When talking to potential candidates, one of the first open-ended, conversational question(s) that I ask is for them to describe their ideal role to me.    What I often hear is them stating a title based on a previous or perceived understanding of what they think is a logical next step for them in their career.   Here is some free advice:  STOP DOING THIS!

Your role should be to get things done.  Focus on what you want to do, what you do best or where you think you best make the biggest impact.  The title, if important, can shake itself out in negotiations based on previous quantifiable accomplishments in your professional career.

When asked to describe your ideal role, initially try to discount title, location, any product or service, and even the industry.  This will allow you to truly conceptually visualize what you want to do.

If you want to make an impact and to help an organization thrive (and ultimately yourself), focus on what you want to get done, rather than what’s inside a “job box” predicated on the title.    How you articulate this to a recruiter or to a hiring manager will make a huge difference for the better.


Written By Executive, John Kehoe

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