To be or not to be….

Whether you’re interviewing for a new job, or enjoying your current job, employers are interested that you’re doing something rather than being something.  Many people I work with want to “be” the boss, “be” a manager or “be” the next [fill in the blank].

To keep on track you may consider some of these tips:

Tip 1:  Why?  Ask yourself why do you want to “be” the [fill in the blank].  What about the position appeals to you?  It may be a position that helps you grow and challenges you.  The position may use your strengths.  If your answer is for the fame and glory, money or what others want for you, you’ll want to think again.

Tip 2:  Offer?  Looking at the next step in your career, think about what you have to offer.  Employers want employees that enhance their organization.  What makes you unique for the next step – attitude, skill, interest or experience?

Tip 3:  What?  What will you do once you get your next job?  You may see areas to improve.  You might review and document processes and procedures.  You might start with a listening tour.  Employers want to hear your ideas.  One word of caution; wholesale sweeping change may be premature, tone it down a bit so as not to scare anyone.

Tip 4:  Listen.  Find out what the organization needs and wants for the position you’re interested in.  Perhaps they would like someone just like the person vacating the position or they may want a different skill set altogether.  This is an area you don’t want to assume anything.  Ask open ended questions to gain an understanding of who they are looking for.

Tip 5:  Start now.  The time to prepare for your next step is now.  Volunteer for special assignments or projects that will give you exposure and experience.  Take classes to increase your skills.  Look for areas to improve as an employee.  Read industry literature to expand your knowledge.

Sub-tip:  Don’t neglect your current responsibilities.  It’s important to continue to be a star in your current position while you prepare for the next.

Tip 6:  Document.  Each week keep track of what you’ve accomplished.  Challenge yourself to do something special and extraordinary in your job each week.  Write it down.  With so many things happening in your life, it’s easy to forget your accomplishments.

Do something rather than be something.  If you’re a manager, manage – a leader, lead.  Managing and leading are verbs that require action.  Concentrating on the doing will not only keep your motivation up, it will motivate others as well.

What’s been your experience?  What other tips would you share?  Leave your comments below so we can learn from you.

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3 Responses to To be or not to be….

  • Perfect tips as I prepare for an inteview in a few hours!

  • Edward W. (Ted) Probert says:


    Ann and I send good wishes to you and John from Mtn. Lake.

    Could you send me any of your past postings on the subject of Leadership? I am teaching a course on that subject at the Lake Wales High School and could certainly benefit from any of your wisdom on it.

    Many thanks,


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