1)Wolter is a candidate who has almost finished his training Food Technology and together with him I discuss the opportunities that he has. I ask him extensively how he has completed his studies, whether he has taken on part-time jobs and what the bottlenecks were in his studies. This way I get a good picture of him. Wolter is a practical guy but also a true thinker who wants to know about the details.
Concerning his internship, he explains enthusiastically how he has terminated a project at a large brewery. He expresses responsibility, but also interest in more and in the context of the work he did.
I ask him if he would like to work there full-time. “No, I would not want to work there”, he said spontaneously. We search together why that is the case. On the one hand, he is very excited about his project at the company, but on the other hand, he does not want to work there. It turns out that the atmosphere within the company did not suit him. “Everyone works very individually and independent” and that does not fit with the social profile of Wolter. He likes to brainstorm, discuss (not too much) and be involved in a team. Despite the fact that the work itself is very nice, working on an ‘island’ doesn’t suit him.
This shows again that a job is considerably more than just its execution.
2) I was talking to a well-educated lady who was completely done with her employer after eight years. At first, it seemed to fit well; She learned a lot and she got impressive international accounts that she professionally handled. The results were satisfactory to her employer. Two years ago, she ran into a proper burnout and since then it seemed as if she did not fit in the team aymore. During her burnout, it seemed that she was not missed and that gave her the feeling that she really was just a workhorse and that she is a person with a life besides her beautiful job.
During the conversation it turned out that her self-esteem was moderate. That was partly because of the home situation, in which she set the bar for herself higher than she could actually handle. Her job unconsciously formed her identity to prove herself and show the outside world that she was somebody and that she was successful. Unfortunately, this happens often in a world where financial profit is more important than the way in which the result is achieved.
I find it convenient to get into these kinds of conversations with ‘metaphors’. A kind of Jip and Janneke example. I told her the following:
‘Jan was born as a screwdriver. Of course we are much more complicated, but it is an example. Jan could do a lot but lived, without realizing, in a world of just screws and eventually he began to doubt whether he could do something right. In awe he looked at Hans hammer because he could do much more than himself. He hit the nail on the head then looked pityingly at Jan’s bungled attempts to hold a nail straight. The self-image of Jan was already low when someone took him to an area where there were also screws. It took a while before Jan realized he belongs here and after a while his self-image gradually increased to a healthy level. Jan could do something and that was something he had not experienced. Jan could even do things that Hans, the hammer, could not and that made him grow.
The story ends with a partnership between Jan and Hans to tackle things together… 1 + 1 = 3. ‘
It sounds simple, but my candidate recognized herself in this. (Like many others)
Together we started looking at an environment where not only her skills but also her personality was recognized and appreciated.
A good example of an employee who discovered that work is more than just a physical activity and a job is more than just a desk and a keyboard.