Thursday, May 1, 2014

What are the benefits of executive coaching?

Benefits Experienced by the Individual

Here at Noomii, we interviewed a number of coaches and their clients to find out what the benefits are. Below is an incomplete list of benefits of executive coaching experienced by the executive.
  • Better communication with team members
  • Increased confidence
  • Better work-life balance
  • Quicker decision making
  • Better time-management

Benefits Experienced by the Organization

The benefits of coaching depends on the type of organization and the desired outcome of the coaching. In the case of executive coaching, the company benefits if the executive's performance is improved by more than the cost of the coaching PLUS any additional improvements experienced throughout the organization based on the executives performance.
Let's say for example, an executive earns $100,000 and the company invests $10,000 per year for their coaching. Can the coaching improve the executive's performance by 10%, an amount equal to the investment? And what's the multiple effect? If the executive manages 10 people, how much of their performance is affected by the executive coaching? Ideally, there will be benefits throughout the organization and the return on investment will be much greater than 100%.
According to the International Coach Federation Global Coaching Study performed in 2009, the median company return was reported to be 700% with almost one fifth of respondents reporting an ROI of at least 50 times (5000%) the initial investment.
CB Bowman, MBA, CMC, MCEC at Executive Leadership, LLC 908.509.1744 cb@exec-leadershipllc.com; http://www.exec-leadershipllc.com.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Do You Coach Diversity Clients Differently?

Do You Coach Diversity Clients Differently?

If you are looking to increase your income, move up in your organization or land a position contact:
CB Bowman, MBA, CMC, MCEC at Executive Leadership, LLC 908.509.1744 cb@exec-leadershipllc.com; http://www.exec-leadershipllc.com.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How to Get Feedback When You're the Boss

HBR Blog Network / Best Practices

How to Get Feedback When You're the Boss

The higher up in the organization you get, the less likely you'll receive constructive feedback on your ideas, performance, or strategy. No one wants to offend the boss, right? But without input, your development will suffer, you may become isolated, and you're likely to miss out on hearing some great ideas. So, what can you do to get people to tell you what you may not want to hear?
What the Experts Say
Most people have good reasons for keeping their opinions from higher ups. "People with formal power can affect our fate in many ways — they can withhold critical resources, they can give us negative evaluations and hold us back from promotions, and they can even potentially fire us or have us fired," says James Detert, associate professor at the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management and author of the Harvard Business Review articles "Debunking Four Myths About Employee Silence" and "Why Employees Are Afraid to Speak". The more senior you become, the more likely you are to trigger this fear. "The major reason people don't give the boss feedback is they're worried that the boss will retaliate because they know that most of us have trouble accepting negative feedback," says Linda Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and coauthor of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader. While you may be tempted to enjoy this deference, the silence will not help you, your organization or your career.
Acknowledge the fear 
As the boss, you have to set the stage so people feel comfortable, says Hill. You need to break through their fear. Detert suggests being explicit. Tell them that you know everyone makes mistakes, including you, and that they should call out those errors without feeling embarrassed or threatened. Explain that you need their feedback to learn.
At the same time, you should recognize how hard it might be to hear this tough feedback. "It's human to feel bad when people criticize and no matter how senior you become, you're still human," Hill says. Still, you can't let that anxiety hold you back.
Ask for it, constantly
Ask for feedback on a regular basis, not just at review time. "You need to be the one who is actively collecting and soliciting information all the time," says Hill. You can say something like, "I know that these are the goals that we set together. What can I do to help you achieve those goals?" You shouldn't assume your team members will be upfront the first time you ask. "You have to do it for awhile and then the information will flow and you can ask more pointed questions," says Hill.
Request examples
In the same way that you want to give concrete examples when giving feedback, you should also request them when you are receiving it. When someone tells you, "You run our team meetings really well," or "You don't delegate enough," follow up by asking for an example. This allows you to better understand the feedback and ensures that what you're hearing is true. "I tend to think the more people can back up their assertions and input with concrete examples or numbers, the more it's probably honest," says Detert.
Read between the lines
Of course, you may not get honest feedback all the time. But it's your job to figure out what problems people are trying to help you identify. You may need to triangulate between several points of feedback. Hill suggests, for example, that you ask five or six people the same question. "You're trying to collect the data so you can you go back and put the story together about the impact you're having," she says. Detert agrees about casting a wide net: "If nothing else, it'll help you figure out whether there are gaps and inconsistencies in what you're hearing, and what you might need to do about it."
Act on it
If someone is brave enough to give you input, recognize it. "People hate feeling that speaking up was a complete waste of time," says Detert. "You have to actually thank people for doing it, and other employees have to see those people get promoted rather than fired or shunned." Show everyone that you receive feedback well and can change your behavior as a result. These examples will turn into "urban legends," encouraging more people to give you constructive feedback.
Find a few trusted people
If you suspect that most people in your organization aren't going to be honest with you, or feedback is just not part of the culture, Detert suggests finding one or two people you trust to tell you the truth. It could be someone on your team, a peer, a mentor, or a coach. Whoever it is, be sure he or she has access to the right data and is able to talk to the people who interact with you on a daily basis. Don't just turn to confidants who will tell you what you want to hear.
Start anonymously
It can be hard to get people to open up. One way to get around this is by doing a 360-degree review or using a coach to gather feedback anonymously. But then you should respond to it. According to Hill, if you talk openly about what you've learned it sends a signal that you're open to hearing criticism. "Once you've done that, people are more comfortable telling you to your face," says Hill. She shares the example of Vineet Nayar, the CEO of HCL Technologies, who posted his own 360-degree feedback on the company intranet and encouraged his senior team to do the same. It was a bold move, says Hill, but the result was that people felt much more comfortable giving Nayar feedback directly when they knew he took it seriously.
Principles to Remember
Do:
  • Always say thank you and explain how you'll respond to the feedback you've heard
  • Turn to a few people you trust who can tell you what others really think about your performance and ideas
  • If you think people won't open up, start by gathering feedback anonymously to show them you're receptive
Don't:
  • Wait for review time to ask for input
  • Assume you are going to get 100% honest feedback, especially at first
  • Rely on one source for feedback — triangulate between several points of data

