One of my ex-subordinates had once applied for a job with a leading financial firm. This guy in question was extremely talented in analytics. He used to consult me for important things even after I had left the job. Over a period of time I realized that he had developed immensely in the field and hence I knew he could any day bag a good position anywhere.
So, when he informed me that he was appearing for an interview, I knew that he would crack it and so it was. After about 4 months into his new job, he called me. He was extremely frustrated, tired of the job he was doing, de-motivated and desperate to quit the job.
I wondered as to what the reason could be. What could have changed in 4 months?
I met him the next day and after a 3 hour long discussion, I realized that it is not only important to crack interviews, but it is also important to do it at an employer who understands your abilities.
This guy in question was good at data crunching, interpreting and presenting it. But his employer never understood his abilities. His initiatives were shot down saying he was knew to the organization and he needed to spend some more time. He was put into a data accumulating team, whose job was to run queries on servers and pull data and hand it over to people who would analyze it. He spent time learning it. Very often he would find that the analytics people had not interpreted the data correctly, yet his feedback was discarded.
His frustration grew and finally he quit the organization.
Finding an employer who can understand your abilities
If you are looking at a long term career, then it is very important that you find an employer who can understand your abilities and channelize your energy in the right direction.
Some tips that can help you are mentioned below -
Know what you are applying for -
Don’t just apply for a job. Know what you are applying for. You are the best judge of yourself. You know your strengths. You know your skills.
Before you apply for that job that you see in the newspaper, ask yourself if it fits your profile. Will it help you put your skills to use? Will it help you learn and enhance your skills?
If what you are applying for is not something your love to do, you are sure to get frustrated very soon.
Don’t be shy of asking questions -
I have often seen interviewees shying away from asking questions, in spite of the interviewer asking them. Ask questions about the details of the role. Ask whatever questions you have about the job profile.
One thing as a caution; Ensure that you have read whatever information is available about the profile before asking questions. Else it will appear as if you are under-prepared.
Be an Optimist -
People are hired equally for the attitude that they display as for the technical skills they possess. Exhibit optimism. Very often people are put into the wrong roles just because of their attitudes. Nobody will like keeping a pessimist in their team.
Be a continuous learner -
Career building is not about doing many jobs and possessing fancy titles. It is about building an inventory of skills and knowledge to execute the required job well. Hence it is important that you keep gathering whatever knowledge comes your way.
Take on challenging roles -
Seek roles that you always wanted to do. This will provide you the most needed visibility. Visibility is what will take you placed. It will not be easy to get these roles. You will have to toil hard to get them, but once you are into it, your career is sure to get the boost it needs.
Building your career is not just about cracking that interview. It includes a lot of things and starts from the very point you see that “Wanted”ad in the newspaper. If you wish to build a long term career, it is important that you work with employers who understand you abilities. At the same time it is also important that you understand the needs of your employer and fulfill it.