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Turning the Tables

You can ask questions too. Maybe the same ones.

It was only 18 months ago that we were talking about the massive changes facing job seekers in the third decade of the 21st Century. And those changes have been massive.

Then along comes the pandemic and now another layer of workforce changes have been piled on the underlayment of changes that already existed. In case you’re wondering, there will probably more changes coming down the pike before it all calms down.

Can you turn it to your advantage?

While there are any number of tactical approaches that you can take to deal with these upheavals (dealing with automated tracking systems [ATS], creating a digital resume, cracking the code of the video interview, etc.), you can survey the landscape and see how it can benefit you.

A typical exchange in a job interview – even before the pandemic, even before the turn of the century – is that age-old question when the interviewer asks, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

This can be especially troublesome for a mature candidate. You may not have that many “five years” left in your tank. Is this a clever way for the interviewer to probe to learn when you plan to retire and leave the company? It’s not an easy answer at any age, much less if you’re above 50 (or older.)

However, given the instability of today’s job market, your response may be, “Where do YOU see YOURSELF (i.e. the company) in five years?” Or, three years? Will your employees be back working in the office? Will there be an office? Will everyone here (including you, Mr. Interviewer) be working remotely? Will there be any hybrid situations? Will I have a choice when it comes to working remotely or onsite?

There’s a better than a 50/50 (no pun intended) chance that you have a much clearer idea of where you will be in five years than the company does about itself.

Is all of that too much to ask? The stability of your job and where you will be doing it are significant considerations when it comes to choosing your next employer. (And let’s not forget that you’re choosing them as much as they’re choosing you.) It’s all part of the culture and how you will fit into it.


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