This topic is quite timely since it is the fall season and pumpkins decorate the grocery stores, and flourish in roadside stands and fields across the country.
I’m betting your first question is “How does the pumpkin principle apply to executive job search?” or better yet, “What is the pumpkin principle?”
It is really quite simple. The most extraordinary pumpkin in the field wins. Every. Single. Time. Are you the most extraordinary executive candidate in your field? If not, what do you need to do to elevate yourself to extraordinary status? What’s your USP (unique selling proposition)? If you plant great seeds, weed out distractions, and nurture the best people and opportunities, you have a better chance of getting the next job offer.
And, you may have all the qualities a potential employer is looking for, yet you don’t stand out to them as the perfect candidate. What’s not showing up? Are you running at such a pace that you aren’t paying attention to what the most important rules are to live by? Granted, we are human beings, unique individuals, and we may have our own set of rules that works for our life. Some, though, can be universal and apply to everyone. Here are a few:
Get more sleep. Sleep recharges your body and brain. Grabbing a few extra hours of sleep can be one of the best things you can do for yourself, and anyone who counts on you. With the proper amount of sleep, you are more alert, and likely to be in the “zone” when it counts. Without sleep, your body lacks what it is needs and starts to shut down, perhaps when you might need it most. Follow doctor’s orders when it comes to sleep. You’ll thank yourself for making the extra effort to get a little more shut-eye.
Double check (fill in the blank). Confirming an action with one more check sets your mind at ease that the task or action is set and ready. Without getting obsessive compulsive, make a mental note of what action steps in your job search need checking. Resume in briefcase for the interview? Directions to interview printed or entered into GPS? Walking into an interview knowing you have double checked important details gives you confidence and security that you have everything you need to ace the interview.
Intentional listening. Listening carefully to the interviewer, hiring manager or recruiter can make a huge difference in the outcome. For example, if you ask a question such as, “What do you need the potential candidate to know, or do to fit your expectations for this job?” Carefully listening to this answer gives you clues so you can present yourself as the perfect person to fill the position. You might even find yourself learning more about the position and being inspired!
Are you extraordinary? Of course you are! You can WIN every single time.