The trials and tribulations of career transition go from the ridiculous to the sublime and back again. Nuggets of learning and affirmation happen every step of the way.
I knew the tables were not tipped in my favor when an interviewer asked:
“Who is the Chairman of the Board and CEO at JP Morgan Chase?”
Although I read business periodicals and keep abreast of business news and, in fact, have read several recent articles about Jamie Dimon, I had to admit my mind drew a blank. I was not able, at that moment, to recall the answer to the question.
After inquiring about the necessity to know such information, I was told that the other candidates rub elbows with the upper echelon of business and have a certain type of business pedigree. I have excellent experience, skills, and education. Knowing #22 on the Forbes Most Powerful People of 2013 list…not so much.
I asked the interviewer if the other candidates have:
– write blogs that go viral;
– helped a company achieve profitable growth;
– spearheaded service initiatives to win prestigious awards;
– installed a residential natural gas generator for business continuity or;
– have a unique yet impressive LinkedIn profile?
He had to admit that he didn’t know those answers.
Using my empathy skills, I told him that one can’t possibly know everything.
I walked away from that meeting inspired. As an applicant, I did my best and was pleased that I went down swinging professionally and politely. As a hiring manager-in-waiting, I was filled with ideas on how to improve a candidate’s experience and apply the principles of engagement for the talent pipeline.
I love meeting new people throughout the journey of my career transition. They affirm my values as a leader and fuel my passion for business excellence.
Maybe one day I will meet the politicians and financiers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and billionaire philanthropists who matter most. Until then, I’m fine reading about the “72 Who Rule The World” in Forbes and feeling good about myself and my contribution to the Universe.