06 February 2010

Letter from Lhasa, number 162. (Stein 2010): Get a Great Job When You Don’t Have a Job

Letter from Lhasa, number 162. (Stein 2010): Get a Great Job When You Don’t Have a Job

by Roberto Abraham Scaruffi

Stein, M., Get a Great Job When You Don’t Have a Job, Mc Graw Hill, 2010.

(Stein 2010).

Marky Stein

The first step is the résumé. Each advertised job produces hundred of applications. How to get an interview? Psychology...

Résumé psychology is the study and practice of using words in a prescribed document (your résumé) to get a reader to

“1. Feel something

“2. Think something

“3. Do something”

(Stein 2010, p. 17)

“Here is a list of the things that almost every employer either wants to have or wants to avoid. All of these things, at the bottom line, affect his ingrained sense of survival.


“• Greater profits

“• Less waste of time, labor, money, and materials

“• A cleaner, better organized, and safer workplace

“• Better employee morale and commitment

“• Improved recruiting, hiring, and employee retention

“• Sturdier and more innovative technologies, machines, and instruments

“• Recording and storing detailed and accurate information

“• Keeping customers and clients happy

“• Greater marketability and sales appeal for her products

“• Better public perception of her company and its services and goods”

(Stein 2010, p. 20-21)

The first sentence captures, or does not, your perspective employer.

Probably, if you follow the advices of this book, your résumé will be too long, so not read. A résumé is not an autobiography.

Anyway, if you are called, there is the interview. Avoid the imposter syndrome, even if it may happen that you be, in part, an imposter. Whatever exaggeration or not truthful claim makes you in some way an imposter. However, if you are too modest, others will get “your” job. Certainly, you must be able to do the job you’ll be hired for. Perhaps, frequently, the ability to get a job combines with the inability to do the job. In certain categories of jobs, it may be that those who appear are preferred to who can do. In other jobs, if you cannot do what you have been hired for, you’ll be immediately fired. To be an imposter may be essential for certain jobs, while absolutely to be avoided for other jobs. So, got the job, it is irrelevant if you are not really able to do it.

At the interview, you have to say what the interviewer would like to listen for the job the company is hiring and you have applied.

Chapter 3, Q Statements: Your Secret Weapons, opens with one of the usual “historical” mottos there are in this book: “Each of us has some unique capability, waiting for realization. – George H. Bender”

“A Q statement is a sentence (or group of sentences) that expresses a numerical measurement of some action or accomplishment you have performed. It is quantitative. A Q statement is not vague; it’s exact. For example, rather than saying you “increased productivity,” using a Q statement, you would say that you “increased productivity by 25 percent.”

(Stein 2010, p. 191)

You have to show some astonishing, quantifiable, result. If you were and are so good, why are you looking for a job? Ah, and you have to show that you are dependable (Stein 2010, p. 202-203).

The next chapter tells that you have to discover what kind of company you are applying for and, consequently, to target your skills to the company’s needs. The book evidently supposes that you are applying for a big organisation.

...Usual banalities... ...Everything very conventional... :

“There are three sources of information a prospective employer can use to judge the character of a job applicant:

“1. What the applicant says himself or herself, either in the résumé or the interview

“2. What others say about the applicant in letters of recommendation and references

“3. The applicant’s own actions, which is an area an employer will know the least about until an applicant is actually hired

“Naturally, the employer wants to know as much information as possible about you before making an investment in hiring you. A new hire, no matter how adept he or she is, usually means an initial loss of money for an employer while the person is being trained and getting “up to speed.” It’s usually months before the new employer starts to make his or her return on the investment in hiring someone.”

(Stein 2010, p. 222)

If you are applying for a janitorial job or if you are a genius hired as a genius and for being immediately productive, perhaps they will [the company] want you immediately productive and they will fire you if you are not such. Big companies, making “long term investments” in a new employee, more than geniuses want people of average stupidity and conformism, eventually with some specific technical skill, if indispensable for the specific job. Geniuses are not liked from big companies, as well as from small or medium ones. They would destabilise the current going on of the company life.

When you apply for a job and have to present yourself, to create a specific you, you may seem underqualified but you may also seem overqualified. If you seem overqualified, you’ll not be hired because you’ll be perceived as a destabilising factor or as somebody will rapidly leave. Even for an irrelevant job, the boss wants to control your life and not feel as he/she were at the mercy of your eventual caprices.

...suggestions for a fearless interview.

60% of the interviewers are not qualified for their job, so you have to put your interviewer at ease. (Stein 2010, p. 232)

And if your interviewer is qualified? If he/she is not, how he/she is? ...You may not really know...

...Anyway, your life is yours... If you have some “monopolistic” skill you can play better than if you have to invent something in the image world. To build an image is easier, if there is some substance to build over.

However, this would be useless according to who theorises that only the average idiot can have good jobs. In such a case, you have to show you are the best average idiot.

Stein, M., Get a Great Job When You Don’t Have a Job, Mc Graw Hill, 2010.