The Desk

December 15, 2014

Detours

Filed under: Career Advancement,Management — Yvonne LaRose @ 6:15 PM
Tags: , , , ,

As we look at the close of a year of striving to fulfill our desires of reaching our goals, as we consider the steps necessary to do something about turning the goals into accomplishments, there are a few other things we need to examine and ask.

Are you guilty of taking the road less traveled?

Quandaries of the road less traveled.

Quandaries of the road less traveled.

There was this detour sign on my road. I took the detour and kept the map. Then there was another detour so I took it and kept the map. A whole bunch of detours kept coming up and I kept taking them while keeping the map.

Now the map is weather worn, travel worn, and just worn and there’s this new detour sign in front of me. I’ll admit it; I’m lost. So now I have a few questions for you and for me:

  • Just when do I get back to the highway?
  • Where the heck is it or did it run out?
  • What happened to my map?
  • Do you still have yours?

Sponsored Links:

November 28, 2014

Attitude Adjustment

It takes a lot of nerve to be controlling and to marginalize another. But it happens. Those measures are used to discourage what could be perceived as competition or merely one who has a better edge that will result in dampening the esteem of the controller.

Controlled Identity

Controlled Identity

On closer inspection, the lack of control and authority will be discovered. The control, manipulation, and threats of various types are simply masks used to play on one’s vulnerabilities that were discovered during harmless interaction. When the source of the discouragement is discovered, it’s easily overcome. There are several effective techniques. A few will be discussed today.

A simple objection to the impediment will result in attempting to create guilt. The goal is to shame one into accepting the pressure. Ignoring the pressure is not an effective way to handle it. It’s important to acknowledge the subterfuge in a very subtle way. To do more would be overkill. Tactfully brushing aside the attempt to plant fear or doubt by talking about the ineffectiveness of cowering in fear or avoidance tactics doesn’t help one reach the goal.

Avoid making accusations of attempted harm. The result will be aggravation of an already negative situation. However, do not cave to accepting the abuse. Speak softly; be assertive. Say “no” in an indirect way, such as, “That doesn’t seem like a good option. I think I’ll try something else.” It isn’t necessary to define what “something else” is. In fact, being abstract can work as well; simply say you haven’t thought of an alternative you want to use just yet. It will take a little more consideration of the circumstances.

Getting upset and losing control is a sign of weakness. It also lowers one’s professional image (unless, of course, you’re in a drama). If you’re not delivering an emotion-packed motivational speech or not in a dramatic play, losing your temper is not effective for talking through the sticking point. Point out what is unacceptable and refuse to accept it as your normal.

These are just a few ways to avert being stopped or have your growth retarded while others pass you in attaining a similar goal. Get an attitude adjustment. Assert yourself. Then be glad of yet another opportunity to rise to being yourself.

Sponsored Links:

November 20, 2014

Career Tip: How Am I Doing

Filed under: Career Tips,Job Search — Yvonne LaRose @ 12:35 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

A young woman who had attended a class with me happened to mention a group interview where she was one of the candidates. She shared her concern about how she did and whether she would be called back for Step 5 of the six-part interview screening.

What she expressed was trying to figure out what the interviewer was thinking and their reaction to her. The interviewer seemed to have a skeptical posture and kept looking at her while covering their mouth with one hand, almost as if to hide a sneer.

One thing the young woman shared was the impressions of one of her competitors. That person commented on how articulate and well spoken she was during the interview. They admired her for those talents and expressed a desire to be that capable.

So how did this young woman do and what could she have done to feel she’d won over the interviewer? My suggestion hailed back to my days of competitive speech.

The competition in the speech rounds was the other five orators and the judge. The other speakers were also audience. It was my job to deliver my speech as well as possible, as convincingly as possible, with good expression (physical, verbal, appearance), good interpretation of the message, and win over anyone who appeared to be hostile while addressing everyone in the room.

My technique was to speak to everyone in the room, making eye contact with each one. But I would give a little extra eye contact or emphasize a particular point while looking at the one person who appeared to be the most hostile toward me or skeptical of my ability. If I saw their attitude melting, I was certain that I’d won over the entire room and also placed well in the round. Each time I employed that tactic, I placed first in that particular round and usually came away from the competitions having won first or second place in that category of speaking.

Win your detractor to your side by knowing your subject extremely well. Make good eye contact. Definitely avoid staring; be amicable. Ask good expositive questions that concern matters that could not be ascertained online or through research.

Close the interview with courtesy, a friendly hand shake, a thank you for having been able to have the meeting (it could have been cancelled) and the opportunity to learn more about the opportunity and the company.

