Job Search Advice: Skills + Interests = Strengths.

28 Feb

I’m sure you’re worried about getting a job and want to spend most of your time responding to postings and networking, but I’d like to encourage you to take time to consider jobs that fit your skills and interests.

How are skills and interests different?

I love to play golf (interest), but for the life of me I can’t make a three-foot putt (poor skill). On the other hand, I’m actually pretty good at project management (skill) but I hate doing it (definitely not an interest).

If we find a job where skills and interests align we’re likely to be happier and more successful.

There are a number of free self-assessments out there and some for a nominal fee. None of them are perfect, but they can give you guidance.

Additionally, ask others who know you to provide feedback on what they see in your skills.

Finally, think back on some of the occasions when you have been most successful. Detail those successes. Then review to find patterns of what you did that contributed to your successes. Your strengths generally will be a big part of those successes.

#jobseach #hiring #careers

COMPASSIONATE LEADERSHIP IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW.

23 Feb

In a recent executive roundtable I presented a leadership model developed by Brad Shuck. It was a heart-felt and gut-wrenching discussion. Executives talked about the deaths of coworkers and customers from COVID, the stress is having an impact on the lives of families including an increase in divorce, and of the challenges related to working with their teams and engaging their customers:

· Leading “above the line” was important before the pandemic but is essential now. The six behaviors have always been important, but in the midst of this crisis are even more important. Our research shows that employees who believe their manager is leading with compassion are more engaged and inspired in these difficult times.

· Although leading with compassion is critical right now, it is getting harder. The increase in more remote employees, the challenges of helping “essential workers” be safe and to succeed are just two of the additional issues facing leaders.

Our leaders need help.

Stop thinking about leadership development as “something we’ll do when we don’t have anything else to do” and start thinking about it as a key to the ability of the organization to succeed in these changing times.

Because, you see, it does.

If the Job Search Ghost haunts you.

21 Feb

Have you applied for a job at a company, had an interview, and then never heard back?

You’ve been “ghosted”.

Sadly, many employers don’t follow up with candidates who aren’t moving forward on a job. It is, in my view, lazy, disrespectful and unprofessional on the part of an employer. It can hurt their brand. Even if you don’t get this job, you are still a potential future employee, referrer and also a customer.

As a job seeker, what should you do?

~ If you had what you thought was a good interview that you think might lead to an offer, DON’T STOP SEARCHING. Keep looking. You are in control of your search.

~ Check your networking contacts to see if you know someone can help.

~ Finally, take the high road. Send one last note to the recruiter or hiring manager. Express your disappointment they have not followed up, and wish them well.

Stick to your plan. Do your homework. Tell your story.

One of the best sellers of men’s suits I ever met was a woman named Clara. A lesson.

18 Feb

Back in the 1960’s when I was old enough to be around our family business, I met Clara. She worked in sales at our clothing store.

There were women selling women’s clothing, but I don’t remember many women selling men’s clothing.

But Clara did.

She was a great salesperson.

Passionate. Competitive. Customer-Oriented. Ethical.

The only part of the job where she needed help was when it came to taking measurements for a man who was buying a tailored suit. One of the other salesmen would take the inseam and waist measurements, but otherwise Clara was in charge.

Just like the rest of the sales staff she worked on a small draw, and most of her income was commission.

The same compensation as men.

Clara had customers whom she knew well and was seen as their trusted advisor when it came to how they dressed.

Our store would not have been as successful if it weren’t for Clara.

Are there assumptions you’re making about who can sell your products and services for which your mindset is setting you back?

Do you have a bias that is getting in your way?

Would your customers be even better served if you thought differently?

Put those attitudes down.

Seek out your version of Clara.

And thrive.

THE PARADOX OF GREAT LEADERSHIP

17 Feb

A story: “A student goes to a famous philosopher and asks if the wise one believes that at the heart of all truth lies paradox?”

The reply: “Yes and no.”

There are many paradoxical things our world, including what I see as two truths that may seem contradictory but in fact are both true…

Great leaders know they must do everything they can to support the training, growth and development of each member of their team. It’s the only way they will likely achieve their business objectives. But in doing so they run the risk to developing people in such a way that the competitors would be eager to lure them jump ship.

But rather than hold back on the development of their employees, great leaders lean into developing and supporting them.

AND…

Strong leaders also create an inspiring workplace, where employees are so excited about their work that it would make it quite difficult for them to consider another job.

Don’t look at these challenges as “either-or”—that’s a trap and you’ll end up losing good folks and likely having challenges attracting talent.

