Is it OK to Speak Your Mind and Expect an Offer?

When I made the decision to change it up and look for a new direction in my career, I made a lot of wish lists.  I wrote down the top organizations that I wanted to work for, the ultimate job descriptions, the top 10 things that would make me excited to get up and get out of bed in the morning- just a few things to get my creative juices flowing.  I focused on the positive and searching for the position that could deliver these things.

Now, after working for myself for over a decade, there are some things I forgot about when working for others - the flip side to my endless lists of positives -the things I don't want in a position.  I started recalling moments of micromanagement, trying to look busy on a dead day, endless conference calls with a home office completely out of touch with our local mission, the not-so-fun part of working in the real world.

The big question is, how do I find a position with a minimum of the negative stuff and a majority of exciting stuff that drives me to excel?  I think I found a solution - although it might knock me out for a few assignments.  Just last week, an interviewer asked me, "What would define your ideal work environment - how do you like to be managed?"

I realized I could answer this question two ways: one, the way that would be most PC and guarantee me an offer, or two, the way I really feel , which might send the interviewer running in the other direction.

I chose the second option - my true opinion.  I took a deep breath and said that I like to have a manager that believes in my abilities and gives me the latitude to try.  I like to have a boss that asks for my feedback, but isn't afraid to let me know when I am getting off track.  When I work for someone who has confidence in me, it makes me more excited to support them and do my best for the organization.  When I am allowed to express myself without fear, I become an idea machine.  I am a professional and get my work done - even if I am not sitting at my desk 24/7, my boss should know that I am working.

I sat back and waited for a response.  The interviewer said "Wow- that's a great answer - you're the first person to tell it like it is!"  He went on to say that he really appreciated having self-directed idea people on his team.  I exhaled - whew.

Let's see if honesty equals offers - I really don't think I can go back to cookie cutter responses.  Ultimately, I want to work for an organization and a boss that I can give my all to - and the only way that's going to happen is if I can be up front and honest from day one.  It's putting me one step closer to the perfect job - I can feel it.

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