How to Get a Job in Today’s Marketplace
Bill Cottringer

“People will try to tell you that all the great opportunities have been snapped up. In reality, the world changes every second, blowing new opportunities in all directions, including yours.” ~Ken Hakuta.

From all my research, conversations and experience, I have to conclude that today’s workforce has changed radically from what it has been in the past, especially regarding prominent values and primary perspectives. The main thing I am seeing is a precarious balance upset in the basic tit for tat employee-relationship required for success. Being an employer, I am seeing one of the following 5 questions being asked by employees much more than the others, all of which employers have a duty to answer. Which of the following questions gets asked most by today’s workforce?

• What am I supposed to be doing in this job?
• How am I supposed to be doing it?
• How do I know if I am doing it right?
• Where can I go to get help when I run into problems?
• What is in it for me?

You are correct if you said the last one. Why is this so annoying to employers and how does knowing this help you get a job? Well, whenever there is a prevalent perspective in place that is out of balance—in this case it is this self-centered “me-ness” rather than what can I do for you?—and anytime you can restore balance, you will become a highly desired hero and person of interest (in a good sense). This is what it takes to get a job in today’s work force—generously offering to give value rather than just taking it for yourself. Believe me when I say very few job applicants are doing this.

So, the best approach to getting and keeping a job is to ask and get answers to these five questions in this manner:

1. Ask the first question right out of the gate and follow the directions closely.

2. Listen to the answer to the second question and implement the suggestions and then make suggestions of your own for needed course corrections when problems occur.

3. Don’t wait until someone tells you that you are doing it wrong; timely ask if you are doing it right.

4. If you do bring a problem to your employer, be considerate enough to also bring some reasonable solutions with you for the employer to evaluate.

5. Don’t even ask but rather answer this question all by yourself.

By relaxing your grip on this last question and releasing it’s self-centered me-ness intent, you will be getting your own answer. The way the world is set up—do the right thing for the right reasons and you will get the right results—is your answer. Change the source of the answer to this question from your employer to yourself and you will begin to take advantage of the power of intrinsic motivation being much stronger and longer lasting over mere external rewards you think you want from your employer. You get them only to find out they are empty in meaning and wonder what is missing. What is missing is the internal satisfaction you are doing a good job.

The real reason to want to make the shift from me-ness to we-ness, is hidden in the older German psychology principle, known as gestalt. Simply translated this means the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts. The most successful businesses and sports teams apply this principle in just about everything they do. If you want to be a successful employee helping your employer be successful, you will to in replacing the annoying me-ness with the more pleasing we-ness. It will get you the job over the competition if you do it first and don’t show up a day late and dollar short.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is Executive Vice-President for Employee Relations for Puget Sound Security, Inc. in Bellevue, WA, along with his hobbies in being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living in the scenic mountains and rivers of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, “You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too” (Executive Excellence), “The Bow-Wow Secrets” (Wisdom Tree), and “Do What Matters Most” and “P” Point Management” (Atlantic Book Publishers), “Reality Repair” (Global Vision Press), and Reality Repair Rx (Authorsden). Bill can be reached for comments or questions at (425) 454-5011 or