5 Reasons Why Career Services Is The Most Important Office On Campus… with less than 20% of colleges grads with jobs after graduation, your choice.

The overall purpose of college is to help students find a career path that will lead to a successful, happy future. In other words, a job. It follows, then, that career services is the most important office on campus. Students who use career services can plan student loan borrowing based on future income, explore career opportunities during and after college and learn how to become the best possible marketable job candidates.

CollegeGraduateFocus

Internship and job listings

Colleges have databases of internships and job opportunities. These job banks are vital to a student’s job search prospects. However, I recommend appointments with career counselors at least once per semester to continue looking for internships and receiving guidance on which internships fit your skills at that moment.

 

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For instance, a student could not qualify for an internship in their sophomore year because they didn’t have the skills developed once they’ve completed coursework for that year. If he or she applied but didn’t talk to a career counselor, he or she would not know to reapply the following year. Beyond databases of interviews, companies will also come to campus to interview students for positions. The slots are filled at career services offices.

Networking is not only what helps most people land after graduation jobs, but it’s also what helps students gain internship and shadow day opportunities. Shadow days are my favorite tool for career exploration.

Career guidance

The other kind of career guidance is when a student really has no idea what they want to do with their lives. This is perfectly normal. That’s why changing majors at least once is common. I did. But a career counselor can help students arrange shadows but also talk about job interests. Sometimes they can recommend courses that will help students cement or redefine career goals.

Seminars on resumes and interview skills

No one is born knowing how to write a resume. Career services offices often have seminars on interviewing, too. Students will learn how to dress professionally, answer questions, and write resumes tailored to individual positions. Knowing these basic career search skills is as important as any class students will take on campus.

Oftentimes career offices also post online resource of sample resumes and interview questions. Show counselors resumes after writing them and definitely participate in practice interview sessions. Answers previously thought to be positive may now be negative. For instance, since working in teams is dominant in today’s corporate environment, it’s more important to be a team player than completely self-reliant.

Entry-level salary calculations

One of the hardest decisions families make when it comes to college is how to pay for it. When it comes to borrowing student loans, it’s impossible to decide how much to borrow unless students have a realistic idea of how much they’ll make when they graduation. Every semester students should go into the career services office and discuss realistic expectations for post-graduation salaries.

Career services tracks salaries of recent graduates. The reason why going in every semester is important is because career ambitions and salary expectations change. For instance, a student may start out wanting to be a journalist and end up as a biologist. These two field vary quite a bit in entry level salaries and thus, what a student could afford to repay. The resulting numbers could mean transferring to a different, more affordable school or going to the financial aid office to look for more scholarship.

Mentorship opportunities from alumni

Networking is not only what helps most people land after graduation jobs, but it’s also what helps students gain internship and shadow day opportunities. Shadow days are my favorite tool for career exploration. A student spends a couple of hours with a professional in their field and asks questions. When the professional is an alumni, the connection can be stronger and result in even more opportunity for internships and mentoring. A mentor can guide you and answer career questions throughout your career.

While not from an alumni, I met my mentor, Margaret Engel, at a conference when I was part of a team who won an investigative reporting award. I signed up for a mentor at the conference. She saw my clips, articles I’d written, and said I have talent. She encouraged me to writeIt took me three years of pitching agents, but CliffsNotes Graduation Debt: How to Manage Student Loans and Live Your Life recently came out in its 2nd edition. I would have never written a book without that encouragement. Now, I mentor someone at every conference I attend to pay it forward.

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 Forbes.com  |  April 22, 2014  


Why Powerful Men Dominate Conversations While Women Keep Quiet…A curious thing happens to women as they climb the career ladder: They clam up.

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman write in their new book “The Confidence Code” that “the more senior a woman is, the more she makes a conscious effort to play down her volubility.” Men, on the other hand, typically respond to increasing levels of authority by becoming more verbose.

ManDonimatesConversation

It’s part of the double bind that professional women continue to find themselves in. If they don’t speak up, negotiate their pay, or otherwise promote themselves, then they lag behind men in promotion and pay rates. If they do act as aggressively as men, they are disliked or called a “bitch.”

“The more a woman succeeds, the worse the vitriol gets,” Kay and Shipman write. “All too often the very fear of this kind of abuse is enough to make women pull too far back and become overly deferential.”

“When a man walks into a room, they’re assumed to be competent until they prove otherwise,” Hudson continues. Women, however, are assumed incompetent until they prove themselves.

Indeed, research shows that while we expect powerful men to dominate conversations, we punish women for doing the same. The book cites one study conducted by Victoria Brescoll of the Yale School of Management in which 206 participants were asked to first imagine themselves as the most senior or junior figure in a meeting and then consider how much they would talk as that character.

 

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The men who’d chosen to be senior said they would talk more than the men who picked the junior position, but the senior women said they’d talk the same amount as the lower-ranked person. Why? The women said they didn’t want to be disliked or seen as controlling.

 

In a second experiment, participants were asked to rate a hypothetical female CEO who talked more than others. Both men and women said the fictional female CEO was “significantly less competent and less suited to leadership than a male CEO who talked for the same amount of time.” However, when the fictional leader was described as talking less than others, she was rated as more competent.

