It's spring time in North America. Do you know what that means?
Millions of us will open up our wallets, buy gallons of soft drinks and oversized bags of popcorn and soak in this year's blockbuster films in the comfort of an ice-cold movie theatre.
Ah yes, superhero blockbuster movie season. A season of recycled story lines, terrible acting, ridiculous costumes, plots with more holes than a truck load of Swiss cheese and endings you can predict before the opening credits have finished rolling.
But we eat it up!
Look at our fascination with the comic book universe. 20th Century Fox just released it's seventh - yes, seventh installment of the "X-Men" film franchise. I guess it's a no-brainer for them. The first six films have generated more than $2.3 Billion dollars since 2000. That's a lot of popcorn!
Have you ever imagined yourself with superpowers?
I'm sure at some point in your life you've let your imagination wander... picturing a life where you don a cape and cowl, adopt an alter ego or, by fortune or fate, obtain super powers. Kind of like Superman, Batman and Spider Man.
Certainly I have but... I blew my knee a number of years ago and frankly, didn't run quickly before the injury. So I'm definitely not faster than a speeding train. My father was a high school teacher, not a business tycoon, and to me that's the kind of hero to admire. Also, I'm terrified of heights and there isn't enough money in the world to convince me to scale the outside of a building.
But there's something to be said for striving to be the "super" versions of ourselves.
Most of us have ready access to a wealth of information, countless learning and development opportunities, mentors and support structures that can help us all grow professionally.
You know why this idea of becoming a super version of yourself is something you should consider? Because it makes you an ideal job candidate. Recruiters love superhero employees. These are the individuals who actively participate in their own career management. Who make the most of those learning and development opportunities to improve their skills and on-the-job performance.
When recruiters or hiring managers talk to these kinds of individuals, it's obvious they're in charge of their career progression. That they're leveraging the learning opportunities their employers provide. Or are seeking these opportunities elsewhere (volunteering, mentorship, online and in-person networking, etc.).
Want to be seen as an ideal job candidate? Be in charge of your own development
This concept of becoming a superhero employee isn't about becoming the "perfect" employee or job candidate. It's about seeking out and leveraging the learning and development resources available to you to build on your strengths and address potential weaknesses.
Think of the impression you could make with the next
recruiter or hiring manager you speak to, where you can discuss an identified
skill gap and the steps you took to address it, or how you're working towards a
specific career goal and the steps you've taken to reach that goal. That kind
of proactive career management is music to a recruiter's ears.
So if you're looking for some resources to help you manage your own career progression, check out these articles:
- Why You Need a Career Plan: the Future of Your Career Depends On It - In this article, Kris Dunn lays out the five things you need to do to move ahead in your career and why having a plan is key to standing out as an ideal job candidate and employee.
- Millennials: Continuous Learning Opportunities Are Everywhere - While targeted to Millennials, anyone can benefit from the key message of this article, which is about making continuous learning a reality for ourselves.
- How to Write a Great Self-appraisal in Six Steps - Self-reflection is a key part of understanding skill gaps and strengths, and identifying challenges and successes and what you've learned from them. This article is a great resource that explains why self-appraisals are so important and what you need to do in order to write an effective self-appraisal.
Let me know if you find these articles useful. Remember, becoming an ideal job candidate or superhero employee takes time. It's not a matter of waking up with superpowers one day. It's about working diligently to improve yourself every day.
Your turn: What's your take on what it means to be an ideal job candidate? A superhero employee? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.