January 5, 2005
Look for first job where you can grow,
What should I look for in a boss? As a college senior,
I need to assess the right employer and supervisor, soon.
I want to work in a good environment and have a chance
to succeed on a level playing field.
You have asked two questions: one about identifying
the right boss and the other about discovering the right
place for you to work. What you did not ask, but should,
is how to convince a prospective employer you're the
right person to be hired into their integrity-centered
First, the right boss for you will likely have expertise
you now lack. Give strong consideration to your first
jobs as a valuable extension of your more formal education.
Factor in this "value-added" dimension and
consider that these various early-career bosses will
be enhancing your fund of knowledge and that you will
be "paying them" for their contributions by
being willing to demand less cash as you build your credentials.
The right boss, if you choose to keep growing, will have
knowledge, skills and abilities you wish to develop.
As you think through how you want to make a living, look
carefully to make sure your prospective supervisors enjoy
their work. Happy colleagues are often more effective
teachers, making learning easier. If fortune smiles on
you, you might even like your bosses. However, respect
for them is even more important. When most job aspects
are about the same, choose chemistry over dollars.
Second, the right company or organization for you will
become clearer when you answer these questions:
- In what size organization do you best fit: small,
medium or large?
- Do other younger workers ordinarily move forward
inside the organization or do they often flame out,
routinely moving on?
- Will you be proud to introduce your product or service
to those you know the best?
- Are you confident about the leadership integrity
of the organization?
- Given an opportunity, would you invest your own
dollars in the organization?
If you're not comfortable with your answers to the
above five questions about a potential employer, then
you may be unhappy working there. So keep searching.
Third, confirming to a potential employer that you
are the right employee is quite simple. There is no faking
integrity. Working environments demand concentration,
and the real person generally shows through. Get a clear
picture of who you are and do not expect to fool high-quality
interviewers. Even if you are successful in pulling the
wool over their eyes, remember the people you "outwitted" are
probably not the right caliber to help you to get where
you want to go.
Effective business relationships are built upon trust and
forthrightness, and that means all transactions are integrity-centered,
from the very beginning.