Escaping from your Job Search Groundhog DayWritten by Scott Brown
The actor Bill Murray earned critical acclaim for his performance in 2003's Lost in Translation. It was a great movie about someone feeling like he was in a rut - both with his career and his personal life - and how he escaped from it. An even more striking example of someone stuck in a rut can be found in a movie Bill Murray starred in ten years earlier - 1993's Groundhog Day. Some of you may have seen movie. Even if you have, I'd like to recount highlights of story for you and how this perspective can help you in your job search.
THE GROUNDHOG DAY STORY
In Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays a weatherman who has to live Groundhog Day over and over until he gets it "right." To make matters more complicated, he is only one who knows he wakes up every day and it's February 2nd -- to everyone else, life is progressing as usual. Plus, he has no idea why he has to live day over and over again and no idea how to get out of it. First he tries being really mean to everyone. Then he tries becoming a criminal -- stealing money from an armored car and getting thrown in prison for drunk driving. He even goes as far as committing suicide several times. But no matter what, every morning he wakes up and it's still Groundhog Day.
He goes through a big slump of feeling completely worthless and mad at world. Then one day he realizes he should really take action to go after what he wants in life. He decides to pursue a crush he has on his boss, an attractive woman named Rita. At first he tries using his super-powers of living same day over and over again to gain information he can use to trick Rita into falling in love with him -- such as remembering her favorite foods and childhood memories. This doesn't work because Rita sees through tricks and realizes he's not being genuine. However in process, Bill Murray's character actually falls in love with Rita and with her passion for excellence and helping other people.
At this point, a transformation happens in our hero's life. Even though he's stuck in a rut and living same day over and over again, he decides to make best of situation. Instead of being mean to people and ignoring them every day, he starts being nice and helping people. He starts learning new skills like how to play piano and how to ice sculpt. By end of movie, he has really become an amazing individual - saving many peoples' lives and playing piano in a brilliant concert performance for townspeople. Rita, his boss, is genuinely impressed and truly falls in love with Murray's character, Phil. They fall asleep together after having had a deep and meaningful conversation, and next morning it's not Groundhog Day anymore.
Dealing with Jobs Left EarlyWritten by Scott Brown
Recruiters and employers generally like to see candidates who have a steady work history. That being said, nobody's perfect and many people have had to leave a job early for one reason or another. This week's job searching tip deals with methods you can use to get over an employer's concern about leaving a job early.
QUESTION FROM A SUBSCRIBER:
I was recently told in an interview that I have shown no loyalty to any of my employers and that it would be difficult to sell me to potential employers. I left two jobs in less than eight months because they were not a good fit. Is there another way I can describe two jobs in an interview?
Let's first take a look at why employers are hesitant to hire someone who has left jobs early: 1. Wasted training time and money - if an employer has to train you for job and you leave early, resources spent on training were wasted 2. Hiring costs - Often, an employer will have to pay a recruiter a placement fee that can be around 20% of your first year's salary. Most recruiters provide employer with a 3-month guarantee. That is, if you leave before 3 months are up, employer gets their placement fee back. However, if you leave after 8 months, most recruiters' guarantees have expired. 3. Opportunity Costs - Sort of as a follow on to #2, if you quit and position is open again, employer has to once again divert management attention to recruiting issue. It will probably take time to start reaching candidates with recruitment advertising, etc. Position vacancies are costly both from perspective of work for position not being done, and from distraction caused to immediate managers of that function. 4. Loyalty/Values - The employer is likely going to be concerned that you lack loyalty and don't appreciate burden it places on them to have to hire someone else. Yes, looking out for yourself is important. But it creates a credibility problem that you will need to overcome.
HOW TO ADDRESS A POTENTIAL EMPLOYER'S CONCERNS
Helping Companies you Left Early
If you're going to leave a job early, even if you were unhappy with your boss or work environment, give some thought to how you can leave without leaving company high and dry. Maybe you know someone with a comparable skillset who could take job. If you can do something to ease company's burden of having to recruit a new person, this will leave them with a much better impression. It also gives you a better story to tell in interviews for new positions. Even if you didn't leave company recently, it wouldn't hurt to visit with them again and find out if there is anything you can do to help.