Land a job and grow with it


​It takes a certain set of skills to land a job and additional ones to succeed and grow in one.

When seeking a job, the ability to demonstrate relevance to the role and make an impact in the few conversations during the hiring cycle can be the key to successfully landing the job.

In the initial days in a job, early results matter. This requires expertise, focus, and the ability to build relationships with colleagues who can facilitate the results.

Longevity and growth in a role or company needs skills beyond those required to accomplish a task. Consistent performance, adaptability, alignment with company culture, the ability to build durable and productive engagement with colleagues, and a track record of integrity and trustworthiness are key.

Let's elaborate on this

Getting recruited

Recruitment is triggered most often by a hiring manager's need to find someone to get a job done. Very often, the focus of the recruitment process is to find someone who has done same or similar work and will hit the ground running.

Hence, when aiming for a role, demonstrate that you have done similar work successfully​ (in another job, during your academic journey or internships) and that there are references which will vouch that you did and did it well.

Recruitment success also lies in the ability to communicate your fitment. Go into each well prepared – understand the role, be clear on what you bring to the table, and communicate it clearly. Remember, you are speaking with strangers. If you do not tell them, they don't know.

Finally, build an engagement with the people who you are speaking with. Focus on a two way conversation, as you would with friends – while ensuring that the job/role is the central theme. Aside of the fitment to the specs of the role, interviewers are also assessing if you are the kind of person who they want on the team and has an ability to engage with them. Don't lose sight of it. What is being recruited is not a resume', it's a person - so let your personality show.

Demonstrate early results

Once in a new job, you are a stranger to the company, colleagues, and environment. What is known is that you have demonstrated a track record of achieving results and made a case that you can do so in this job as well.

So get to it.

You were recruited to get a job done and the best way to make a place for yourself is to demonstrate that you can. If you are an accountant, start managing the books, if in IT projects, design and deliver good code, and if in sales, get to building a pipeline and wins.

You will need information, participation, and mentoring to achieve the results. Identify the colleagues who can provide this. These are the most important early relationships to build.

Committment and adaptability

The single most commitment which an organization wants to see is to the results which you are expected to deliver. This is what you have been recruited for.

In addition, however, organizations also look for employees who have the ability to step up and contribute during:

  • Tough deadlines – Will you put in the extra to meet them.

  • Changes in job scope – Do you demonstrate adaptability to handles changes in scope, job requirements and deliverables.

  • Backing up for colleagues – When they are in a crunch, or need help.

  • Cultural fitment

In addition to successful job performance, organizations value employees who fit in with the culture and direction of the company.

While consistently delivering company stated goals are central to most organizational cultures, there are differences in how different companies approach that goal.

There are some which value individualistic performance vs. teamwork. They tend to pit individuals and teams against each other, believing that this "friction" brings out the best performance. Other companies may value teamwork, group success, and consensus.

The abilities required to be successful in these contrasting environments are different and your ability to adapt to them will be a key factor in your longevity in the company

When making an assessment of organization culture, look beyond your immediate group. Often there are sub-cultures within groups in an organization. If you are well adjusted with the sub-culture of your group then you are good for now but longevity will depend on the alignment with the larger organizational culture. In contrast, if you have dissonance with the sub-culture of your group but aligned with the larger organizational culture, the option may be to look for an internal move.

If you are at odds with both the sub culture and the larger organizational culture – time to move on.

Integrity

Integrity is described in many ways. In the context of this note, we are using this word to capture two things, reliability and transparency.

In a professional environment, the job performance and success of your colleagues have a linkage to how you do yours. Your colleagues need to feel confident that if you are assigned a task, or you commit to an action, you will do it.

Ensure that you do your job predictably, are communicative, and transparently share progress, successes, and failures.

Also remember that you are with your colleagues 8 – 9 hours a day – in work situations, and outside of them. Be very aware that you are being observed on how honest you are not only about your work about your personal life. If you are embellishing your personal accomplishments, it's creating a big doubt with your colleagues on your professional ones as well.

Reliability and transparency are the most important traits contributing to the longevity in a job or organization. Reliable and honest colleagues tend to get a second chance, or an opportunity to do another job where they may be better fit, or another location when they need a transfer. The organization is a group of people. They want those around who they trust and feel good about.

On the other hand, those low on the integrity scale are more than likely to see themselves out of their groups and organizations irrespective of how good they are at their job.

In closing

Landing a job is the initial part of the job cycle. Keeping it is the journey.

The skills required to land a job center around the ability to demonstrate relevance to the role, track record of performing well in similar roles, and engaging with the hiring team during the short cycle of recruitment.

Success in the early stages of a job centers on the ability to demonstrate early results and building relationships with colleagues who can facilitate them.

The willingness to step up, adaptability to changing job requirements and cultural fitment are central to longevity in a job.

Most important however, is integrity. Reliable and trustworthy individuals are wanted in all teams – they are the ones who get the opportunities to learn and grow.

The skills at doing a certain job get you into an organization – commitment, cultural fit, and integrity keep you there.

Keep swinging!


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