Monday, September 15, 2014
Who are the "BEST" candidates for a job?    
What employers are seeking in new employees
In over twenty years of working with employers on talent selection and retention, the most sought after candidates are elusive.  And what they share in common transcends topics and industries.  
What I hear from employers about the most sought after candidates:

Basic professional skills and aptitude:

a.  Write effectively

b.  Speak effectively

c.  Lead a work team

d.  Be a member of a work team

e.  Manage projects from start to finish

Get along with current employees and clients.  
a. Strong interpersonal skills, respect, and kindness are the glue that holds a workplace together.

Good character who won't embarrass the employer in the community.
a.  Like it or not, every time an employee steps into the world they are representing their employer.  

Show up every day both physically and mentally.
a.  Time on task is a key to success in the workplace.  Employers place a premium on employees who are fully engaged.  

Use quantitative skills to understand and evaluate data for decision making.
a.  For every one of us who asked a math teacher when they would EVER use these skills, the answer is NOW.  The ability to read, understand, and make decisions from data is critical in most jobs.  

As one employer says, "Candidates always think I am interested in them because of their specific content knowledge or skills.  Wrong.  Except at the highest levels of our work, assuming the candidate is professionally competent, I will teach them everything they need to know to work in our company.  Even when they do come in with previous skills they need to learn how we do it.  I can teach them about the work, but I can't teach them those basic skills."

How to Manage as a Young Boss    
Ritika Trikha writes in CareerBliss
Young people are zooming into higher positions pretty fast. “Thirty-four percent of U.S. workers say they are older than their bosses, and 15 percent say they work for someone who is at least 10 years younger,” according to a report by AOL jobs.
“Remember, as the boss you may have the authority but not the power to get things done. Power comes from credibility. Credibility comes from performance. Performance takes time,” says Steve Langerud, workforce consultant, who has helped over 15,000 people.
In order to perform and manage at a high level, listening is key.
Millenials want to be the boss; boomers don't    
Quentin Fottrell writes about leadership in MarketWatch

Quentin Fottrell, WSJ MarektWatch, writes, "Just 32% of men ages 49 to 67 and 21% of women in that age group say they want to eventually occupy the corner office versus, according to a new workplace survey of 2,000 adults by the Pew Research Center. By comparison, 70% of millennial men and 61% of millennial women — defined by the study as ages 18 to 32 — say they’d like to be boss. The members of Generation X — ages 33 to 48 — were somewhat more evenly split, with 58% of men and 41% of women saying they wanted the top job, the survey of more than 2,000 people found. “Boomers have been in the workforce long enough to see the downsides of being in charge,” says Steve Langerud, a workplace consultant based in Grinnell, Iowa."

Super quick tips to improve your resume    
By Melissa Fiorenza; NextStepU
Melissa Fiorenza writes, "Get this: A study conducted by The, a job-matching service, revealed that recruiters spend about six seconds reviewing a resume before they make a “fit/no fit” decision. Six seconds! In other words, your resume better be in tip-top shape if you’re looking to jump right into a job after graduation. To help it get there, use this quick checklist of what-to-dos and what-not-to-dos."    
Green Job Search    
How to keep your job search sustainble
Students frequently ask about how they can be 'green' in their career planning and job search.

Ironically, I think you have to try NOT to be green in the job search today!  

Between submitting resumes with a PDF, online applications, SKYPE interviews, and tools like LinkedIn, the carbon footprint of the job seeking process is shrinking every day.  

However, it never hurts to be proactive in how you engage your job search.  

Tips for Green job seeking:

1.  If it is not clear, then ask if you can submit materials online.

2.  Use LinkedIn to begin your dialogue with employers.  If you are doing a good job developing your profile, everything the employer needs to know about you will be on your profile.  

3.  Use video technology for initial interviews.  

4.  Ask if there are ways you can overlap with other candidates to share rides to and from the site.  Yes, you have to have good self esteem to spend time with your competition!  

5.  Look locally.  If possible, consider positions that don't require you to fly or drive long distances for the interview.

6.  Consider employers in locations that focus on short commutes, public transportation, positive city design that emphasizes effective density patterns and self propelled transportation.  

7.  Read Richard Register's book 'EcoCities' to get ideas about how you can live and work.  

8.  Ask about working from home one day a week to cut down on commuting.  

Overall, the small things add up.  Be aware of what you do and how you do it.  

Tips for Mid-Career Changes    
7 Tips to Reframe Your Career

The following seven tips are the cornerstones of my counseling and coaching work with people seeking changes to their lives and careers. The goal of effective career counseling and coaching is to capture the nuance of each individual, their personal and professional needs, and help them create lives of meaning, significance, and service. 

