Careers, Jobs & Employment Information
How to Give Job-Winning Answers at Interviews
Human Resources personnel, professional recruiters and various other career experts all agree: one of the best ways to prepare yourself for a job interview is to anticipate questions, develop your answers, and practice, practice, practice.
Success at Work : People Skills : Networking
Getting along with your co-workers is critical to yourhappiness and success at work. You may find yourselfspending more time with your co-workers than with yourspouse and family. Each individual in an organization isjust a small cog in a big wheel. Without the assistance ofco-workers, you will find your assignments much moredifficult.
Creating Your Own Luck
Losing my job in the last recession of the last century, I discovered first hand the power of creating your own luck. A week later, I decided to locate an interim position while I looked for a "real? one. Accepting a temporary position at minimum wage in an industry I knew little about, I decided the way to enjoy the position was to learn everything I could and contribution all that I could. I poured over manuals in my down time, developed processes to expedite the work, trained new employees, volunteered for additional assignments, and did anything that needed to be done. Four weeks into a ten week job, I was unexpectedly offered my first management position.
If I had listened to my friends cautioning me that taking a minimum wage position was career suicide, if I had been concerned about accepting a job "beneath? my education or experience level, or if I had only done what was expected, I would have missed an opportunity that led to five promotions in the next seven years.
It has been my experience over the years, while climbing the corporate ladder to Vice President of a multi-billion dollar company, that opportunity is everywhere and anywhere. Often, it?s in unexpected places for those who differentiate themselves in the workplace. People who do what is expected of them, do it very well, "and then some? have opportunities arise that others never do. And people who set their ego aside, contributing everything they can to the task at hand, often create their own luck. That?s because initiative is a powerful commodity in the workplace.
People offering to do extra work only if they get paid for it, or take on extra responsibility only if their salary is increased first, have it backwards in my book. My advice: do the work, do it well, and then do it even better. Higher pay, greater responsibilities and increased opportunities follow individuals who are contributors. Anytime I looked to hire people, offer permanent positions to temporary employees or interns, start up new departments or businesses, or promote individuals, I looked for people doing their job well ..."and then some.?
(c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
American Idol Syndrome
I like Simon, one of three judges on American Idol. I find his feedback refreshingly honest. And while his words startle me with their ego wounding potential, the traditional feel-good, let-you-down-easy, sugar-coated feedback is not much of a gift. It?s hard to tell someone they?re not good enough and their dreams are not going to happen, at least in this venue. But not telling them is no gift either. Some contestants rise to the challenges he throws at them. Some don?t. And, some can?t. Which one are you?
The people who influenced me most in my career were those who gave me the hardest critiques. Stricken with a bruised-ego for days, or on occasion for months, inevitably their feedback helped me make the right life choices to improve, change direction, or stay the course with intensity. In fact, the boss who was the hardest on me is the one I thank the most. Good was not good enough if I was capable of better, and she was quick to point out when that was. No sugar coating from her. And the funny thing? When I was honest with myself, I knew she was right.
Being honest with yourself is one of the challenges to winning at working. We all have talents and abilities, but they?re not always in the areas we pursue at work. Too many people I?ve run across in my career have American Idol Syndrome (AIS). Like Idol contestants auditioning with little or no singing ability, these people believe they are good at what they do. They can?t understand why they don?t get the promotion, the outstanding review, or the highest increases. They view themselves as varsity team material, but they play with junior varsity skills.
When I was a freshman at Stanford, I got a D in biology. Stanford graded on a bell-curve, so an 84% that might traditionally put me in a B category, was near the class bottom. Accustomed to A?s, first quarter grades woke me up. At first, I rationalized a D at Stanford was an A or a B at most any other school. But, reality prevailed. I wasn?t at another school. If I was going to compete at the school I was at, it was time to use more than high school skills to bring results.
Are you applying yourself? Are you as good as you could be to get the raise, the promotion, or the more interesting work? If these are things you want, don?t suffer from AIS. Give yourself some Simon-esk feedback. Ego aside. A Simon-esk answer to the questions, "how good are you?? and "are you in the right field?? offers you a chance at becoming happier and more successful at working. The answers give you choices: you can stay the course; find a playing field at your skill level; improve your skills to compete where you are; or change directions.
(c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Resume Tips To Take You From SAHM to WAHM
When looking for a telecommuting position, it is very important to have your resume in tip-top
shape. This is often the only thing that a potential employer has to base a hiring decision on
since they most likely will not be interviewing you in person, your resume has to make that
great first impression for you.
Any Job is an Honorable Job
Seeing your job as an honorable job, adds more meaning and peace to your life. Also, seeing the honor in what you do now, creates an ideal foundation upon which a career change can be built.