Case Study #1: Find a champion on your staff
Michael Green, the founder and executive director of the Center for Environmental Health, knows that it's tough for his team — 23 full-time employees and another handful of interns — to give him candid feedback. "When I founded the organization 16 years ago, one of my board members told me that I needed to be aware of my privilege and position of power," he says. Since he knows that people take a risk whenever they do give him input, he is sure to respond appropriately. "Whenever possible, you have to do what they ask to prove that you're listening. You need to develop relationships with people so they know they can tell you the truth without getting anyone in trouble," he says.
He also takes every opportunity he can to tell his staff that he's open to feedback. In meetings, he regularly says, "If there's anyone who wants to talk with me about this offline, please do. You can also talk to Charlie about it." Michael relies on Charlie, the organization's associate director, to be candid with him and to serve as a sounding board for the staff. Michael knows that wouldn't work if employees perceived Charlie as "Michael's guy." Rather, the team sees him as an impartial leader who will give Michael their feedback, without naming names, and keep things to himself when it's appropriate. "They trust his judgment to know what to tell me. And I'm sure he doesn't tell me everything," Michael says.
He also says he encourages feedback by giving it. "There's nobody you can't find praise for, even an underperformer," he says. "When they get regular, positive feedback they feel like they are part of a team and they are willing to tell you more."

Case Study #2: Make feedback fun
Sunita Malhotra, the managing director of People Insights, a coaching and consulting firm based in Belgium, has earned the nickname "feedback monster." Thanks to a formative experience in her teens (a friend told her that her tone of voice was too sharp), she now goes out of her way to solicit opinions from colleagues and subordinates. "If someone doesn't tell you, you don't know," she explains. At first, she thought it would be easy. "I just thought people would walk into my office and tell me what they thought," she says. But she discovered that, as a boss seeking feedback, she needed to be quite deliberate. As head of human resources for the European division of a global company overseeing 7,500 people, she made three promises to anyone who joined her team:
  1. She would always give positive and constructive feedback.
  2. She always wanted feedback.
  3. They would all try to have fun.
Sunita also solicited feedback in all her meetings. Whether they were one-on-ones with her 20 direct reports, larger staff meetings, or sessions with internal customers, there were always five minutes set aside on the agenda to gather input. "My aim was to create a feedback culture," she says. And it worked. Eventually, people stopped waiting for the designated time in the meetings and gave her input in real time. For those who were more hesitant, she used humor. Each person on her team was given a set of green, yellow and red cards — to reward or penalize behavior as a referee would in a soccer match. For example, if someone was listening well in a team meeting, a colleague lays a green card on the table and explains why. Similarly, if someone interrupted a co-worker, a third person would call out the behavior with a red card. Sunita made it clear she expected to get as many yellow and red cards as she deserved.
More blog posts by Amy Gallo
If you are looking to increase your income, move up in your organization or land a position contact:
CB Bowman, MBA, CMC, MCEC at Executive Leadership, LLC 908.509.1744 cb@exec-leadershipllc.com; http://www.exec-leadershipllc.com.

