Your Job is to Make Mine Easier
It’s turtles all the way down
"Turtles all the way down" expresses the illogic of infinite regress. The saying alludes to the mythological idea of a World Turtle that supports the earth on its back and suggests that the World Turtle rests on the back of an even larger turtle, which itself is part of a column of increasingly large turtles that continues indefinitely (i.e., "turtles all the way down").
The phrase “turtles all the way down” comes to mind when I say that your job is to make mine easier. Who am “I” and who are “You” in this formulation? I have been many different people. I began hiring people in 1979 as a third year law student working for a local law firm. I was a green-behind-the-ears wanna be lawyer hiring clerical workers. Over the quarter century of my legal practice, I interviewed hundreds of increasingly sophisticated employees and contractors. From clerical workers to law students to young lawyers, to mid-career lawyers, expert witnesses, jury consulting firms and the like.
The one thing all of these interviews had in common was my ultimate goal. That goal was ALWAYS to hire someone who was going to make my work life easier.
How Do You Convince Your Interviewer That You’ll Do Your Job of Making Their Job Easier?
They already know you’re qualified. What they want to know is the following:
do you know (or are you interested in learning) the company goals and challenges?
are you specifically interested in the goals and challenges of your interviewer?
are you able to align your own strengths, goals, priorities and preferences with theirs?
are you able to make the interviewer comfortable by making it easy to interview you (to do this, take over the job of asking the questions instead of “selling” yourself to someone who is already half the way sold or you wouldn’t be in his or her office for an interview).
Finally, remember it’s turtles all the way down. Your interviewer has a boss and her boss has a boss and that boss has a boss. The people at the top of the food chain have bosses too. Boards of Directors, customers, clients, fellow C-suite peers who want their equals to make their work lives easier too.
The job we all have is to make everything better for everyone “all the way down” and all the way up.
Go get ‘em champs.