The Other Things

Did you notice the people you passed as you went to the office where you were to be interviewed? Did you pay attention to what they were doing, how they were interacting with others, what they were saying or how they were saying it? All of that comprised just some of the working environment and culture. In addition to thinking about whether you’ll be called back for the next phase, think about whether that culture and atmosphere is what you want for your work life or how you can make a positive impact there.

Sponsored Links:

November 8, 2014

Telltale Signs: Company Profile

A young man stood on the bus stop wearing a navy blue suit. He held a notebook-sized portfolio. His attire was impeccable. I ventured a guess and decided to test it.

“So how did the interview go?”

“Okay. But I’m not sure about them.”

“Just okay? Do you think you’ll accept the position?”

The more he spoke, the more I noticed excellent articulation and vocabulary. There were some physical features that were not very attractive. However, they were quickly dismissed as he continued his discussion of the interview and his analysis of the company and how he would fit into the organization, if he chose to. It was a restaurant and he was to be the host.

He talked about the glowing interview and the very attractive offer that was made. He expressed uncertainty about the acceptance and I questioned him, again.

“I’m not sure about them. There’s a lot of talk but they make me nervous. They’re cutting too many corners.”

Just as important to the recruiter is not only the candidate’s appearance on paper and in person but also how the client looks. And just as the candidate needs to present a good appearance and profile, so does the client. Care needs to be devoted to the quality that goes into the product in addition to the running of the company. Selection of those who appreciate those imperatives and can deliver in a professional, ethical manner is what needs to be reached.

The recruiter is looking for the best match for both sides. Very important to their livelihood is the client who has desirable attributes. A savvy executive management candidate, as well as the recruiter, will consider things such as amount of time in business, success record, office atmosphere, profit and loss statement, vision, planning, industry ranking and reputation, management, turnover rate, timely payment of debts and debt management, to mention just a few factors.

Cutting corners shows, no matter what the corners. When recruiting for the best, it’s important to put forth the best image possible. In the long run, you’ll attract the best and most loyal customers as well as the best candidates who will serve them to keep your business alive and profitable.

What is your interviewing style saying about your company?

Additional Resources:

Sponsored Links:

Republished from Career and Executive Recruiting Advice (October 31, 2002)
Republished from Suite101.com (June 5, 2001)

November 2, 2014

Do the Research

Entrances is a 360 networking forum on LinkedIn. It’s for an exchange of information and for networking with others in order to develop new connections and awareness of new opportunities. The purpose is to gain better insights about another part of the employment sector other than your own space so that better choices are made based in feedback from the other players. One goal is developing relationships that can lead to referrals.

Entrances-Faces of the workplace

Entrances – Making sound choices based on informed networking

While it isn’t a forum for political speech, there are a series of videos running that are produced by ColorofChange.org based on their #IfTheySpeakForMe theme . They show by various examples of what ensues if others make choices for you because you didn’t do your research; instead, you were passive and took whatever you got. In this weekend before midterm elections, the videos emphasize the importance of doing good research before embarking on an endeavor or entering into relationships.

With those compelling ColorofChange messages are scenarios of hair care dictated by a stranger and being hijacked in a taxi. Those are similar to taking on employment with a client or employer you haven’t researched.

I encourage you to do the research this weekend that will help you make the right choice for you in the voting booth. Remember to vote. Exercise your rights.

Who Is This

That being said, remember to do some research, ask meaningful questions, about where your livelihood is or will be. Find out who the potential employer is. Determine whether the recruiter is the right one for you. What does the recruiter want in terms of a “qualified candidate” and how can the resume writer or the career coach help you them reach your goals. Maybe they simply are not the right fit. Maybe their philosophies are (and never will be) in consonance with your own ethics or beliefs in good practices. Consider the video wherein the hairstyle of several women is determined by a total stranger who contravenes the women’s wishes and relationship with their hairdresser.

We’ve talked about hair in Entrances from the perspective of what is accepted by the other side of the employment desk. It was intended to look at the various styles, colors, whether it constituted good grooming, and whether hairstyle is a valid hiring criteria. A few interesting views were expressed.

Making Impressions

Has someone impressed you with their words? What did they do to make that impression? How reliable are they? Would you be willing to refer them to something that may be a good match for what they have to offer?

Bottom Line

Which is the more important emphasis? Know who the employer is. Know their product or service before going on the interview or taking them on as a client. Recruiters are held liable for the misdeeds of their clients. It is a recruiter’s duty to guide a client along the more ethical path if they are erring in their decisions or execution of their business practices. But it’s imperative to know all of these things before getting involved or else having a delicate but compelling reason for taking a different, better path to open the right door and make better entrances.