7 Tips for Mid-Career Assessment

Be honest.  If is scratches, itch it.  If it hurts, fix it.  Too often we ignore the signs that we need to change something in our professional lives.  Our heath, relationships and professional productivity rely on the willingness to look deeply and honestly at the issues in our lives and careers.  If something is not working then only we can initiate the change.  Sometimes this is easier with help!   

Ask for help.  While we have to do this assessment by ourselves, we do not have to do it alone!  Engage friends, partners, colleagues or professionals in assessing what is working now; what is missing; and what is needed to thrive in a career.  Be prepared to think about work and life in a new way.            

Change the question.  We are not our job titles.  Unfortunately, we have been raised to answer the question of ‘what’ we are going to be when we grow up.  It is narrow, limiting, and lacks creativity.  Ask instead ‘where’ will people pay us to do what we do well and care deeply about changing in the world.  Be prepared to work hard to articulate and organize these professional and personal needs.     

Know your needs.  Don’t be afraid to articulate personal and professional needs.  Examine four key areas for career success:  skills, issues, people and environments.  Think about what would be perfect by asking, “Where can I use my favorite skills to address important issues with engaging people in an environment that provides energy?”  Be prepared to actively engage other people in identifying a good career fit.         

Say it out loud.  If we don’t say it, we won’t get it.  These simple but true words make all the difference in moving from us from passive observers to active participants in our quest for career satisfaction.  Unfortunately, we rarely provide others with clear and specific statements about our careers.  Synthesize your needs into a clear, articulate and concise ten-second statement.  Then tell people what you are seeking! 

Accept help.  Here is what we know about people:  we love to talk about ourselves; we are proud of our work; and we all want to help someone succeed!  Our job in assessing careers is to allow people do these three things for us.  Simply, ask for their time, tell them your story, and, finally, ask them if they know anyone who gets paid to be you!  It can be shocking to learn how close or far we may be from true career satisfaction until we ask.     

Take control.  Start, Stop and Continue.  Use this simple technique to create an action plan for change.  First, what new things should we start doing to be more satisfied?  Second, what old things should we stop doing to be more satisfied?  Third, what current things should we continue doing to be satisfied?  The key is to create a plan that is simple to create, implement and observe the outcomes.   

Careers and Laid Off Workers    
Careers to Consider
Andrea Duchon published an article today on YAHOO! EDUCATION addressing career areas to consider if you have been laid off at work.  

1. Elementary School Teacher
2. Accountant
3. Registered Nurse
4. Software Developer
5. Medical Records and Health Information Technician
6. Management Analyst
7. Market Research Analyst

Before launching into any new course of study do your research! 

1.  Make sure you would enjoy the career
2.  Confirm you are selecting the correct program to qualify you for the career
3.  Understand any certification or licence requirements for the field you select
4.  Clarify the cost of the program 
5.  Establish a timeline for completing the program

Returning to school for retraining is a big commitment.  Knowing exactly what you are doing is a key to success.  



Accounting a Growth Career    
Career Trends for College Students
Scott Bickard wrote a good article on the "7 Growing Careers for Job Minded College Students" published this week in the University Herald.

Students who are reading broadly will note the emerging trends in the economy and the workforce. Pay attention to demographics, consumer trends, economic policies and practices to predict growth areas.  

For example, ten thousand baby boomers reach retirement age every day! This will create demand in health care, leisure, real estate that will change the job market.  

Students who prepare for careers with solid thinking, speaking and listening skills backed up with the ability to manage projects, lead teams, and read financials will thrive.  
Inside/Out Networking Strategies    
Career Networking Strategies
Networking may be the only professional development tool you ever need, if you do it right!

However, ninety percent of professionals do it backwards.

The worst networking question you will ever ask:

"Will you tell me about your career?" It is a dead end question focused completely on the person telling the story and provides no strategic or tactical advantage to the person seeking to develop.

You must change the question to allow the speaker to focus on your needs and moving you forward.

Tip for networking:
  1. Know what you need from the person you engage. Do not leave it open to their interpretation or direction. They will only be as helpful as you direct them to be with you.
  2. Articulate in clear and behavioral language what you are seeking. Tell them the skills you wish to use; issues you wish to engage; people you wish to work with as colleagues and serve as clients; and environment you need to thrive.
  3. Frame a question to allow the speaker to address your need with their experience. Ask, "Does my description sound like you or people with whom you work? "
  4. Follow up with action directed questions like, "Will you introduce me to them?" or "What do I need to do to move ahead in my professional life?"
  5. Do what they tell you!
This flipped networking technique is more efficient, engaging, and effective. People love to help but most people simply miss the mark when setting up the relationship.

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