Can you learn job search skills from watching the news? Sometimes.
‘Why do you want to be president?’ That was a question a 60 Minutes reporter asked Senator Ted Kennedy back in 1980 as he was beginning a run for the White House. If you have ever seen the clip, you know he just stared at the reporter for five, then ten, then 15 painful seconds. His campaign was over before it started. The biggest question he had to answer to launch his presidential bid, and he didn’t have a ready, convincing answer. In fact, he didn’t have an answer at all!
He clearly hadn’t developed a script, a concise answer that convinced the listeners that he was the right person for the job, or that he even wanted the job. That was a long time ago. As I recalled the last Liberal Lion in the Senate, and a notable person in American politics for a half century, it occurred to me that Senator Kennedy’s response was a brilliant example of how NOT to launch a campaign for a new job. He never became president. I suspect he really didn’t want to be president. You can’t blame him. What had happened to his two older brothers (who also said they wanted to be president) would not have motivated me either! What’s the learning point?
‘Why do you want the job you say you want?’ Do you have a ready, convincing answer to that question? Why does it intrigue you? What have you done that qualifies you? Why are you the best person for that job? Have you developed a concise, clear answer to that question? It’s easier when you can learn from other people, and Senator Kennedy, may he rest in peace, gave us a good lesson on today’s morning news.