Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How Long is Too Long?

If you’ve been involved in the recruitment process at any time in your career, you have undoubtedly gotten in the habit of looking for gaps in employment in peoples’ resumes, and, given the opportunity to do so, you have asked the applicant to explain those gaps.

Not a bad thing to inquire about.  

Often there are good reasons for people to have had gaps in their employment, which are easily explained, and other times, those gaps in employment are not so easily explained, and can draw your attention to problems that deserve greater attention, if they are to be overcome, or, they may have led you to decide that this was not a risk that you wanted to take.

But how long is too long?

That’s the dilemma that I am currently facing.  It’s been over a year now since I finished up my last full time, long-term project, which has as a result created a sizable gap in my employment history.

I have no problems speaking to that gap, given the opportunity to do so.  I have in fact been very busy over the last year and taken on and completed a number of short-term projects and initiatives that I am very proud of, but, they have yet to produce the opportunity that I am ultimately looking for – the opportunity to once again lead a team, either as a Hotel General Manager, or in some other senior capacity within this industry, and so, I continue to look for that position that is the right fit for me, where my values and work ethic are appropriately aligned to that of my prospective employer, and where I can make a difference.

I mean, that’s it, isn’t it?  Isn’t that what we all want?

And to be frank, there have been opportunities along the way, but as I have delved further into them, I saw that they were not the right fit for me, for any one of a number of reasons. 

When I speak with my peers about this, they get it, they understand the importance of creating and being a part of a company culture that is inspiring, that lights you up, and in turn inspires you to go beyond that which you previously thought was possible, to produce exceptional results, for yourself, and, for the teams that you are leading.

But how long is too long?  How many people will potentially look at that resume, (or others like it), see the gap, and never go to the next step?  Never engage into the inquiry about why the gap?  Therein lies the dilemma.

I’d love to get your feedback on this.  Let me know what you think.  Have you been in this situation before?  Or, have you been or are you someone who is responsible for the recruitment process in your company and you have come across this situation before?  What did you do?

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