Archive for February, 2012

I’m shocked – what about you?

February 24, 2012

I came across an article by Jessica Liebman on the one mistake job applicants make.  This kind of title intrigues me, so I followed the link.  You may have seen it – one of those things promoted at the top of the LinkedIn page.  In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the link.  Please read, then note a sample of the comments.

Shocking!  The discussion of an email thank-you note following an interview is controversial?  I thought the question might be about the appropriateness of email versus a written note, but I realize I’m a dinosaur here.  And I’ve softened my position.

No, the controversy is about saying thank you at all.  There’s so much anger out there that it is scary.  Many of the respondents positively villified the author, whose position seems to be that if she doesn’t get a thank-you note, your chance of getting a job offer goes down.

The hostile crowd posting comments seems to be suggestion that:

  • skills are sufficient to get the job,
  • the deck is stacked against them, so why bother,
  • the person who bases her hiring decision on being thanked must be nuts,
  • nobody says thank you anymore anyway.

I’m stunned and sad about this discussion.  I just don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be recognized and appreciated.  Agreed, if you have been unemployed for a long time and have been rejected multiple times, it is really, really hard to keep expressing gratitude for someone else’s time.  That may be part of the job of the job hunter these days.  Keep your gratitude at hand and draw on it frequently.

Oh yes, thank you for reading my blog.  I’m always grateful to readers, and probably should say so more often!

Thank you, Ikea delivery service!

February 15, 2012

Don’t you think people should say thank you more often?  I do.

So here’s a huge one to the delightful men who made a delivery last Sunday afternoon to Greenbelt, MD.  You brought the bed and mattress on time, you manoevered the boxes around tiny corners with good grace and humor.  You took away the old stuff although you were unsure if it was part of the deal.  (We were unsure, too.)  With a lighthearted “let’s avoid the foolishness”, you took it away anyway, rather than stand and argue.  Wow!

My daughter and I thanked you profusely, and you actually said we were the nicest customers you had met all day.  Wow again.

I don’t think I’ve ever been thanked for being a nice customer.  You made our day, truly.  Thank you.

The Perfect Job Application

February 12, 2012

….doesn’t exist.

Someone told me the other day that he hesitates to apply for jobs because

  • the cover letter might not be right,
  • the resume or application form probably isn’t on target,
  • maybe it won’t be a great fit,
  • in fact, maybe it isn’t any better than where he already (unhappily) works.

I believe there’s an easy fix here.  Let’s agree with him!

The letter and resume are not perfect and the job might be a terrible fit.

Borrow the thought from Nike and just do it.  Push your imperfect self to apply.

That fear about how the job might not be what you want is a total case of getting ahead of yourself.  What you really need is an interview.  You need to experience that dialogue about who you are and what they need.

You don’t like them?  You don’t like the look of the job?  Fine, don’t accept the job if it is offered.  But you had a practice interview for that next opportunity that is right around the corner.  Send an imperfect thank-you letter right away and learn from the experience.

The quest for perfection is an effective tool for procrastination, but not much more.  You don’t need it.  You have a career to pursue.

Happy Birthday, Charles, and thanks…

February 7, 2012

Today is the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens.

When I think of what he contributed to the world, I am so grateful.  He identified the dreadful conditions of child labor that were considered acceptable in his time, and he did so authentically, since he himself had gone to work at age 12.

This is an occasion on which to be grateful to all artists who use their lives to enlighten the rest of us.

Happy birthday, Charles Dickens.  The world is a better place because of you.