How To Get More Interviews In Your Job Search
Richard Bolles, job search guru and author of What Color Is Your Parachute? predicts that you can expect to search for work 1-2 months for every $10,000 you hope to earn. So, if you?re looking for a $40,000 a year position, you may search for 4-8 months to land it. Back when the economy sizzled, that job search length would have seemed outrageous, but now, many people would be thrilled to only search for 4-8 months.
12 Steps to Targeting Success in Your Career or Job Search
Is your job search sagging? Are you still looking for that ideal next job? Or are you about to begin looking for new work and are not sure of the best way to go about it? What you need is a way to evaluate your job search strategies to see whether or not they are working effectively for you.
Handling the Dreaded Why Did You Leave? Question
If you left your last job under less-than-ideal circumstances, you probably dread the "Why did you leave?" question that almost always comes up at job interviews. Here's how to handle it.
Seven Steps to Making a Successful Career Change
My first job was secretary to Moses. Having to transcribe and make 2,430 copies of the Ten Commandments convinced me I was on the wrong career path! OK, maybe I'm not quite THAT old. But I did start out as a secretary. While I didn't mind the work, eventually I decided it wasn't very satisfying. I often felt like a "tool" that helped others contribute to the organization's success. I wanted to make my own contributions, to find creative ways to make a difference. It took me about 12 year to come to that conclusion, decide to do something about it, and change my life.
175 Power Verbs and Phrases for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews
While you?re revamping your resume or cover letter or constructing your proof-by-example stories for interviews, you?ll find you need to watch your word choice. Why? Communication is powerful if the words we use to communicate are powerful. That?s not all it takes, but the right words make for a good beginning.
What To Do When Your Boss Is a Butthead
I've never worked for a boss I didn't like or respect. Sure, some were better than others, but I never considered quitting my job because of a bad boss. Unfortunately, many employees aren't so lucky.
Reinvent Your Career In Five Simple Steps
The phrase ?reinventing yourself? seems to be popping up all over lately. Just a few days ago a friend asked me how he could do it without starting completely over. His concern was, ?How do I move in a new career direction without sacrificing all the skills and experience I?ve worked so hard to achieve?? The underlying question is, ?Is this even possible??
No Experience? No Problem!
Are you a new graduate with little or no work experience? Sometimes it can be tough to get a job without experience, and how do you get more experience if you can't get a job?
Five Powerful Tips for Interns
Interning is about more than earning money during summer break. It's a wonderful way to gain work experience and lay the foundation for your future career. But to get the most out of it, you have to do more than just land the job, show up for work and collect your paycheck. Here are some tips that will help you get the full benefits of interning:
More Articles from Careers, Jobs & Employment Information:
Make a Great First Impression
Searching for employment is one of the most nerve-racking activities to engage in. As if the direct need for income is not stressful enough, the process of writing a résumé, networking in your industry, and applying for jobs can leave anyone shaking in their tracks. Once you have hit the pavement and made a few contacts the phone calls should start coming in. With a little effort, hopefully a phone call could lead to an interview; which happens to be one of the most horrifying portions of career building. With the completion of a good interview, a job offer is just a step away. Here are few tips of turning any interview into a memorable experience for the Employer (and just might help you land the job!):
Top Ten Networking Strategies To Get A Job, A Promotion, Or Make A Sale
Whether you are networking to find a new job opportunity, gain a promotion, or close a sale, you have two main goals with the networking interaction:
Nine Ways to Tell Youre Ready for a Promotion
So you noticed the new job board posting on your way back from lunch. They finally decided to fill the assistant manager spot in your department! Trouble is, you've only been in your current position for about eight months. There's also been some talk of hiring from outside. Should you go for it anyway? Here are some ways to tell if it's time to power up the corporate ladder.
5 Steps to a New Job
The economy is picking up, budgets are new, positions are open and companies are hiring. Now is the time to rev up your job search efforts. Use these tips to dramatically improve your results.
Career Advice On Freelance Writing Jobs
Sometimes the freelance writing jobs available are those that no one wants. Or, they are those that new businesses are looking to fill. You will not find postings for the best jobs and employment because many of those jobs go to individuals who already have an established career or a good working relationship with those businesses. For those looking for career advice to find the best freelance writing jobs available, they can find a few things here that will help them get the experience they need or at least get a foot in the door.
Are You Making These Common Job Interview Mistakes?
Going to an interview without a plan of action is like going out on a football field without a game plan. Total disaster! Suppose I were to ask you right now.
Business Dress for Women: Making Impact
Buying a suit can be an important investment when you are trying to improve your look for business or career advancement. Wearing a standard off-the rack suit for business or a job interview does not always mean success. Fit is very important. The outfit may be great but if it does not accentuate your positive features or is not the right color, you will not look as good as you can.
