Since the fall of the economy, candidates have been fighting to find work. There have been endless days of restructuring resumes, checking job boards, dead-end interviews, and rejections. Rejections come in all forms: no response, a generic e-mail that gives no reason, a quick e-mail/phone call to let you know they went for a more “qualified candidate”– and that’s that. Another defeat.
After this sets in we start to try to find ways to portray ourselves to be the “best fit”– we update resumes and professional sites, we research interview tips to make sure we say all the right things, we try to obtain any experience we can just to fit those requirements the company looks for. And yet, even after we’ve exhausted ourselves with all of our efforts to be “perfect”, it didn’t make a difference. We are still jobless to the point where we consider taking anything just to keep ourselves financially afloat.
My question is: why are we trying so hard only to fit what a company is looking for?
I feel that employers should be considered partners. You do for them, and they do for you- that is a good relationship that will be beneficial to both parties and will allow both to progress. So why are we trying so hard to only fit their needs and completely push aside our own?
Ideally, before the workforce (or lack-there-of) had stomped on any inkling of individual dreams and expectations, we had once had a vision of what our perfect work situation would be. If you completely abandon those, how do you expect to find that one company that makes you want to be committed to them for years to come? Personally, I think that work should be more than just getting a check to pay the bills. It should ignite passion and inspiration. It should make you believe that you are there for a reason, that your effort is recognized, and make you feel like you are irreplaceable.
Perhaps that is a little too naïve and optimistic but if companies are setting the bar high for their future employees, why shouldn’t you do the same for your future employers? It’s a big world out there. There has to be somewhere that could respect your values and maybe even encourage them… so why would you stop until you find it? Don’t settle for less than you deserve. This is your life.
I’m sure you’re used to seeing the requirements on a job posting, why not create your own “employer posting” with your basic requirements and preferred requirements? These things could help you strive for something and potentially ensure your overall long-term happiness with an employer. This could also help you find ways to “interview” the employer rather than have them running the show. Your work is a good portion of your life so it’s important to consider what you’re willing to commit to.
So here’s a shout-out to future employers! Here is a list of my current requirements (basic and preferred) for my next employer:
• I am seeking a company that creates a workplace in which the employees feel like they have purpose and that each employee’s contribution makes the biggest difference, no matter what level or job function.
• I want a workplace that promotes unity and allows all levels and departments to network and function as one team towards its goals, rather than keep everyone siloed in their departments.
• I want leaders that ignite passion and inspire employees to strive to be the best version of themselves, both personally and professionally.
• I want a company that is full of open and curious minds and is willing to listen to suggestions from employees.
• Even more so, I want a company that encourages innovation and will take a chance on things that “can’t be done” because they’ve “never been done” to prove to the world that YES! IT CAN BE DONE! After all, how is business going to progress if no one is willing to take a chance?
• I want managers who are invested in their employees and will take the time to help them grow and help them move forward in their career paths.
• I want a company that tests traditional workplaces by trying alternative workplace styles.
• I want a company that promotes continuous learning and allows employees the opportunity to really find what they’re good at or find something they love to do.
• I want my employers to celebrate individualism and welcome different insights and approaches from these employees.
• I want an employer that let’s employees see a future rather than a dead-end.
These requirements are just to name a few things that I’m looking for. I want a company that actually has a good vision, culture, and mission and follows through with that. So many times I’ve been attracted to companies with wonderfully stated visions and missions only to be disappointed by the reality of it. I want a company that is REAL.
I know that if I find a company like this, I will commit and work hard for them. I will want to grow with them because they will allow me to grow. I would want to be the best employee I could be because they create a positive workplace and do not put a limit on what I can do. Unfortunately, this type of mentality and attitude cannot be reflected on a resume or application… so here are the things I wish I could say. I know what type of person I am and could be…. But those reviewing applications and resumes may not. I’m sure there are plenty others out there that are the same way and it’s a shame to think of all of the amazing employees a company has missed out on because of their rigid requirements and hiring practices.
Maybe I won’t find all the things I want out of an employer but I hope to find an employer that does have some of these things. Like I said, It’s a big world out there and there is bound to be somewhere that understands my values and views. And if I can never find it…. I guess I’ll just have to create it 🙂