In America, we put a lot of emphasis on team work, especially on the job. Remember that saying -- there is no "I" in team? That's good to a point, but...
The "but" occurs during job interviews, say two recruiters for Target's program to hire college graduates for the retailer's fast-track to management. "I tell them to focus on the "me," not the "we," said Amanda Abney, senior field campus recruiter for Target.
Too often, she said, students talk about their school team projects, but never describe what their individual contributions were. In fact, she said, they aren't even necessarily prepared to answer the question. Maybe they organized the meetings. Maybe they delegated the responsibilities to others. Maybe they created the power points, honed the presentation, handled the research. Maybe they were leaders. "Think about what you did," said Abney, who is based in Springfield, Delaware County.
I found her comment very interesting, because our culture talks about the value of all the players on a team. We consider it polite and gracious to turn the spotlight on others, but that's not good advice when looking for a job. When you are looking for a job, you need to be your own best public relations agent, promoting, promoting and self-promoting.
On Tuesday, the two recruiters attended presentations by Temple University business professor Kate Nelson's human resources students. Nelson said she always urges students "to tell their story," at job interviews, but she took an extra note of the "we" and "me" idea about teams. She said she'll incorporate it into future lectures on job-hunting.
No "I" in TEAM? Maybe not. But there's definitely an "I" in HIRED.