Even with declining unemployment rates, competition for positions in the corporate world remains high. I get a few emails every week asking me about how to find potential job openings. Part of what makes landing job offers so tough is companies focusing on cultural fit (look at the questions interviewers ask now). And rightfully so. They know that people who fit better within an organization are more likely to stay, which is good for the employee and the firm.
To show your fit with the people at a given company, it usually helps to have something outside of work to make your discussion memorable. When I interview people, business skills come first but personality is a close second.
According to most guidance you’ll find these days, a great way to highlight your fit with a company is to have a blog. You can show your expertise in a certain area while also letting some of your personality shine. The type of organization or manager you want to work for will value this. Others might feel threatened by this and will hit you something like this:
How do you have time for all of that?
Translation: I don’t care if you will do great work for me; I want to own you.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend like every job is only 37.5 hours/week, but even if you work 50 hrs/wk, that leaves you 78 hours to do whatever you want the rest of the week. If that means in your spare time you want to run a blog on underwater basket weaving, penning yelp reviews to maintain your elite yelp status, or offering private tennis lessons, it shouldn’t be a problem. The key is making sure you don’t have a conflict of interest. So if you work for Pepsi, you probably don’t want to run a Coca Cola fan site.
If you stumble across a company that focuses more on how you occupy your time once you leave for the night or weekend than the value you bring when you’re on the clock, you probably want to keep the search going.
Have you ever felt like your boss or potential employer over steps into your personal time? What’d you do about it?
Let me know in the comments.