Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 12th 2014 Contents B7
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Defining a Decade - Righting the Future
The University of Trinida
d and Tobago
UTT is an Agency of the
Field O cer
ITS Support Technician II
ITS Support Technician I
Professional Education Unit
Information Technology Services
Facilities Operations Management
Academy of Sports and Leisure Studies
The interview process is a bit like a
blind date: you're trying to look your
best, and so is the employer! However,
The last thing you need in your next
job is to fail. Or, to end up working for
an employer or in an organization that
is a bad fit for you. If you fail or hate
the job, you could be hunting for a new
job too soon.
Why a Values Match Is So Important
Don't make the mistakes I made! Les-
sons I learned when I accepted a bad job
offer (and how I could have avoided it).
Many years ago I was working for an
employer who was very demanding, and
I was getting burned out. I began to look
for alternative employment. I needed
the new job to offer me:
• A match for my skill set.
• No travel. Well, maybe a little travel,
but not a lot.
• An opportunity to learn more and
become a better expert.
• A boss I "like" (which means not a
micromanager, and one who is hon-
• A short commute would be great,
too. It had to be less than 45 min-
I was ecstatic when I found a job which
met all those criteria. Little travel was
required, and I could leverage my tech-
nical skills and grow, too. The boss
seemed like a genuine guy with whom
I had a real connection. On top of all of
that, they offered me a NICE raise. I
could not wait to get started!
On my first day, I got an indication
that the company and I were not a good
match. I learned that a reorganization
had been in the works when they offered
me the job. I no longer had the same
responsibilities as I expected. I also had
a different boss, and fewer tools to do
my work. They had not mentioned these
changes to me.
Then, I discovered through their
actions and policies that this company
fundamentally hated their customers.
That was a deal breaker. I have always
loved my customers. Customers make
it possible for me to eat, and I like to
eat. I knew that I had to leave. I simply
could not live with myself working for
a company like that.
After a few weeks, I knew that I had
to leave. What had happened? How could
I have gone from ecstatic to depressed
about work in a matter of weeks? The
answer is that there was a huge discon-
nect between my personal values (hon-
esty, integrity and customer satisfaction)
and the values of the company.
How did I get there? Check that list
above. Which of my requirements related
to corporate values?
The only one on the list is the one about
the boss, and it's really pretty vague,
Finding a Good Match for You
Here are 3 key questions to help you
determine if you and the employer are
Q1: What are your values? What are
you looking for in that new job?
Take some time to figure out what really
matters to you. Think about it - what you
liked and hated in your last job(s). What
is important to you in that next job?
What do you want to avoid in that next
If you need a starting point, review
this worksheet of personal values to see
which things you really care about. Go
through the list and put a check mark
next to the ones that resonate with you.
Go through the checked ones a second
time and pull out the top 5 - in order.
That final 5 defines your values.
Q2: What can you learn about the
prospective employer's values from
Once you know what *you* care
about, take a look at the new employer.
What do they value? Research online
can provide you with good information:
Start with their website. Look for
"about us" or search for "mission" or
"vision" or "values." These will indicate
what they value. (Of course, there may
be a disconnect between what they think
they value and what they actually value,
so you need to dig deeper.)
Google the company, as well as "I hate
[company name]" and "[company name]
sucks" to see what people may be com-
If you find reviews of the employer's
products or services, read the reviews to
learn what customers think.
Online research is only one part of
Q3: What can you learn about the
prospective employer during the
During the interview process, they are
assessing you, and it's smart for you to
be assessing them, too. Your time with
the hiring manager, HR, and the team
members is your opportunity to learn
about them, their values, and the com-
Here are a few questions to help you
figure out the values of a potential employ-
• What "hero stories" are told here?
• Can you tell me a story about an
employee who did something great
Ask team members:
• Tell me about your work here. What
are you most proud of?
• Tell me about something here at work
that really frustrates you - what
makes you crazy here?
Ask the manager:
• Can you tell me about a time that
a team member blew you away with
• Is there anything else you know now
that you would want the hiring
manager to tell you - if you were in
These are the kind of questions that
will help you understand what kind of
a working environment you would be
entering -- what is valued and how great
performance is defined
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