This is the fourth and final card in the spread, the “wrecking ball” card. On this card are five things that will make working at any specific place like living in Hell. Above, I am showing you my own completed card. To get a sense of what should be on yours, Look at your other cards. Look at your temperament and your strengths. Look at your gifts and your Holland Code. Look at your value system. Take all that in consideration and think deeply about what kind of work environment you simply could not tolerate. For the “glass half full” crowd: think deeply about and envision the kind of work environment that would bring out the best in you. You actually could write your card from either angle. You choose. As an aside, “glass half empty” people are not evil. Just different.
Think about it like this: would you marry someone you did not know well? After all, a huge investment of life-time will be spent preparing for, commuting back and forth from, and living at a place of employment for at least two or three years. Interviewing is much like the courtship period of a relationship–the time you find out that the face she presents comes out of a bottle and that he hates to go anywhere that does not have a TV in it.
With both dating and working it is much better to find out as much as possible on the front end. It pays to be able to make an educated decision about how your most precious commodity, your time, will be spent. This set of five intolerable conditions would be your “career deal breakers”; things you would say, “no thanks” to an employer about in the interview. Though you may think you are desperate enough to “take anything”, that is not quite the truth nor would it be wise. And another thing: you cannot do anything you want to do actually. You came to the earth with an assignment; a “Divine Mandate”. You came equipped to do your job on earth, not every job.
For example: I will always be better with words than numbers. I admire people who can reason in numbers. They’re cool. However, I know myself so well that I am quite comfy being an expert in language and not worried about my dearest friend, the engineer, who is an expert in her field.
Unfortunately, education is not into strengths development. School has led us into this myth of “you can do everything well”; that “deficiency teaching–bettering your weaknesses” at the expense of building natural strengths is a good thing. Let me tell you this: You can teach a fish to climb all you want. A squirrel will always be better at it. You can reward a tortoise all you want. The hare will always be the faster runner.
Spun out all the way to the end, some form of the “wrecking ball conditions” may be at the heart of the issues you could be fired for three to six months down the road.
As said earlier, there are things you would rather know on the front end about an employer. The interview is the appropriate time to find out what you might not be able to discern from other research. In the interview, rephrase the statements on your card into positively posed questions to the potential employer. The answers will tip you off to a company’s culture and clue you in about whether or not you might fit.
Many people think they do not have choices in this job search game. The fact is you do. It pays in the long run to make the best decisions possible by researching, asking, talking, networking, listening to employees (past and present), and “reading between the lines”–reading the cards.