Interview Advice: Lifer or Jumper

Sure, hang up your hat….but keep your shoes on….

There has been a frequent theme this week in my conversations with candidates.  People tell me that they are looking for a place to hang their hat, to stay for the rest of their career.

HatWhile that may be the ultimate goal, I’m not sure it’s wise to share this in an interview.

Sure, we are all looking for that magical combination of great people and great work where we can be successful over the long term.  I think that it makes hiring managers uncomfortable if you declare that your intention is to retire with them.

Do people really have the faith that their organization will still be around in 10 or 15 years?  And if so, will there be a place for you?  Heck, will there be a place for them?

I wonder whether this makes hiring managers nervous – like they are committing that everything will be as it is today in five or 10 years.

As a candidate, it’s up to you to strike the right balance between stability and energy.  It’s up to you to read the mood in the room and decide how to answer the age-old question “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

There’s a great answer between lifer and jumper – you just have to figure out what it is.

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