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My mom came to visit me in May, and for Mother’s Day my friend Sandy and I invited both of our mothers (Sandy’s mom also happened to be in town) to dinner at Dabbous. For those of you in London (and in the know) this is the HOTTEST restaurant in town right now. Reservations are notoriously hard to come by. I made mine with 3 months anticipation, but nowadays it takes at least 6 months to score a table.

Dining at Dabbous

Dining at Dabbous

This place has received fabulous reviews so I was eager to find out what all the hype was about. We had the 7-course tasting menu, and let me tell you, the hype is well deserved.

Peas with mint at Dabbous

Peas with mint

My experience there made me think about my career. There has to be a lesson to be learned from this amazing dinner experience, I thought to myself. How is this applicable to the job search and the working world?

Thinking about it afterwards, I found two elements that were prevalent and put Dabbous a notch above the competition: consistency and innovation.

Consistency: if a restaurant is booked for 6 months straight, it must mean that the quality of the food is consistently superb. The lesson for us is pretty obvious: you have to be constant. Demonstrate to future employers that you are reliable. Sandy’s husband, for example, is an avid athlete and year over year participates in Iron Man competitions all over the world (sometimes he does 2-3 in one year!). What better way to show his dedication than by talking about that?

Dessert - chocolate bark with edible moss and dirt

Dessert – chocolate bark with edible moss and dirt

Innovation: the dishes are superb and definitely not mainstream. Reflecting on your career, think about the things that make you different from others. Focus on those in interviews. What do you bring to the table that other people don’t? The goal is to stand out from the crowd. This can be hard to do in the corporate world, where job roles are pretty defined and make it hard to ‘work outside the box’. Find a way to bring something new to your role. This one is harder to do, and will require you to give it a good think. If you aren’t working, or have time after work or during the weekends, then volunteer or get involved in something that you are passionate about. I love to socialize so I got involved in the Georgetown Alumni Club. Ultimately that helped me develop my communication and networking skills, which I didn’t get to use much in my research job. Those skills ultimately helped me land my current job.

Bottom line: be consistent, be innovative and find a way to highlight these elements at work and in job interviews.