No Degree, No Problem
According to a recent survey, 52% of job candidates polled lied on their resume about having a college degree. Here are 3 brief horror stories: A new Director of Logistics and his family were actually loading the moving van provided by his new employer for relocation from California to North Carolina. The phone rang and it was the Human Resource Manager from his new company. The offer was being withdrawn. Through a routine degree verification check, the company learned the potential new employee did not have a degree. He was 3 hours short of graduating. Had the candidate been honest, the job was still his. It was an integrity issue. Five candidates for a high level software sales job were interviewing. After the face to face interviews, the candidates were offered a "grace period" to revise their application. The company was aware of a problem with one canddiate. The lead candidate changed his college degree information to "Did Not Graduate." He was dropped from contention. A candidate for a Vice President of Logistics position for a multi-billion/multi national company was offered the job. However, the background check could not verify the degree as listed on the resume. The stunned candidate said he could fix the problem. After one week, he called and faxed over the degree verification information. Only two blank pieces of paper came out of the fax. He said, "I must have faxed the wrong side." The offer was rescinded the night before his start date because of the integrity issue. The company would have hired him if he had been honest about not having a degree. Offers withdrawn because of "no degree" are not because the lack of a college degree was a "deal breaker." The issue was that each of these high level managers misrepresented themselves on their resume and during the interview. As a search firm, we always encourage candidates to be upfront and candid about the information on the resume, including whether or not they have a college degree. Don't try to hide it amongst several other educational courses you have taken. If you are hiring, ask the candidate directly. It's amazing how many hiring managers "assumed" the candidate graduated. The most deceptive piece on a resume is: University of Any State, 1986-1990. Listing the years but not if they graduated. Common oversight. Most times, if the candidate has a solid background and the chemistry is strong with the organization, the company hires the person. Remember 70% of hiring is Chemistry. Degree isn't the most important factor.
How to Work Effectively With Recruiters
"R-E-S-P-E-C-T / find out what it means to me" is a line made famous by Aretha Franklin, and one that recruiters have adopted as their mantra. This is probably because there is a love-hate relationship between candidates and recruiters. Specifically, candidates love what recruiters can do for them, but at the same time, aren't fond of the fact that they need their services.
Learn a Language for Career Advancement
To learn a language for career advancement is one of the best ways to get ahead in the job market. In the 21st century you will need every advantage you can get to keep yourself competitive in the marketplace, and adding foreign language skills is a great way to gain an advantage. Here are just some of the reasons to learn a second language :
Overcoming the 7 Roadblocks Women with Families Face Making Career Changes
Family is the driving force of our lives. You need family to support you and in most homes you need money to support your family. You work to support your family but you usually end up spending little time with them because of your 9-5 job. According to a Gallop poll 70% of Americans hate their jobs.
More Companies Using Job Interview Phone Screening
Planning and preparing before you begin to send out resumes could save you some embarrassing moments when you receive that unexpected call.
Surviving in Corporate Amercia: Part 1 - Email
There is a saying that goes, "The best offense is a great defense". Nowhere is that applied better in the corporate world than in the intelligent use of email. In this age of technology, E-mail is a multi-purpose tool that can be adapted into each user's organizational patterns. Firstly, we will get the basic do's and don'ts out of the way.
Rich Career, Poor Career
What makes for a rich career? It is more than just the
salary and benefits. A rich career is one that suits your
talents and provides an opportunity to make a meaningful
contribution, as well as one that provides the right
Petite Modeling: What Should You Wear to Your First modeling Photo Shoot?
If you're looking into making the petite modeling industry your career and are wondering what you should bring to your first photo shoot then this article is for you.
Losing a Career When Youre Moving for Love
Those who watched HBO's Sex and the City (SATC, now available on DVD) know the last eight episodes were less about sex and more about city. And the last three episodes, taken together could serve as a case study for a decision faced by many clients Should I follow my heart or hang on to my job?
The Hidden Agenda of Interviews
It's Not What They Ask - The Hidden Agenda of Interviews
Vocational Experts 7 Proposals to Solve the Unemployment Problem
The subject is constantly in the news and may decide the
next national elections - the infamous jobless recovery.
More than 8 million Americans are out of work with another 4
million underemployed or no longer looking for work. Good
manufacturing, technical and services jobs are being shipped
to India, Asia, and other developing countries. The mood of
the middle and working class becomes more pessimistic, the
outlook for their immediate future more grim.
You Can Identify a Problem Solver
As an executive recruiter, I interview a lot of people. And while most candidates find a way to look good on paper, their resumes don't always reveal how good of a problem solver they are. Yet all of my clients want to hire problem solvers - people who can walk into their operation and make their problems go away. This is understandable. Business, of course, is all about problems. In fact, whether your business is in growth mode or decline, you will always have problems. And it's management's job to either come up with the answers, or hire people who will. This article is about the latter.
How We Learned about Solving Problems
How will you respond when you're asked the following two questions?