October 30, 2014

Having an Impact – Appearance

Do looks matter when vying for a new position or even when seeking acceptance? The larger man and ‪woman face many challenges when they endeavor to ‪dress the part and be accepted as a leader in their industry. It can become a challenge in many ways. In particular, finding fashion that makes the right statement, is affordable, and flatters the physique can be difficult.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a new job interview that requires the right attire. It can also be a matter of commanding the necessary level of respect when making a presentation, teaching, doing public speaking, or just appearing before cameras.

To what extent are we missing one of the best by ignoring the larger sized person? This isn’t a constant phenomenon but it is an obstacle that confronts much of our population. Perhaps it isn’t so much the size of the person that becomes a hiring deterrent as much as the health risks the larger person carries and the resulting impact on health insurance premiums. It could be that a subsidized fitness center membership could be included among the cafeteria benefits offered in order to allay those issues. Just a thought.

Let’s consider the special challenges women face when it comes to vying for upper management and leadership positions. We’re told that they find it useful to dress for power, the better to gain the influence they seek. The more likely they will not become mired in a support position they outgrew decades before. A New York Times article considers this proposition and concludes that the higher one climbs, the more limited the fashion choices become. After all, there are only so many ways to wear a suit (or especially a dress) without a masculine cut and avoid having a soft, pushover image. Women, by necessity, are forced to make bolder strides in fashion so that their voices, identity, and authority can override the traditional perspective of being weak and subservient.

Notice where this feminine fashion dynamic is happening in the NYT article? There are an important lessons to be derived from this. It isn’t “sexy”, per se, that’s driving the advancement. Being attractive, even alluring, gains attention and a desire to have this person around. But those aren’t necessarily the same magnets that garner respect and regard for being extremely talented. They’re merely part of marketing and branding. But the overriding emphasis is on knowledge and ability. A woman’s attire needs to communicate those skills without her making exaggerated demonstrations of them in other ways. They become part of her brand.

In this instance, brand represents gaining success and being able to have improved status by association. The critical ingredient to all of this is having and using good knowledge and wisdom. Then fashion is merely the window dressing for the ultimate prize.

Sponsored Links:

October 18, 2014

Career Tip: Time Management

Budgeting and budgetary control

Budgeting for control.

Someone recently asked about how people manage their time. The focus was on achieving balance among the many competing priorities of living a full, complete, and satisfying life. After going through a long a very tedious response, a brief summary occurred to me. Perhaps you can benefit from the concepts.

It comes down to time management, prioritization, and supply chain management (what others call multitasking or running several things simultaneously, allowing some activities to fill dead time while another activity is started or completed in the interim).

  • Plan: put your activities in groups so that more can be accomplished in one trip.
  • Incorporate: put activities in bundles so that work can also serve as play, reading as research and learning, social activities as enrichment and networking.
  • Schedule: certain things are done at a particular time or on a specific day of the week/month/year.
  • Allocate: A certain amount of time for each activity. As the activity becomes outdated because of, e.g., technology, devote less time to that and more to the newer version – or stop doing it as it is no longer effective.
  • Discriminate: allow yourself to be among people who are gracious to you. The more courtesy and respect, the richer you will be in many ways. Don’t waste yourself or your time on people who cannot accept you for who you are.
  • Appreciate: Become acutely aware of your surroundings and enjoy the favorable elements. The negative are also there and serve a purpose for growth. Become attuned to what those are.

It’s all about making a plan and using that as your guide. It’s all about making a budget and living within that budget. It’s all about achieving balance.

Sponsored Links:

September 21, 2014

What Else?

Around August 10, ForbesWoman discussion group was presented with an article from the Finance section of the New York Times. The article relates to retaining your identity after retirement. It’s a good article. It talks about the need to make plans.

Some people think of planning for retirement in terms of having enough funds to take care of their expenses, in essence, having a livable income when there’s no more employment. Many people think of retirement as a time of luxury or the time when you’re no longer working and have little or no productive purpose. Still others think of retirement as finally reaching a point when there’s time to engage in avocations that were deferred while raising children, caring for aging parents, vacations not taken, travel for recreational purposes.

