Sunday, November 6, 2016

No Pain, No....

Employer:  So, tell me a little about yourself.

Domestic candidate:  Well, ... I.... me.... blah blah... I... me...

Employer:  OK, good.  Now, tell me why you left your last job.

Domestic candidate:  Well, ... I... me... blah blah ... I... me...

Employer:  OK, good.  Now, tell me about your....

....And so on. ...And so forth.

....OK, um...  we'll be in touch.

....OK, um.... thank you.

....(insert polite, limp handshake here).


Like yourself, I've read several books about job hunting success. And about how to write "the perfect resume." And I even admit to dropping $400 or so, at some point throughout the years, on an afternoon seminar sold as "must attend" - if I were to have any hope for showing my next employer just how fabulous all the things I did in, well, um... in previous jobs. 

Did any of this marketing of me, work? Well, I really don't know. I've stayed mostly employed for the past three decades, with the exception of self-employment coupled with a return to college. Re-entering the world of traditional employment afterwards, however, was quite a shock, and I was quick to blame the delays in getting a steady paycheck to my being at that time (and still am, I suppose, as these things seem to progress in only one direction) of a certain age.  Let's just call it:  the 50+ club. Somehow that curve ball was never even seen coming during that seminar, and in all those books.

Flipper can do it... and so can you...
Anyone even mildly connected to the world around them will agree with this statement: age discrimination is an issue many qualified domestic candidates must contend with; it's simply difficult to get hired past 50, as "they don't want to deal with the health issues," as one domestic referral agent gently informed me. Quickly reminding the agent that I swim a mile four times a week and am in better physical condition than most people half my age, he just as quickly corrected me: "That doesn't matter." It's all about the perception of advancing age and their related health issues, he graciously further explained. But I wasn't going to let that stop me.

So, what do you do if you've, through blessed good health, now joined this club, or if you have the wrong color hair or the wrong shaped eyes, or you have kids - or don't have kids - or you speak with an accent that reminds them of someone they once met and didn't like very much, or any of the innumerable reasons you could (and will) at some point be rejected for a domestic staff position?

The best introductory article on the subject is here (and which happens to be the most free resource I've found, too); an article in Forbes, which advises us to stop focusing on ourselves and having anxiety  about all the things which may be causing us to be discriminated against --  and instead to put that energy into what you can actually do - for your next employer. 

It's really that simple, to stop talking about yourself... 

...and instead focus on what pain your potential employer is feeling right now, pain which has caused them to reach out into the general population to find a solution to make the pain go away.

They won't care how rich your last employer was.
But they WILL care if you'll clean under the rim.
Is the house too dirty? That's pain. Learn to explain - in under 20 seconds - about how you will make that pain go away. Paint a ground-level picture about what dirt they are now actually experiencing and how you make it disappear - very quickly and without any excuses. And don't rely on name-dropping your past celebrity employers. A good employer will know that your previous employer's Hollywood success has no connection whatsoever to how you will now solve their pain. A good employer will want to only know what you can do for them - nowBeing able to outline exactly how you will solve their too-painful-to-look-at dirty house is the only thing that will get you hired now.

Or do they come home every day starving and too tired to cook or even too tired to go out to eat? There's the pain! And it's actually physical this time, as well as emotional.  As a chef candidate, you won't solve it by talking about which famous culinary school you graduated from; a sincere employer (the type who is not just wasting everyone's time, yet who is actually ready to hire someone) won't care. You will solve it by outlining in very clear, simple language - during the precious few seconds you will have their attention - with what you plan to do every single day so that when they step in the door they will have ready for them the most wonderful, nutritious, and delicious food (the food they want to eat, not the food you want them to eat) ready for them and their friends without even having to ask - and then served by you, who, despite just being on your feet for the past several hours are just there to be happy to see them walk into the door and be able to serve them and remove any stress in their day related to eating and entertaining during a meal. That's pain - solved.

Or maybe it's now eight staff members collected inside their house over the years, all now working to their own individual standards and working in different directions - and with no one knowing what anyone is doing or even if anything gets done?  There's some real pain for them - and it's heavily collecting in their hindquarters, I guarantee you.  

As a household manager candidate, you won't solve their pain of managing an unmanaged staff by name-dropping your past employer or past position. You will solve it by being able tell them - exactly and in simple, ordinary language - how you'll herd eight cats every day and get everyone to stop fighting and ducking out of work and not doing the job they thought they had hired them to do. What is your very detailed and specific plan... to solve that very real pain for them - and to effectively manage the performance of a great team that you will build, beginning on day-1 of your employment?  Not after the 90-day review, but how will you actually stop the pain on day-1? Because if you can't stop it on day-1, another candidate can. And guess which candidate will be hired?

But enough about what I think, because this post isn't about me, it's about helping you solve your own pain of sorting through all the must-have advice everyone has been selling you for years.

And the solving can start for you here.

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