Managing your expectations from new job prospects | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

I recently got the chance to be on an interview panel for a new company that was filling up positions in order to compete favourably in the market. This company was hoping to take a sizeable market share within a short and hopefully become dominant within the decade.

With this goals, you should expect the company would be looking for dedicated and ready hands with minimal trainings and supervision. Once that is set in your mind, especially if you are interviewing in a company like this, you already have an idea of what to expect or how to position yourself strategically in order to be the favourite candidate.

You will understand all manner of people come for interviews – the good, the bad, the ugly or let’s call them the ‘give-it-a-trial,’ ‘the desperate-for-this-job’ and the ‘ideal-job-I-am-looking-for.’

When in an interview it may be so easy to spot those who are giving it a trial and since the panelists don’t have time to waste, you dispense them quickly. If they appear smart – physically and intellectually, friendly and eager you may give them some interview tips or feedback on their performance. That’s where it ends.

For the those in the category of ‘desperate-for-this-job,’ some of them get the job or lose the job. The people who lose the job are those who probably have shown more desperation towards the income from the job. If the interviewer senses you are after what keeps you going with little or no skills to offer, you are struck out on the list.
The other desperate people are those who also want the money, the job and every perk it has to offer. However, at the interview, their desperation is reflected in their passion and demonstration of skills. That’s how they show they are better than the other person who has been interviewed or is waiting to be interviewed. Companies want people who are desperate in this manner. That’s because they see the skills and knowledge of the person over the person’s interest in money.

There’s also the category of people that I referred to as ‘the-ideal-job-I-am-looking-for.’ Interviews often whatch this people rant about being in a ‘fool’s paradise.’ Sometimes, they are allowed to go on and talk about their high horse expectations. Once they are done, the typical ‘we’ll get back to you if you’re selected’ soon follows. The people in these category are either people who have had a good job with several benefits and expected the same from the new company or those who are just overrating themselves.

Now I want to talk more about managing your expectations when you’ve had a good job and for whatever reason you have to go on to another job. I know what it feels like to have a basic salary that’s good and there’s insurance to go with it for your dependants. It’s even better when you get allowances for extra hours, trips outside the office and 13th month at the end of the year.

It is hard for many to adjust to the fact that they will not get this in the new company. Sometimes, they just don’t understand why the new company will not offer the same benefits as the former company. So when they show up for interviews, they talk about all the benefits from the former company and believe any company that wants to employ them should offer same or more.

Once you have to switch roles, bear the following in mind:

1. The new company is not the same as the former.

2. Benefits may come along gradually in the new company.

3. It will be unfair to expect benefits that you got from the former company in this new company if they are not in the same industry and are not the same size.

4. Having a job with regular income is better than waiting for a job with all your desired perks.

5. Interviewers may keep turning you down when they realize your expectations are too high.

6. Taking the new job without the perks of the former company still offers your ‘experience’ and that’s what future companies will look out for.

7. When you take a new job even if it offers a pay cut, you will save yourself the stress of explaining job gaps in future interviews.

You will see that the people whose expectations are too high are like the other desperate people who simply want the job for the money. The only difference is that those first set of desperate people will take any job so long as it pays something. This set of desperate people looking for ideal jobs only want jobs that will pay all their bills. Employers want none of that.

When you have to change jobs, be realistic and pay attention to the fact that you can sometimes get better jobs with more money and benefits or just another job that doesn’t offer as much as you want but offers more experience. When looking for a job or switching jobs, don’t just think about what you want. Always remember it is what the employer wants that will get you the job and not what you want.

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