Ignoble Nobility


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My name means “noble” and for the most part, I try to live up to it. There are times however, when I struggle with this and recent events are an example. When companies post job ads, they have an employee profile in mind and you get glimpses of this by taking a look at their JD, list of qualifications and expectations from applicants. Going through the interviewing process, there are dos and don’ts as a quick Google search will show you. Having them in mind, pitting the interviewer’s expectations against my personal needs and expectations, and trying to find a comfortable middle can be a frustrating process. Hi, I’m Noble and this is my ignobly noble story.

What drives you? Why do you want to work with us? These or a variation thereof are questions that I have had to answer lately. And in the spirit of the application game, the answer should always be about the value that you will bring to that company. After all they are not hiring you to be nice; they want the person who convinces them that they bring the most value and thus the organisation gets their money’s worth. The textbook answer is to go into details about how much value you will bring to that company. This is where you sell yourself, letting the company know about said value. Will I be good for your company? Yes. Do I bring value? Yes, I’ll bring you so much value, you’ll reek of it. Do I want to make a positive difference in this world? Indubitably. That is the honorable answer and also happens to be true.

But right this moment, is that what’s driving me? Nope, not at all. Because, I’m also not applying to your company to be nice; I have my own needs and expectations. And something about your organization assures me that those needs will be met. But interview rules dictate that I don’t make it about me, it’s all about the company, and I only come in in so far as I can meet the company’s expectations. Once I make it to the negotiation stage, then I can make it about me, a little and not an inch more. As I go over how my skills and past experience fit the positions that I’m interviewing for, deep down and unvoiced, that is not what’s driving me at this particular moment. Do I want to work with you? Yes I do. But it’s not just you, because I don’t have the luxury of being picky. With a buttload of applications sent out, I’m here because you’re the ones who responded. I want to work with you because I want a paycheck and I want to get my finances off life support. Yes, I can meet your expectations; maybe even drown you in value. But as ignoble as this sounds, before I save the world, I have to save myself first. Charity does begin at home after all. I’m without doubt, ignobly noble.