Choosing Words of Confidence to Guard Your Dreams
Can your words help you land your dream job? In this guest blog, Keith Kannenberg reminds us about the power of our words and how to choose them to stay on the path of your dream career. He shares how accountability and integrity play into confidence and help you step towards your dream job.
Do your Words and Dreams align?
It’s funny how the words we say often fail to line up with the dreams we possess. Think about it for a second; “I need a job.” Are those the words of a career-minded person? Are they the words of somebody focused on a plan for success?
Those are transactional words. They convey, “I am willing to sell my time to the highest bidder.” So, let me ask you, “What is the one thing every candidate brings to a job interview?” The answer is “time.”
Everyone is selling time. When you tell yourself you need a job, you communicate that you need something to do with your time.
Stop looking for a job and start looking for opportunities. This less transactional mindset conveys value. Saying that you are seeking opportunities begs the question, “Opportunities for what?” Now you are selling something more valuable than time. You are selling passion.
Passion, however, is a bit trickier to market because it requires alignment, and that’s where the concept of “career” comes into view. A career is a collection of specialized skills few people possess. The fewer people with those skills, the higher the value can be applied. This is both empowering and limiting at the same time. That’s why alignment is such an essential element of the employment contract.
Both those seeking employment and those of us seeking employees need to consider alignment as the number one priority during the hiring process. Perhaps Shakespeare said it best, “Above all: to thine own self be true.” Know who you are. Know your skills, your character, your values, and your dreams. Seek organizations or employees that are looking for what only you have to offer, then walk into the interview with confidence and negotiate a shared plan for success
When your words align with your dreams, your dreams will become your reality. Now, it’s up to you to guard that reality.
Starting on the Right Foot-Accountability
The best way to guard the reality of your dreams is to start the employment agreement on the right foot. There are two things every contract must establish from the outset: levels of authority and accountability. From the beginning, let employees know how they will be held accountable for results and how much authority they have to affect those results.
Authority without accountability produces monsters. Although it’s foolish to build this model into your organizational structure, this is often a common byproduct of antiquated hiring models. Positional power, if not closely monitored, can delegate away the responsibility it wishes to avoid. This quickly produces a power struggle dynamic that destroys corporate culture.
You might wonder why an employer would create a job description that avoids elements of accountability. Surprisingly, there are multiple reasons for this. One is that some employers realize power is an attractive benefit that people find incredibly intoxicating. For this reason, low financial compensation is often bolstered by connecting a high authority level and an impressive title to the benefits package. Be wary of these types of engagements. They never end well. As a potential employee, you should avoid organizations that attempt to intoxicate you with power.
The opposite is also true; never agree to a situation where you are held accountable for things you are powerless to change. Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality many employees face. This, too, produces high levels of dysfunctionality.
Market Forces in Play
Why would anyone enter this type of environment? Because they “Need a job.” There it is! A lack of career focus can frequently land you in a compromised situation. Many people fail to build wealth because they are too focused on earning a living to spend time learning how to make money.
Once upon a time, employees were a dime a dozen. That is no longer the case. Organizations that fail to develop their workforce will soon fail to deliver their client’s expectations due to labor shortages. Only employers who learn to see the value of a soul and invest in its development will be capable of delivering quality products on time.
Market forces control a capitalistic system. No single company has the market cornered on supply and demand. When supply doesn’t meet the demand, your competitors will pick up your slack. The best way to ensure economics works in your favor is to empower employees to change the things for which they are held accountable.
A culture of professionalism and responsibility will emerge when we delegate authority and accountability equally. People who have the power to change outcomes feel empowered. Empowered employees take ownership of the tasks entrusted to them. They see the bigger picture and understand how every step in the process affects their final product. The outcome is then fairly evaluated, and the employee is held accountable to receive either reprimand or a reward. When someone knows they are adequately empowered to affect an outcome, they harbor no hard feelings when being held responsible for the results.
Walk with Integrity
The Bureau of Labor Statistics did a study in 2020 that showed the median tenure for an employee aged 25 and above was 7.4 years, while their 18-24-year-old counterparts are only lasting 5.4. During a 20 to 40-year career, an individual will most likely be associated with four to eight employers.
Let’s face it. You will probably not retire from the first job or two that you seek to get. If you are career-minded, you may stay in your field, but you will likely change employers working in that field multiple times. Starting on the right foot is essential, but don’t lose sight that a second way to guard the reality of your dreams is to walk with integrity. From the starting line to the finish line, integrity must reign.
Be a person of character because character follows you wherever you go. Just because your specialty brings you value in the marketplace doesn’t mean the baggage you drag with you from one company to the other won’t pull that value down.
Remember, the best employers protect their organization’s culture. Skill can be developed relatively quickly; character takes a lifetime. Be accurate with your words, actions, and thoughts. Create the trust you hope to gain, and then live in a way that never causes anyone to question it. Integrity is the virtue behind what you do in the dark. When you make a point to walk with integrity throughout your career, you will always have friends in the field. Always guard your dreams and the words that drive them.
About Keith Kannenberg
Keith Kannenberg is a leader with over 25 years of experience and the founder of The Kannenberg Group LLC. He is an educator, writer, conference speaker, and leadership coach. His company, The Kannenberg Group, is a leadership development firm. They help organizations align strategy, culture, and value dynamics around a customized styling that perpetuates a unique leadership brand, eliminates employee turnover, and exponentially increases the financial bottom line.
Equiliem (www.equiliem.com) believes in empowering success. It’s our job to cultivate relationships that connect people and employers in a way that is inclusive, intelligent, and allows both to thrive.
Across the U.S., leading companies in healthcare, government, light industrial manufacturing, professional services, and energy rely on us for their workforce solutions. Our recruiting and HR services include contract and direct hire staffing, Payrolling/EOR, Independent Contractor Compliance, and Managed Services.
Since 1995, we’ve helped shape our industry. Today, we continue to research, ask questions, and continuously enhance the candidate journey and client experience.