How to Negotiate Your Next Salary

HBR Blog Network / Best Practices

How to Negotiate Your Next Salary

Negotiating a salary can be an uncomfortable process. You want to get what you're worth but you also don't want to offend or scare off your future employer. This situation is only more complicated in a tough job market. When offers are few and job seekers are plenty, you might be tempted to take whatever is offered to you. But, that's rarely the smartest thing to do.
What the Experts Say
Regardless of the state of the job market, you should always negotiate. "You don't ever want to just say thank you," says Katherine McGinn, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and co-author of "When Does Gender Matter in Negotiation?" Getting a new job, or a new role, is an opportunity to increase your compensation, one that doesn't come around that often. John Lees, a career strategist and author of How to Get a Job You'll Love, says that people rarely get to re-negotiate the terms until after two years on the job.
Prepare for your next salary talk by following these principles.
Know your alternatives 
"The advice I got when I was graduating from college was try to have the offer from your second best choice in your pocket when you negotiate with your first," says Danny Ertel, a founding partner at Vantage Partners, LLC, a negotiation consulting firm in Boston, and co-author of The Point of the Deal: How to Negotiate When Yes is Not Enough. Of course that's tougher in a difficult employment environment. When you don't have alternatives — either other offers or a current job — you have a lot less power, McGinn acknowledges. "So you have to be creative about demonstrating the value you'll bring to the company," she says. For example, you need to explain why you are the perfect person to fill this specific job, with the necessary skills and experience, not just a solid candidate. "In a time of full employment, employers are looking for a person who can do the work. In a time of unemployment, they are looking for the absolute best person to do the job," she says.
Do your research
Employers set salaries based on what they currently pay people to fill similar roles and what they believe competitors are paying. They may also have a certain budget or a predetermined range. Information is power in negotiation so the more you know about these data points the better. Do some sleuthing. Search websites such as salary.com, vault.com, and payscale.com to gather information about the organization and what it pays. Use Facebook and LinkedIn to reach out to people who might know what an appropriate salary is. Maybe it's someone you trust inside the organization, a career advisor, a search consultant, or contacts in the same industry. It may be uncomfortable to ask directly how much your friends in similar positions (or near strangers) make. Instead you can say, "What do you think the organization would pay for this position?" Then compare the advice you get. Don't rely on one piece of data or one type of source.
Use that information to set your own expectations and the hiring manager's. A good recruiter will ask if you have any base salary requirement. If asked, answer the question honestly. The employer needs to know that you're in the range they're hoping to pay so they don't waste their time or yours. If you're the top candidate, most employers are willing to do what they can to make the numbers work.
When the offer is too low
If the initial number is lower than the reasonable expectation you set, feel free to respectfully disagree. McGinn suggests you say something like, "Maybe I haven't conveyed enough the value I think I can bring to your organization because that sounds like a number you'd quote for someone who—" is much more junior, doing a different type of job, has less experience, etc. Then back up your statement with the information you've gathered. Even if you're pleased with the initial offer, Lees recommends you negotiate on some aspect of the job, if not the salary. Most employers assume you will. "If you don't ask for anything you're missing an interesting opportunity," says Lees.
Focus on "we"
Throughout the discussions, be aware of how you are coming off to the hiring manager or recruiter. Ertel says you don't want to appear like you're giving a list of demands. Instead, show that you're trying to come up with solutions that meet your needs and those of the employer. Use positive language. Demonstrate that you are open to other proposals aside from your own. It's a tricky balance; you want to push just enough. "You don't want to negotiate so hard that people are sick of you before your first day," says McGinn. The key is to know what you care most about — whether it be money or other aspects of the job offer — and stick to those points.
Negotiate for more than the money
McGinn says that most people make the mistake of negotiating for compensation rather than for a job. Candidates often focus on money because it is tangible but what makes a position attractive is not just the dollar amount assigned to it. Think about the aspects of the job that will make it satisfying: opportunities for advancement, exciting assignments, the chance to work with senior executives, etc. McGinn suggests asking yourself, "How can I build the biggest job I'm interested in having?" and then negotiate with your potential employer about those non-monetary elements, in addition to salary. Once you are in a position, McGinn says: "It's very hard to negotiate the basic structure of your job. People have to leave employment to do that."
Principles to Remember
Do:
  • Reach out to people — friends or colleagues — who can tell you what the employer might typically pay for the role
  • Be reasonable and honest with yourself and the hiring manager about what salary you're willing to accept
  • Offer solutions that will meet your needs and those of the employer
Don't:
  • Negotiate on salary alone; the other non-monetary aspects often have more impact on your job satisfaction
  • Accept the initial offer made to you even if you don't have other alternatives
  • Go into the negotiation with a list of demands

