A few years ago I was in India and was interested in going to see what is called “an energy healer”. I was interested in this because I had been to several seminars where I had heard about people changing outcomes and healing others with energy by transferring energy from the universe. I went to see a Reiki energy healer and they did something called “balance my Chakras”. This was an experience in itself, but the real knowledge I got out of energy and its place in our lives between people happened when I was sitting in the lobby waiting for a ride to go see the energy healer.
The daughter of the man who had tracked down this energy healer was with him. She had apparently studied energy healing as well and knew a lot about the discipline. The entire study of energy is complex and many people spend years studying it. She looked at me and said the following while touching my arm:
“If I touch your arm it either feels good or bad to you. You do not need to see me or even hear my voice. You will get a certain feeling from me touching your hand and this feeling will be different than if someone else touches your hand. Everyone receives a different feeling from the touch of another and this is the essence of the energy one person has.”
I thought about this at some length due to the fact that I realized this is true. We all have different energies and the touch of one person to another is always quite different. We can feel attached to someone by their touch and also repelled by another due to their touch. What we are reacting to is the energy of the person. The energy of each of us is quite different. This is something we understand, react to and live our lives and interactions by. However, it is also something that is unspoken. There is an energy that comes from touch and there is also an energy we pick up when we are simply around certain people.
One of the strangest things to me about when we are seeking jobs is that very few employers have a real interest in our technical skills. An employer will ask an incredible variety of questions about numerous, numerous things having to do with you. However, the crux of most interviews will rarely delve all that deeply into your specific technical skills. In fact, the higher one goes in the interview chain and the more important the job we are interviewing for, the less likely we are to be questioned about our specific technical skills. There is something else that is being purchased when someone is interviewing for jobs that has nothing to do with your specific technical skill. This is an “intangible” that the employer is seeking and it is something that I would argue is more important than how good you are at doing a particular thing you may be interviewing for.
When people are hiring you they are purchasing your “energy” more so than they are purchasing your technical skill. Your ability to influence the world around you through your energy and take that energy and change future results is what people are really purchasing and interested in it. This energy is not always quantifiable and it is not measurable. I am not speaking necessarily about your ability to do work–I am speaking about your ability to change outcomes, change the mood of people around you and the power that you possess inside that is completely unquantifiable. It is the energy that you have to influence future results and change outcomes that really matters when people are interviewing you and hiring you for positions. It is an intangible quality and I do not completely understand it, but it matters.
I have seen countless instances when I and others met someone in an interview and things just did not seem right. We did not get a good feeling from the person and they may have made us uncomfortable. The person did not have a spark. They had a cold and clammy handshake. Other people we meet may give us the opposite impression. They appear to glow. They have a firm handshake and their presence is uplifting. All of these sorts of feelings, hunches and likewise are all about energy and the sort of impact it can have on us. This energy is a product and more than any technical attributes, it drives the decision-making of potential employers and others.
Nowhere is the ‘‘energy’’ of potential employees, and its place in whether or not people get hired, more evident than in the practice of law and interviewing with high-end law firms.
If you are an attorney interviewing for a $250,000 a year position in a major law firm, when you go into interviews very few of the questions you receive will be about your technical skills. Instead, a great deal of what occurs in the interview will have to do with other things. The law firm may be interested in why you are leaving your current position or are unemployed. In addition, the law firm might be interested in the type of work you have done. However, it is rare that a law firm requests a writing sample, for example, for an attorney whose job it is to write. It is also relatively unheard of that a law firm will ask a corporate lawyer for copies of a given transaction they have been involved in and ask to see portions of the the transaction they have worked on. The law firm will dwell on the attorney’s record, will look over the attorney’s resume and will evaluate very closely the attorney’s personality. However, for the most part the attorney will not be closely evaluated for their technical skill.
I want to bring something up before I go any further. I have met so many attorneys who have said to me things like the following:
None of this has to do with the looks of the attorney or with their specific ability to sell themselves through words. The attorneys who say this are usually “right” 99% of the time and do get the jobs. I could have a job where I have sent 15 people in for interviews and the person who says this and also interviews with the employer is almost invariably the one who gets hired. It does not matter what this person’s qualifications are most of the time. It is an “intangible” energy the person has about them that enables them to walk into jobs and get them.
