‘Rig the Game’ – For Your Success

ballandjacksRumi said, “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” Self-confidence and the belief that everything will work out is important. Typically, things come up that we did not prepare for, so confidence helps get you through.

However, confidence doesn’t stand alone – it rests on a foundation of thoughtfulness and preparation. It rests on knowing yourself and what you need to produce your best work and results. It rests on asking for those needs and being unwilling to settle for less than your best. So while you may believe that life is rigged for you – there are things you can do to improve the odds. This is especially true when looking for a new position or job. You want to make sure that it is a good match and ‘rigged for you’ before you even accept.

Whenever a new job or new position is being considered, investigation and evaluation should be conducted. Rigorous research is to be done to learn as much as possible about the job/position in order to identify the game.  Sometimes this step is avoided because we don’t want to look at the less desirable aspects of the position. For example, if this position has had 4 different people, employed in the same position, over the last 3 years, it is a good idea to look at the position’s manager. Do not avoid the research! Make sure that you are seeing the position with open and realistic eyes – no rose-colored glasses. Some examples of good research questions are:
  • What does success look like for this position? How is it measured? What level must be achieved on what timing?
  • What are the key skills and experiences to be successful in this position? Is there on-the-job training? What skills are required from day 1?
  • Who is the manager for this position? How do they set expectations? How do they reward and punish performance?
  • What level of authority will you have? How many people resources will you be responsible for?   How much budget will you be responsible for? Can the goals be met with these levels of people and money resources? What can you decide/do with only your authorization?
  • What is the compensation for the position? What portion is salary vs. benefits? Are there bonuses? What minimal compensation is guaranteed? What is the maximum earnable compensation?
Now that the game is understood – it is time to do a gap analysis. This is simply an evaluation of where you are versus what the position requires. Do not get discouraged when beginning this evaluation! This is not an evaluation of you as a person – just your skills at this point in present time. Additionally, most postings ask for everything under moon – motherhood, puppies, and apple pie. Doing an honest and clear gap analysis will show you where you meet the stated requirements and where you do not – giving you an area for additional research (asking when/where that skill will be required to do the position) and negotiation (can you gain the skill on-the-job). The evaluation steps include:
  1. Confirm, based on the research, that you are still interested in pursuing this position. This often is skipped! It is vital that you continue to ask ‘Do I really want to do this work?‘ Remember, just because you ‘can’, doesn’t mean you ‘have to’.
  2. Line up the requirements against your skills and experience. Where do you meet them completely? Where do you meet them partially? Which requirements are new for you? For the partial or new requirements, what would you have to learn and/or experience to be successful? Do you know how to get the new skills and experience? Can you learn these on-the-job?
  3. Confirm that you are still interested in this position! Now that you know what it may take from you – are you still interested?
  4. Create the requests for your support system. Who are the people who will support you in your new position?  Who are the people that won’t support you and that you may have to leave behind? What are the specific support requests?
  5. Create the requests for the position. For the goals that have been identified, what people and money resources and support will be required? Every member of hierarchy wants a Porsche at a Ford Fiesta price. Having a stretch goal is fine, but if you know that the budget required, for the desired result, is $1 Million – ask for it. Negotiate, up front, for what you know you will need to be successful in the position – including authority level and budget.
  6. If sufficient resources and support are not given, then re-negotiate the success goal. If neither is negotiable, then re-evaluate your interest in the position. Don’t start out a new position from behind!

Doing the research and evaluating your status enables a systemic, eyes-wide-open, view of your potential position. The evaluation shows where there are gaps and what you already have that can be built upon. This thoughtfulness and preparation will provide a foundation for negotiating what you need for success in the position. You are ‘rigging the game’ for success – both for you and for the business.

Let us know how we can support you in your preparation for finding that great fit job!

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