About 2 months ago, I wrote that I was applying for a higher position at the bank. In fact, I was eyeing the Private Banking Wealth Management department at the firm. They take care of clients with over $1M to invest. I really wanted to be part of this group since it is probably the best position that a financial planner can have in a bank; you face highly challenging situations while meeting many interesting clients.
There was an opening to take care of entrepreneurs (which are usually millionaires to be) for downtown Montreal and I applied for the job. The interview went very well and I knew that I was a good candidate. But… because there is always a but…
I didn’t get the job!
I got a call the other week telling me that I was not the one picked for the job downtown. At first, I wasn’t super happy. Then, they told me that they wanted someone to stay there for many years (and make a career out of it). Since we all know that I live 1 hour away from Montreal, it is obvious that I would jump on a similar opening closer to my house if it ever happens in the upcoming years. Therefore, they preferred keeping me for the next opening in my area instead of having me downtown for a limited time.
I must say that I pushed myself into the corner with this one since I told them that it would be a no brainer for me if I had the choice between downtown and my area. I actually really like working downtown but I also know too well that I won’t be traveling forever either…
I’m still a bit bitter about this situation (since I’ve almost always got the job after an interview!) but I have learned a few tricks from not getting this job:
Ask for interview feedback
If you get declined for a position; don’t just answer back “thank you, goodbye”. Keep the hiring person on the phone and ask him more questions. While it’s never easy to cope with refusal, I have taken grasp over my feelings and continued the discussion. I wanted to know what went well and what needs to be improved (managers never want to say what went bad, they rather use words like “to be improved” ). This is how I got some “free coaching” and they also told me that I would meet with the manager of the south shore to make sure it goes smoothly and that I have a better chance of getting the job.
Ask about the next step
All right, so you now know that you are not getting the job, now what? What is the next step after you swallow the pill? Do you get angry and become a disgruntled employee? Do you go after another job with a competitor and show them that they were wrong for not giving you the job? These are understandable reactions but they are not part of a solution.
I asked the person who declined me what was the next step in my situation. This is when he offered to help me meet with the person in charge of the south shore. This showed goodwill from the organization and the fact that I wasn’t getting BS from HR (‘cause we all know that HR are EVIL). I am now looking forward to this meeting!
Behave and get a hold of yourself
You didn’t get the job. You are frustrated. I understand, I was too! However, frustration leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the Dark Side (oops, I digress ;-)) or at least nothing positive and will certainly not lead to your next promotion. This is why I came back the next morning, smiling and working hard… as usual. In fact, I am now working harder since I know I didn’t get the job. Even though you didn’t get the job, it doesn’t mean that you have made a bad impression. This is why you need to surf on the “good impression” you have left. There are tons of candidates for each position and only one winner. This time, it wasn’t you. But you have to be sure that next time, it WILL BE YOUR TURN to get the job ;-).
In the meantime…
In the meantime, I am working on a few files at my desk in order to continue my job. I am now a little bit behind my 2011 financial goal of making 150K. While the beginning of the year was awesome, I ran into few speed bumps over the past 2 months. I didn’t lose any accounts but my growth has slowed down. On the other hand, I have grown my book big enough to get another great salary raise this year ;-). I will certainly not spit on 7%!
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