Your interviewing toolkit – say goodbye to interviewing jitters and hello to being a successful job or career changer

Successful Job Changer’s Interviewing Toolkit – item #2

A Demonstrated Commitment To On-Going Development

The next thing that belongs in your interviewing toolkit is a solid demonstration of your commitment to on-going development.  I don’t mean just something you can point to and say “I’m learning/reading/attending X right now”…

I mean a solid demonstration that development (both personal and professional) is a normal, regular on-going thing in your life.  One of the biggest mistakes a job candidate can make is to only talk about professional development opportunities that were afforded to them by their current or a former employer.

So how do you demonstrate that personal growth and professional development are a regular way of life?  Here are 3 factors that demonstrate a commitment to development – might they inspire you to make this commitment for yourself AND for those you serve …

  1. Personal growth

What is at least 1 thing you are doing to advance your mind, body or spirit?

Examples of this might include reading books on philosophy, transformational thinking, self-help (which can range vastly from new methods of personal money management to cooking), or even learning about different religious perspectives.  Of course, any commitment to your health is attractive energy others are inspired by – are you working out regularly? Doing a natural foods cleanse?  Taking some time to eliminate certain foods from your diet?  Practicing yoga, pilates, meditation, etc.?  Maybe you are donating your time to a charity or other cause that has inspired you to look at certain aspects of you life differently.

Nail down at least 1 solid example of something you are doing in the name of your personal growth.  If you can’t make this connection, then think about something you recently did that contributed to your growth in some way and about options you are thinking about conquering next.

 

2.  Professional development

What is at least 1 thing you are doing to advance yourself as a professional of what you do for a living?

Examples of this might include reading books related to your field or work or to using tools that enable you to do your work (i.e. technology you use in your work, laws that govern your work, the history of your profession, etc.).

Certainly college-level or training classes are among the more obvious ways to demonstrate a commitment to development.

Another way is by attending networking group events or meetings related to a professional group you are a part of.  This may also include donating your time to help run groups or boards you are professionally affiliated with.

It’s most impressive when you can share how you are donating your time and expertise either to a special ad-hoc project at your work, to mentoring others or to a charitable cause that helps inexperienced or underprivileged people benefit from your professional knowledge and experience.

Like personal growth, nail down at least 1 solid example of something you are doing in the name of your professional development.  Again, if you can’t make this connection, then think about something you recently participated in that contributed to your professional development in some way and about options you are thinking about conquering next.

 

3.  You made a personal investment in your development

Yes, I am talking about $ here.  A general rule of thumb I coach my clients about is to not expect a company to make any investment in you that you are not willing to make in yourself.

As a former head of HR I can tell you one of the first things that companies tighten up on when they are looking for cost-cutting opportunities is training.  But think about it this way – most companies only pay a portion of your health benefits – right?  So, think of training the same way – you would never consider not getting your health taken care of because your company only paid a portion of your overall health expenses, so don’t blow off development because your company will only pay a portion towards your development.  This is an investment you must be willing to make in yourself on a regular basis.  This is what I mean by “don’t expect a company to make any investment in you that you are not willing to make in yourself.”

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A demonstrated commitment to on-going development is about sharing that growing and evolving as a person AND as a professional matters to you – and that you don’t wait for these opportunities to fall into your lap or to be financed by others.  You want to demonstrate that you can make a connection between things you experience and learn (whether they cost a lot, a little or no money at all), and how those experiences inspire lasting change (for the better) in your life, in how you approach your work, and in how you interact with others – especially those you serve through your work.

 

About Gina Calvano

Gina Calvano is a certified coach and Senior Professional in Human Resources, with over 20 years of experience as a talent management professional in both the private and non-profit sectors. With a unique approach, she combines her strategic corporate expertise and accreditations with metaphysics and transformational thinking which has resulted in people all over the world feeling good about themselves and connected to a sense of purpose.

She created the Success Readiness Bootcamp™, a step by step process that enables people to easily discover their unique talents and abilities and match them to majors, jobs, industries and leisure pursuits. Gina is also the co-author of Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life with NY Times Best Selling Authors Marci Shimoff, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood and Powerful Connections Made Easy™ with Aprille Trupiano, and is currently working on her next book — Caged in My Cube: The Turnaround Guide For Loving The Job You Hate.

Comments & Feedback:

  1. This is a great series, Gina. I especially love the analogy about investing in our own development the way that we invest in our healthcare. People who are proactive with their health are healthier overall than people who wait for a heath crises to start taking better care of themselves, so it only stands to reason that people who are proactive with their careers will have healthier careers as well. Brilliant!

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