For women, who are especially attuned to emotional cues, these ingrained cultural beliefs can derail their confidence and undermine their authority. Linda Hudson, who recently retired after four years as CEO of security and defense company BAE Systems, told Kay and Shipman, “I think the environment is such that even in the position I am now, everyone’s first impression is that I’m not qualified to do the job.”

 

“When a man walks into a room, they’re assumed to be competent until they prove otherwise,” Hudson continues. Women, however, are assumed incompetent until they prove themselves.

That kind of expectation would make anyone carefully consider their words.

Of course, there’s something to be said for talking less and listening more. Research also shows that school-aged men are more likely to raise their hands in class without knowing the answer. That kind of overconfidence could do more harm than good.

Businessinsider.com  |  April 23, 2014  |  

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/men-dominate-conversations-women-keep-quiet-2014-4#ixzz2zj432Aox

Are You An Authority Figure Or A Leader? Five Ways To Know…“People don’t buy what you do,” he says. “They buy why you do it.”

You believe that you’ve got something great to offer. That your business is built on the quality of your product or service. You believe that because that’s what most people believe. Features, benefits, warranties—in fact, none of this has much to do with what draws customers or clients to you. That’s because it’s what you stand for, not what you sell, that matters.

TED-Talks-for-career-change

I’ve watched Simon Sinek’s 2009 “Golden Circle” TED talk a few times now, and it’s a real game changer. In it, he says that “as it turns out, all the great and inspiring leaders think, act, and communicate in the exact same way, and it’s the complete opposite of anyone else.” Getting into the Golden Circle entails starting with your why and working your way out to the what, rather than the other way around.

“People don’t buy what you do,” he says. “They buy why you do it.”

Case in point: Apple AAPL +0.11%. Because they don’t lead with “Hey, we make great computers.” Apple challenged the status quo with their innovation, their vision of what technology is and could be, and have become the market leader. We don’t buy Apple products just because they’re a quality product; we buy them because we believe in why they do it.

Know Why They’re There

While the Golden Circle approach is a critical shift for anyone trying to get business in the door, it’s just as important to keep it in mind as you engage your employees and grow your team. Because if you and they are there for the money alone, your loyalty, your growth potential, and ultimately your impact, will be limited.

In helping powerful teams to up their resilience, we’ve seen the power of the purpose-driven business: having a connection to what you do not only elevates your sense of worth and contribution; it builds your resilience so that you can cope with stress and setbacks. Without any inner alignment or connection to your work, why even bother getting up in the morning? Why would your team show up when the going gets tough?

There’s being there for the money, there’s being there for the company, and there’s being there because you believe what you do matters and makes a difference. That is the sweet spot. And just as cost-driven models of business (i.e., competing for lowest price) don’t tend to build loyalty or profit (unless you’re WalMart), teams built on paychecks alone also do little to create growth. Anyone driven by money alone will go wherever they find the best offer. So why does your team keep showing up?

We are each responsible for finding our own path, of course—but it is the job of a leader to provide the context, the vision, the purpose for the organization. You know this. But as Sinek says, there are leaders, and there are those who lead. And so the question is, are you providing authority or leadership? An authority figure sets rules, signs checks, keeps the lights on and the wheels of business in motion, and all the cogs in place. But leaders give us someone to follow. Someone we seek not just to please, but to emulate. Or, as Sinek says, not because we have to, but because we want to.

So really none of this Golden Circle stuff can pan out if you’re pasting on a mission after the fact, or trying to find a “reason” why you do what you do after you’ve done it. It must be driven by something bigger.

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Find your purpose. If you don’t know why you’re there, no one knows why they’re there, either. Every year or so it’s worth revisiting these four questions to ask yourself how true you are to what you believe, and how much your actions are paying it off. There will be some distinction between your personal goals and beliefs, and your vision for your organization, but there’s going to be an overlap—there must be something personal in it for you or you’ve got no skin in the game.

Communicate it. But it’s not enough just to know it, to write it down in a journal. It needs to be shared and made clear–not just to your clients, but to your team as well. Articulate and affirm the values you stand for, and the vision you have for your collective effort.

Live it. And if knowing it and saying it are one thing, none of it holds water if you don’t walk your talk. That also means you must be consistent. If your organization stands for quality of life but everyone works 12 hours a day with no lunch breaks, you’re not in alignment. If you believe in promoting gender equality, but you have no women in your C-suite offices, you’ve got a problem. Make sure that when it comes to your “why,” the rubber meets the road.

Hire people, not resumes. Resumes showcase where someone’s been, and not necessarily where they want to be. So ask the questions that matter most to you, not just the ones that seek to limit or qualify experience. The most loyal employees won’t be won just by a good offer (though a lousy one won’t do much), but by the opportunity to connect with something bigger. Just as you’re not looking for a cog, she’s looking for more than a wheel.

Make room for others. If your vision is big, it will take many hands and minds. Take pleasure in making room for others in your purpose-driven business. When you can strongly communicate and exhibit how aligned with your mission you are, you’ll not only attract great talent; you’ll keep them. And they will help you bring your biggest goals to fruition.

