A few months ago leaders from a professional organization asked me (Career Coach Joyce) to rank a few people who would be the best candidate to receive a scholarship for the winner’s future education. I was honored and felt that this was going to be an easy assignment. The process sure caught me off guard! I was faced with a huge challenge. I read all the applications and thought each candidate would be an excellent choice. How would I make a good decision? The 3 Career Coach challenges will help you look at your own career to discover how you can grow professionally.
Career Coach Challenge #1: Are the candidates’ goals realistic?
I needed to decide who had the most realistic, practical, achievable, and logical goals. This sounds like a basic idea. At first, it seemed like each person wrote very realistic expectations. As I went deeper, I saw how some candidates expressed how they overcame issues with childcare, financial challenges, or moving from another country. They had to face these challenges and figured out how to achieve their goals no matter what issues they faced daily. Other candidates described similar challenges yet were not as action oriented.
Here’s my Career Coach challenge for you:
Are you facing your challenges and moving forward so you can achieve your goals no matter what is standing in your way? This is the time to stop blaming the economy, your boss or family to find solutions so you can live your life like you want to. There is usually a solution to our conflicts when we open our eyes!
Career Coach Challenge #2: How much of an impact will the scholarship have on the candidate’s life?
Improved status, home environment, and self-esteem would impact each candidate. How in the world could I decide who to rank as the #1 candidate after reading why they thought they deserved the scholarship?
As I delved deeper into each person’s philosophy and background, patterns started to appear. Improved self-esteem and home environment were apparent for all candidates. Each person expressed how they would feel personally if they received the scholarship. Improved status is what showed me which candidates could achieve their goals to help themselves, their family, and give back to the community.
I realize that we must start with ourselves first. This is not a selfish way to think. It is survival of the fittest. Life is not fair at times. This was a tough one for me because each candidate expressed deep reasons why they “deserved” the scholarship.
My role was to select the best person who would use the money to reach their goals. None of us know what the future holds for us. This Career Coach knows that we need to look beyond ourselves as we grow professionally and give back and support others on our success journey.
Here’s my 2nd Career Coach challenge for you:
Let’s envision that you are either interviewing for a new job or a promotion, why should the company select you? What characteristics have you shown others that you are the best candidate?
Career Coach Challenge #3: Which candidate received the best letters of reference?
There is no surprise that each reference letter expressed glowing remarks about all candidates. Again, who do I select since these candidates impressed their professors or bosses? Stability, initiative, work ethic and character were apparent for all of the well-deserved candidates. I read and reread these letters and finally saw one candidate who shined above the others in this area. This person’s boss and professors expressed how supportive this candidate was with classmates who needed extra support.
Here’s the 3rd Career Coach challenge for you:
We are all competing for jobs, awards, promotions and need to go that extra mile to stand out from the competition. Ask people who have written your letters of reference why they feel you stand out and what your unique quality is to make the organization better. It’s a great question for you to ask to discover hidden characteristics and behaviors about yourself.
Career Coach Solution: I finally selected a candidate
The reason why this process was so difficult for me was that all the candidates deserved the scholarship. The candidate who I selected had the most realistic goals, would be impacted the most, and had natural leadership traits.
This was the first time I was on a scholarship committee. I hope that you get a chance to experience the same challenges as I faced to select the best candidate. It will not be an easy decision. You will have to go deep within your own value system. I’m glad that there’s another group of impressive judges who will go through the same process. It will be interesting to see who they select.
I want to hear from you
Send me your questions or comments on what is and what isn’t working with your own career path.
This is Joyce Weiss, Communications Strategist and Coach
I provide personalized coaching and Premier Programs for individuals and groups.
Learn how I can leverage my 30+ years of communication and leadership consulting and coaching experience to help your organization address career skills here.
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Until next time, Remember…”You Get What You Tolerate!”