How to not screw your career!

First Scene: 2010, 2 years after I joined IBM.

I got a call from a recruiter who was hiring for a fortune 100 company. The articulate lady called me to see if I will be interested in a role she has with her employer. The role sounded exciting, although we agreed it was not perfectly aligned because of my lack of experience, and after reading the JD, I shared my resume to be processed. We spoke 4-5 times over phone as we proceeded towards the first round of interview. I was invited to speak with one of their leaders, after a telephonic interview, and had a great conversation, but I got the feeling it will not move forward, which was not a surprise. None the less I got an opportunity to meet and interact with a leader, which was my takeaway.

As anxious as one can be, I waited for the formal revert from the recruiter. Weeks passed and I did not hear anything. I tried to reach her over phone to understand the next steps, if any, or get some feedback. However my calls were not replied to. After waiting for few days I sent her few emails to seek guidance/closure and I never got a response. I was not impressed as a simple closure email with a thank you would have worked.

It showed me how much this recruiter cared or bothered about candidate experience and professionalism which every organization strives for.

Cut to 2016.

Recently, one of my friends had an open position for a Senior Manager – Talent Acquisition and reached out to me if I had any references. I did pass on couple of them to him. My friend and I spoke after a week to see how is it going with his search and he mentioned that he has zeroed in on 3 candidates and wanted to check if I have any information on their profiles – we all know HR fraternity is very close knit.

The moment I heard the name of the lady, I knew who she was. Now you know what must have happened to her chances of bagging this juicy role of Senior Manager.

End of Story.

What do we learn from this story?

  1. Always close loop your business transactions – especially as a recruiter, it is your duty to revert to the candidate with information and feedback.  It will save time for you as the candidates will not be reaching out to you over phone and email and will also build credibility and relations for you.
  2. Builds a reputation for your company – Every time I have a case study of bad recruitment, I share this story. I have kept the names away from this blog, but in those off-the-table talks, names come out and reputation takes a beating. TA Leaders should ensure their teams close loop with each candidate. The person may not be a fit right now but who knows about the future.
  3. Perception is the Key to Success – While you may be putting in super human effort but how others look at you is directly linked to how successful you become. So ensure small slip ups do not wash away the brilliant work you do.

Now pause for a second and read these 3 points again – hey hold true for all professionals. We know that leadership is all about compassion – we should learn to treat like we wish to be treated. So are you guilty of not treating others respectfully? Do share your thoughts with me.


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13 thoughts on “How to not screw your career!

  1. Performance Enablers July 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm Reply

    Nicely written piece, Khalid. Some of us trip on the 3rd aspect- perception. The attitude is-I have done the right thing, now why am I going to worry about the whole World.And the perception can take a beating. We need to cater to it deliberately, like you have said.


    • Khalid Raza July 4, 2016 at 9:48 am Reply

      Indeed. The best part about the most sumptuous dish is how you plate it. Same goes for us – how do people look at us makes s big difference. Do the right thing, and do it in the right way.


  2. maureenmonte July 2, 2016 at 6:54 pm Reply

    A nice lesson on Karma, the consequences of unprofessional behavior. You never know when it will come back to you, but it will. We all make mistakes, but when someone purposefully behaves unprofessionally, well, just expect the universe to help you understand the associated consequences. When I worked at a, uh, “Large Company”, there was an IT guy embedded in the client site – I was too – who slept peacefully for several hours in his cubicle. This was a daily occurrence. The client noticed Sleeping Beauty, and you can imagine how the client felt about paying for Sleeping Beauty’s services (or lack thereof.) Sleeping Beauty moved to another part of the country, submitted his resume to another large company. The person who reviewed his resume knew me (what are the odds of this?) and when he saw that we had worked for the same company, he reached out to me and said, “Hey, I have a resume from XXx XXX. Do you know this guy? Is he any good?” Needless to say, Sleeping Beauty got the recommendation he deserved. In my mind, the lesson is that there are many things we cannot control, and therefore, we can’t do much about. There are just as many things we CAN control. Do something about those things within your control so that you are the best employee, leader, coach, and/or manager. Good story, as always, Khalid!


    • Khalid Raza July 4, 2016 at 9:50 am Reply

      True that @maureenmonte and we all should work towards where we CAN make a difference. The bigger let down happens when people who can make a difference, just sit and do not realize the impact of ‘not doing’ something.

      Thank you for the story and your time.


      • maureenmonte July 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm Reply

        That is a great point, Khalid. And I would call those employees “disengaged”. Not “Actively disengaged”, as in undermining success on purpose, but disengaged enough to not take action. Engaged employees would understand that taking action would be celebrated and valued. It goes back to management and corporate culture, in many cases (no slam against managers, just reality.) It’s a big business problem.


  3. కే.కే July 2, 2016 at 7:39 pm Reply

    well written, Khalid 🙂


    • Khalid Raza July 4, 2016 at 9:46 am Reply

      Thank you for taking out time to read and for your kind words of encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shrirang Halwe July 4, 2016 at 2:42 pm Reply

    loved it!! Specially the one about closing up loop with candidates and not keeping them hanging!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] Read On… […]


  6. July 14, 2016 at 12:06 pm Reply

    Well said.


  7. How to not screw your career! July 25, 2016 at 8:56 am Reply

    […] Khalid Raza works with IBM as Talent Development Leader in HR. Khalid leads and consults on all things talent and social and is ever willing to help people work smarter. This year he has been felicitated with Workforce Game Changer Award by Human Capital Media – He is the first Indian to get this award. Khalid is recently named as one of India’s top 25 HR influencers. The post was first published here. […]


  8. May be. Live with it. | #SocialGlamor March 6, 2017 at 11:29 am Reply

    […] How to not screw your career! […]


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