Take an Unannounced Walkabout: a unique values-based job search technique
Posted on September 09, 2011 by Teri-E Belf, One of Thousands of Life Coaches on Noomii.
Carefully screen potential places of employment using your key values to ensure a good match. Take an unannounced walkabout.
You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
It is extremely important to consider all your key values when interviewing for a job. Is orderliness important to you? How about the ambiance, the feel of a space as you enter it? Do you need a beautiful, creative environment with color, art work, living plants, natural light to bring out your best work? Must you have state of the art technology available? These are often overlooked, yet they can make or break your experience.
Years ago I had a job with exciting content, intellectually rewarding challenges, and good pay, yet the business environment felt very stressful. The office space was unimaginative, dirty, and noisy, and poorly ventilated with windows that could not be opened. Old posters and outdated calendars faded on the walls, pieces of tape and paper littered the floor, around the copy machine, and people had long since stained and worn the carpeting.
Heard enough? My productivity was poor in comparison to what I expect from myself. I had concentrated on the work requirements itself during my initial job interview. Intellectual stimulation and salary were only two pieces in my job criteria puzzle. I had forgotten my other values. I also value beauty, aesthetics, art, and a neat, clean, physical space. The environment must support my values for me to experience my inspiration.
After this experience I invented the UNANNOUNCED WALKABOUT as a step in job search strategy. The unannounced walkabout is a visit to a potential place of employment, immediately before or right after your interview. If you need a pretense, ask to use the restroom. This walkabout enables you to assess congruence between the company’s stated values and the company’s reality. During the walkabout, look for clues that tell you something about the company’s values. After the walkabout, determine synergy with your values.
My client Rick highly valued good working conditions, recognition and feedback, and creativity. During his unannounced walkabout, he noticed these clues: leading edge computers and equipment, framed employee awards on the walls, an employee of the month section in the company newsletter (the newsletter was easily available for all to see), and tasteful wall hangings. He pre-programmed his senses for clues that supported his values. He found a good match.
If you are able to access an annual report, you might read about the values explicitly stated in a mission statement or the President’s/CEO’s message. The ‘walkabout’ is still necessary to see if the values are actually present in the environment.
How do you know what your values are? Your values are beacons enabling you to make meaningful choices in any area of your life.
• Values come out of the choices you make over time. Acting once or twice in a particular way does not indicate a value. Values represent consistency of behavior in several circumstances.
• Observe your actions. Your stated beliefs may say one thing, your actions another. Your actions broadcast what you regard as significant.
• Values suggest something desirable.
• Each one of us maintains a unique profile of values.
• Values motivate, propel, energize, drive us to action.