It’s Not Personal, Its Business

by on July 10, 2015

It’s Not Personal, Its Business

Fired businessmanWhile not much of a movie person at this point in my life, that fact was different when I was younger.  One of my favorite movies of all time is “The Godfather.”  Yes, I am one of those individuals that can quote or paraphrase particular lines from the movie. In one scene the Corleone family is plotting their strategy versus the other crime families in New York. Michael Corleone who is not meant to be part of the family’s crime activities, talks through a strategy that he believes the family should take against an antagonist.  He is cautioned by his older brother “Sonny”, that he believes he is taking such an action because of a personal attack made against him. Michael assures his brother in calm and reassuring tones the rational around his strategy and closes with the line, “It’s Not Personal, it strictly business.”

The quote came back to me recently when an attendee at one of the job search support groups I facilitate regularly asked, “Why do companies post jobs to outside candidates when they often have inside candidates for the role identified?”  Federal and state employment laws often come into play that require open positions to be posted. Additionally, while an inside candidate may have the likely track to the position, those in charge may not be completely sold on the individual and are verifying for themselves if possibly stronger candidates exist elsewhere. However, one thing that I do observe is that while companies usually are approaching the hiring process from a “strictly business” perspective, that is not always true of the job searcher. And, that is where it is of benefit to the searcher to take on an “It’s not personal, but strictly business” mindset.

I really believe the rules for job search began changing about 15 to 20 years ago, when more and more employers became “At Will” Employers. Individuals could be let go at any time “without cause”, (ie. budget cuts, new company direction, skill sets no longer needed, etc.). In an “At Will” environment there are no “contracts.” However, the other side of the “At Will” coin is that the individual was now put in a position to do what is best for them. If that means moving onto a new job, because a better one is offered, so be it. The need to give “a two week notice,” (which was more of a courtesy than a requirement) became an outdated concept. And, while certainly, I’m a big believer of not burning any bridges and conducting oneself in the most professional way possible, the need to own one’s employment search and the steps and strategies that you take is truly a “strictly business” mindset.

Therefore if you are in search, or find yourself in search sometime soon, or if someone close to you is currently in search, start letting go of your surprise at “The ‘things’ these companies do these days.”  That is not going to change anytime soon, UNLESS, those doing the hiring see that they need to change to attract the staffing they need. However, remember there is another side to the equation, and that involves you. Know those skill sets you offer. Be able to present how they align and meet with the needs of one hiring. Display how you are not only “looking for a job,” but looking to apply what you are blessed with talent wise to meet the needs of someone and be compensated for your skills. It is not an easy mindset for many to adapt, especially those who have searched for employment in earlier times or have not had to do so for quite a while. However, it will help build up your esteem that YOU are in charge of your search, YOU are the one with talents to offer and keep you moving forward through a process which can cause major swings in your emotions as you constantly continue to navigate it.

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