The Desk

March 16, 2009

All It Takes

Filed under: Job Search,Networking — Yvonne LaRose @ 9:01 PM
Tags: , ,

As if I don’t have enough to do, I have a series of meetings with government agencies the rest of this week. It seems they’ve stopped doing something very vital (paying me) and it’s causing a compromise in my agenda (paying my bills). Today’s meeting was striking because of the couple of questions that were asked asked. It was as though some angel were listening and watching and giving signals on what the job seeker should be doing during their interviews.

The precipitating questions were, “What is the highest grade you’ve completed in school?” and “Do you have any special education or training?”

In response to the first question, I answered two years of law school. In the back of my mind I was screaming and saying, “It wasn’t a grade as in high school. It was actual advanced studies.” But I just mildly responded without commentary. Commentary wasn’t necessary.

Things blossomed when I answered the second question. The litany went something on the order of:

  • Mediation. In response to when, I said 1994.
  • Tutoring. Literacy tutoring as well as youth tutoring. I wasn’t asked for the years in which these activities occurred and did not volunteer them.
  • Disability accommodations for the visually impaired and through the Arthritis Foundation, learning disabilities, and several others that I can’t remember right now.
  • Domestic violence. I’m a domestic violence advocate as well as a legal domestic violence advocate.

By that time, it was difficult to remember whether there was any additional “special training or education.” But that list that rolled off the top of my head begged the question,

“So do I get the job?”

The interviewer and I both laughed. With all of those qualifications, it was more than appropriate to ask. Yet how many job seekers do so? Scant to none is the answer I’d venture. Why so few who will ask for the job after more than qualifying theirselves for it? Perhaps modesty is the answer. Then again, perhaps it’s due to fear. But there’s nothing to fear. Fear of failure? No. With that list, there were only successes and those under one’s control who would sneak to be reunited with you in order to stay with the program and keep growing. There were not litanies of failure.

Job seekers need to rethink their interviewing strategies. Maybe all it takes to get the job is to ask for it.

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