 Forbes.com  |  April 22, 2014 |  Jan Bruce 

Lead: 15 Signs You’re A Narcissist … Are you working with or for a Narcissist ?? … Quick checklist.

You’re more likely to find a narcissist in the c-suite than on the street, research suggests.    This is because the traits that make narcissists so difficult to hang out with or date — including a constant need for validation, a willingness to control people, a ruthlessness in getting their needs met — happen to make them super effective at rising up the ranks.

mirror-beauty-narcissism-reflection-3

 

To help you figure out if you (or perhaps your boss) are a narcissist, we combed through the psychology literature looking for patterns of narcissistic behavior.

Here’s what we found: 

You enjoy leading others and telling them what to do.

Narcissists typically enjoy leadership positions since they are able to dominate others and fulfill their need for constant positive reinforcement.

You are an entertainer.

“A narcissist monk would not be good, but to be Kanye West and a narcissist is fantastic,” said University of Western Sydney psychologist Peter Jonason, an expert on social psychology.

You hate having to feel emotions.

The “very fact of having a feeling in the presence of another person suggests you can be touched emotionally by friends, family, partners, and even the occasional tragedy or failure,” says Harvard Medical School psychologist Craig Malkin.

That’s why narcissists abhor them.

Feeling an emotion “challenges their sense of perfect autonomy,” he continues. “To admit to a feeling of any kind suggests they can be affected by someone or something outside of them.”

As a result, narcissists tend to change the topic of conversation when feelings come up — especially their own.

You are likely young and male.

After 34,653 face-to-face interviews, psychologist Frederick Stinson found that men tend to be more narcissistic than women across their lifespans. 

Narcissism is believed to peak during adolescence and decline with age.

You are regarded as attractive and dress better than other people.

Narcissists are generally rated as more stylish and physically attractive, according to a study conducted by Simine Vazire, a psychologist at Washington University.

 

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You really like to swear at people.

Psychologists Nicholas Holtzman and Michael Strube from Washington University in St. Louis found in a study that subjects who scored higher in narcissism are argumentative and curse more than their modest counterparts.

They also tend to use more sexually explicit language.

Instead of listening, you just wait to speak.

Anita Vangelisti, a psychologist at the University of Texas in Austin found that narcissists typically prefer to keep the conversation centered around themselves “making exaggerated hand movements, talking loudly, and showing disinterest by ‘glazing over’ when others speak.”

You cheat in relationships.

Psychologists Joshua Foster at the University of South Alabama and W. Keith Campbell at the University of Georgia found that narcissists are more likely to cheat once they think their partners are committed.

They also seem to get a rush out of convincing others to engage in promiscuous sexual acts that they normally do not participate in.

People dump you after you’ve been dating for about four months.

Through his research, Campbell found that the four-month mark — the apparent satisfaction peak in any dating relationship — is typically how long it takes for someone dating a narcissist to see their true colors.

You put some people on pedestals.

Malkin says the logic goes like this: “If I find someone perfect to be close to, maybe some of their perfection will rub off on me, and I’ll become perfect by association.” With that ideal in mind, narcissists cozy up to people they find perfect — be it a colleague or a crush — and then get really disappointed when that person isn’t as impeccable as they imagined.

Because for a narcissist, everything has to be perfect.

You like to put other people down.

Narcissistic people intentionally put down others in order to maintain a high positive image of themselves.

“Seeking admiration is like a drug for narcissists,” said Mitja D. Back, a psychologist at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. “In the long run it becomes difficult because others won’t applaud them, so they always have to search for new acquaintances from whom they get the next fix.”

This also explains why narcissists typically maintain only weak relationships.

Your parents ignored and adored you.

According to Sigmund Freud, a combination of parental rejection and excessive admiration is more strongly linked to adult narcissism than if one childhood experience consistently existed without the other.

The inconsistency and whiplash of the parent’s attitude towards their children will eventually cause for a “deep craving for admiration” and lead the narcissistic to lead a life searching for fleeting ego boosts.

You choose your friends to look cool or take advantage of people.

Narcissistic men and women have different ways of choosing friends.

Women choose male friends with high social status so they can feel a sense of worthiness. Dudes choose bros who can “wingman” for them when they’re trying to pick up girls.

If you’re not grandiose, then you’re introverted, hypersensitive, defensive, and anxious.

Psychologists talk about the “two faces of narcissism.” On one end there’s the hyper-aggressive, super-loud Donald Trump type. But there’s a softer form of narcissism, too. It’s called “covert narcissism,” which is denoted by introversion, hypersensitivity, defensiveness, and anxiety.

“Both shades of narcissism shared a common core of conceit, arrogance, and the tendency to give in to one’s own needs and disregard others,” Scientific American reports.

You always have to be in control.

Just as narcissists hate to talk about their feelings, “they can’t stand to be at the mercy of other people’s preferences,” Malkin says. “It reminds them that they aren’t invulnerable or completely independent — that, in fact, they might have to ask for what they want — and even worse, people may not feel like meeting the request.”

