Patience is a virtue

2 05 2010

I had a long talk with one of my mentors this weekend and some friends and I’m starting to notice a recurring theme in my life: too much emotion and impatience.  Feeling something is not a bad thing until it gets in the way of the things you want: the job, the promotion, the credibility, the relationship.

I’ve started noticing how stress at work is making me operate as a more “focused” person. By “focused” I mean that I am becoming increasingly impatient with others, especially when I think that my time can be better spent.  (Of course, the value of time and efforts is in the eye of the beholder, don’t forget that.)  Then I got to thinking… how about emotions in the job interview process?

When this comes to job searching, your graciousness and patience with a process, a person, or a company can really show positive character.  Getting pushy, short tempered and impatient does not get you far.

For example,there are almost always hold ups in the recruitment process: interviewer feedback takes longer than expected, they have more candidates that they want to meet before they decide, they need more information from you, or you’ve applied and haven’t heard a peep about whether you will get an interview.  It’s hard to wait.  It’s so hard to wait when you feel like your entire world relies on a response.

But your patience and graciousness in the process is very telling about your ability to handle ambiguity and to go with the flow when everything around you is chaotic.  Being rude, overly persistent, short-tempered with your contact won’t help move the process along faster (unless you’re the only person in the world that knows how to do what you’re being recruited for).

So hang tight!  Stay busy with side projects and other things to enrich your skills.  Job searching is just one part of getting yourself back on your feet.  Don’t forget to work on making yourself more knowledgeable about your industry, the work, and, most importantly IMO, yourself.




2 responses

3 06 2010

You know me being the laid back person that I am (and part of the reason why I am semi-unemployed) I’ve noticed that the pushy people usually get to where they want to be faster than people like me. Now, I’m not a pushy person. As a matter of fact being a tall a skinny girl doesn’t really intimidate anyone (trust me I’ve tried and did more running away from fights than being in them). But sometimes those pushy people “seem” to be more successful. However, I guess my question is, when you apply for a job and they say no phone calls does that mean that I should wait to hear from them? Or should I call once a week and annoy them until they remember who I am? Some have told me to do the latter and others told me to wait to hear from them. What do you think?

3 06 2010

That’s totally a valid point. You know, I don’t have a good answer for you, but I personally think that it’s really, really important to set expectations with each other (for the recruiter to do it with you and for you to do it with the recruiter).

Next time you talk to one, create a plan for follow-up. For example, a lot of recruiters say, “if you don’t hear from me by X, please call me.” If they don’t say this to you, then you should ask:
1) What is the best method to contact the person?
2) What is an appropriate time period (based on how the company makes decisions) to wait before I should follow up through this medium?
3) Is there anything else I should be aware of when working with you?

(A good recruiter will likely ask you some of these same things during your pre-screen. e.g. “Is this the best number to reach you? Is this a good time to talk? When would be a good time to talk?”)

So even if you are not especially “aggressive”, you have set guidelines for working together with your recruiter that don’t result in you waiting patiently…. forever.

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