The reason this is odd, nonsensical and problematical is that the product that attorneys produce and the ability to produce this product is completely technical in nature. The ability to produce good quality work, to think through problems and to navigate this landscape is something that the best attorneys know how to do and it is incredibly important. Moreover, the difference between average and extraordinary attorneys in terms of how they use their minds and solve problems is incredibly profound. The differences that good attorneys are able to produce with their technical skills, compared to those of average attorneys, are incredible. None of this is really asked about or measured when law firms are hiring attorneys, however. The law firms are looking for something else. They may call it “fit” or “culture” but is usually comes down to the “feeling” the person gives the law firm, or their “energy”.
I would like to contrast this for a moment in terms of how a law firm would purchase something as simple as a copier. The law firm would evaluate the copier in terms of things such as:
In fact, the law firm would ask tons of technical questions about the copier before making a decision about whether or not it is going to purchase or lease it. It might endure scores of sales presentations from competing copier companies demonstrating different copiers, and then it might also travel to the office of the copier manufacturer to watch various live displays and demonstrations of what the copier is capable of. If there are reviews of the copier out there, the law firm will likely read reviews of the copier as well. In summary, the law firm will learn the technical pluses and ups and downs of the copier. We do the same thing when we are purchasing any material sort of good:
We do all of these things and more to best understand the technical capabilities and limitations of the products we are purchasing.
When you are marketing yourself and seeking a job, or working in a job, there are essentially two things you are marketing. You are marketing your technical skill, but more importantly you are marketing an intangible sort of energy and promise of this you will bring to the job. The entire economic system and our jobs is based upon the transference of energy:
Energy can be translated into either goods or services. However, in all cases, every single time that we purchase something we are purchasing a transference of energy. We spend more depending upon the quality of this energy transference, the amount of energy transference, the presumed effectiveness of this energy transference and in many cases the potential promise of this transference of energy to change a future result. Our entire economic system has always been and is about the transference of energy.
Simple Energy Transference:
Regular Energy Transference
Complex Energy Transference
The more complex our purchase of energy becomes, the more we are making a purchase based upon the presumption of a future benefit from this energy transference. This is an extremely powerful concept to understand. The idea of the transference of energy and the impact of energy on the world and our lives and careers is something that can impact everything that happens to us. When we are spending money and purchasing things or services we are essentially purchasing one of two things: An instant transference of energy, or the hope of a future transference of energy.
Understanding your role in the energy transference chain is extremely important. The more promise of future energy you hold, the more employable you are. Scores of hiring decisions are made on “hunches” that a particular employee may provide a result in the future. We get these hunches based on ideas and feelings we get about people.
In addition to the idea of “hunches”, there are also much more direct and concrete indicators of the promise of energy that people hold and how hiring decisions are made. Like it or not, hiring decisions are also made based on more direct promises of energy transference. What I am about to say is offensive but it is stuff I have heard before so I am going to share it with you because, like it or not, this is how many employers think about you and your energy:
It is important to understand that, like it or not, thousands of small judgments are made about the energy we are holding within us. You need to be conscious of the energy you project and do everything within your power to cultivate positive energy and a positive aura that makes people want to work with you and hire you. Having the right aura and energy can make a gigantic difference in whether you ultimately succeed or fail.
The most successful people have mastered the art of projecting positive energy. When you spend money on services and material goods, you are also purchasing energy. The purchase and exchange of energy is something that underlies all commerce. You need to cultivate, project and display positive energy. The better your energy, the more employable you will be and the farther you will go.
About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the Founder of BCG Attorney Search and a successful legal recruiter himself. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. His firm BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys. BCG Attorney Search works with attorneys to dramatically improve their careers by leaving no stone unturned in a search and bringing out the very best in them. Harrison has placed the leaders of the nation’s top law firms, and countless associates who have gone on to lead the nation’s top law firms. There are very few firms Harrison has not made placements with. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placements attract millions of reads each year. He coaches and consults with law firms about how to dramatically improve their recruiting and retention efforts. His company LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.
About BCG Attorney Search
BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive that gets results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities that its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.
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