Case study #1: Get the inside scoop
Anastasia Henderson* had a year left on her contract with a San Francisco-based tech company when her manager asked if she would consider a salaried job. Three years earlier, after having her first child, she became a contractor because she wanted part-time work and a flexible schedule. But, she was ready for more and told her boss she would be interested depending on the offer. Her job description wouldn't change — she would just go up to full-time. She felt she was in a good negotiating position because she had already proven herself and was well liked by her group and the leadership team. However, she still anticipated a low offer. "I knew that my salary would go down because I would be getting other benefits like vacation and healthcare," she says. But the salary Karen*, the company's COO, provided was much lower than she expected and she was disappointed. Karen explained that her last full-time position involved managing a team, this was more of an individual contributor role. Anastasia asked for time to think about it.
Then she sought the advice of the company's CIO, Ted*. "I hadn't worked with him directly but he had a reputation for being a good, upstanding guy. He was a straight shooter and I knew he respected me," she says. He told her that first she needed to take the emotion out of it and focus on what the company needs. He advised her from staying away from "I" statements so she wouldn't come off as demanding. He also gave her the inside scoop that they really wanted her for the position and the COO would likely work with her if she had reasonable requests. Anastasia took this information to heart and came up with a number that she felt she could live with. It was $10K more than the initial offer. She proposed this number to the COO and explained that while the job didn't include managing others, she was adding more value now than she had before. There were also parts of the offer that didn't matter to her. For example, she was already receiving healthcare benefits through her husband. She made it clear to the COO that these were not perks. The COO agreed to take these under consideration and would get back to her.
Within two days, Anastasia's boss told her that her counteroffer was accepted. While the final number was lower than what she initially wanted, it was a number she felt comfortable with. "I was willing to make some compromises for the job security. I knew they could terminate my contract at any time," she says.
Case study #2: Be honest about your alternatives
Keith Ellerman* was moving to New York City with his partner and wanted to find a new job. The first position to get to offer was with a New York City department. He was excited, but disappointed with the initial salary offered. "It was a classic case of misaligned expectations," he says. He had applied to the job through a friend rather than in response to a formal posting with a stated salary band. Throughout the interview process, he had been looking at other city jobs with similar titles and job descriptions and assumed the compensation would be comparable. It turns out there wasn't a correlation.
He decided to ask for a higher salary. "I didn't have formal offers but I knew I was one of two top candidates for two other opportunities and I knew the salary ranges," he says. He explained to the chief of staff who had been running the process that he expected to have other, more lucrative offers. "I had to be careful about what I said. I didn't want to lie," he says. He was clear and upfront. "I told them I'm really excited about the substance of the work. All things being equal I would prefer to join the team but because there is such a discrepancy in salary, it's a difficult decision," he says. He then proposed a salary that was 15% more than the initial offer. If the department would meet him at that amount, he would accept. The chief of staff agreed to take the request to HR. He soon came back and said that HR could meet his proposal. "In retrospect, I could've possibly gotten a higher offer had I had that initial conversation about salary in the earlier stages of the interviews but I was happy with the outcome," he says.
*not their real names
More blog posts by Amy Gallo

If you are looking to increase your income, move up in your organization or land a position contact:
CB Bowman, MBA, CMC, MCEC at Executive Leadership, LLC 908.509.1744 cb@exec-leadershipllc.com; http://www.exec-leadershipllc.com.

Accept the Job Offer or Walk Away?

