Monday, 25 November 2013

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

I have always hated that interview question.  I hate it so much, that I won't even ask it.

Throughout my entire career, I have never had a good answer for it.  Truthfully, I have never had a career plan (what kind of Career Advisor admits to this?)  In high school I would say that my plan was to marry rich, during undergrad I always planned on going to grad school (which I didn't do because I didn't want to pay for it), after that I would look for jobs that interested me (how I ended up in staffing and recruitment is beyond me).  Since I didn't marry rich, or go to grad school I've been winging it for the past 20 years.  I'm able to identify and use my transferable skills, I have enhanced my education with further accreditations, and I work hard.  But if you ask me where do I want to be in 5 years?  I still don't have an answer.

So why would any recruiter or hiring manager expect any different?

Working with undergrads for the past year has been very refreshing.  It's really great to see the optimism of youth.  So many of our students have definite plans - and I applaud them for it.  But I'm a realist.  I also let them know to be okay if their plans change.  Our definition of success changes as our circumstances change, and that's okay.

What if your 5 year plan includes graduating, completing your CPA designation, and making partner?  Then, during those 5 years, you fall in love, get married and have twins?  I guarantee, whether you are the mom or the dad, you will re-evaluate that 5 year plan.  Maybe you will be even more determined to achieve your goal, maybe you will change the goal completely.

My point, if I have one, is that if you are a recruiter- please stop asking this question.  If you are a candidate, have an answer ready for it, but know that it's 100% okay to change your plans.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Really? No, Really?

This has been sitting in my drafts folder for a while.  I've been trying to come up with a "PC" way of expressing my opinion.  Then I remembered (likely due to the high amounts of cold medication that I'm on), that this is MY blog.  The opinions are MINE and mine alone.  If you don't like it, please present a counter argument in the comments.  So here goes:

A couple of months ago while pumping gas I looked up and saw this:

At first I chuckled, but then I got angry.  Angry enough to take a photo and to (eventually) blog about it.  So what is it that made me so mad?

Young adults these days generally get a bad rap.  They're "entitled" and "lazy" among other things, if you believe the media. This ad completely plays into that stereotype.  "Hey parents, we know your kids are too lazy to get off their butts to apply for a job, so why don't you come in and fill out an application form for them?"

I can just imagine the marketing group in a room trying to solve the low applicant rate, "I know, let's appeal to their parents!"

Truly, shame on you Co-op.  Kids these days are a product of the parenting that they received.  Many have parents who hover and control every moment of their lives.  If that is who you want to hire, then by all means, go ahead.  But you will be missing out on the truly wonderful candidates who are motivated and excited, and who truly want to learn and do a good job.    And if the next time I go to buy my gas and the attendant is ignoring me and being lazy, I will know why - it's because he didn't truly want this job - his mother wanted it for him.