He Who Hesitates…

This week four job seekers from my roundtable groups landed jobs. All had one thing in common. The opportunities came at them fast. There was little time to pause and digest. Two of the four actually started their jobs within a few days of getting the offer. The companies found the fit they wanted and were ready to get the show on the road.

Considering the job market has been slow going for the past five years in Michigan, many job seekers have come to believe fast hiring processes don’t exist anymore. They are used to companies dragging things out and go into shock when the opposite happens. Some end up mentally crippled by the efficiency and drown in hesitations…afraid to make a quick commitment after months and years of searching. This is a problem when you have companies finally finding themselves in the position to hire and needing talent NOW to accomplish key objectives.

Hesitating when you have a buyer on the hook, which is exactly what a prospective employer is, can cost you a job. Allowing doubt to show itself can give an employer second thoughts about your true interest and give the impression you’re playing some sort of game. It’s one thing to have doubts because you have genuine concerns that need to be settled and quite another to have doubts because you simply weren’t mentally prepared for a decision to come so fast.

How do you solve this problem? For one, do your homework and ask good questions so you have all the information you need to give a solid yes or no should an offer come quickly. Second, practice making quick decisions in general. It sounds silly, but it really is a practiced skill. How do you practice? When a hiring manager asks when you can interview state an option instead of saying “whenever.” When an interviewer asks about a potential salary range for you, commit to an educated answer instead of “I’m flexible.” When a friend asks where you’d like to have lunch, name a place instead of “wherever you feel like.” When your child asks if he can have ice cream after dinner, answer yes or no instead of “we’ll see.”

Some of these ideas may sound trite, but your mind will sense the difference and migrate to the habit of making faster choices and committing to those choices with confidence. When you think about it, if we aren’t able to make quick decisions on the things that are relatively insignificant, how the heck can we do it when faced with something of great importance?

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