Posted Aug 18 2016, 11:54 am

A man left his apartment building to take his dog on its daily walk. The weather, that morning, was nicer than usual so the dog owner decided to take a longer walk. As he left his neighborhood he noticed something being built on a nearby corner. He approached the first workman he saw and asked…”what are you building?” The workman replied, “I’m building a foundation. Can’t you tell?”

The dog owner continued walking and observed another workman constructing something. He asked the workman…”what are you building?” The workman replied, “I’m building some steps.”

The dog owner walked a little further and spotted a third workman who was shoveling dirt and pouring cement. He asked this workman…”what are you building?” This workman replied with pride, “I’m building a church.”

What is the learning from this? Regardless of what we do we can see ourselves in one of two ways:

  1. We are a very small and insignificant part of something much larger. (I work construction) or
  2. We are a very large and important part of something big. (I build churches)

Another example: A former NFL quarterback was released from his team. He was married with children and the only job he could find, right away, was as a bagger at a local super market. He did this for a while until another NFL team called him for a try out and he became the starting quarterback. He was interviewed on several late night talk shows and it became, almost a joke, that a person who played a professional sport would take a job as a grocery bagger. This quarterback had a family, had to support them and took the first job offered to him. The talk show host portrayed a grocery bagger’s job as unimportant and menial. But, it wasn’t and isn’t.

A grocery bagger is the last contact a shopper has with an employee before leaving the store. If I had that position and was asked what I do, I would reply. I am responsible for making certain every customer leaves my store happy, with a smile on their face and looking forward to shopping with us again. I am an important part of a team that is building the greatest grocery chain in America.

So, this is how you need to view yourself when interviewing for a job. You are not just interviewing to be a cook, waitress or whatever position is open. You are interviewing to become an important part of a team whose goal and mission is to make that company/business the best in its industry. You are an ambassador, you are a provider of legendary customer service and you want to be an important part of a team in a company where you can look your customers in the eye and say with sincerety, conviction and pride…you won’t find it better anywhere else. This is what you must convey to your interviewer. You are not and don’t want to be a small part of the big picture. You want to be a big and important part of a big picture which because of your hard work ethic, integrity, values and dedication will make it even bigger.

Be proud of who you are and what you do.

Ken Rubin is the founder of Interviewing To Win. “I’ve always believed that people are far greater than any job they ever get to do.” Through my interview seminars and one on one role playing sessions, I will bring out the very best in my clients.

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