This is why they can be controlling without getting angry. In the case of romantic relationships, narcissists control people with disapproving glances, calls to change plans, and chronic lateness. This allows narcissists to undermine other people’s ability to make choices. By doing that, narcissists maintain their sense of total autonomy — which they so desperately need.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/signs-youre-a-narcissist-2014-4#ixzz2zdhoxgX8

How Cold Calling Can Land You A Job… “People find jobs through people(networking) they know,” goes the saying. I’ve found all of my jobs that way…

The conventional wisdom about finding a job is that networking is the most effective tool. “People find jobs through people they know,” goes the saying. I’ve found all of my jobs that way and I’ve written dozens of stories exhorting readers to use personal connections in their job search.

Crowd of people connected together

But Robert Hellmann, 51, a New York City career coach with a decade of experience, says that a good 40% of his clients have landed jobs with a method that’s counterintuitive: They decide where they want to work and then they reach out to the person who they think would be in a position to hire them, while being honest about the fact that they have no connection to the person or company. In other words, they make a cold call.

Example: One of Hellmann’s clients was a senior vice president of strategic planning at a New York City-based insurance company. Unhappy in his job, he had his sights set on a competitor. Using LinkedIn, the competitor’s website and a call to the switchboard, he figured out the CEO’s email address and direct dial number. Next he drafted a pitch letter, with three bullet points suggesting what he could do to bump up profits. He emailed the letter directly to the CEO, waited three days and then, at 8am, he called the CEO’s line. The boss picked up and the would-be applicant launched into a 15-second pitch, including an invitation to meet for 20 minutes at the CEO’s convenience. Before he could speak further,  the CEO jumped in, saying he was too busy to even think about it and promptly hung up. Dejected, the vice president figured his tactic had failed. But the next day he got a call from the competitor’s human resources department, inviting him in for an interview.

“People in business development and sales totally understand this approach,” says Hellmann. “They do it every day and they know that it works.”

Another example of the tactic working, with a twist: A client of Hellmann’s was working as a vice president of finance at a New York publishing company. He wanted to make a switch to a larger media firm, where he had seen a job posting on LinkedIn. While sending off his résumé through the LinkedIn ad, he also used LinkedIn to figure out who the chief financial officer was in the division where he wanted to work. Like the insurance VP, he wrote a bulleted pitch letter and emailed it to the CFO. “Can you use an experienced finance executive with expertise in strategic planning, forecasting and staff management, who has global experience and a background in media,” read the first line. Among the accomplishments he bulleted: realizing $2 million in savings within his first year while keeping revenues steady. He heard nothing at first, but after three days, he sent a follow-up, forwarding the original email with a line saying he was touching base and hoping to set up a meeting.  Three days later he picked up the phone. He wound up meeting with the CFO, who extended a job offer. Meantime, as crazy as it sounds, the day he got the offer from the CFO, he received a form letter from the HR department rejecting his candidacy.

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Hellmann also recommends cold calling as a way to leapfrog into networking when you lack entree. Example: One of his clients wanted to move from financial services into higher education. The client picked the No. 2 at an Ivy League university and sent an email with the subject line, “Discuss development and fundraising.” Then he wrote an email describing his ideas about targeting donors and asking for 20 minutes of the person’s time.  He included several bullet points about his accomplishments on the job, including doubling the return on investment in his division and improving staff retention by 25%. He got a call from the university the day after he sent the email, inviting him in for a chat. Though there were no openings, the contact referred him to an official at another school, who in turn referred him to a contact who wound up offering him exactly the kind of job he was after.

Here is Hellmann’s step by step guide to cold calling:

1. Decide where you want to work and research the best contact there. If you are a high-level executive, it makes sense to reach out to the CEO. If you’re lower down the ladder, figure out who is in charge of the division where you want to work.

2. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Google and the company website to get contact info. Many people list their contact info on their LinkedIn or Facebook pages. Company websites frequently include directories.  Switchboards will often give out direct dial numbers and extensions.

3. Write a specific subject line for your email. Come up with a phrase or sentence that will make the reader want to open the email, like “discuss development and fundraising ,” or “your AdWeek article about sales strategies.” LinkedIn can also show you whether you have any contacts in common and those can produce good subject lines, like “we’re both connected to Susan Adams and Fred Allen.”

4. Bullet point your accomplishments in your email and quickly but specifically explain how they would translate to the company you’re contacting. This is easy if you’re looking to jump to a competitor but more challenging if you’re trying to make a career change. Think about how your work would apply to a potential employer. Focus on your value to them. Quantify your achievements with numbers, like saying you boosted revenues by 27% in your first year or doubled market response within two years by adopting a new testing program.

5. After you send the first email, wait three days. Then follow up by forwarding the original email with a short sentence saying something like, “Hi, I’m touching base about the email I sent. Would you like to set up a meeting?”

6. Three days after that, phone at 8am or 6pm. Try to catch your target before their assistant arrives in the morning or after they leave at night.

7. Leave only one voicemail. It’s a good idea to phone repeatedly but only leave one message. If you leave multiple voicemails, your target may feel stalked.

