Why Can’t You Do This? | JobSearchTV.com

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My son’s recent interview offers a valuable lesson for many of you.

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You know, I've got a 17-year-old soon to be 18-year-old son (he's now 18) who's graduating high school (he has graduated). He's decided on a career in the restaurant business, working in the back of the house cooking. His first serious job along these lines was in an upscale restaurant in our town, where he was working, they demanded that he work, what in my judgment was too many hours. Their head chef quit. As such, he became a "kitchen manager," which means he was making $15 an hour, providing oversight on meal prep, and doing cooking.
For people coming into the restaurant. 17 years old, he's running a kitchen. And he's developed good skills, and he's capable, and he got fired because of an insane gentlemen.
Okay, let's fast forward. So now he's going for an interview at a restaurant in town where they've changed over kitchen staff. And they're talking with them about what they do. And they say, so do any questions. And he says to them, "I just want to be clear about something. I am not going to work 70-80 hours a week, like I was in my last job."
"Do you want to work full time or part time?"
"Whatever you need me to but the fact of the matter is, I'm not going to work crazy hours any more."
Timeout. That's a soon to be 18-year-old who's doing this? Why can't you? Seriously. If there are things that you don't want to do? Why don't you say something about it so you set down the expectation with the firm that you're interviewing with about what you're willing and unwilling to do?
After all, when you think about it, isn't that what they do, when they say to you, "So, we have an environment here where we're looking for individuals who are committed to the organization, can work as part of a team, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And why can't you say something along the lines of, "Well, I'm looking for a manager who wants to help me grow in my career. I'm willing to put in time and effort. I'm not going to work 90 hours a week. I don't think you are either. If you are, that's your choice, but I'm not going to work 90 hours a week. I've got a family."
So, why can't you say something to the effect of what your expectations are from them? So if you don't get the job, there's no loss. The big loss is if you get the job, and you wind up in a situation where you're doing stuff and they're making demands on you that you don't want to do. You're trapped. That's how you feel-- you're trapped.
My kid, you know, it took time to make it clear what he was unwilling to do in his interview. Why can't you do much the same thing?
"Because they are going to be upset with me."
Who cares? Who cares? And you can say, "hey, look, I understood there are times where there's a rush. We've got to put an effort, but I don't want to steady diet of that. I have a life I want to live as well. I've got a family. I didn't have kids to never see them again.
Again, you can do what my son did. You just have to have the guts to speak your mind and deal with them as equals.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. JobSearchTV.com was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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