Saturday, September 4, 2010

Research before the interview

Preparation for the interview is key. I have interviewed many applicants that walked into an interview without knowing about the industry and the company.

Research the industry or sector thoroughly.Learn about the company through Annual Reports & Accounts, the Web site and current newspaper articles.
Prepare an informal opening and closing statement that emphasizes why you want the job and why you think you are particularly well qualified to be chosen.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Generation M - Millennials

The Millennial Generation was born between 1977 and 1998 and are now entering the workforce. The 75 million members of this generation are being raised at the most child-centric time in our history. Perhaps it's because of the showers of attention and high expectations from parents that they display a great deal of self-confidence to the point of appearing cocky. As you might expect, this group is technically literate like no one else. Technology has always been part of their lives, whether it's computers and the Internet or cell phones and text pagers.

Millennials are typically team-oriented, banding together to date and socialize rather than pairing off. They work well in groups, preferring this to individual endeavors. They're good multitaskers, having juggled sports, school, and social interests as children so expect them to work hard. Millennials seem to expect structure in the workplace. They acknowledge and respect positions and titles, and want a relationship with their boss. This doesn't always mesh with Generation X's love of independence and hands-off style.

All Millennials have one thing in common: They are new to the professional workplace. Therefore, they are definitely in need of mentoring, no matter how smart and confident they are. And they'll respond well to the personal attention.

Provide lots of challenges but also provide the structure to back it up. This means breaking down goals into steps, as well as offering any necessary resources and information they'll need to meet the challenge. You might consider mentoring Millennials in groups, because they work so well in team situations. That way they can act as each other's resources or peer mentors.

Because they appreciate structure and stability, mentoring Millennials should be more formal, with set meetings and a more authoritative attitude on the mentor's part.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Generational Differences in the Workplace

Today, we work in a multicultural, multigenerational workplace. For the first time in history, our workplaces can have four generations working together. It is important to understand how the four generations can make the workplace conflict-free, less stressful and productive.

Each generation brings different values, beliefs and behaviors. For instance, women and men work side by side in the workplace, something our parents, or grandparents, might have found unusual or improper. Being respectful of differences, even when they pose challenges, is part of today’s job.

Generational diversity becomes a challenge in the current workplace. This reality demands that we understand the different perspectives of four generations of workers just to accomplish our everyday work.

Common experiences within generations tend to affect their attitudes, expectations, and values concerning work. The experiences of people in their twenties are markedly different than those who have worked for over 30 years. The generation who has been downsized multiple times, versus one which has worked for only one company, verses one which has changed jobs each year, are quite different from each other.

Issues that have created increased generational conflict include the economy, outsourcing, elimination of middle-management positions, and technology advances. For instance, changes in the workplace have generally reduced information jobs and have slowed upward mobility, causing people from different generations to compete for jobs.

Add to that the different value systems of each generation, and it becomes difficult for managers and colleagues to know how to treat two workers in the same job if they are different ages.

Differences in value systems can impact ambitions, perspectives, behavioral norms, and emotional reactions to various work scenarios. Communications can also be tricky, since each generation is motivated by different workplace messages.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How Long to Find a Job....1 month for every $10,000

Most people underestimate the time it will take to become re-employed. The general rule of thumb is that it will take one month for every $10,000 of salary you were making at your previous job.
Here are some factors that can have an affect on the time it takes for you to find a job.

  1. Do you know what you want to do? Taking the time to evaluate your purpose, values, accomplishments and skills will expedite the job search process.
  2. How big is your network? A large network can give you access to more unpublished openings and get you hired faster.
  3. Update your skills. If you have not kept your skills up to date, you may need to go back to school for a period of time.
  4. What is your mind-set? Potential employers will pick up on your attitude. Seek that positive attitude!
  5. Do you have the financial strength to withstand a longer search? If you received a substantial severance package, you will not be inclined to accept the first job offer out of the desperation felt by many job seekers.

Plan your job search and consider all avenues of support. It is an opportunity for reflection, positive change, and perspective. Preparation is key.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Worst Interview Questions...Ever

After sitting in on many panel interviews, I have been exposed to many bad interview questions from my colleagues to interviewees. Not sure if they had a bad day or whether it was a 'blue Monday"for them. Safe to say I was flabbergasted by some of the questions from hiring managers Here are a sample of some of them:

  1. What would the inside of my car look like if we were to go look inside of it right now?
  2. If you were fruit, which fruit would you be?
  3. When is it OK to lie at work?

Share your worst job interview questions here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Patient, Realistic and Open Minded During Your Job Search

Take a good long look at your skills, accomplishments, passions and values and then identify a time when you were most happy in your job. This will help you determine which direction your career has to move to next.

Here are three questions you need to ask yourself:
1. Can you make money doing where your passions lead? Can your ideal job meet your needs in salary and benefits? Make note of your minimum requirements, and your maximum requirements. What is the average salary and benefits for your chosen occupation? You can also ask intentional questions during informational interviews with people working in your targeted industry.
2. Are there enough positions open to launch an all-out job search? While you may have identified an ideal job, it is a good idea to look at three to five possibilities that seem interesting. Your dream job may be too specialized for many openings, or there may be so many openings and options you may have a difficult time planning your search.
3. How long will it take to find your ideal job? Most of us underestimate the time it will take to become re-employed. The general rule is 3-6 months for a professional or manager, regardless of the economy or other factors. You can also estimate that it will take one month for every $10,000 of salary you were making at your previous job.

Be patient, realistic and open minded about your job search. Following your passion is a good thing. But beware of the pitfalls.