Often I talk to people and offer them career advice. I am happy to help people maximize the marketing of their skills to land a good job. Recently I was speaking to a few people who seemed to want a job, but weren't really doing the things needed to get a job. Is this like when the Millionaire Matchmaker recommends for the dates to dress appropriately and really take an active role in the conversation of the evening?
As a matchmaker, these are some of the qualities I look for in future employees:
- A desire to work
- A track record of work
- A commitment to making a career change
- Being receptive to advice
- Improving things that need improvement
Let me elaborate:
- A desire to work. What do I mean by a desire to work? Well, that's kind of easy. I want someone who is interested in getting up every day, getting themselves ready for work, going to work--consistently, and wanting to contribute to their company. Yes, may seem simple. And it is. But when I talk to several people, they are looking for a job that will work into their schedule. The ability to work flexible hours, telecommute, or part-time schedules all are relevant requests--but they do put a monkey wrench into some placements. It can be hard for a client to allow a wine club salesperson to work from home--since the wine club members are usually signed up at the winery. If someone has other responsibilities that require only part-time employment, that significantly reduces the amount of jobs that they will be able to apply for.
- A track record of work. A track record is work history. While I often talk to people hoping to make a change into the wine industry, I always want to know where they worked before. If someone is hoping to make a career change, but hasn't been working for several years, I'm going to question how serious they are about taking a job. Have they had trouble holding down a job? Have they been out of work for personal or health reasons? Have they been in prison? All of these questions come up--and until I can substantiate things, I'm dubious.
- A commitment to making a career change. This can be either a complete change from one industry to another, or simply taking a new job. Until I feel that this person really wants to make a change, I'm not confident they are a good candidate to work with. If I find a great opportunity for them, they interview and are offered the job--will they really make the change and accept the position. Or are they window shopping--seeing what jobs are out there and finding out if they are being compensated correctly.
- Being receptive to advice. Oh, this is always the toughest one. Getting calls from all over the world from wine professionals who want the next big break is fun--but often I have to have "the talk" with my candidates. Yes, your resume looks great, you have great experience, but............... I always start this dialogue with trepidation. Who wants me telling them they need to stick with their current employer for another year to show some tenure, cut their hair, lose the fancy typefaces on their resume, or put up with that difficult boss until they land the next job. Where do I come off telling people these things. Well, I do have a bit of experience in this area, so I keep talking--and see how people take it. Some people say, "Yeah, I'll look at that."--and don't do anything differently. Other people say, "Thanks--I hadn't realized that, and I think you have a point."
- Improving things that need improvement. The next step is very telling. If they take my advice, I know they truly want to make a change. If I hear from them again in a month or so, and nothing has changed and they are still dealing with the same issue, I don't keep up a dialogue with them. I think this is a bit like the Millionaire Matchmaker who has to turn down wealthy clients because they just can't seem to make a change. I am more than happy to keep considering those candidates who put some time and thought into what we talked about, and are improving on deficiencies.