In a job search, pundits like to talk about you like you were some inanimate object, ready to get stuck on some grocery store shelf or department store rack all spruced up and ready to get selected for some company work.
Yes, with a job search, you are simply an object; a widget to get plugged into some organizational box that needs to produce results for the company. You would think that who you are as a person really doesn’t matter. But it does.
Regardless of all those widgets you will end up producing for some company, you have a personal method that helps you perform your best work. Just as some people can lose weight by themselves while others require the “Dawn, tormentor,” personal trainer, each of us react to coaching differently.
Knowing this best way helps us determine the right manager to work for that brings out our best.
Your social style is how you interact with people. Some people are perfectly happy in a crowd. Others long for the solitude to really spur their creativity and productivity. I personally, despite this site splattered all over the planet via the Internet, prefer to interact with people one-on-one rather that flitting from one person to the next in a crowd.
Knowing your social style allows you to ask good questions about the team you will be joining and helping you to determine if their social style matches yours so you can feel as comfortable as you can at work.
If you’ve ever read all those heady CEO “clash of the titans” articles in some business magazine – those where there are big personality clashes and power crap in the corner office – you know that business is still about interacting with other people. As one of my former managers noted, the higher you go in the organization, the more the relationship counts.
Your ability to work with others – and knowing what types of personalities you like to work with – will go a long way to ensuring your success or failure on the job. Knowing your personal skills and how you handle relationships makes a big difference in the satisfaction you get from the people you work with.
You are a product in the job search, no doubt about it. But you don’t need to turn yourself into some object, flailing about looking for work. People have hearts and if you think about yourself as just a product, you will miss the most important ingredient you bring to the job: your personal strengths.
The best people I know bring their emotional selves to the work: that is why they do well through their personal excellence and take it so hard when they get laid off. They know their personal strengths, know that it supports their engagement in the work, and lets them get the personal satisfaction from a job well done regardless if it is noticed by the boss or not.
Because you are a person, not a product.