I read somewhere recently in a post about career advice, that one of the things you should do is make sure your colleagues are also your friends. In my opinion, that’s so right. I consider all the people I work with to be friends, even family. That’s also the reason why, when I hire people, I value more their attitude, their ethics and just a general feeling I get when I talk to somebody, than an actual diploma. I’m serious: in my plus 25 years (yes, that makes me feel old…;-)) work life, I have never asked for a degree. I hire based on my gut feeling. I look at passion and vision…. And, if there is one talent I have, that seems to be it: I have seldom been wrong about a person. As a consequence, we have a fantastic team. And that’s what makes all the difference.
And yet people leave. Don’t get me wrong. I hate seeing people leave our company. But over the years more and more I find satisfaction in seeing young talents learn and grow. Get really good at what they are doing. See them find a passion. It means a lot to me to be able the work with them.
Actually, when I reflect on the reasons why I love my job, that’s probably number one…. Being able to be their coach. But as they get better, they also attract attention from other companies. They get offers. And sometimes they leave. Much more than in my earlier days, I find peace with that. I actually enjoy seeing them being successful, even if that means I have to let go.
Last week, Ben left. He worked with us 13 years. It made me think about the time I hired him. I love like a really surprising interview. Ben made his interview remarkable and unique.
Which brings me to the second part of this post: you want a tip on how to get into every company you want to work for? Make your interview interesting. Surprise people. Be really creative. Look at the company’s website, look for information about financials or whatever is relevant for the function you are applying for.
Maybe you think: hey, but that’s normal! Well, I can tell you that I have interviewed many, many people. However, the ones that really stood out, I can count on one hand. More: many times, even looking for that basic information was apparently too much to ask for.
And my tip for the ultimate key to get into your dream workplace?
Just tell them you will work one month for free. When you are good, make them pay the month. If not, just walk away. In that case it’s a small investment you made, to find out it probably wasn’t meant to be anyway….
Ben was one of the surprising ones. I dedicate this post to him, Peter, Claudio, Rudi, Wilfried, Loke and all the ones before him that contributed a great deal to our success and went their own way. And you know what? Some of them came back. And didn’t even have to do an interview again. But I still hate to see them go!