There are plenty of little mistakes we all make at work constantly, and it’s accepted as part of the human process of learning and improving our skills. But some mistakes can be viewed as much more serious than others, even though all are made with good intentions and an honest commitment to work. Sometimes, making mistakes at work can result into not getting the promotion you would otherwise deserve or even in the termination of your contract. The mistakes we’re talking about affect the way you are viewed by your supervisors and peers, resulting in a bias against you. [Read more…]
If you’re not quite familiar with the wonderful opportunities of the EDX online courses portal or you haven’t really gotten a chance to use it yet, here is an introduction to it. Even if free online courses have long been available now and then since the internet has become more and more immersed in all aspects of our lives, including education, sometimes it’s hard to find them. [Read more…]
Last week marked the end of a successful two-month strike for Market Basket employees. The New England grocery store chain did not boycott consumers in order to obtain a better wage. Instead, they merely wanted their cherished former CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas, reinstated with the company. On Friday, roughly 2,500 sign-waving employees marched outside the headquarters of Market Basket, in Tewksbury. They demanded that their former boss return to his position as CEO. Despite the fact that they could have lost their jobs, the workers continued their tri-state strike. You may be wondering how the situation deteriorated to the point where it was. Why was Arthur T. Demoulas fired in the first place? Furthermore, what led to the situation where the Company Reinstates Arthur T Demoulas as CEO after Workers Strike? [Read more…]
There’s been a lot of talk about introverts lately, signaling that the global financial crisis also heralded the dawn of another era, for a new kind of leader. Introverted leadership has been highlighted throughout the crisis, as well as in its aftermath, thanks to the precious few industries that managed to sail those troubled waters successfully, all of them helmed by quiet industrious types: IT and tech, innovation, etc.. On the one hand, it’s important not to glorify either personality type; both extraverts and introverts have their strong suits and their downsides. On the other, it’s pivotal to distinguish between introverts and shy individuals – while introversion is a type, shyness is a behavioral pattern which can be amended. Yet, at the end of the day, though introverts seem to be gaining momentum in the current professional world, many of them are still struggling with the social demands of the current job search model. If you belong to this category and would like to improve your odds at a promotion, read on for our 7 tips and tricks on professional networking for introverts.
1. Learn about your peers
Before a social networking event, your high anxiety levels will probably peak, as you wax and wane about going or not. Sure, you could take the easy way out and stay at home, or you could focus on your strengths for professional networking for introverts. One of your most probable strengths is thoroughness and depth of research. So attend and go prepared – make it a plan to find out as much as you can about who’s organizing and the other attendees.
2. Nurture relationships
Professional networking for introverts will sound daunting, cold, and pressuring. Yet if you focus on what such events are all about, which is relationship building, you’ll find it’s not at all hard to make a good impression. As an introvert, you are perfectly adaptable to a social scenario that involves getting to know someone better and understanding their nuances. That’s what it’s all about!
3. Ask around
If you’re worried you don’t really know anyone at the event, there are two things you can do to help yourself out of a potentially awkward situation. They both involve asking questions. First, ask your circle of professional acquaintances whom you should introduce yourself to, or even ask them to help out with a recommendation. Then, at the event itself, don’t shy away from asking your hosts to introduce you to someone they would feel is relevant to your background and interests.
4. Focus on similarities
Professional networking for introverts can become stressful if you focus on what sets you and everybody else apart. If you choose to look at the similarities, however, you will probably cope better. What was it about this particular networking event that brought both you and your professional peers out there that evening? What’s the common denominator between you all? Focus on that and you’ll surely find topics worth broaching in conversations.
5. Don’t be too goal-oriented
Remember the point made above, about how professional networking has everything to do with relationship building? Remember that, instead of trying to alleviate the pressure by making it a point to meet someone ‘useful’. Such a mercantile attitude is never appreciated, since it can strike many as dishonest, materialistic, and petty. Really get to know people, don’t just wonder what they could do for you.
6. Follow up
The rule of thumb that any career mentor or sponsor will deliver on post professional networking event follow-up is to make a plan to get back to someone, unless, of course, you really clashed with them or discovered you have nothing in common. Such cases are rare, though. Most of the time, you’ll find that it’s very useful to get to know people better post-event.
7. Accept differences
Understand that not all relationships established at a professional networking event are supposed to develop into something meaningful, relevant, and long-term. Most people will remain acquaintances, to whom you say ‘hi’ and with whom you can always pick up where you last left off at the previous event. Whatever you do, don’t get hung up on perceived socializing failures. Unless some major blunder was involved, it’s perfectly natural for some relationships to develop better than others.
