In part 1 of this series, I told you that the psychological advantage (PA) in job means that employers want you to fit the job as much as you do. So, how do you make yourself a good fit?
You don’t. Either you are a good fit or you aren’t. Faking it rarely works for long. Neither you or your new manager wants to learn weeks or months into your employment that you two don’t get along. The way YOU learn what you bring to the job is to give it lots of thought before you start applying. Think about the skills you have that match the job posting. Think about the work environment, the compensation, the hours and all other elements of the day-to-day.
After you’ve thought about these things, write them on a list. For example, if you enjoy working with people, list it. If you must make 15 dollars an hour, put it on the list. If you can only tolerate a 30-minute commute, put it on the list. Continue this until all your job preferences and requirements are listed.
Then, next to each item, note how important each are to you; which you’ll compromise on and which you won’t. You can write out your comments, use check boxes, rank order importance, etc.
When you start searching, check you list against the terms of the job. If they match, apply. If they don’t, move on. If you’re not sure, make a note and apply, but be ready to ask about each item on the phone screen or interview. Your goal is to know what you want before you begin applying for jobs.
Read Part 3 for how you can KEEP PA when talking to employers.
Back in the mid-90’s, I moved from one career to another. I was nervous about applying for jobs because I thought I was unprepared for the new roles. I wasn’t, but I let negativity creep into my mind.
An older co-worker shared a bit of wisdom about job searching that has served me well 25 years on. She told me, “when applying for a job, always seek the psychological advantage.” What she meant was to understand and really believe that “the job needs me as much as I need the job.” That’s not saying that a positive attitude alone will get me every job. But it helps to recognize that employers advertise jobs because they have a need. And it should be YOU that fills that need.
Believe me, there aren’t many employers who ENJOY the hiring process. They would rather be running their business and making money. Good employers know that good employees are the life blood of their company. To them, hiring is a necessary part of doing business. The easier you can make hiring for them, the more they will see you as a problem solver.
The psychological advantage (PA) also means asking good questions to be sure the company and role are a good fit for you. The more you question, the more serious and selective you appear. The goal is creating an employment relationship where you both get what you want and need.
Read Part 2 for how YOU can create PA in your own job search.
David Koster is the owner and principle consultant of Team Learning Services. He has 30 years experience in the education and learning industry.