With the festive season looming children up and down the country are writing letters to Santa wishing for toys and gifts. Those who no longer believe in Father Christmas will be dropping hints or overtly telling their loved ones what they would like for Christmas this year. At the age of 28 I am no different, so earlier this week I sent an email to my mother, my sister, and my girlfriend with a list of my “Christmas wishes” to give them an idea of what I would like this year. The list consisted of two puppies, a kindle, two XBOX ONE games, a wok, aftershave, Lego, a new man-bag, and socks. I don’t think this is a terribly unreasonable list and of course some of them ought not to be taken seriously, although you might be surprised at which ones. The reality is I don’t expect them to buy me anything for Christmas. Although there is a tradition of gift giving amongst friends and family at this time of year, all I really want for Christmas is to spend some time with my family without a worry or care in the world, just for a couple of days. They know this, but if they do decide to buy me a gift then this list sets expectations.
Setting expectations and then managing those expectations is always important, whether in your personal life or as a professional. As a legal recruiter specialising in real estate setting and managing expectations plays a large part of my job with both candidates and clients alike. It’s important that I understand what the client expects of candidates in terms of experience, commitment, personality, work ethic etc. It’s equally important that I understand what the candidate is looking for in their new role; the type of work, the level of seniority, salary, career progression etc. We work hard to ensure that we match as many of these aspects as possible and where there may have to be a compromise on the part of the client or the candidate it’s important for me to manage expectations so that everyone comes away smiling and feeling positive about this move.
On this note, some tips for candidates:
1. Tell the truth – as your recruiter I am effectively your advocate so it’s important that I have all of the right information before I make your applications so that we get it right
2. Be honest – at all times be honest with me and with yourself about what your expectations are and how realistic they are. My first priority is to help you and to guide to make the right choice regarding your next career move
3. Keep an open mind – you may have preconceptions about certain firms or certain teams, certain titles and certain elements of the work. It’s important that you make an informed decision therefore it’s in your best interest to keep an open mind when we’re making applications and interviewing. You may pass up an excellent opportunity due to a preconception based on little understanding.
Of course, the interview may or may not meet your expectations much in the same way that spending several days with your family over Christmas may or may not meet your expectations. In any case, the experience will help you set and manage expectations for next time. If you would like to discuss your expectations confidentially then please do get in touch. We’re like Santa’s little elves, full of magical ideas and keen to bring some cheer!