The Hills We Die On


Pretty cool thing happened today, so I figured I would share. My silence on the job front is not for lack of activity. I’m just respecting the processes which are ongoing. It’s actually getting rather interesting. More to come on all of that.

Before I get into today, I just have to say this. One of my greatest fears as a blogger is to come across as if I know much about anything. I don’t like writing posts that tell people what to do or how to do it. The reality is I don’t know much and am an expert at pretty much nothing. I’m simply a guy with a head full of thoughts, a laptop and a blog program. Nothing more. So take whatever I say with a grain of salt.

It’s probably grammatically incorrect anyway.

That being said, I touched on it in this post, but have you ever established the hills that you would die on? Do you know your non-negotiables in life?

Over the course of the last 2 weeks I have been engaged in discussions with a ridiculously cool opportunity. I threw my resume at it just for fun. Who knew I would mess around and get a call, then a phone interview? Not this guy. But I did, so I did. One of the steps was to complete a questionnaire as preparation for the phone interview I went through today. As I made my way through the questions, one caused me to pause and stare at the blinking cursor for quite awhile. Do I be honest and possibly waste this incredible opportunity? Do I say what I think they want me to say? What to do? If I’m true to my word….I gotta own it. It’s a hill I’m going to die on. So I went with honesty knowing it could cost me that next step….

Q: What are your 5-year professional goals and why does this position fit those objectives?

A: My 5-year professional goals are to continue to raise and support my family. This may sound like an odd professional goal, but I believe I am a failure at any professional position if I am failing as a father and a husband. My children are 12, 10 and 8. In the next 5 years they will be in their high school years and not far from moving on to college. Family is one of my core beliefs so to work in a position that is something we very much believe in as a part of family and life fits that professional goal. In accomplishing the goals of any organization I work for on a daily basis, I am providing for my family as well. That is my greatest goal.

I might be strange, but if you know me, you know I don’t care about titles. I never have. I’m not in this game to get as high as I can in some organization. As I told my interviewer, they won’t discuss that at my funeral. They WILL remember how I made people feel, how I loved my family and my wife. That is forever. Titles are not. They fade. That is why family is a hill I will die on every.single.time.

Funny thing about that question, it came up on the phone interview. I immediately tried to soften the blow of what I thought they were going to say by quickly saying “that was a tough question for me to answer.” The response of not one, but both of the guys on the phone blew me away. Still does. They said…

Well, that’s interesting that it was the toughest question because you absolutely nailed it! It’s exactly what we’re looking for.

I was pretty much speechless after that. Couldn’t believe it. I was reminded that sometimes, when you know your non-negotiables, you don’t have to die on that hill. Sometimes you will, but it was worth the fight. I may or may not get this job. What I do know is that I didn’t compromise when I could have.

I go for phase 2 of the interview process next week with a face-to-face.

Stay tuned…..

3 thoughts on “The Hills We Die On

  1. Great answer to that question. Although I’m serious about my professional work, nothing will ever matter more than family. It’s the only attitude to have.

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