“Fit” is that elusive, hard to describe feeling you have when you know an arrangement works for you.
A pair of pants either fits or it does not. That house you looked at yesterday either fits or works for your family or it does not. You know it when you see it or feel it. Making the wrong choice is uncomfortable. Life is too short to be uncomfortable if you can avoid it!
In a job search, “fit” is elusive because you can never be sure during an interview if you are seeing or feeling the true situation. Is it too good to be true? Is the hiring manager telling the truth? Are we ascribing the same meaning to the words we are using? Is there a way to calibrate the hiring manager and candidate’s definitions to increase the chances that you will fit in this next job opportunity?
Last week I had an experience that was a little unrelated to a job search, but I want to see if I can use this situation to illustrate “fit”.
I needed a haircut. My last visit to a salon was in October. It is now February, almost five months. I was looking shaggy. Like many, I was avoiding the salon to reduce my Covid 19 exposure. I am also living in Florida for the winter, so I am not near my regular hairdresser, the talented Ashley of Shine Salon in Canton.
I needed to find a salon on the Treasure Coast to fix my haircut problem. As you know, I send out my thoughts in video, so I need to look camera-ready periodically!
I am terrified of a bad haircut. I look for salons affiliated with Aveda because I know their stylists are well trained. That narrows the field a bit.
I called the cute little place near our marina and got the strangest response. After I explained that I am in the nearby marina and described what I needed, the owner said, “Hmmm… I am not sure we can help. Here are some places you might like. We can do it, but it will be expensive. These other salons might be a better fit.”
Isn’t that nice? She gave me options. I started calling and discovered that one of the shops was permanently closed and the other shop was twice the price I pay at home. The website was flamboyant showing exotic, dramatic haircuts, inappropriate for a job search coach like me.
I was getting annoyed. Why did this cute, qualified place not want to take my business? I realized the owner decided over the phone I was not a good fit for them. I was like the rejected candidate. I did not know why I was rejected but clearly, I was not getting my haircut at that salon.
I called a second salon about 45 minutes away. I had seen it before and wondered if that salon might be a better fit. I described what I needed to the friendly owner of Salon Bangz who booked my appointment for the next day. She said, “I think Heidi will be perfect for you.”
Heidi was pleasant and made me feel comfortable immediately. She listened to what I needed, offering suggestions, then delivered a great haircut and lovely conversation at the same time!
The second salon provided exactly what I needed, when I needed it, at the same price as my salon back home. I gave Heidi a big tip and 5 stars on Google for the next visitor looking for a great hair experience.
Two experiences. One fit. One did not. Both salons had 4.5 star ratings with glowing comments, but one was the right place for me.
I know it is stretching the analogy a bit, but to me, my haircut adventure is like finding the right fit in a job search. What impression do you get in your gut? Are these “your kind of crazy” like we say in my family?
The right fit, or the right kind of crazy, is crucial in selecting your next job opportunity. Do not make the wrong choice or you will be uncomfortable!
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