A hiring manager will check to see if you're the right fit for a job, but it's up to you to see if the job is right for your career. Sometimes it can seem difficult or overwhelming to go from working a job to launching your career, but the most successful people out there - the CEOs, the startup millionaires, the ones calling the shots - made the shift not by trying to fit a job, but by making their jobs work for their long term goals.
Here's some advice a hiring manager won't tell you that will make you shine:
- Job requirements aren't really required. While you should prove that you can perform the duties listed in a job description, and perform them well, certain requirements aren't truly that mandatory. The biggest culprit here is the years of experience line. If you can prove, through testing, samples, or any other means you can think of, that you are capable of carrying out this position, a company is going to care a lot less that you don't have the requested 5 years of experience. You may have to get a little creative, but companies want the best. Show them that is you, and you can certainly work around certain requirements.
- Going for what you love will get you further in the long run. A high-paying job or a fancy title for a less than perfect position might seem like a sound decision, but pursuing what you love will take you a lot further over the course of your lifetime. In the beginning, this might mean taking a pay cut or blow to your business card title, but pursuing your passion will keep you focused, which will open up many more opportunities for advancement in the future.
- Find a job with the right people. A company is going to hire you based on whether you fit their culture as much as anything, and you will do yourself a favor to make sure the company is as good a fit for you as you are for them. Asking about company culture, and getting a bit nosy to see if you will work well with your future supervisor, will give you a better sense of whether you will truly flourish with a company in the long run and learn what you need to in order to turn your job into a second home.
- You need more than technical skills. When interviewing, a manager concerns themselves with whether you can perform the job duties. You need to focus on what is going to move you up after you've got that first position. From day one, think about how you are going to add value to your company that goes beyond your position. Learn how to network. Learn how to make others notice you, because they won't go out-of-the-way to do so if you don't give them a reason.
- Take credit for your success. The person hiring you wants to know that you are team player, but giving all credit to your company will hurt you in the long run. Don't be afraid to take credit when it is truly yours to take. Instead of crediting the company for your success, talk about how your success helped develop and better the company or position. Show mutual growth, but don't be afraid to say it was because of your initiative.
Trying to fit the part to get the job may get you a position, but a little creativity will get you the job you've always wanted. Be patient and be unafraid to take risks, and you will soon have the career of your dreams.
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