Long gone are the days when an employer used to evaluate potential candidates for a new job or the workers in the company solely on their aptitudes levels, transferable skills, knowledge and achieved results. Employees’ attitudes and behaviors, while more discreet and hard to see with a free eye, are equally essential to an organization being strong and going in the right direction. Employee attitude assessment is not a new trend, as organizational psychology is a subject that has been interesting psychologists and managers alike for a long time, whereas at the workers’ level, this ever growing interest is easy to see through the training programs companies are willing to invest in and promote among the employees, the team-buildings they are involved in, the regular behavioral and attitudinal testing that take place inside the company, the satisfaction questionnaires employees fill in once in a while, and so on.
Tools for employee attitude assessment
For instance, standardized behavioral assessment tests for employees, such as the American Predictive Index analyzes and interprets a wide range of workers behaviors and attitudes, from their motivational level to their capacity of adjusting to new and unpredicted situations, emotional intelligence, tolerance, reactions to external stimuli and so on.
But assessing the workers’ attitudes and behaviors does not only take place inside a company only to have a better vision on the human resources, develop better training strategies for the employees, invest in thematic team buildings to solve some organizational issues or design a professional development plan for each company member, so that he or she stay motivated and give its best for the greater good of the organization. It also represents a subtle but efficient way of selecting new employees.
A person looking for a job already knows the tips and tricks that recruiters and managers will have in mind when searching for a new employee: the CV must be striking and flawless, the letter of intent should be convincing, the answers for the face-to-face interview should be rehearsed in advance. But given the current global economy, given the employment problems that characterize all companies, managers won’t settle only with capable employees with perfect records of experience and results
In the words of Mark Murphy (the author of Hiring for Attitude,) for a Forbes Magazine interview last year, employee attitude assessment tests are becoming increasingly prominent. Murphy explains that “technical proficiency, once a guarantee of lifetime employment, is a commodity in today’s job market. Attitude is what today’s companies are hiring for. And not just any attitude; companies want attitudes that perfectly match their unique culture. Google and Apple are both great companies, but their cultures are as different as night and day.”
The 10 attitudes employers look for
So given the current employment trends, let’s take a closer look upon what employers need attitude- and behavior-wise from their new employees. According to the specialists, there are at least five key attitudes that employers will look for in a standardized employee attitude assessment scenario:
- Honesty: Tell me about a time when it was necessary to admit to others that you had made a mistake. How did you handle that?
- Humility: Can you describe a past situation at work that led you to grow as a person?
- Perseverance: Can you tell me about a time when you were faced with a major obstacle (work or otherwise) and how you overcame it?
- Initiative: Can you tell me about a time when you came up with a new idea, a new project or implemented a new working strategy to improve results?
- Determination: Drawing on your work experience, can you give me an example of a time when you wanted to give up, and chose not to?
To these, employers will also look for:
- Loyalty: What kept you loyal to your former company and why did you eventually leave?
- Proactive attitude: Give some examples of situations when you came up with new solutions to solve some problems or suggested new courses of actions or changes in order to overcome some company’s obstacles. Were your suggestions taken into consideration, did they work?
- Positive attitude: Give me an example of a past working situation when things looked bad for your company and yet you managed to overcome the problems and achieve your professional goals.
- Trustworthiness: Tell me about a situation when you had the opportunity to cheat without being caught. Did you cheat or not? What determined you to let the occasion slip?
As a new employee on the market, what you should know is that all specialists agree: “attitude is the best predictor of new hire success, above both technical skills and experience”, so the new job seekers will need not only to work better on their professional skills, but also on their behaviors and attitudes towards life, workplace, obtaining results, cooperation, communication and making mistakes.
Does a well-paying, hands-on, and very stable career sound interesting to you? You may want to consider becoming a Recruiter:
Here are some great lessons from the video:
Many job seekers have found a career as a dental hygienist to be very pleasant and accommodating. To learn more about this stable, well paying career choice, visit the Recruiter section of our site.
We like to keep you informed of what other people in the career guidance industry are saying. These are 3 of our favorite articles from the month of January so far:
- Penelope wrote a creative article about trust in business for Generation X (Brazen Careerist)
- Chrissy made a fantastic post about 5 ways to ensure that you’ll hate your career (Career Realism)
- Dan wrote a good post about resume mistakes to avoid (Career Copilot)
We’ll keep you up to date when we find more. Have a great weekend!