Suppose You Were Given This Key…


Imagine if you will that you chance upon a box which upon opening, has a key and a note. The note reads, “Congratulations. You are now the owner of a key which will open any one single thing you desire. Choose wisely.” What would you open?

Depending on your inquisitiveness, you might be already wondering whether you found the key at home or work; was it out in the open like on your desk or hidden behind some wall in a castle you’re visiting built in the 1400’s? Don’t fret about that. You might wonder who put it there? Why me? How big or small is it? How could it open anything? Will it change shape as I insert it? You’ve been gifted this unique opportunity so just accept it and don’t over think it; the key is in your possession so leave it at that.

So do you opt for something tangible like the keys to a house? I suppose if you’re homeless or have had a life full of moving from one substandard housing unit to another this might have great appeal. On the other hand, if you already have stable housing and you’re relatively happy with what you have, the idea of using this key to unlock something you already have holds less appeal. In other words, you might not want to use the key to make a minor upgrade on what you already own. This you perceive is the big game-changer; the one chance you’ve got to dramatically alter your current existence.

Maybe you’ll go for the tangible but indulgent. You know, the key to a yacht, your own private jet, the front door to a vacation property in some island paradise. Why you can almost hear the jingle, “Just imagine” from a Lotto 649 commercial playing in your head. The fanciful side of you may want the yacht but before you actually declare with finality that the yacht is what it fits, the practical side of you says, “Hold on! We’ll have to pay the insurance, the storage fees and just think of the gas money at todays prices!” So you second guess what you want this key to open and pause to reconsider.

After some moments you think that maybe something tangible isn’t the only thing this key could open. Maybe the romantic lover in you imagines then that this key unlocks the heart of that person you’ve always wanted to see you in the same way you see them. They’ve always had your heart but somehow you’ve never felt they shared your feelings; this key you own could be used to open what you most desire and always have; them. But then some voice whispers to you that it just seems wrong somehow to get this person this way. You really want them to come to love you for who you are, not because you used this key as you would a love potion.

Sigh….

What about a job then? Ah, a job! Not just any job but THE job! The one you’ve tried unsuccessfully to get for what seems like an eternity. It does say it will open anything you desire so why not the door that keeps getting slammed in your face every time you apply for work? Yes, your dream job. Just wish it and it becomes your reality…your phone will ring in minutes with some voice at the other end telling you they’d be thrilled to have you come and work with them!

Unlike the heart of the person you’re hopelessly – or Hope Fully in love with, there’s little or no guilt surely in getting what you want by using this key. There’s nothing wrong with using it to unlock the doors to that corner office in the tower, the Chairman’s office, the Ranger tower in the forest or – well wherever this job you want is located. So why does your conscience nag at you that using it to get that job cause you difficulty?

Okay, okay! So you go to something that’s just fun and harmless. The key may just unlock the door to the local ice cream shop. Yes! Ice cream when you want it for you and your friends! A myriad of flavours at your choosing; vanilla and chocolate when you’re in the mood and raspberry thunder when you’re craving it! Harmless too; it’s only ice cream! Ah, but your health would suffer you acknowledge. After all, how much ice cream could you eat without having your fill? What if you got diabetes or became lactose intolerant? Then your wish for ice cream would be a cruel joke and a waste of the key. Rethink.

What about a vault that holds money. Surely then you could use the money stored there to get whatever you want and when you want it! As your needs and wants change, the money would be there to easily go out and get it. Would that be so bad? It’s like using your last wish to ask the Genie for more wishes. That has its problems too of course.

Enough with the ideas to spur one’s imagination. Would it make a difference in what you wish for if there was a limited time to use it? Would you unlock the mysteries of the universe?

What would the key open if you come across it today?

Maybe you already hold such a key.

 

 

Looking For Work? Then Consider…


I see it every day where I work; people standing in front of a board covered with job postings or browsing a job search website. Many of these apply for a job or two and then come back the next day to repeat the process and I must say with very few results. Sometimes of course they get interviews and a few even manage to land the jobs they applied to. Somehow or other though, the job doesn’t work out for both the person and the company who hired them.

Does this sound like your own experience? So what’s going wrong? Isn’t this how everyone looks for work today?

The most successful people; and by successful I mean the ones who find work they enjoy, can perform well at and who manage to maintain those jobs don’t go about looking for jobs as described above. They’ve taken the time to do a number of things that maximize their odds of getting hired faster and in jobs that fit better with their own needs. So here I’ve listed some things to at least consider doing to help you out; some you may be doing already and some which will require a change in your thinking and actions; that is if you’re open to trying.

  1. Apply to jobs you’re actually qualified for based on the employer’s stated requirements. You’ll stop wasting your precious time – and theirs – going through the application process. You only have so much time and energy.
  2. Research the salary and know ahead of an interview what you’re worth on the market and the amount of money you require in order to live within your means. Again, you’ll avoid a lot of grief applying, interviewing for and accepting employment only to quit when you get your first pay cheque if it’s substantially less than your bare minimum requirements.
  3. Whether you’ve had a poor experience with a boss in a previous job or you’ve been fortunate enough to work for great ones, ask questions about the style of supervision you’d receive with the organization. Clues can be usually found if you read web pages where they mention company culture, what you can expect or promotional opportunities.
  4. Get on a computer and figure out the distance you’d have to travel to and from your home to the job location and back home again. How much time will this add to your work day? If you use transit, how many transfers are involved? If you drive factor in any parking expenses to your budget.
  5. Think about how long you might invest with your next employer. You might only wish to work for a couple of years until you retire, and therefore a contract job might be an ideal fit. Younger? Perhaps you’re really looking for a variety of experiences in order to figure out what you’d like to do on a longer term basis and so again a short-term position might give you that experience to add to your growing resume.
  6. Most jobs involve some level of customer service and interaction with people. A growing number of people who are looking for work seem to have weak interpersonal skills, anxiety and wish to avoid jobs were conversations and frequent contact with other people occur often. If this is you, it appears you either have to increase your level of confidence and develop in this area like any other skill, or seek out jobs where people interaction is at a minimum in the first place.
  7. The first few days, weeks and months on a job are critical evaluation periods where you’re ability to learn the job and perform it in the way that fits with the employers preferences are being examined. While some employer’s have extensive training programs and support built for new hires, others expect you to learn on the job and be up to speed quickly. Know the employer’s expectations.
  8. Conflict resolution and problem-solving skills are highly sought after skills because quite frankly you’ll experience dilemmas and challenges be they with co-workers, supervisors, customers, clients, the public, couriers, tradespeople etc. Can you articulate or describe your own style of dealing with these kind of challenges in such a way that you solve problems but at the same time preserve relationships with the very people you find challenging?
  9. Do yourself a huge favour and make a resume for each and every job you apply to rather than making multiple copies of resumes and handing them out. Although I and others have said this numerous times before, people aren’t getting the message and that’s a shame.
  10. Considering the work you’ll be doing, will you find it personally meaningful and one way or the other how much of a factor is this to you? Presumably you’re spending up to 12 hours a day (some shift work positions) so think carefully.

Look, there’s a lot of things to consider if you really want your next job to be satisfying and if you want to be successful in both getting it and keeping it. The 10 things I’ve listed here is hardly a comprehensive list, but maybe 10 things is a more effective read than say a 10,000 word blog on the 157 factors you should consider; that would be entirely too overwhelming for anyone and pointless!

Bottom line readers; the more you educate yourself the better you’ll be suited to the job you’re after all around.