Big Whoop?

Yesterday my 2 year old son came running to me. “Mommy! Mommy! I put my car away!” Exciting stuff considering he rarely puts anything away without a lot of prompting. He beamed with pride. I gave him a supportive hug as I looked around the playroom. His car was where it should be, but the rest of the playroom was a disaster. Because it was an improvement for him, we celebrated. Though David putting that one car away spoke to his potential, it was a far cry from what I will expect of him in the very near future. Soon he will have the job of putting away all of his toys, and perhaps even some of his sister’s, before any kudos are extended. He’s shown me he has the capacity. What’s left is buy in and recognition of the bigger picture.

I’m talking about David and his car because I frequently encounter job seekers patting themselves on the back for doing not so much. They are making the case they are right for the job because in a previous job they did a fraction of what was needed at the time.  They were the top sales person, but everyone else stunk and their own numbers were dismal. They networked at professional events all over town, but had few business transactions and relationships with key decision makers to claim as a result. They redesigned the accounts payable process so invoices could be dealt with more efficiently, but aged receivables at 90+ days ballooned under their watch. Unlike David who is too young to fully grasp what is expected of him and understand celebrating one car in its place is a bit silly considering the other messes surrounding him,  these individuals should be beyond that stage. When a candidate makes a big deal over things I consider ‘big whoop’ in the grand scheme of things, I’m left to wonder if they don’t recognize they weren’t pulling their weight, don’t care or think I’m easily impressed. Any interviewer worth is his salt is going to try to define the scope of accomplishments you reference.

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