In my previous post My Shameless but Ethical Tactics for Quickly Rising to the Top I mentioned that “No good deed goes unpunished…”. Well I thought I’d elaborate on my views a bit further through this post!
We have all gone through interviews. Some are great and others not so much. However, a favorite question these days is “why should I hire you?”. If you have ever gone to an interview coaching service, there script for answering this question would be flawless. In fact it would sound like something a Miss World candidate would say when asked why they deserved the title. Coached or not, many would go on to say how good they were and how they can serve the company. However, I think that this is all BS the boss should see right through…
If there’s one thing (there are many things) my father taught me is that “everyone’s replaceable”. Another is that “you are very good at what you do but there are others who can do it better”. Well that’s two things and I hated him for demotivating a cocky fresh graduate; but he has seen scores like me going nowhere. i.e. in a professional society where everyone is replaceable and no one gives a stuff, how does a young ambitious person climb up the ladder?
Let’s be brutally honest here… None of us like our bosses or workplace. I’m sure the feeling would be mutual if you ask any employer. Therefore, your employer only cars about how much profit he/she can make off of you. Similarly, I feel that one should only be worried about how the employer/job can benefit ones self. i.e. the reciprocal question to the employer at any interview should be “what’s in it for me?”.
I have seen poor souls who had worked 40 years in the same company. That’s 4 freaking decades. The irony is that many of these people hadn’t upgraded themselves in 40 years. They had found the sweet spot of complacency. Modern employers aren’t looking for complacent staff. They want the biggest bang for the smallest buck in the shortest time. i.e there’s no time to grow with the company anymore. So the question is what should one say when asked “why should I hire you?”
In your professional life it pays to be selfish, cunning, cruel and unforgiving. I see nothing wrong in this as people do this to you and you do it onto others; it’s a vicious circle. Furthermore, employers only give a stuff about you as long as you perform. So why should you be any different? I believe the feeling should be mutual. Given this standoff, why should you work your ass off for your company as an employee?
Usually “working for myself” is reserved for people like Gates, Zackerburg and Jobs. However, in my opinion we should all work for ourselves always. Regardless of whether we are employed by an organisation, we should go beyond our capabilities to achieve success at what we do when average would have been sufficient. Working for ourselves makes us explore and expand beyond the confines we are subjected to; and in doing so reaffirms our usefulness to the employer.
So what I’m trying to say is that having the mindset of working for yourself even when working for others would end up in a good situation for you. Do what you like and forget the rest. All others will eventually follow you.