Who are you when all of your life you’ve been a student, a spouse, the person who holds a particular title for a job? That job title usually spelled your entire identity and once the final paycheck is collected and the Social Security checks start rolling in, you title may seem to be “old” or “no longer useful” or “Mama” (“Pops”). You begin to feel less than, not interesting, fruitless. While it’s important to make the financial plans necessary to cover the inevitable issues that lie on the horizon (life insurance, healthcare, rent, food, clothing, maintenance, taxes), quality of life matters remain.

Planning for retirement includes coming to terms with what quality of life means for you, personally. Quality of life includes feeling and being still involved, fulfilled, and vital. Still accepted and desired are some other quality issues that need to be addressed. Feeling as though you’re still developing and evolving, not being static, is a need that all people have but not everyone has the same personality nor the same drives. In other words, no two people are going to have matching lists of what constitutes quality of life. It’s an individual matter. This is the time to start looking at how much of your Hierarchy of Needs still needs to be completed.

What is happening these days, and especially pertinent to Boomers, is the idea of using retirement consultant services to help focus on having an identity that isn’t linked to the type of work you do. Some people will join some type of sports league or take up a sport that was a longing until the responsibilities of the workplace were no longer mandatory. Others opt to raise the prize-winning [fill in the blank]. Others see retirement as an opportunity to finally have the time to give back to the community. And then there’s SCORE to satisfy the still-burning need to stay involved in the business world. And others simply change chairs and rooms in order to serve on Boards of Directors or become industry consultants.

Some people end the “I have to do this” job in order to completely change fields and become the employed expert in an entirely different occupation. Essentially, there is no retirement; there’s a transition into another work life. I think that type of person is called a Die Hard (not to be confused with the battery or the movie).

There are many roles that can capture one’s attention after the formal time of employment is behind you. As with anything else, it’s important to stop sublimating about that next phase and start making plans based on latent goals deferred until whatever obligation (real or manufactured) has been satisfied. If there’s a roadblock to coming up with a plan – such as just getting used to the idea of not being at the office anymore – it’s a good idea to enlist the services of a retirement coach to start the ball rolling.

While there is now the feasibility of seeking assistance from a retirement coach, there’s yet another option available to those who are working on making plans for the next phase. And it’s free! Pay a visit to the HR Department’s Employee Assistance professional (EAP). A company that is sensitive to these types of matters will have an established program that provides counseling and preparation for those employees who are reaching the age of retirement and need to start making plans for their transition.

Back to that original question, “What else?” There are always options. The important thing is, in addition to planning for the future, is to realize they are options (as in “which one?”), not “right or wrong” choices.

September 8, 2014

The Minimum Wage Push

It was May 23 that I said we need to increase the minimum wage and that it would happen. By June 1 I was back on the increase minimum wage soapbox. The Federal Congress didn’t seem to want to listen to me. A few weeks later, they said “no” to increasing the minimum wage. Ah, but that was June and July. This is November.

It seems as though more than just dear George are listening to the populace. Among the election revelations was that several additional states voted to increase the minimum wage. It appears the federal government will adopt a resolution to increase the minimum wage.

This minimum wage increase issue is still being fought tooth and nail. Commentary on this morning’s news brought out the fact that for each 10 percent increase in wage there will be an accompanying 2 percent decrease in number of jobs available. The spokes person advocated for retaining the minimum wage. The logic is that it provides a great bottom-line entry-level wage for new workers. It is not fair to increase the wage and then cause minorities and especially minority youth to lose their opportunities at gaining work experience at entry-level wages. Unfortunately, the spokes person did not take into consideration that there are veteran workers who still slave at minimum wage and work three and four jobs at that wage in order to support them selves and their families.

What’s interesting about the conservative argument is that it so profoundly and adversely affects the minority communities. Imagine having someone from any one of those communities turn to you and say they cannot escape from the blight in which they live because they are force to live on minimum earnings, if that. Additionally, they foresee that business in their community will die out because “you can’t buy anything if you don’t have anything to buy it with.” No discretionary income means no spending on entertainment. It means hold the standard low for learning and achievement. It means kill the potential for qualified skilled workers. It means the American Dream will become welfare and less than meager existence. Sloth.

Yes, adjustments will have to be made because of raising the minimum wage. No doubt the cost of goods will be increased in order to absorb some of the cost. The increase will be so marginal compared with the opportunity value of the wage increase that those affected by price increases will hardly complain. In fact, they’ll rejoice at the fact that they are able to purchase and enjoy.

Salary increases are not the means of retaining good personnel. But good, livable wages are the way to attract willing workers who are interested in doing a good job. And those livable wages are a means of saying “thank you” to those who are willing to do their part in contributing to Domestic Product.

