self motivation

What’s motivaing your job search? Nicole Barbano, CEO Hunter Ambrose Executive Search firm

pink employment istock .jpgAfter leading Hunter Ambrose for 13 years and recruiting for 20- I’m consistently amazed that people either don’t know what motivates them  to look for a new position or they do and they choose not to be honest about it.

If we subscribe to the Tony Robbins belief that we do things for 2 reasons- To avoid pain or gain pleasure- Then being honest about our motivations, our true, bare, unfiltered motivations, is either incredibly pleasurable because we move towards them and life expands and grows on our planned trajectory or painful because getting there is not going to be a pleasurable process. Typically due to the lack of buy-in from our stakeholders, (partners, kid’s, friends and the like). Or quite often a candidate lacks the  practical and emotional resources needed to launch a successful job search. These include time, money, motivation, strength of character and a drop of over-confident near  narcissism tonic required to embark on a possible round of numerous rejections.

In speaking with thousands of candidates- I know that a job search is motivated by 3 things- Opportunity, Money or Location. 

Opportunity. Candidates who are looking for the next step of career growth- It’s opportunity. They’ll go anywhere, typically with a broad 20k salary range to join the company that they believe in, to do the things that keeps them on their laptop late at night to learn, create and implement. Every organization wants candidates who are driven by opportunity. However many organizations don’t create a culture or a vision to court the Opportunity Driven Candidate. Opportunity candidates are the passive candidates looking for the right position, with leadership who can articulate clear cut objectives and provide resources with  the autonomy required to hit goal.  If a company wants to hire the Opportunity candidate; they need to be an organization worthy of this type of individual. Some of our most successful  placements include CEO’s who wanted to lead hospitals based on mission and providing resources to an ignored population, (quite often the aging, addicted and those with mental health needs). They didn’t care where the position was or what it paid- It was about community, working with an educated and progressive Board of Directors and authentically adding daily value to people’s lives. Or  the nationally recognized wrestling student who just graduated with an Ivy League degree and could DO ANYTHING from law school to the Olympics. Yet  his passion, his desire is to launch his college coaching career with a university that has drive, focus and resources. He doesn’t care where it is, what it pays. His singular motivation is  about creating a program he can feel proud about while leading young men towards goal.

Money. Being about the money is not a rush to judgement from a recruitment standpoint. If a candidate is driven by money for the right reasons- Based on their contributions, I’m all in to have that conversation. However, candidates who are money driven with a Mother Russia mentality, (expecting to be paid based on financial needs of their own choosing and not the delivery of their  results); I have no patience for and neither does a prospective employer. Candidates who say they want to earn more money should be listened to. These are typically the candidates that EARN in spades for their company’s. They are the over-achievers. They know their worth. Money driven candidates know the market and they are EXACTLY the type of candidate you want on your team if you’re in a growth and innovation stage. Money driven candidates are received with open arms by organizations craving people who are smarter than the leadership.  These bright shining stars are hired by corporate America, award winning Critical Access Hospitals to start-ups . Smart hiring teams are  willing  to have a short term relationship with a Money Candidate, confident of amazing results with typically no guarantee they’ll stay beyond the 2 year anniversary.

Location- From caring for elderly parents, to a nostalgic refusal to leaving their home town, to needing to stay in small town America until their 16 year old star Varsity athlete graduates from high school- There a thousand reasonable reasons why candidate’s can’t relocate. Location plays a big role in a job search. Though for candidate’s who refuse to relocate and they’re at the leadership / C-Suite level- Good luck! Because if you’re a CEO of a hospital  or Dean at a University and there are only 10 hospitals / colleges in your community- You’ve got 10 (maybe) job opportunities, unless you’re going to change fields or re-invent yourself. Candidate’s who are frustrated with their job searches are typically the one’s who won’t relocate or can’t motivate  their stakeholders to partner with them for a national job search.The higher you climb the corporate ladder; unless you live in a major city, you’re going to have consider relocating to grow your career.

For candidate’s searching for a new position- Mediate, focus and get honest about what you’re looking for and why. Rank where Opportunity, Money and Location land in relationship to your job search. You’ll know you’ve found an organization or a firm worthy of your time when they’re confident enough in their opportunities and genuinely interested in you to engage in a transparent conversation by asking the question- So….what’s  motivating you to look for a new position today? 

Nicole Barbano, CEO | Hunter Ambrose Executive Search firm 

What do you want?

Four little words. I ask this question of certain candidates typically in an initial conversation. As most job searches are propelled by salary, opportunity and geography- It’s a fairly direct question any job seeker should know the answer to. And I rarely receive a direct answer.

How often are we faced with unpleasant circumstances, a job search, dilemmas, bad days and surprises and we become so wrapped around the problem that we can’t step back and ask the obvious question- What do I want? What one thing could immediately improve or solve this problem? What one resource or person could change the course of this problem?

With 7 billion people on the planet, there is no problem, no circumstance unique to one person. As special as we may think we are, statistics show there 7,000 people just like you. (A very humbling yet overly-generic thought).

I recently had a conversation with a friend who has ventured into a new business. He has a deadline looming, an enormous quota to meet all while balancing the challenges of developing a  small national sales team in its infancy and bootstrapping the entire company. What he’s achieved the past 18 months is nothing short of spectacular. Yet,  he is staggering on a precipice if the next  set of enormous challenges isn’t achieved by March 1, 2014. (Same day, different story for any small business owner or entrepreneur).

After a nearly 7 minute monologue of listening to the challenges, frustrations, fear, hopefulness and legitimate facts surrounding his problem(s), I asked, “What do you want?” He actually stopped talking for a few moments. I repeated my question and then asked, “What one thing do you need to accomplish by March 1?”  He responded that x number of units needed to be sold. A simple solution to a complex problem. The challenges with the sales team, cash flow, the exhaustion of being on the road 5.5 days a week- All of that was less than relevant when compared to solving the biggest problem in the room.

We did the math and calculated the number of units which needed to be sold November – February 2014. The next hour was devoted to creating the most cost effective, simplest and  fastest  solution to increasing sales without adding responsibilities to an already fragile and marginal sales team. Every time he started discussing the challenges, the problems, the consequences of failure, the challenges he was facing with his current resources, I countered with “What do you want?” And by the third time I asked the question, his mantra had shifted to a simple solution with a clear deadline.

Our stories, our problems and projected consequences are often so overwhelming and debilitating we can’t imagine moving forward with a calm, confident and simple process. Knowing what we want, being brutally honest with ourselves and with our fellow stakeholders, (leadership, colleagues, personal partners, etc.) is a vulnerable process-  Even if we only admit it to ourselves. Asking, “What do I want,” opens the door to failure, disappointment and to understanding what will be required of ourselves .

By replacing the interior monologue of our problems  with the most responsible question, “What do I want,” we can chart a course and move forward. Simply, with clarity and self-reliance. Enough talking about the problem….What do you want?