Friday, September 16, 2011

Act like you own it

Last night I went to see a band at a local club. One of the singers was starting to bug me and it made me want to grab him after the show and give him a few performance pointers. Pay attention because these same pointers apply to any somewhat nervous person looking for a job.

1. Act like you own it.**
This singer had a great voice, he was just too nervous for his own good. 

Shore up your confidence, settle your nerves and you WILL shine through, especially when you have the creative chops to back it up.

**This is different than "fake it 'til you make it". This singer had a great voice, he just didn't share his confidence with anyone. I'd assume you had a great book until you prove me otherwise.

2. Find something to do with your hands.
This singer could not figure out what to do with his hands. After a while, that was all I could pay attention to. He'd hold them stiffly at his sides, then hook his thumbs in his back pockets for a millisecond, then put them in his front pockets, then back out again. 

Fidgeting gets you nowhere, just breathe and sit still. Sit on your fingertips if you have to.

3. Shut up. 
Once this singer started chatting into the mic, his nerves took over and he didn't know how/when to wrap it up and get back to the music. 

Nerves make all of us chatty and next thing we know we started a story about our portfolio and ended it talking about our cat. Again, take a breath and relax as much as you can. Answer the question you've been asked, then shut up.

4. Have fun. 
My guess is this singer loves to sing. But combined with being very nervous, not knowing how to perform in front of an audience and squirming a lot, he just looked like he wasn't having much fun.

Advertising isn't rocket science. It is an industry where you can have lots of fun. Remind yourself of that as you head into an interview and feel yourself starting to get nervous. 

Tell yourself: "This is fun. I am fun. This interview will be fun. 
And I will own it."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

If you want to leave, leave

It is a big decision to leave your current company. Perhaps you want to work on different brands or you want a better growth potential. Maybe you hate your boss or your boss hates you. Whatever. You have made the decision it is time to leave.

So you begin interviewing.

Remember now, you have made the decision it is time leave. First. Then you begin interviewing. The order of these two tasks is important.

DO NOT do it in reverse. Begin interviewing then figure you'll decide if you want to leave depending on the opportunities that come your way.

Here is why.

Companies spend time and money interviewing and selecting candidates. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. They may even fly in out-of-town candidates and put them up for a day or two while interviewing.

If you are out interviewing, please be serious about actually taking the job. Do not use a job offer as leverage to stay where you are. Kinda sucky all around.

I've just flown someone in, had a wonderful interview, confirmed a great personality fit with the team, a super strong book, worked the mounds of offer paperwork through the pipes, presented an offer, then. . .

. . .was told "let me think about it."

Ok, that I understand. Perhaps this candidate is so good, there are other companies making offers at the same time. I can understand needing some time to gauge one place against another.

What I can't understand is someone needing time to decide if they even want to leave in the first place.

Remember, you have already made the decision to leave.

I'm happy I just got someone a big fat raise to stay where they are (if it is more money you want, please take a second to ask). I'm sad I used up a chunk of my recruiting budget for someone who deep down might not have been serious about moving on.

Think about where you are. Consider the money + the work + the growth + the culture. Then, decide whether or not to go out find something new. And if you could do that before giving me a call, that'd be great.