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Why So Many People Hate Their Jobs

I’m going to go out on a limb (as I’ve been known to from time to time) and say that far too many people hate their jobs.  People are living for the weekends, attempting to escape the grind, give conventional employment the finger, and looking for any alternative to the job they hate. It’s tempting to say things like well, maybe this person is just not a good fit and let them go.  Considering the cost of hiring and training somebody you would think that more would have been invested into figuring out whether this person is a “fit.” People quit jobs and get fired everyday and we’re quick to dismiss them as the problem.  I think it’s time we start to question the way we hire people.  A while back I said your resume will never get you your dream job and it’s likely the people who have their dream job didn’t get there because of their resumes.

The Job Interview is an Act

The whole interview process in and of itself is more or less an act.  Companies put their best foot forward in order to attract the employees they want. Potential employees put their best foot forward in order to get themselves hired. But what’s really happening is they’re pulling one over on each other.  Look at something like the Vault Career Guide which actually gives you guidance on how to answer certain interview questions.

One of my particular favorites that is an absolutely ridiculous question is “where do you see yourself 5 years from now?” Supposedly the correct answer is something along the lines of your interest in growing with the organization you’re interviewing with. Considering most of us don’t know where we’ll be 5 days from now, it’s a completely loaded question.  I think we need to finally start answering this question honestly and tell employers “I don’t have a clue.”  Most people aren’t even staying in jobs over 2 years. To take something as dynamic as a human being and trap them in the cage of a job description that they need to live up to for the next 5 years robs them of their full potential and employers are really losing out on the true value that people can bring with their current hiring practices.

Another question that there isn’t any right answer for is “What is your greatest strength?” I’ve been tempted to setup an interview so I could tell somebody that my greatest strength is that I have issues with authority. Oddly enough it could be a great strength depending on how you look at it. Given my issues with authority I’m likely to take the lead on certain things without being told what to do. Authority figures seem to be in place to impose stupid rules like the 8 hour workday that makes no sense rather than provide useful guidance so that employees can create value for an organization. Jason Fried even said that real work doesn’t happen at work because of meetings and managers.

I’m more than Bullets on a Page and Keywords

A few months back a recruiter from a large agency contacted me about a contract position for a social media analyst. The job involved sitting at a desk, putting together reports, and crunching spreadsheets. The recruiter clearly didn’t look closely at my online footprint, saw the words social media in my Linkedin profile and assumed that I was a fit for the position. If she had looked at my blog, she would have known that I would have been a terrible fit for a position like that considering it didn’t involve doing anything creative and I can barely add.  I was honestly quite annoyed because this recruiter really didn’t take the time to do anything but look at keywords and bullet points. There’s a huge issue with the way people hire because the understanding of a person’s core values are missing from the process.

Right now you have an entire generation of youth looking the traditional corporate path who have seen what has happened to their parents and saying “there’s no way in hell I’m going to sell my soul to you for a paycheck and no guarantees.” If we don’t change the way we hire, employees won’t create value, and organizations will crumble. The  people are speaking louder than ever before. The companies that are listening will emerge successful and the rest will fade into obscurity. Ignore the people who are speaking at your own risk.

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