Hurry Up and Wait


One of the most frustrating experiences for many people is waiting, and it’s even worse when one feels rushed or pushed to move faster than we’d like. We experience this daily in traffic, waiting to check out in line, holding on the phone for a scheduled call, interviewing for a new position, or waiting for a FDA response.

Finding out why this is so bothersome is key to helping overcome the frustration. Over the past couple decades, we’ve watched the flow of information and its expectations for immediate responses increase exponentially.  We expect quicker gratification from everything and everyone and these changes are now ingrained into our society.

Most candidates we work with are passive which means they aren’t actively searching for a new role. Many times people have to update their resume, and for some people, it may have been quite a while since they have done so. If this sounds like you, where do you start?

First, reflect on your past and existing positions.  Were you promoted within the same company? If so, be sure to note those dates.  What new skills have you acquired?  Don’t hesitate to ask peers or mentors what items you should include that will indicate you are ready for the next move.  If you are feeling pressed for time and have been contacted by a recruiter, ask them.  In fact, one of our recruiters spoke with a candidate that is in a manager capacity but has been doing director work.  It will be challenging for this person to make a big transition from manager to director, but even more so without detailing all of their accomplishments.

In addition, one needs to locate references.  Each reference should be personally contacted for permission and to verify best times and/or contact means. This also allows you to give insight into your next desired career step. If you go one step further, you can have a dialogue as to what you might need to do to get to that level.  You must be open to constructive criticism but it is far better to hear directly than get a bad reference.  And yes, bad references do exist!

Usually people are not hired due to experience or background, but often it’s a cultural fit.  Some people like big pharma, others wants startups for high risk and high reward.  The more thought you put into what you want (management style, company culture, therapeutic area, etc.), the more impact you have on the process.

Now that you have everything you need to start the process, you’re ready to go, or so you think.  Although it’s a candidate’s market right now, many areas that are saturated with competition, Cambridge, MA for example, still move slower.  There are so many other fast moving pieces that the hiring cycle can still feel slow.  It is extremely frustrating, but let’s put this in perspective.  You spend a majority of your waking hours with your co-workers, working towards a common goal.  Taking time to ensure your next role is the right fit for you is incredibly important; no one makes a move to be less satisfied, challenged, or motivated.

Next time you feel hurried and are then left waiting, take the opportunity to use this time to reflect about your true desires and motivators and appreciate the process for what it is – helping you find the right step in your career for further growth.