8. Boil your verbal pitch down to 15 seconds.If you get through to a CEO or senior executive on the phone, you will need to make your point quickly, while asking for a 20-minute meeting. Don’t be disappointed if they turn you down. If you make a good impression, they will likely send your contact info to someone else. Most companies are on the hunt for good people.

9. Use the words “mutually beneficial” in your email and phone call. Make it clear you want to help the potential employer achieve their goals.

10. Don’t attach your résumé. Unless you know there is a job opening for which you’d be well suited, focus on how your goal is to help the potential employer.

11. Ask for 20 minutes. Most people can spare this amount of time and it’s enough of an interval for you to learn something about a company or institution. In your email and phone call, ask if the person can meet in person.

12. When you meet, emphasize what you can do for them. Spend the rest of the time listening to what they need so you can follow up with a thank you note that emphasizes how you can solve their problems.

Forbes.com  |   April 22, 2014  |  Susan Adams

10 Things Great Leaders Say Every Week…If you want to lead a team toward a goal, you need to make sure they know how their daily work connects to the overall objectives. Here’s how to make that happen, with one meeting every week.

Great leaders set great goals, and they ensure that those who follow them know what those goals are. That’s why it’s important to focus on how everyone’s daily work connects to the big picture.

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I’m borrowing from one of the greats here: Sam Walton, who built the most successful retail operation in the world. For decades, Walton gathered his Wal-Mart leaders every Saturday morning for a meeting that was equal parts pep rally, strategy session, and feet-to-the-fire accountability check.

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You don’t have to wreck everyone’s weekend like that, but once a week, bring your team together. Here’s a 10-item checklist that will show you exactly what you need to say.

1. Congratulations.

Unless you’re in a crisis of some sort, you want to start off on a positive note, by acknowledging with enthusiasm the milestones and accomplishments of your team. Your director of sales closed a huge contract? Your COO had a baby? Your marketing director got your company mentioned in a fantastic publication? (Say, for example, Inc.?) Make sure they know that you appreciate their efforts–and congratulate them in front of the team.

2. Here’s what happened.

Next up, bring everyone up to speed on what has happened since the last time you met. The people in charge of marketing might not know about the challenges that the product developers have been facing, and distribution gurus don’t know about the new opportunity sales has identified. Show everyone that everyone else is working hard as well, and demonstrate what they’ve accomplished.

3. Here are our challenges.

Similarly, talk about the rough spots as well. Break down the silos, and ensure that everyone knows in general what their colleagues are doing. More than that, you want to ensure that everyone is working in the same direction.

4. Here are our objectives.

Will your goals change week to week? I hope not, but you want to reiterate your overall objectives every time you get together. First, you want things to become so ingrained that everyone can articulate with fervor what your organization is trying to do. Second, when your objectives do evolve–of course they will, sometimes–you want to make sure that you articulate it, and that everyone has the same focus.

5. Here’s what I’m hearing.

When your team members are concerned that they don’t have everything they need, make sure that they know you understand, and ask for their help in finding a solution. Also, reach out and ask them to correct your understanding when they think you’ve got part of it wrong. Overall, this is yet another chance to get your team members who are focused on their part of the puzzle to see the overall picture.

6. Here’s what I’m thinking.

Most people don’t like it when you drop big decisions or changes on them without warning. So bring them into your decision-making process a bit earlier than you might do naturally. Is there a challenge or an opportunity that might present itself soon? (If you’re a real entrepreneur, by the way, those two words are nearly synonyms.) Let your team know what you see on the horizon.

7. Thank you.

This is so important. Make sure people know how much you appreciate their efforts. Moreover, you want to lead by example on this note. Cultivate a culture of gratitude.

8. Why don’t you tell us…?

Don’t hog the attention; encourage others to contribute. Also, you want to demonstrate that everyone is being held to high standards. At the weekly Wal-Mart meetings, one writer noted, Walton “liked to go around the room and ask everyone a question–you never knew whether he would lob a softball or ask you to explain an embarrassing screwup.”

9. Let me introduce…

Have you ever worked in an office where people joined and left the team without much fanfare? It’s an odd social experience, and it undermines teamwork. So don’t let that happen. In the military, with so many people coming and going all the time, we would hold monthly “hail and farewell” parties to make sure everyone was acknowledged. Do the same kind of thing with your team.

10. Here’s how we compare.

It’s like the old Henny Youngman joke: “How’s your wife?” “Compared to what?” Your team needs benchmarks. They need to know what they’re being compared with. If you’re coming up short, make sure people know what kind of numbers they need to be reaching. And if you’re doing well, let everyone know–but also find another metric to shoot for.

Want to read more, make suggestions, or even be featured in a future column? Contact me and sign up for my weekly email.

Inc.com |  April 4, 2014  |  Bill Murphy, Jr

Lead: Are You a Boss or a Leader? …there is a big difference you know, how about you ?

The distinction between being a boss and being a leader may seem small, but it means the world to the people who work for you.

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Being the boss does not necessarily mean you are leading. Here is a list of 10 characteristics that will help you determine if you are having a positive impact on your employees.

1. A boss knows it all; a leader is always learning.

2. A boss gives answers; a leader seeks solutions.

3. A boss talks more than listens; a leader listens more than talks.

 

First Sun Consulting, LLC,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note, FSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn Career groups in 2013.

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4. A boss directs; a leader coaches.

5. A boss criticizes; a leader encourages.

6. A boss identifies weaknesses; a leader identifies natural gifts.

7. A boss is all about “me;” a leader is all about “we.”

8. A boss places blame; a leader takes accountability.

9. A boss protects her ego; a leader reveals her vulnerability.

10. A boss demands results; a leader inspires performance.

Every team has a boss, but they really need a leader.  Start leading today!

LEE COLAN is founder of The L Group, a consulting firm that equips and inspires leaders at every level. He is a leadership adviser and presenter of practical ideas, and a Thinkers 50 nominee for Top Management Thinker of 2013. Colan has also written 12 books, including the best-selling Engaging the Hearts and Minds of All Your Employees. His latest book is Stick With It: Mastering the Art of Adherence.
@LeeColan

Inc.com |  April 2, 2014  |  Lee Colan

 

3 work-at-home online jobs that aren’t scams… I should mention that a lot of “work from home” jobs you’ll find online are scams. You really need to be alert when searching.

Many people see working at home as the Holy Grail of job perks and thanks to the Internet it’s totally possible. Whether you want a full-time job or just want to make a little extra money on the side, the options are there if you know where to look.

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Here are three jobs that you can do from home – and the site and tools you need to make them happen.

But first, I should mention that a lot of “work from home” jobs you’ll find online are scams. You really need to be alert when searching.

Here are some quick guidelines:

  • Always make sure the company is legitimate and has a solid online history.

  • Watch out for jobs that promise outrageous amounts of money a week or month.

  • Never pay any money – such as application processing fees – up front.

  • Never give out personal information in your application that a typical company wouldn’t ask for.

  • Do your research.

With those caveats in mind, let’s look at some jobs.

A home agent is a catch-all term that includes tasks like phone sales, market research, customer service and tech support. In other words, it’s any job that you would normally do in a large call center with hundreds of other people, but you do it from home.

You can find home agent jobs listed on regular job boards like Indeed.com, Monster.com and others. Or you can go right to the source with dedicated home agent companies like Converygs, TeleTech and Sitel. These companies generally treat you as an employee with regular hours and health benefits, but if you want to be an independent contractor, check out a site like LiveOps.

 

First Sun Consulting, LLC,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note, FSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn Career groups in 2013.

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If you don’t mind stepping out of your home occasionally, you can sign up with a service like TaskRabbit. This helps you find small jobs near your home, like walking dogs, picking up groceries and small repair projects, and get paid for them.

For those skilled in creative or technical areas like graphic design, video and image editing, writing or programming, you can try the life of a freelancer. There are plenty of job boards expressly for freelancers and people who want to hire them.

Three sites I recommend often areElanceGuruandFreelanceSwitch. You can look through jobs people are posting or post your skills and let them find you.

Most of these sites let you set your own hourly or project rate before you start applying. Keep in mind that some jobs might require a lengthy interview process before you’re hired. Pay can vary from a few bucks to several hundred dollars, depending on the project.

Of course, being a freelancer isn’t always smooth sailing. You’ll run into difficult clients, which could leave you without pay or even in court. Click here for some rules both freelancers and clients should follow so everyone is happy.

As a freelancer, you will need to meet with clients occasionally, and sometimes video conference with them.Learn how to look good on video calls.

It’s a big “if,” of course, but if you can really write, but don’t want to write for someone else, an e-book author might be the endeavor for you. You don’t even have to write a novel!

Short stories, funny life anecdotes, insightful commentary and detailed instructions in skill-based tasks are all valid topics that you can sell.

You don’t even need a technical background to create an e-book file and sell it. There are plenty of sites that do the heavy lifting for you.

komando.com  |  April 19, 2014  |  Kim Komando 

 

 

Five Red Flags That Scream “Don’t Take This Job!”…You don’t want an employer to string you along for months or go silent for weeks on end, but a too-rapid selection process is a big red flag.

You can find tons of advice about how to get a job interview and how to snag a job. Most of it comes from the “Do whatever you have to do to get hired!” school of thought. The job market isn’t a job-seeker’s paradise, but it isn’t bad considering what it was like just a year or two ago. If you’re willing to step outside the velvet ropes and try something new in your job search, you can get the interview, and get the job.

red-button

When you’ve been through a job-search drought for months and haven’t had much or any interview activity, your standards can start to drop. If the drought lasts long enough, your standards may plummet. You’ll delude yourself then that any job at all is better than another month of unemployment. That’s when a job-seeker can tumble headfirst into the Vortex.

The Vortex is the place a job-seeker goes when somebody (anybody!) is interested in hiring him or her. You can lose your bearings in the Vortex. You can ignore critical signs the universe is sending you. Most of us have been there at one time or another.

 

First Sun Consulting, LLC,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note, FSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn Career groups in 2013.

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The Vortex is the place a job-seeker goes when somebody (anybody!) is interested in hiring him or her. You can lose your bearings in the Vortex. You can ignore critical signs the universe is sending you. Most of us have been there at one time or another.

I almost took a job working for a horrible woman years ago. She used most of our interview time to insult me, but she kept calling me back. At the time I thought it was strange. Now I see that the woman’s “You’re an idiot, but let’s talk again” approach made perfect sense for her, because it was very important for her to hire someone she could berate and belittle. She was testing me. After a telephone conversation where she said “Are you ready to forget everything you know and learn how to do business MY way?” I gave Miss Hateful the slip, telling her that I’d decided to stay at my current job.

I realized that her real need in a new hire was not the Assistant Customer Support Manager she’d advertised for, but a whipping boy (or girl, in my case).

Harsh experience teaches us that there are many jobs worse than another month of unemployment. In fact, I believe that when we say “No!” to the wrong things, we invite the right opportunities in. I’ve seen it over and over with clients and friends. We grow our mojo when we say “I don’t think it’s a match, but thanks for your time” and bail on a lousy opportunity. Here are five red flags the universe will send you to tell you it’s time to get out of Dodge.

Things Are Moving So Fast!

A thoughtful selection process for a white-collar job is likely to take six weeks, and many of them take longer than that. You don’t want an employer to string you along for months or go silent for weeks on end, but a too-rapid selection process is a big red flag. Some companies churn people in and out so fast that the new-hire process is a very low priority. If you can walk and talk and fog a mirror, you’re welcome to join the team and suffer with everyone else until your new-found mojo impels you out the door.

If your gut is telling you the people interviewing you are less interested in you as a teammate and more in filling the open requisition with any warm body at all, run away. There are employers who will value you for yourself, not because you’re available two weeks from Monday.

What’s the Job Description Again?

Lots of organizations are in flux – that’s the nature of business. If you go on a job interview and no two people in the mix have the same idea about what the job is, be wary.

“I talked to Anita in HR, and she said it was a Supply Chain job,” said Donald, a Purchasing Manager.

“Anita passed me on to Hal, the Director of Operations, and he said he needed somebody to manage the production plan and keep the sales reps happy. I was trying to fit all that together when I met Barry, the CEO, who said he wanted the new hire to create a channel marketing strategy. That’s when I took myself out of the running.”

Too much uncertainty in the role definition makes a job undoable, and virtually guarantees that somebody will be unhappy with your performance if you step into the job. Hold out for a company that knows what it needs in a new hire and is willing to commit to it in writing.

The Comp Plan is Fantastic, But I Can’t Tell You What It Is 

“I’m excited about this new opportunity,” says Bridget, a Director of Administration. “The base salary is low, but they’ve got a fantastic bonus program.” “How does it work?” we asked her. “I don’t know,” Bridget said. “I have to go back next week and meet the VP of HR.”

Bridget went back and met more people, but the VP of HR wasn’t in. She didn’t reschedule, either. When Bridget got her offer letter a week later, it included the exact base salary amount that Bridget earned in 1998, and the note “You will be eligible for the Acme Explosives Management Bonus Program.”

“How does that bonus program work, exactly?” Bridget asked her hiring manager, who said “The VP of HR is working on it.” Bridget fled. Worthy employers pay the market rate, and they’re not afraid to tell you what your comp package is going to look like, down to the nickel.

Sorry, That Information is Classified

When you’re a finalist for a new job, you should be invited to meet your teammates. You should get the information you need to make your decision, should you get the job offer. You should get a copy of the employee handbook, the benefits plans and any performance programs that will govern your employment in the firm.

If someone balks when you ask for information that will help you decide whether or not to come on board, flee. If they’re going to ask you to sign the last page of the employee handbook on Day One (and nearly all employers do) why would they withhold it from you a week ahead of time?

We Need a Bit More Information, And a Pint of Blood

When you’re proceeding through a Selection Pipeline, your natural assumption is that the people on the other side of the equation like and trust you. When they start asking you for proof of various things (a W-2 or payslips to prove your last salary, for instance) you know that these are people who don’t trust themselves to make a good hire. Are they going to share your predecessor’s salary information with you? Not likely. So why should you share your past salary information with them?

Any organization so ill-equipped to gauge the value of its applicants that it resorts to some other employer’s payslips is not an employer that can grow your flame. Tell them you won’t be sharing your past salary information with anyone besides your accountant, and go in search of people who get you. If they don’t get you, they don’t deserve you, and you have no time to waste with people who will never see the brilliance you bring.

Forbes.com  |  April 20, 2014  | Liz Ryan 

Turn A Rejection Into A Job Offer…”After every job interview, Hellmann advises, you should write not a thank-you note but what he calls an “influence letter.”

The woman was interviewing for a lucrative position as director of a sales team. After having three great meetings full of lively conversation about how she’d handle the job, she was optimistic. But then came the fourth and final interview, with the company’s executive vice president. Things were going swimmingly until the interviewee asked a question designed to lock in the offer: “Do you have any issues with my candidacy?”

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“Yes,” the executive replied. “You’re good with people, but you don’t have the analytic background we need. Not only would you need to steer the sales team, but you’d need to analyze information and data too.” Shocked, the woman left the meeting realizing the offer she’d thought was in the bag was gone.

In a high-pressure job search, is it ever possible to turn a no into a yes?

Absolutely, says Robert Hellmann, a career coach at the Five O’Clock Club, a career counseling firm, who also teaches career development at New York University. The would-be sales team director was Hellmann’s client and he helped her turn the situation around.

 

First Sun Consulting, LLC,  is proud to provide one of our ‘FSC Career Blog’ article below.  Over 300 current articles like these are on our website in our FSC Career Blog section with new management trendsemployment updates along with career branding techniques  .   Also note, FSC Career Blog was voted the ‘most viewed’ on  LinkedIn Career groups in 2013.

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After every job interview, Hellmann advises, you should write not a thank-you note but what he calls an “influence letter.” In this case, that letter became his client’s key to getting back into the running.

The letter should address both the conversation you’ve had and your skills and experience. During your interview, be sure to ask what challenges the company is facing and what the new hire will need to do as soon as she starts work. In the influence letter, address those challenges concretely, ideally by describing similar challenges you’ve tackled at a previous job and how you handled them.

If, like Hellmann’s client, you’ve been told there’s a specific issue with your candidacy, deal with it head-on. Hellmann’s client followed up with an email asking the executive to provide her with a set of data she could analyze. At first he didn’t respond, but a week later she received a terse two-word e-mail–”OK, here”–with a spreadsheet attached. She spent the following three-day weekend attacking the spreadsheet, and on Monday night she e-mailed back a thorough analysis, with a request that he save a slot in his calendar for her to come in and discuss what she’d done.

At their next meeting the executive was enthusiastic. Then the candidate asked the second question Hellmann recommends all job-seekers raise before concluding an interview: “How do I stack up against the competition?”

“Frankly,” said the executive, “you’re one of our top two candidates.” Goal scored. She was back in the running. But then he added that the other candidate had already held the exact sort of job he was filling, and he didn’t see why he shouldn’t hire someone he knew would be ready to hit the ground running. Given the other candidate’s ideal fit, the executive asked, “why should we hire you?”

Deflated again, the woman went home and drafted a second influence letter, describing how she would bring a unique competitive advantage to the job. She stressed her ability to rally team members and motivate them to outdo themselves, describing specific instances when she’d done just that in previous jobs. She gave several examples of how her leadership strengths boosted performance and surpassed goals. Then she sent off the letter and waited. The executive called her shortly thereafter and offered her the job.

She had turned a “no” into a “yes.

Hellmann advises you not only to carefully craft an influence letter after each interview, but also to watch yourself carefully during the interview itself. A common pitfall is bad chemistry. Hellmann had a client once who arrived in a suit and tie at an interview where the manager quickly removed his jacket and made himself comfortable. The nervous candidate kept his jacket on and failed to relax.

“The manager was sending a message, but my client didn’t want to pick up on it,” Hellmann observes. Even though he wrote a strong influence letter after the fact, the candidate didn’t get the job. The lesson, Hellmann says: If the chemistry is lacking, do your best to pick up on and mirror the interviewer’s vibe.

Another common mistake: bad writing in the influence letter. Some of us just aren’t great wordsmiths. Admit your shortcoming and get help. Even good writers know they should find a friend willing to give their letter a critical once-over. Once you’ve written and revised, it’s a good idea to let your copy rest overnight and revise one last time before you hit “send.” Your letter could turn things around.

Turn A Rejection Into A Job Offer

If you’ve been rejected for a job you really wanted, don’t give up. Robert Hellmann, a career coach with the Five O’Clock Club, a career counseling firm, says there are ways to turn a no into a job offer. A former marketing executive at JPMorgan Chase and American Express, he says that with the right persistent, careful follow-up, you can sometimes change a hiring manager’s mind.

Here are tips on how to do it.

Learn about and respond to the employer’s needs.

In every job interview, ask the interviewer about the immediate challenges you will have to face if hired. Also ask what will be needed six months down the line. That way you can specifically describe how you’ll be able to do what’s required.

Ask whether the employer has reservations about you.

Most candidates are afraid to ask that, but it’s always a wise question: “Is there any reason you wouldn’t want to hire someone like me?” That way you can address those concerns before you’re rejected.

Ask how you stack up against the competition.

Another essential question you may be afraid to ask: “How do I compare with the other people you’re interviewing?” It’s another way to find out and deal with what could take you out of the running.

Write an “influence letter” after the interview.

Post-interview, don’t write a thank-you note. Instead write a letter intended to influence the manager to decide in your favor. Tackle any specific doubts about or your candidacy and say how you’ve performed in past jobs, to show how you can meet this employer’s needs.

If your interview chemistry is off, change it.

Don’t try to bend the interviewer to your style; instead try to conform to her mannerisms and affect.

Get help with your writing.

Are you a lousy writer? When you write that follow-up letter, let your copy sit overnight, review it the next day, and if necessary ask for help from a friend who’s a smoother wordsmith.

 

Forbes.com  |  April 17, 2014  |  Susan Adams