Balancing Trust with Verification

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January 10, 2012
I am a natural born cynic.  No, I take that back…I am sure I was not born that way, but my environment and experiences over time have shaped my outlook on life to be a little bit more on the "verify" side of Ronald Reagan’s signature phrase "Trust but Verify".  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not one to actively seek out the bad in all situations.  Quite the opposite, actually.  I am typically very upbeat and easygoing.  My friends consider me fun to be around. (You might want to verify that one).  Over time, however, I have moved away from blind trust and "taking your word for it" when navigating through day to day situations. 

This is actually a very good trait to have and I am not just telling you that because of my own awareness of my level of cynicism.  It is important to weigh your options and ask specific (and sometimes many) questions before you simply accept things for what they appear to be.  This is something many of us do when making big decisions like buying a house or a car.  I challenge you to "pause" regularly to consider your options or to "verify" the facts with any transaction that has an impact on your life, your year, your day or even the moment if it is important enough. 

For example, when you meet someone for the first time, you don’t know if they will have an impact (good or bad) on your life in some way.  Take a moment to learn about them, peel back the layers of the onion and genuinely be interested in something about them before you pass judgment.  A wise man (my dad) once told me that very rarely is something exactly what it appears to be.  Perhaps that was my first lesson in "trust but verify" but it has served me well.

Take your Indianapolis job search, for another example.  This impacts you significantly.  It is very necessary to have a job and the process of finding a job (particularly of late) can be overwhelming.  So what do we do?  We move as quickly as we can through the process of identifying and applying to Indianapolis job openings and away we go.  I challenge you that this is the perfect time to pause, even though the situation of not having a job or being in the wrong job makes it very hard to consider moving more slowly.  The "trust but verify" approach here will serve you well.  I promise.

Instead of the scatter approach to your job search, take the time to filter your options to those that you "trust" are the best match for you.  Rely on your personal and professional networks to educate you on current hiring trends in your field of interest and to offer you insights to the good, bad and ugly of the local marketplace and in your chosen career track.
Once you have your list, it is time to verify.  Do your research on the company, the industry and the specifics around the position.  The first two are easy to do with all of the research options at your virtual fingertips.  The position details will take some more work.  Engage in social media outlets that connect you to others who work in the industry, for that company or in a similar role.  If the opportunity to interview presents itself, use that initial engagement to verify that your understanding of the position match the expectations of the supervisor or the company.

Once you advance in the interview process, it is time to verify the cultural fit.  A  big shiny building with cutting edge technology might have nothing within the structure of the building to support what is important to you.  Going with your gut has it’s place and time and but nothing can take the place of asking questions in different ways to get to the answer you are really looking for.  Just be prepared that the risk is that it might not be the answer you want.  Most of the time we don’t dig deeper because we fear that our perception will be shattered for a reality that we no longer want or like.  Better now than later, I say.

Verifying can be uncomfortable, even in the most basic of situations.  I was shopping in a local jeans establishment the other day and when the clerk rang up my total it sounded a little high for me.  I mentioned that and the clerk brushed my concern aside.  I paid, left and still felt something was not quite right.  I looked in my bag and compared my purchases with the receipt and discovered that I had been charged for the same pair of jeans THREE times.  I went back to have it corrected and was surprised when there was no apology for the error, only the comment "I am so glad you caught that".  The only thing "Lucky" about that experience was that I trusted for a moment and then verified.

I encourage you to do the same. 

At That’s Good HR, Inc. we are acutely aware of the need to trust your choice in Indianapolis recruiters.  The job search process is not the place to trust until you verify.  Once you do your verification, your chances that you will have the right guidance and support throughout your process increase exponentially.