If anyone asks, you're not hungry
This isn't a blog post about food. Sorry. It so easily could be. I have a problem with being hungry. The idea of letting myself go without food for longer than about 10 minutes is anathema. I also tend not to cook until I feel hungry, which is how I got the 10-minute meal down to a fine art.
No, what I'm talking about today is the type of person who's 'hungry for opportunity', or the type who uses that phrase in their job posting. I spotted it somewhere on LinkedIn this week, and it really got my back up.
I am not a fan of 'hungry' in a work-related context. It carries a lot of underlying implications. Mostly about the type of company that's prepared to use this word to refer to its potential employees.
To me, it shows a measure of disrespect for job applicants. Tell us how hungry you are, little performing seals. Clap loud enough and we might chuck you a fish. It encourages people to scrape and grovel, and to play down their true potential for the sake of a regular wage.
What separates someone who wants a job from someone who is (metaphorically) hungry for that opportunity? The wafting stench of desperation. It only shows how good you are if you're talking about blind obedience. It's a race to the bottom, to see who can beg for the most scraps and get their stomach to rumble the loudest.
Jobseekers who are in a position to be selective have a lot more confidence about them. They don't feel that inclined to beg. Rather than talk about 'passion' and 'enthusiasm', they'll focus on what makes them right for the job (outside of their basic ability to wear a shirt and get to the office).
In contrast: I am hungry for this opportunity = I will eat shit until you love me.
When employers are looking for a hungry, job-starved new worker, they're after the kind of person who'll put in 12-hour days (or longer) in the hope of being noticed. An employee with no qualms about taking on dogsbody tasks way outside of their expected remit. Someone who will go the extra mile without being asked, when that mile is surplus to requirements and will never be used.
Being 'hungry' does not mean you are ambitious, or proactive, or a self-starter. It isn't an indication of how suited you are to the role. It singles you out to a company as the type of person they can walk all over.
Never apply for jobs on an empty stomach.