Month: January 2013

No Excuses – Walking the straight line in a job search

As the saying goes, we are our own worst enemies. And no where is this more evident than speaking with a professional who can’t conduct a job search in a straight line. 

Similar to being in a good emotional place before entering into a personal relationship; one should be in healthy place before entering into a job search. Let’s define that healthy place…

Time- A prospective employer will not manage their schedule around you. Ever. And, if they do it’s probably because they are absolutely desperate. You are expected to juggle your lunch hour, go in late, go home early, be available on a Sunday morning, or at 8:00 pm on a Friday night so the search committee can conference you in during a board retreat.  A prospective employer will provide 2 available times- Chose one and don’t ask for another. Unless you are a very talented surgeon, who is booked 90 days out, get over yourself – Your schedule is not more important than your prospective employers. And, if for some reason you don’t have any PTO and or can’t justify the required time off to conduct a job search, you aren’t in a place to start one. 

Money- 90% of all Hunter Ambrose candidates relocate a minimum of 500 miles when accepting a new position. This requires an onsite interview and 2-3 days in total.  Most clients pay for an airline ticket, (candidate only) and many clients are requiring candidates to pre-pay for his/her ticket. Most likely you will be requested to be onsite in 7 days which could be a very pricey ticket at that.  In addition a prospective employer will reimburse a candidate for his/her airline ticket and rental car and do a direct bill for the hotel. Luggage fees, parking fees, gas, meals, etc- You’re on your own. Even if you are that are that very busy orthopedic surgeon. To have a successful interview process you need to look the part and finance the process. Not only does every candidate need enough available credit, (on a major credit card),  to rent a car; a candidate needs the financial resources to get from point A to point B while looking nothing short of fabulous. Get your financial house in order, (traditionally or creatively) before starting the process. 

Self-Awareness – All Hunter Ambrose candidates,  even staff professionals, are required to complete a Candidate Questionnaire, (pertaining to the position to the candidate is applying for). The CQ is included in the candidate’s dossier. It’s typically a 10 question document with 7 of the questions asking for broad and sometimes sweeping answers. Per the instructions at the top of the form, the Firm does not edit the CQ.  What is frustrating and beyond disappointing is receiving a completed CQ from a candidate who can’t click spell-check (and has a master’s degree). I’ve reviewed CQ’s that ask a simple question such as his/her “please elaborate on your Studer experience”  only to receive the response, “What is Studer?” And, yes the majority of the CQ’s I’ve read aren’t only informative  they are an excellent example of the candidates qualifications and personality.

Bottom line- Know what you know but figure out what your prospective employer needs you to know, preferably before you interview. This takes confidence, a sense of urgency and the ability to bear hug your own insecurities-As you may be revealed to not be as brilliant as you once had once thought. 

Conducting a job search is as taxing and emotional, (and yes rewarding)  as embarking on a new personal relationship.  Get healthy before you start and you’ll get hired before you expect it.