[Republished from The Desk (on Recruiter.com), Trends and Forecasts, November 9, 2006]

July 22, 2014

EEOC Announces Expansion of “Disabled”

Today I’m working on clearing some content off of my desk so that I can return to better productivity. Today I’m going to share with you a bit of the processes (but not all of them!) I go through to come up with some of the answers that are shared with my readers.

This particular topic isn’t quite as old as the research from the Meet the Press April 27 assertions about Asian women being the lowest paid of the minorities. And it doesn’t quite match the things I found about how recruiters review profiles on LinkedIn. Oh, there are quite a few things that have been crushing The Desk. But the matter of the expansion of the definition of “disabled” needs to be better organized and in a folder of its own.

It was late February or early March when I read an email that brought awareness of the fact that the EEOC had expanded the definition of “disabled” so that it now includes non-visible disabilities. The case related to Williams v. Toyota Motor Mfg. where a production line worker developed carpel tunnel syndrome and was not provided with sufficient accommodations for her disability. You’d think a simple thing like muscle strain would not give rise to such a momentous change in the law. But another phenomenon that was happening was people with diabetes or having been diagnosed with breast cancer were also suing their employers for disabling conditions that kicked them out of the employment arena.

12" wire cart accessibility device

A shopping cart or accessibility device?

I took this change in law to the Accessibility Advisory Committee’s March (or was it April) meeting because the Committee focuses on accessibility issues for seniors and the disabled. They needed to know about this change in definition. Also significant to the group’s awareness was the fact that I was the one who brought to their attention the matter of non-visible disabilities at the August 2013 meeting. The Committee, therefore, in its efforts to effectively serve its constituents was leading other organizations with regard to the matter. And the Committee could be said to be on the cutting edge of disability awareness and accommodation regulations and ways to address how they provide accommodations.

Unfortunately, that Public Comment was omitted from the meeting minutes in spite of the fact that several who were present asked for the information to be repeated while they feverishly copied the name of the case into their notes. It was necessary to find that email message again or at least the additional Web content that backed it up so that the accuracy of the shared information could be assured. And that’s when The Desk started growing its slush pile.

My efforts to commute on public transportation were meeting with increasing denials. My efforts to effect change and improvement through membership on the Committee were being met with increasing resistance and suspicion. I was finding I was spinning my wheels while being cut out of conversations and opportunities to provide input on driver training modifications. Worse yet, it began to appear that the presentation I’d done regarding non-visible disabilities was going to become (or had already become) yet another instance of watching my work be credited to someone else’s efforts while I sat on the sidelines with a reputation as a troublemaker but no attribution to the originator of the content. That isn’t what consulting is about.

  • Out of frustration, I took a new step by bringing my concerns to the Metro Board. But first, I wanted in my hand an official definition of a non-visible disability. I found What is an Invisible Disability?
  • It’s one thing to go before a body with a lot of platitudes and shrieks about “do something”. But a governing body has little room for action when it has few facts on which to operate. If I were on that body, I would want to know the size of the population that’s being affected. In answer to that, I researched on the string “how many suffer from non-visible disabilities

It isn’t clear whether Metro will make modifications to their operator training so that the drivers are much more sensitive to the fact that there is a class of commuter that is disabled but the evidence of their limitations is not obvious. They should not be accused of being shiftless homeless people. They should not be denied transportation. They should not be forced to over-exert themselves when simple deployment of a ramp (that is supposed to make boarding easier) could be done. They need to be cognizant that the person may have just exited their doctor’s office and are operating on instructions to limit certain activities. They may be suffering from an ailment that causes impairment to their balance.

Pass-ups happen to more than individuals using wheelchairs. Sometimes they happen because the person wasn’t paying attention; the bus approached and they didn’t collect their self fast enough so that the operator could stay on schedule. Those with sleep apnea may doze off without any fault on their part. Or just the fatigue of having to ride the bus all day to accomplish a paltry number of things (one or two) has worn the individual into an ennui. Unfortunately, the Chair of the Committee doesn’t seem to appreciate these conditions.

Furthermore, commuters should be treated with respect. Insulting words and insinuations are simply not appropriate and will cause your customer base to be motivated to find an alternative.

There you see some of it. These are just part of the process of collecting the information that falls on The Desk that needs to be reported to you, especially as today’s content relates to the volumes about the expansion of “disability” as it relates to non-visible disabilities.

Sponsored Link:

Sociopolitical Aspects of Disabilities: The Social Perspectives and Political History of Disabilities and Rehabilitation in the United States

 

Next Page »

The Rubric Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 313 other followers

%d bloggers like this: