In our last blog entry we gave an example of how to spin what could have been a negative work story into a positive one. Today we will share another example of how you can discuss a difficult or challenging work experience in a way that will highlight your ingenuity and resilience.
I was put in charge of writing an installer for a product with two separate components that needed to “talk” to one another. Testing the installer was incredibly difficult because each component was created at a different office and it was not easy to coordinate my testing schedule with two other people in two different locations. I could see that finding a time we could all work on this simultaneously was going to be an ongoing and consistent problem. This was exacerbated when each person blamed the other and my management didn’t seem to care that we were “set up” to fail. My frustration that the process, by design, was not working and that nobody listened to my suggestions has led me to seek better opportunities elsewhere.
I was given the task of writing an installer for a product with two separate components. I could see that this situation was not going to work, since each component was created at a different office and it was not easy to coordinate my testing schedule with two other people in two different locations. I realized that something had to change in order for my project to succeed, so I took the initiative to create a “work-around” in the installer. While my work around allowed me to create the installer, it wasn’t the most efficient way for the company to proceed in the future. I was able to find people within my company who noticed what I had done and asked me what changes we needed to make for the next release. While this was a challenging time for me at work, it gave me the opportunity to learn new skills, allowed me to make a positive change in the way the company works, and even led to a promotion!
We have all had challenging and difficult work experiences we can share, but finding a way to spin those stories in a positive way will make you stand out as a creative and positive candidate.