Think about your special relationship for a minute. After all it is Valentine’s Day right about now. You may think about his eyes or her sweet smile. Some days are good and others are rough. However, when you look at the whole package you are glad you stuck by him or her and there are plenty of wonderful memories.
What if you could look at your career from the same vantage point? A career, meant to last a long time and be a place of learning, caring, and fulfillment.
Your career and your primary relationship…not that different!
Sometimes a love affair fades. It just does not live up to your expectations. And when it is time to break-up, it can be ugly and painful. “Hey,” I just heard you say, “That’s not so different than my business career. I thought it would be so full of fast and fun learning and, well, it is just plain vanilla.”
Where do you go so wrong?
Let’s start at the very beginning. With a relationship we all have dreams. We all set the stage for the questions we will ask after that smoldering first date simmers down. We begin to dig deep to see if we are compatible, to see if our long range visions match, if our families will get along.
It’s time to ask similar questions when we join a company and prepare to have a career that is lasting and heart fulfilling.
I decided to ask an expert to be a guide for professional relationships that can last and last.
Here is the interview I did with Cynthia Burkhardt, Global Head of Recruiting/Talent Acquisitions at Philips, a diversified health and well-being company with primary divisions focused in Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle, and Lighting.
First, more about Philips. (I must admit I feel a bit like a matchmaker if you are looking for a top notch company to join). Philips was named one of the ‘50 Most Innovative Companies for 2014’ by Fast Company, and believe me, there were a ton of companies to choose from.
Then there is Philips, a company that does not just talk the talk, it walks the talk. In Greenpeace’s 2012 Guide to a greener Electronics, the company was the top scorer in the energy section due to its energy advocacy work calling upon the EU to adopt a 30% reduction for greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Philips is a leader in innovation and social responsibility.
If this is the type of organization you would fall in love with, keep reading.
Here is the interview with Cynthia Burkhardt. It will give you pointers for what to look for when you are looking for a meaningful work relationship and a way you can seek and then find a career you are going to love for a very long time.
Q: What are the top three personal markers that you look for when you are recruiting for Philips?
Cynthia: At Philips we are really looking for shared values. Our passion is around improving lives and creating a positive difference in the world. We look for employees who share this ambition. We also love diversity and look for a variety of personal traits so that we have a collaborative effect with a great combination of skills and talents.
Q: When you are interviewing, how do you know the candidate has passion for the job at hand?
Cynthia: When interviewing a candidate, we want to consider the larger picture. Rather than focusing on the functions of the job they’re seeking, like operational components, we want to hear them discuss the aspirations that motivate them. For example, do they see the products they will be involved with impacting lives? Just like someone might think about a healthy, long-lasting relationship, they should be showing us they are motivated to build something substantial together.
Relationships that last want to build something sustainable together.
Q: How do you “connect the dots” when looking at past career history and a right fit for the present job?
Cynthia: We want to hear about what they learned in past jobs. Just like in a previous relationship, you don’t want to hear all the intimate details – you want to hear about what was learned and what would be done better now. We are not so keen about how long someone was at a company, we don’t dwell on this. For instance, we know that Millennials are known for changing jobs yet are actually loyal employees when engaged. We want to know what the spark is, the magical engagement factor.
What is the spark to really be engaged at work?
Q: What advice do you have for candidates to find that often Invisible sweet spot that will make their career soar?
Cynthia: Big picture passions win every time. Look, just like in a personal relationship someone’s physical appearance or sense of humor may be the first ties that bind. These can be important yet, may wear thin over time. I say big picture passions and commitments make for stronger, long-lasting bonds. I encourage clarity about deep passions, interests and values and let them be their guides. This goes for work and also life partners.
Q: What other ‘Valentine’s Day’ advice do you have for the career minded among us?
Cynthia: There is nothing wrong with reassessing your career and deciding to go in a different direction. I think Millennials are showing us that right now. As the largest generation in the workforce, they’re choosing passion over money and seeking companies that align with their beliefs. We have found that because Philips offers a more meaningful career professionals can come in and apply what they are passionate about and it really makes a difference in career satisfaction.
“Cynthia, thank you for being such an amazing relationship coach along with all your other talents. I can see why your company (CEOinc) is so filled with innovation and passion to make a difference.”
“Last thought before we open that great box of chocolates in the heart shaped box?”
Cynthia: “Thank you for all the good questions, Sylvia. And like we always say at Philips, anyone can have employees. We don’t need employees, we need people with passion to make a difference.”