In the last fortnight one of our candidates, let’s call her ‘Heather’ was called for interview.
She had been made redundant over three months ago and this was a role she wanted.
The problem was Heather couldn’t make the interview, she was busy.
The line manager couldn’t fathom why if she was immediately available she couldn’t be there ‘immediately’, or in this case, the following afternoon at 2pm.
Now this post could be about priorities but instead it’s about expectation.
You see talking to Heather it was clear to me that since she had become unemployed several expectations had been placed upon her.
- Her family expected her to help out. Now she had more time, surely she could drop off an elderly relative to their health appointments? Could she simply pick up ‘x’ or wait in for ‘y’ delivery?
- She expected more of herself. She needed to ‘do’ something with this time off work. She was fitting in more exercise, writing more, studying for a further qualification to help her career and catching up with friends and old colleagues– after all she was networking.
- A friend who owned their own business also expected her to help them out when they offered her some casual work with them, after all they were willing to pay and provide a great testimonial.
- My expectation of her as a recruiter must also be included. Did I ‘expect’ her to want the job because she didn’t have one, or because it fit her ‘criteria’ or because she had been ‘chosen’ to?
- The line manager certainly expected her to show enough desire for their role that she would drop everything to meet them and why not?
- What about wider society, what do they expect? Aren’t you supposed to grab at opportunity with both hands? Pay your own way? Contribute? Find your bliss? Do what makes you happy?
You see you can’t get away from priorities after all. Heather needed to say ‘no’ more not less. The only person who could take such a decision is her.
If you are job seeking at the moment be aware of the expectations, are you trying to do too much? Why are you searching, what are your priorities and how is your time split accordingly?
Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket