Be Prepared for Surprises

Despite your best efforts in trying to predict the future, it just rarely plays out like you think it will. A friend recently received a call to schedule an interview. He’d heard about the job through a networking contact. It didn’t really sound like what he wanted to do; the location wasn’t great; he didn’t think they were going to pay very much; and he thought it was part time. In short, he really didn’t want “waste his valuable time” going to this interview.

I reminded him that a) since he was unemployed his time really wasn’t that valuable, and b) if nothing else he could consider it a practice session and hone his interviewing skills. Grudgingly he agreed.

After the interview he was excited. The networking contact had missed most of the good points. It was a full time job; the pay was okay; the location was easy to get to; and the duties were interesting – he could learn a lot on this job. Now he’s on pins and needles because they are supposed call him the next day with a start date the following week.

As a job seeker, you have to be prepared for surprises. He didn’t think this interview was worth his time a now he’s hoping for a job offer. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard of people interview for one job, but then being hired for a different job because of their skill set. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into a networking meeting thinking I’m wasting my time and walked out with 3-4 excellent leads.

My advice is to go in to every interview and networking meeting with your eyes wide open. Give them your best stuff and then be prepared to step back and see what happens. Sometimes you’ll get a surprising job offer or networking leads and sometimes you’ll get some good practice. Either way, your job search is moving forward. Keep at it.

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