Stop thinking “either-or” and start thinking “both-and”. Develop folks AND create a workplace where they feel no desire to leave.

Your paradoxical thinking will be richly rewarded.

JOB SEARCH TIP: It’s a holiday in the U.S, but you can still advance your job search.

15 Feb

It’s a holiday in the United States. But just because some companies aren’t open doesn’t mean you can’t work on your job search:

~ I just checked, and there are still postings on job boards! Take a peek and see if a new opportunity looks right for you and get that application and resume posted.

~ The internet still works, so you today can be a time for you to conduct research about prospective employers and maybe an new industry you’re exploring.

~ There may be some folks who would love to take a few minutes for a networking call today, so go ahead and ask! And if folks don’t want to meet today, perhaps you can use today to schedule a time for a networking meeting sometime down the road.

Take care and be safe out there and use this day to make progress on your search.

Job Search Tip: The chores are never “done”.

14 Feb

Like most every kid, I was given “chores” I was do around the house. Specifically, I was told to “get my chores done.”

Sometime along the way I realized the chores are never “done”. You complete them one day and then the same chores are there for you the next day.

When it comes to your job search, there will be some activities that will/should also never be done:

~ You need to keep networking, increasing the number of people who know, as the next contact could be very important to your search,

~ You must continue to follow up on every job opportunity that is still open, letting them know you’re still interested,

~ You need to continue doing your homework, learning about companies, markets and trends.

~ You need to continuing preparing for each interview, making sure you know how to tell your story to a way that helps you advance.

~ Even after you land, you should still keep up the chore of networking, which can help you learn about your current job and prepare you for the next.

Want to give yourself the best chance to land a new job?

Embrace your chores.

#jobsearch #careers

If you have a job, please help out.

13 Feb

This plea is to those of you who are fortunate enough to have a job. If someone asks for you for a few moments to ask for advice, please do so. If you know the person well enough and feel comfortable writing a reference or validating some of their skills on this platform, do it.

One exceptionally important thing you can do in a networking meeting is to provide connections to a job seeker from your network. I was trained by my father to understand and utilize the power of networking, a skill others may not have.

I have used this privilege to my own benefit over the years, and am now using that to help others navigate these often complex systems called employers.

I’ve heard some say they are uncomfortable taking networking meetings because of the fear they can’t help. You don’t need to have all the answers. In fact, just listening to folks who are searching can make a difference—you help them feel heard.

Reach out and help not because you may receive something in return (although you might); do it because it’s the right thing.

Incentives can inspire change. Just ask a new parent.

11 Feb

“The basic idea that incentives can be used to motivate behavior is a powerful one. It works for employees, and it has a clear place in parenting, as anyone who has tried to potty-train a recalcitrant toddler with sticker rewards knows.” ~ Economist Emily Oster

Sales incentives, when aligned with strategy and properly implemented, can inspire employees to greater productivity. Here are some broad principles to keep in mind:

~ There are different incentives. Design the program to meet your goals and align with your strategy.

~ Know your audience and what will inspire different segments of your team.

~ Reward top performers but know that all producers can be inspired.

~ Make sure your #incentives complement and align to your #compensation plan.

~ Help your sales team learn so they can be confident in a changing market with new customer expectations.

~ Allowing folks to contribute to their own #goals is exceptionally powerful.

~ Offer meaningful and memorable noncash rewards.

We have opportunities to inspire our #sales teams. Let’s get at it.

#ThankYouThursday #recognition  #appreciation #gratitude #grateful #inspiration

My dad was disabled and might not be hired today. Who else are we missing?

10 Feb

In 1941 at the age of seventeen my father, Lenny, was diagnosed with arthritis. He fought the disease valiantly, but complications from the condition took him from us at age sixty-three.

In the forty years of his working life he took over the family clothing store and started other businesses. He was active in many charities, and after he died the United Way in our hometown named the “volunteer of the year” award after him.

He had tremendous empathy for people, including those who experienced hard times. I don’t know if his own pain caused him to be more kind.

But he was kind.

And, by the way, he was an imperfect but awesome dad.

There were many days when he came home and I knew he was in tremendous pain. He had two hip replacements; his first was in the early 1970’s when that was still a rare procedure.

Those barely slowed him down.

~ Are there hiring managers out there today who would give a seventeen-year-old kid with arthritis a chance?

~ Can we look past the disability to see the potential, to see the abilities and possibilities?

~ Could we consider the assets, the perspectives, that people with a disability can bring to an organization?

It’s time for us to create workplaces where folks with disabilities can work, can thrive and, in doing so, help us thrive.

#disability #inclusion #leadership