…and I’ll do the rest.” This quote is from Janice, a very effective realtor who worked with me as I shopped for my first house.
Before meeting Janice, I’d already worked with two realtors. To assist, I’d created a list of “Absolute Must Have,” “Highly Prefer,” and “Nice to Have” aspects of my ideal home. This list also included my target price-range. For whatever reason, none of the homes I viewed completely provided my ‘Absolute Must Have,’ and each of these two realtors eventually decided, after 3-4 house hunting visits each, that I was a lost cause. One wrote me a letter which listed the homes we’d visited, noted how each met some of my criteria, and concluded that I would have to relax my criteria or price range. He actually built a case to convince me that I would not be successful.
Based upon a co-worker’s recommendation, I contacted realtor Janice. Within a month, (and a similar investment of 3-4 visits), Janice showed me a unit which matched all of my stated “Absolutely Must Have” criteria. Curiously, this house was in a subdivision that the letter-writing realtor had brought me. Although this unit had been available, and in the vicinity… he hadn’t brought me to see it. Since I loved it when I viewed it with Janice, I have no reason to believe that I wouldn’t have loved it had I seen it with him.
In job search, it is important for you to know which aspects of your next role are an “Absolute Must,” “Highly Prefer,” and “Nice to Have.” For me, a commute well over an hour each way would place the opportunity into the ‘do not move forward’ bucket. It is important to write these down. This way, you’ll have an unbiased set of criteria available to assess a future opportunity. After an interview, or even a phone screening, you begin to develop biases toward the position and opportunity. When you receive a written offer, your mind will have many aspects to juggle and balance (and likely with a short response time), so don’t expect to have the ability to generate an objective list at that time. Having a pre-written list will ensure you evaluate that opportunity as thoroughly and objectively as you can.
The nature of job search includes receiving many negative responses, or even not getting a response, from companies with whom you’ve talked. Those responses should not deter you from holding onto your personal set of goals and job-criteria. Their perspective should never be considered an impartial judgement. It is up to you to decide which (if any) of your “Absolutely Must Have” criteria that you might waive. That is a personal decision, and not one that any other person, or company, has a right to determine.
I never informed my letter-writing realtor that I had indeed found a home which matched all of my criteria, as my energy was spent toward moving into my new home. Although it was in his interest to match me with a home that met all of my criteria, he chose to identify my list of criteria as a fault and a shortcoming (of me). Someone who saw it as an opportunity was able to be rewarded by it (repeatedly, as I happily used Janice’s realtor services three years later when I sold that home).
Allan Channell is a new ‘Blog to Work’ contributor. He has experience in software development, project management, and interests in communications, Tai Chi, and humor.
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