HBR Blog Network / Best Practices

The hiring manager calls with great news: the job is yours. Phew, the hard part is over, right? Maybe not. Determining whether to take a job offer can — and should — be a difficult decision. In a bad economy or if you're eager to get out of your current job, it can be tempting to accept any offer. But before you take on job, you need to evaluate the situation carefully.
What the Experts Say
"Over the last 40 years we've transitioned from an economy where you work for 30 years and retire with a gold watch to something that is much more transactional," says Boris Groysberg, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and author of Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance. People switch jobs on average every three to four years, says Groysberg, which means that being able to evaluate a job offer is a critical skill for today's professional. And yet, most people do it poorly. "People spend more time thinking about their investments or even where to go on holiday," says John Lees, a UK-based career strategist and author of How to Get a Job You'll Love.
Certainly, determining whether to accept a job is an individual decision. Danny Ertel, a founding partner at Vantage Partners, LLC, a negotiation consulting firm in Boston, and co-author of The Point of the Deal: How to Negotiate When Yes is Not Enough says, "How you evaluate an offer will be different if you are looking for a job in a fulfillment center in ecommerce or if you are a midcareer executive who lost her job in a merger." Regardless of where you are in your career, there are principles you can follow to ensure you make the right decision.
Shape the offer along the way
When the hiring manager or recruiter calls you with the offer, it shouldn't be the first time you discuss specifics. "I would encourage people to have a conversation about their aspirations for the job way before the point of offer," says Ertel. Be honest when responding to interview questions such as, "What are you looking for in your next role?" This increases the likelihood that the offer includes things on your wish list. Deciding whether or not to take a job usually isn't a simple yes or no choice, so prepare for the offer conversation as a negotiation. Rarely should you accept something at face value, even in a depressed economy. "If you don't ask for anything you're missing an opportunity," says Lees.
Do more in-depth research
You can find out a lot about a company before you send in your resume, but once you have the offer in hand, it's time to do more extensive research. Groysberg writes in his article, "Five Ways to Bungle a Job Change" that one of biggest mistakes that people make is not finding out enough about their potential employer. Dig around for as much information as you can about the organization, the culture, and your future co-workers. "There is a lot more information out there than there used to be," says Ertel. Find company employees on LinkedIn and see what they say about their job on Twitter, Facebook, or other media. You also want to find out what you can about the organization's future prospects. When the economy is underperforming, you have to consider whether the company will still be around in a few years. "Nowadays with industries changing and very successful companies failing, if you don't scrutinize the company, you're making a big mistake," says Groysberg."
Be realistic about your prospects
Unfortunately, most job searches do not follow an orderly process that lets you compare several offers at once. More likely, you'll receive your first offer when you are still interviewing with or have just sent your resume to other employers. "You can't compare to fantastical, theoretical possibilities. You need to be realistic about what is likely to come down the line," says Lees. Look at the applications you have under way and reasonably assess which are likely to get to offer. Groysberg suggests you compare the offer in hand against a wish list of what you really want in any job. "Sometimes good enough will have to do. Let go of the idea that there might be something perfect out there," says Lees. He finds that most people want to cross off a majority of things on their lists. However, in some cases, you may settle for fewer things if the position offers something else: a stronger resume, new skills, or access to an organization you'd like to work at in the long-term.
What if you really need the job?
In a tough job market, it's easy to overvalue an offer. Lees says you need to be wary of "rose-tinted spectacles" you might wear if you are unemployed or have been searching for a long time. Instead of talking yourself into something, explore other alternatives like accepting the job for a short-term period, say six to nine months, while you look elsewhere. If that's not possible and you really need the job, know the risks. Groysberg believes people underestimate the transaction costs of switching jobs: what it does to your family, your client relationships, and the impact it has on your network and future prospects. "You need to think about what kind of an investment an employer is making in you and how disruptive it will be if you leave," says Ertel. Lees advises that many future employers and search consultants will look down on quick job switches.
If you decide to say no
Saying no to a job offer can be complicated. You've sent in your resume, shown up for a series of interviews, and the employer likely assumes you want the job. "The last thing you want is for the company to think you played them," says Groysberg. Don't' string them along. If you realize during the interview process that there is a high chance you won't accept an offer, let the hiring manager know so she can focus on more viable candidates, and you can get on with your search. It can be tempting to prove to yourself and others that you can get the job but it's a waste of time to do it for your ego. However, it's okay to continue in a process when you are unsure. Express your concerns and desires along the way. This will not only keep an open dialogue but could possibly shape the eventual offer.
If you do say no, remember that a lot goes into generating an offer. People have invested time and may have even gone to bat for you. Never imply that the job or the salary was to blame. Instead focus on what's not a good fit. This will keep the door open for the future. "You'd like to walk away in such a way that if their needs change tomorrow, you can walk back in," says Ertel. Remember that everyone you met in the interview process is now a potential contact in your network. "Never be so adversarial that you can't have a relationship with the organization," says Lees.

