October 12, 2012
By Eric Messer
It is our belief that greatness isn’t created… its discovered.
Yes, you were born with greatness, instilled during your youth, and refined in adulthood. These “talents” are what gives you your individuality, ability to do great things, and what others within society need from you.
What so many individuals are missing is the ability to tap into that greatness in order to do great things. It’s a journey… a pathway that you need to decide to walk down.
We decided to launch “Transitioning our Troops” because statistics show that the men and women of the military need help. I read how 61% of hiring managers don’t fully understand the greatness that our military professionals bring to the corporate world. Furthermore, you as a soldier have great difficulty articulating those skills in a job interview.
Experience is important, don’t get me wrong, but it is rarely the driving factor hiring managers look for in an interview. What they want to know is what strengths you are bringing to their organization. It isn’t enough that you have experience leading a group. Leading a group of soldiers is not the same as leading a group of sales professionals, accounting teams, service teams, etc. Those soldiers listened to you because they had to. In your absence they knew exactly who was in charge. That is not usually the case in civilian life. What a hiring manager is looking for is what “talents” you bring to the organization in order to do your job effectively.
If you are recently retired from the military then you went to a base somewhere and did all of your retiring courses, learning how to effectively write a resume, how to job search, learn about all the “tools” available for you as a retiree. The one thing that was missing from those courses was learning how to become hirable. So you retire from a career of 10, 15, 20 years and you are ready to tackle your next objective. You send out your fresh resume, get a few inquires, conduct your 1st, 2nd, and phone interviews but don’t see the results that you thought you would. The question then becomes… Are you Hirable?
In order to fully understand whether or not you are hirable, you need to review your “Hirability Factor”.
Hirability Factor = (Experience + Passions) Talents
Ask yourself what experiences you bring to an organization. You need to really drill down on all the experience your military career gave you and determine how that experience will be beneficial to the organization that you are applying at. I suggest you start at a 30,000 ft view. Get all the basics out of the way. Then you can begin to zoom in on each of your experiences and see the details of what you did and how they would benefit your potential employer. Remember that the job of the hiring manager is to bring value to the organization by hiring the right person for the right job. See the world through the lenses of your hiring manager. Make sure to fully be aware of the benefits that you are bringing with to the organization.
Next you must determine your passions. When you combine passion and talent, you get an explosion of greatness known as the “It Factor”. Passion drives enthusiasm and enthusiasm is contagious. A quote by Dale Carnegie that I love is, “Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success”. If you have not found success in your job searches, maybe… just maybe you’re looking at the wrong jobs. Ask yourself if you can do this job with complete enthusiasm. If not, then it will certainly show during the interview.
The best is saved for last. The key to your hirability is the understanding of the individual talents that you bring to an organization. First, it is imperative that you understand that this is not a quick “let me give that some thought” project. Understanding your individual talent is a journey of self-discovery that ultimately leads to fully being able to seize greatness. A good beginning to understanding talent is to gauge your initial and spontaneous responses to a situation.
Let’s take for example that you find yourself in a car out on a country road with 3 friends. The car quits running and you have no cell phone coverage. How do you respond to such a situation? If you are one that immediately needs to do something… anything and only by doing something can you get out of this situation, you could use those same talents to help a struggling organization overcome their inability to move forward. If you and your friends realize that the only option is the 15 mile walk back to town, your ability to creatively make it fun and a game could be used by an organization in dealing with change. If you are able to make the walk seem like less of a task because one 15 mile walk is actually three 5 mile walks, then your ability to break large goals into small ones will keep a team on track for the entire year.
Talent can also be identified by how you act around others. Let’s say that you find yourself in a room full of people. Do you tend to gravitate toward those you don’t know or would you rather spend time with folks you already know. If you choose to gravitate towards those you don’t know then you are more likely to portray talents that cause you to want to win people over. On the other hand, if you go towards people you know, you may have distinct talents on building long-term and meaningful relationships.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to discovering your talent.
All talent can be used to impact the organization you are looking to work for, just in different ways. The trick is being able to demonstrate how your individual talents will be highly beneficial to the person looking to make the hiring decision.
Over the next coming days begin to ask yourself if maybe the problem to an unsuccessful job search is geared towards your hirability. Look over your experience, drilling down on the details and articulate that to the hiring manager. Make sure that you are looking at a position that you can be enthusiastic about and will drive your passion. Make sure that you are articulating the talent you possess and how tapping into your greatness will make their company better.
If you do these things, then you will find your job search much more successful.