“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” & other dumb questions!

Employers love to ask supposed “probing questions” during interviews and it’s harder than ever to compete for a job with hundreds of applicants available and few open positions.  This is also a quickly evolving era where certain jobs are disappearing forever.  How can anyone know where they’ll be in the future?

And if your job has disappeared and you’re left to find a new career how do you get the job without experience?  The Harvard Business Review recently ran an article that insisted that “Career Plans Are Dangerous!”  Their argument is that “if you find yourself in a profession which is evolving rapidly, career planning just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

So how do you stand out?  How do YOU get the job?  The Harvard Business Review offers that you need to show a commitment to something…to anything!  It doesn’t have to be job related, though that wouldn’t hurt.  It could be the fact that you’re a runner, that you volunteer with a charity, or it could be anything that you’ve shown you’re not afraid to work hard for.  You need to stand out.

I recently attended a luncheon to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Girls Scouts of America where former “Good Morning America” Host, Joan Lunden, was the key speaker.  Joan recounted her start as a journalist – something few women were doing at the time.  She had no experience when she landed her first job as a reporter but anytime someone asked her if she could do something she said “YES!”  Every offer was an opportunity.  Lunden encouraged the audience to accept any challenge and try new things.  Just say YES!

Sir Francis Bacon once said “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”  Opportunity doesn’t always present itself in a familiar manner or in a “suit.”  In this difficult era we must focus on the skills that make us a winner no matter what we’re doing rather than the experience of any particular job.  When I landed a job at a news/talk radio station I hadn’t worked in news for years.  I’d been a music DJ for 15 years!  What got me the job was my enthusiasm, my natural curiosity, and a track record of being a hard worker.  Talking to a prospective employer about the things you are passionate about will make you stand out.  You are no longer looking for a “job.”  You are looking for opportunity.

Keep the Faith!

Corey Dylan


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