Principles to Remember
Do:
  • Find out as much as you can about the organization, its future prospects and what it's like to work there
  • Shape the offer along the way by expressing your expectations and desires about the job
  • Be reasonable about what other offers might come in

Don't:
  • Take a job you don't want unless you absolutely have to
  • Overvalue an offer just because you feel desperate
  • Imply that the job offer is not good enough when declining it

Case Study #1: Be honest about your requirements 
When Heather Goodman* became a mom to twins two years ago she decided not to return to her full-time job. Instead, she did freelance work for several universities and other public sector organizations, not expecting to entertain job offers any time soon. However, she came across a position she felt compelled to apply for with an organization she was freelancing with. She enjoyed the work immensely and counted Jill, the Director of the office, among her mentors. Jill explained that it was a full-time job but Heather asked if there was any flexibility. "She advised me to go through the process," Heather says. If and when they got to the point of offer, they could figure out the possibilities.
Within a week of Heather's interview, Jill called to give her an informal offer, explaining that HR would send formal paperwork soon. "I made the request at that time to take the position on at 80%," Heather says. It was a formality since Jill already knew that's what she wanted. "I thought I had a strong negotiating position," Heather says given that she was the top candidate for the job and she had already shown she could do the work. Jill agreed to talk with HR, but the department maintained that it was a 100% position and it would start in 5 weeks.
The job was exactly what Heather wanted: it was in the right field, it came with great promotional and development opportunities, and Heather already enjoyed the working environment. Still, she wasn't ready to go full time. "I had five or six days where I put a lot of thought into it," she says. She reached out to mentors and colleagues to get input. "It was the first job offer I had in a long time where everything looked so perfect," she says. But she felt she couldn't take it, that it wasn't right for her family. "Instead of thinking of it as turning down that job, I thought of it as taking the job of being mom to my girls," she says. She called Jill to share her decision. In addition, she wrote thank you notes to everyone she interviewed with explaining her reason for not taking the position and asking that they consider her for future positions. Heather doesn't regret her decision at all. In fact, Jill has shared her plans to build the office and Heather's hopeful she'll have an opportunity to entertain another offer in the future when her requirements for a position change.
Case Study #2: Turn down the offer that just isn't right
Isabel Soto*, an employment professional based in New York City, has turned down two job offers in the past year. In 2006, she had started her own consulting practice but by 2008, most of her larger clients had been forced to drop her because of the economy. In 2011, she was stringing together irregular assignments and knew she needed a steady job. The first job she considered was Director of HR for a company in Utah. After the initial interviews, she felt the job would be a great fit except for the location. Still, she flew out west to meet with the hiring manager, a senior executive at the company, who had been filling the role. "It was one of the most candid interviews I've been on," she says. The hiring manager explained that Isabel was the top candidate for the job but that before she continued with the process, she should better understand the firm's culture. She directed Isabel to several YouTube videos of the company's CEO, who regularly appeared in front of the company in costume as part of morale building exercises and expected his senior leaders to do the same. "Even though I was desperate for a job, I knew I couldn't do that," Isabel says. She called the recruiter to turn down the job and was honest about her reasons for doing so. She explained that based on what she had seen in the videos she didn't feel there was a cultural fit.
A few months later she interviewed for another job: a director of employee relations role at a local university. After several interviews, the hiring manager told her the job was hers if she wanted it. Again, she wasn't sure. The job had many positives: it was a low stress environment, it offered great benefits, and the university was an employee friendly place. But the job was relatively junior despite the title and Isabel worried it wasn't going to be challenging enough. "Again, I thought 'Am I crazy? If I don't take this job, is the right thing going to come along?'" she says. But still she turned it down. "It would be great to have a paycheck and great benefits but I would definitely have trouble sleeping at night. There were too many factors that caused me to question it," she says.
In both cases, she was upfront with the hiring manager and the recruiter about why she wasn't taking each of the jobs. "In the past it felt like dating, I was worried about hurting people's feelings," she says. However, they appreciated her candor and thanked her for the honest input. She says it was hard to turn down the jobs and a risk for her financially but she felt she had to. "When I was younger, I didn't think to ask the right questions or do the research." In the mean time, she's secured more consulting work than she'd anticipated and is continuing to search. "At the time, I thought I was being stupid for turning down any job, but now I'm glad I did," she says.
*Not their real names
More blog posts by Amy Gallo
If you are looking to increase your income, move up in your organization or land a position contact:
CB Bowman, MBA, CMC, MCEC at Executive Leadership, LLC 908.509.1744 cb@exec-leadershipllc.com; http://www.exec-leadershipllc.com.