Of course, you can work overtime and weekends. The real question is: WILL you work overtime and weekends, WITHOUT being resentful? Will you work those nights and weekends with the same energy, diligence and good attitude that you are promising you’ll bring to the job every day?
Wow, you might think. They haven’t even hired me for this job and its regular hours. Now, they want to own my nights and weekends, too?
Actually, whether you do or don’t work overtime, many jobs depend on your so-called personal time to contribute to your productivity. When I was first hired at a mega ad agency, the CEO told me the company had a no-freelancing policy.
“Everything you think –whether it’s while you’re driving, showering, or taking a walk: all that is ours. We are paying you for your ingenuity and your creativity. Most of that activity can’t go on during the day, because you are working. Your best thoughts are going to come after hours, and we own those,” he concluded.
Ask any successful person enjoying a stratospheric career, or any entrepreneur and business owner. Their best ideas come when they are bathing their dogs, baking brownies and doing the assorted chores of life. Or they visit a museum, shop in a well-curated store or sightsee a new place. These are springboards for their relaxed brain to imagine and problem solve, whether its ways to be more productive or ways to develop new products.
Who does own your time? And, how can you define what you will and won’t do after regular hours?
Recently one of my coaching clients who is job hunting called me with his problem about working overtime and weekends. Lynden said, “I observe the Sabbath from sundown Friday night to sundown on Saturday. How do I explain in a job interview that I can’t work overtime and weekends during this time?”
I recalled famous Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax. Koufax refused to pitch in the first game of the 1965 World Series because as Jew, that would have caused him to violate the religious practice of abstaining from work on the high holy day of Yom Kippur. Koufax went on to win the last two games of the series, including the championship-winning seventh game, pitching 2-0.
Not only did the Dodgers accommodate him and keep him on the team for as many years as he cared to play, they re-hired him this year as a special advisor.
Of course, my client Lynden had a more routine problem, since his Sabbath occurred each week. When asked if he could work overtime and weekends, I recommended Lynden reply:
“Yes. On weekends I am able to work starting on Saturday, in the early evening. During weekdays, I can almost always work overtime, except on Tuesdays in Spring, when I coach my son’s soccer team.”
You might be taking a class, have a regular yoga session, attend a book club or have other time you need to protect. You may even set aside certain hours to simply relax. In those cases, you may say,
“Yes, I can work overtime and weekends. I am able to work (fill in the specifics).”
This is a three-step communication. First, you say “yes.” Second, you define the terms by telling them what you can do. Third, you outline the exceptions.
Do you have a problem with job interviews or job-hunting that you need help with, so you score the perfect position? I will help you. Email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Hunt.
If you’ve written a business plan, you know your five-year forecast is the least reliable outcome you “predict.” Same thing when you ponder your investment portfolio, the height of your infant, or the state of your love life.
There are days when I cannot make a good guess about what’s going to happen five minutes from now. Clearly the question about where you’re going to be in five years is ridiculous. Well, sort of ridiculous.
The five year question is meant to show you have some personal insight, that you spent time reflecting on your goals, and you have a sense that the job you’re interviewing for fits into your overall life plan. A great answer doesn’t guarantee a bus won’t hit you as you leave the interview, which of course might change everything.
However, a great answer to “where do you see yourself in five years” is a chance for you to shine, in the here and now.
This week I coached an 83-year-old woman on this question. Lauraine recently had her hours changed at the hospital where she’s worked for more than two decades, as a patient advocate. Administration moved her start time from early morning to late afternoon. So, she’s about to go on a job hunt. Her goal is to find a place where her being wide awake and cheery at 7 AM is to everyone’s advantage.
Lauraine reached out to me because this is the toughest question she fears she might encounter in a job interview. My uncle is a few years older than she is, and recently started working in the pro shop at a country club. So, like almost all tough questions: I have already helped answer this one successfully. Here’s what I recommended Lauraine say.
Thank you for asking! My plan is to continue working in a customer service position. I like listening with empathy to people, helping solve their problems and putting a smile on their faces.
If you are a bit younger, or quite a bit younger, with the desire to have greater responsibility in some capacity – then your answer will focus on a longer term career path. Show how you see the position you’re interviewing for, will enrich your future value to the organization. Your answer might be:
My plan is to continue to be in administration, enlarging my skill set so I can effectively administer increasingly complex projects. I see myself developing people and leading a strong team, and becoming a person that this organization can count on – and be proud of.
Do you have a tough question that you cannot ask anyone for help with? Is there something that is holding you back from aggressively pursuing your job hunt? Is there a question you fear being asked in a job interview? Ask me. I will help you work it out, for free. Email me atNance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Help.
As annoying as having a runny nose, chills, headache and coughing are, you may wonder how I could possibly consider having a cold a blessing. Having a cold gave me pause, as I was too sick to tackle my unruly kitchen and too well to lie in bed for days over the long holiday weekend.
It was permission to study, research and then ponder a few things that had been on the back burner far too long. And then allow my brain the processing time to really think about them and how I could apply this new knowledge in a meaningful way.
I find my thinking works best if I can “feed” my conscious brain with appropriate information and then task it with a specific problem and let it work unconsciously. It’s very good at coming up with solutions, especially if I stay out of the way.
If you’re interested on why this works, there’s a lot of neuroscience out there that helps to explain it. Take a look at James Bursley article The Unconscious Mind at Work. In the article Mr. Bursley states: In fact, the idea of the brain processing complex information unconsciously is hardly new: Freud and Jung posited a complex, unconscious part of the mind whose activities influence our conscious thoughts and behavior. With elegant continuity, then, modern techniques in neuroscience and psychology are beginning to reveal the brain’s unconscious inner workings, bringing today’s scientists, like those at Carnegie Mellon, face-to-face with the progenitors of our fields.
The reorganization and deep cleaning of the kitchen will have to wait until I feel better. In the interim my brain will keep amazing me with its brilliance.