We’ve all heard of the “red sock” executive. There is always that one executive that makes a unique statement and is remembered by everyone he works with. With decades of executive search experience, Dinte has had the wonderful opportunity to meet thousands of leaders. As you would imagine, many of these leaders are very charismatic, well rounded, and innovative thought leaders in their field. However, we have found that the executives who succeed with our clients bring a unique flavor to the interview – the red sock executive. They are able to bring both professional and personal experience to the table and tell their story in a way that stands out from the rest.
We recently had the opportunity to meet with a memorable executive and speak to him about his career in technology. When we asked him how he began his career, he did not simply tell us about his previous job experience. Instead, he shared that his long time passion for the industrial revolution and appreciation for the great technological advances made during this time, led him to expand his knowledge and eventually pursue a career in the technology field. This unique story and clear passion helped us differentiate this executive from the rest.
Remember your college days? You didn’t land that perfect entry level job by describing all those hours in the library. You talked about great extracurriculars and home run presentations. So why aren’t executives still interviewing that way? “Do something, just once, that adults no longer do,” suggests a recent article from Inc. Magazine’s 6 Habits of Truly Memorable People. “Drive eight hours to a concert to see a band. Buy your seafood at the dock. Or something no one else thinks of doing.” By staying involved in non work related activities, you will be able to bring a fresh perspective to your office, interviews, and life. Dinte also suggests:
- Travel somewhere you haven’t gone before even if it’s only a few miles up the road. Make it a point to stay in a non-chain hotel, try local food, or attend a local event.
- Experience your hometown through the eyes of a tourist. Spend an afternoon at a local museum, park, zoo, restaurant, historical landmark, or other attraction you don’t normally notice.
- Take a class at your local university or community college unrelated to your field. Ask the 20 somethings for their perspective.
- Read a book genre you wouldn’t normally consider.
- Try an interesting hobby. Learn to cook international food, write fictional short stories, learn to play an instrument, start a collection, or learn a craft unrelated to your field.
- Take your work to a local, non-chain coffee shop.
- Spend some extra time with your children, nieces, or nephews. Volunteer at their schools, take them on a day trip, or start a project together. Their fresh perspective will inspire you.
You don’t even have to spend a lot of money or take elaborate vacations to be interesting. You probably won’t tell hiring managers all the details of your unique adventures but the perspective you gain from experiencing new things will be invaluable.