Glenford Smith │ Not entitled to a break
QUESTION: I have a bit of a problem. I have been in the same entry level position for the past six years, almost seven, where I have acted as supervisor one time, and was in another department at another time. I have upgraded my skills as I hold a postgraduate diploma; however, I am not getting the break I need. I had sent out rÈsumÈ after resume. I had got a few interviews; however, I was not successful. What am I doing wrong?
CAREERS: Thank you for writing to The Gleaner with your Career question. Your letter had to be edited for length.
It is commendable that your leadership skills have been noticed and you have been chosen to act. Kudos to you for upgrading your skills to a postgraduate level.
Have you made it known to the people who have the power in the organisation that you are interested in a supervisory post? You must be positive and constructive in your orientation towards your goal.
Don't fall prey to the myth that you are entitled to a position or a break just because you've upgraded your skills, though. Neither are you entitled because now you hold a postgraduate degree. It is unfortunate that some young people feel that their skills somehow entitle them to certain things at their workplace. Your employer only cares for what you've done.
Nowadays, your school certification is good for only one thing: it says you are familiar with the subject. Your employer is looking for concrete result that you're able to deliver to the company. That is it.
At your workplace, find specific things to do to show your difference. You said you had written a proposal to help improve the morale of your organisation. You said this went nowhere. This is not strange. The fact is that if you expect your superiors to take your proposal and run with it, you will be sadly mistaken.
Let me tell you the truth: it is your responsibility. It is your vision, your energy that will bring your proposal to life. It is when you are fired up and inspired with your idea that others will be drawn to it, not before.
You are to be commended for your initiative in writing the proposal to improve staff morale. You just need to take it further. Be the personification you have in your proposal; enthusiasm is contagious. Be the vivacious, on-time, enthusiastic and cheerful person you envision for your proposal.
With regard to your rÈsumÈ, you should get someone, preferably an expert, to look at your interview techniques and critique you. You may feel like you're crushing it in the interview, but in fact you are bombing it. Be careful about assessing your own interview; get a third party or third parties to give you their evaluation.
Use the interviews you've done as practice for better ones in your future. I have told candidates that a disappointment at an interview is not something to get depressed over. They should instead learn from it, and interpret it as preparation for something better later on in their careers. I offer the same hard-won wisdom to you.
- Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.