

 

*Orlando Huaman is a job counselor. Malololelei.

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