Practice Does Not Make Perfect

danny-0509How not repeating mistakes can yield different results on the job search.
In a former life, I was a music teacher. During that time, a wise man told me, “Average music teachers tell their students that ‘practice makes perfect.’ Indeed, they are wrong. We should be teaching that perfect practice makes perfect.”

If you think about the simple difference between the phrases, it makes great sense. How often do we repeat the same process expecting different results? I had a friend that kept sending the same resume to the same company for different jobs. Why would this employer express any different interest in this person over a document that had been submitted numerous times with no response?

Similarly, I was speaking to a job seeker that insisted on telling a joke to the employer every time he had a first interview. And, after each first interview he did not get a call back. He was headstrong about maintaining that this is how he shared his personality. When I offered that he might be offending his interviewer, or selling a personality that they were not interested in buying, he decided to change his tune.

Three weeks later he received a call for an interview and immediately asked what I thought he should do. He told me he was so used to telling his joke that the thought of deviating from this procedure was unnerving. I advised that if the opportunity came up to tell about his personality he simply offer that he is professional, congenial, and has a sense of humor that he thinks helps him build effective working relationships. He did just this and informed me that he also stressed that work always comes first…and the employer actually asked him to tell a joke. Well, needless to say, the joke wasn’t funny according to the employer but they both got a laugh about how bad it was and he was asked back for a second interview.

So, if you are on the job search and your efforts have not resulted in forward movement, I would advise that you show someone your resume, talk to a friend about your “process,” and see if a new set of eyes can advise you on some things you can do to change the trajectory of your job search. As always, I encourage you to come into a Workforce Solutions office and participate in one of the job search skills classes on Resume Writing or Interview Skills. Or, simply come in to talk to an Employment Counselor and get his/her perspective on your approach. Change isn’t always a bad thing. Remember, how does one get to Carnegie Hall? PERFECT practice, practice, practice…

Danny Zendejas is the Hospitality Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. He has over eight years of experience in the hospitality industry and workforce development and is a native of San Antonio, Texas.



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