I was inspired to write this blog by a candidate I interviewed this morning, who couldn’t make the required changes to her CV until lunchtime as she felt guilty about doing something personal in her company’s time; and my own daughter, who despite not being an A* student, works tirelessly to be the best she possibly can.
These examples, in simple terms, equate to a GOOD WORK ETHIC, which is what this piece is about, and what you need lots of to get on in life.
When job seeking it’s essential to know your USP’s (Unique Selling Point), and importantly, be able to articulate them, and it’s not going to get you very far if what you answer with is merely an ‘SP’. Some people I interview are surprisingly stumped by this question, replying, “I am a good organiser”, “I have strong communication skills”, “I am hard-working”; so are all good event professionals! You need a well thought through, solid, tangible attribute in order to stand out. But more than words, actions really do speak louder….
An interviewer can tell from the minute you walk in, whether you have the potential to be a good employee; from the time you arrive, to how you are dressed, to your presence in the room and how you interact with the person you are meeting and those around you.(and vice versa, a candidate learns a lot about the employer)
The signs you give off in the interview directly relate to how you are in the workplace, but is it possible to remain eternally ‘at the top of your game’? To secure a role, then gain the respect of your employers and team members, progress, and ultimately keep your job when times are tough, staying enthusiastic, committed, loyal and productive is essential.
Reference checks are an essential part of the recruitment process and go a long way to proving that you are good at what you do, valued, and someone that your previous company were sad to lose, and like your digital footprint, cannot be erased. As we say in events, “you are only as good as your last job”.
So if you are good, you have to stay good. But how do you know if you are or not? Sadly many people think they are better than they really are and it takes a great deal of soul searching and self-awareness, or someone being cruel to be kind, to reveal the truth.
I take an honest and constructive approach in all my interviews, and find myself all too frequently having to ask why a candidate was late (!); point out that a they need to sit up straight in their seat; find they weren’t prepared to answer obvious work-related questions; or expect a 20% pay rise but can’t justify what they have done to deserve it. Even in such a tough job market there are people who are simply unprepared for an interview, and almost certainly the demands and high standards of today’s workplace.
Does this sound awkwardly familiar?
It shouldn’t require someone else to point out where you are going wrong, but it’s not always possible to find that one person who is prepared to highlight a potential problem. Friends and family tend to agree with you or sympathise with your situation, whereas a consultant will want to help you, with a fair assessment of your interview style. Then it’s up to you to reflect and alter any personal traits that might make you a less desirable employee.
Whilst work ethics are not genetic (although personality is clearly a factor), what we believe to be right and wrong, how hard we work, what we expect of and treat others and how we approach tasks, is learnt from our upbringing, environment and influencers around us throughout life. Hence not everyone is automatically aware that variances in attitude require a matching workplace culture and leadership style. So if you are finding that you are not securing the job you want, or climbing the career ladder at the pace you hoped for, the good news is that if the issue comes down to work ethics (as opposed to skills, experience, glass ceiling etc), then if you want to, you can change. Generally to get on in work and in life, it’s not always about academics and learned skills, but hard work and a positive attitude.
I have met with so many candidates over the years, and whilst you can’t please all the people all the time, overwhelmingly they trust my judgement - which is formed out of an ability to listen, digest and empathise; and coupled with my experience, professionalism and honesty. My advice and suggestions are usually taken on board, with open-minded and determined people seizing the opportunity to make personal improvements, adapt to their surroundings, regain or increase their confidence levels, and ultimately up their game and get jobs as a result. This is one of the many reasons why I still love my job, after 20 years.
So, if you aren’t afraid to face the truth, take this questionnaire now to see if you really are a good employee:
If you pass with flying colours, then feel proud, keep up the good work, and make sure you use the evidence and examples as your USP in the future.
If you discover something new about yourself, and you don’t like it, then do something positive about it.
ESP International – Events Specialist Recruiter, Dubai
055 687 7175