Several years ago I found myself in court dealing with a landlord who was, in my opinion, being completely unreasonable. I legally fulfilled my obligation to him legally however, he didn’t see it that way. He was insistent that I had caused him undue hardship and was breaking our contract. I certainly didn’t have an extra $12k laying around to cover his supposed losses. In the midst of freaking out, I received some great advice, ‘Just the facts, leave the emotion out of it’.
WHAT? WHY? I’m an emotional, passionate person! Any judge would rule in my favor when they hear my story! I have a voice that needs to be heard! This man is wronging me and I won’t stand for it!
‘Just the facts, leave the emotion out of it.’
Yeah, I heard you the first time. I just don’t know how to do that. Passion and emotion are part of who I am. Heck, they make me who I am! How do I separate the two? I have 12k reasons to figure this out and to figure it out quickly!
The lawyer I contacted said to write out the facts of the contract and the facts according to my paper trail (and put the paper trail in order, chrolonogically, while that’s sort of a ‘duh’, I didn’t do it). Speak clearly and enunciate the words, but don’t let the inflection in my voice rise or fall. Stay steady, stay true to the words and stand up straight.
When it was my turn to speak, I did exactly as the lawyer said. I remained calm (actually, I was shaking I was so nervous!), I spoke clearly, but most importantly I stuck to the facts. I left the emotion out of it. I did smile on occasion, and when the plaintiff wouldn’t move from the podium to I could lay out my paperwork, I asked if the bailiff could hold my purse. Had to get a little of my personality in, somehow!
The judge ruled in my favor. If I had not done my homework, my due diligence, if you will, I may not have won. I walked out of that courtroom with a strong sense of pride in knowing I did the right thing and I won. I won based on fact, not emotion. Fair and square.
Great story, but what does that have to do with your job search? The same principle applies to the job search and interview process as it did to my courtroom drama: ‘Just the facts, leave the emotion out of it’.
Stick to the facts of your experience, talents, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Focusing on the emotional side (I don’t have any unemployment left, I just need a job, I’m going to lose everything) will move you to the back of the line quicker than anything else! Employers don’t want to add drama or desperation to their team, they want to add productive, talented people. Focusing on what you can bring to the employer and how your background/talents can help support the core values of the company will go a long way. Remaining positive and focused shows organization, drive and ambition, and will far outweigh ‘emotion’ in the job search process.
When in doubt, take the advice of my new lawyer friend, ‘Just the facts, leave the emotion out of it’.