Freud's Insights on the Powers of 'Why' and 'Because'

March 8th, 2012 3 Min read Freud's Insights on the Powers of 'Why' and 'Because' Blog
Freud's Insights is a new blog series from our resident Freud, Johnna, a search consultant in the surgery Permanent Placement division. Consumer packaged goods invest tremendous amounts of time and money in creating memorable brands. Every detail is scrutinized from the colors, words, and even the size of the typeface on the package to the look, feel, and durability of the packaging materials, to the contents of the package. The goal of these efforts is to differentiate one brand from all its competitors, so it stands out as the best possible solution for a need. So if you are wondering right now, "what does this have to do with a physician who is job hunting"? in brief - A LOT. Now that I have your attention, indulge me another moment while I tell a brief story. I place surgeons in permanent positions. In every interview, I ask, "If the CEO of the hospital is comparing your CV to another surgeon's CV which looks very similar to yours, what are two or three things that you are proud of or do really well that I should tell the CEO to differentiate you from the competition?" Ask yourself that question right now. How would you answer it? If I had a dollar for every time I have been told, "my patients love me"; "I am really good at what I do"; "I have a good education"; or one of my personal favorites "because I don't scream and yell in the operating room". I would be incredibly wealthy. It's like a box of tea bags telling me it is the best one for my needs because "it flavors hot water." Think about an aisle in a supermarket with boxes of tea bags: How motivated are you going to be to look twice at or remember a box of hot tea that makes this claim of flavoring hot water? Isn't that a characteristic shared by most of, if not all, the boxes of hot tea on those shelves? Don't you want to know why one is better than another? So why, with over 100 surgeons' CVs on my desk, am I going to be motivated to look twice at the CV of a physician who has just told me about an attribute that she/he'shares with many other physicians? (Again, think about the tea bag that claims to flavor hot water - albeit a simplified analogy.) Instead of responding like a judge on one of those Judge What's-a-Name TV shows ("So what? Tell me something I don't know!"), I simply ask why. Why do your patients love you? Why are you really good at what you do; what do you mean when you say this? Why does your education make you a better candidate than the rest of the doctors? Can you guess how most folks start their response? Here's a hint: it is one word. The word is: "because." And the words that follow are golden. Often they are concrete examples of the attributes that distinguish the physician from his or her competition. So, the high level insight from this blog is?"Why? Because!" It's a powerful combination of words. Most of us have been taught not to brag about ourselves. When you are competing for a job, you need to brag about your skills and strengths and all the aspects of you that differentiate you and make you stand out from the competition. The next time I or a CEO or CMO ask what differentiates you from physicians with similar credentials, it is okay to say your patients love you. Then take a breath, and, without hesitation, continue with "because," and answer the question "why?" It's powerful. And once you feel the power, you will use it regularly and never again leave a potential employer wondering why you are the best candidate to fill their open position! Next from Freud's Insights: Creating and Communicating a Personal Brand