The Desk

December 25, 2016

Colorado School of Public Health Dean Description

Filed under: Education and Training,Management — Yvonne LaRose @ 7:34 PM
Tags: , ,

An announcement from American Public Health Association on December 13 announced an opening for the position of Dean at the Colorado School of Public Health.

The position descriptions were two .PDF attachments. As a one-time courtesy, those descriptions are being included in this post.

The announcement said

“Greetings ICEHS!

Please see attached job Description and advertisement for Colorado SPH Dean. The deadline ‘to receive full consideration’ is January 9, 2017.”

The description: coloradosph-dean-job-description-final

The advertisement: coloradosph-dean-ad-final-003-1

Best wishes to all who apply.

January 2, 2016

Exposure and Expertise

Businessman giving an used book to another businessman, learning to survive

Businessman giving a used book to another businessman, learning to survive

There’s a constant search for the best qualified candidate to be added to your workforce. They come to the table with all the education that’s required by the job description. They have the right amount of experience performing the tasks that need to be done. They are aware of the terminology and use it in appropriate context. They are wonderful when it comes to timely execution and speed. Why do they have all of these gifts? Where can you find more of them?

No doubt some of these skills were gained in the classes they took. Still others were developed with exposure to various technologies. Still other things were learned through conversations and reading all manner of trade and recreational content.

How useful all of this knowledge proves to be depends on its source and the amount and type of education that accompanied it. If it was merely parroting something without any appreciation of what the expression means or its history, not to mention the why of its use, then it’s simply doing because you were told to do so when x, y, or z occurred.

You can break a contract but taken literally, it’s difficult to see how a piece of paper can be broken. How many who don’t have exposure to that term understand that violating the terms of the agreement can result in losing the benefits of the association? We can talk about algorithms. That’s a fine and fancy name for having different bases of measuring things that are already in daily use. We count denominations of money using a base of 10. However, we measure distances, space, and time with a base of 12. All of those are algorithms. Does the neophyte realize this? Perhaps not. They’re simply intimidated by this new word and concept that’s been put before them with no explanation.

Taking a skills test can be similar to taking a classroom evaluation of the last section that was taught. However, screening and selection tests such as the LSAT or the SAT are an entirely different thing. If the applicant has never experienced an evaluation process of that type, it shouldn’t be expected that they will perform well on literally their first exposure – unless, of course, there’s some form of genius lurking in those brain cells.

Scalia recently opined that Blacks should not be put into the better educational institutions because they have poor learning skills. That might be true were it not for the fact that educating Blacks has historically been an after thought (if that much). Like women, they were to be kept uneducated in order to have better control over the population and keep them in a state of being disenfranchised. And even in that ethnicity, plus the combinations that created racial and ethnic Creoles, there have been those who found patrons who saw the benefits of providing quality education to them. In the alternative, the population found ways to gain even the rudimentary gems of education in order to propel them into something more.

Education is a prized aspired to by all races and ethnicities. Each family sees it as the tool that will bring fulfillment of the promise of a better life and empowerment. But that promise cannot be realized if the mentoring and educating to create the employable candidate is not provided.

So develop your employee education programs to your advantage. Also develop mentoring programs with an eye toward reducing apathy while increasing engagement and productivity. The exposure to the concepts and terminology will provide you with more than just the ideal candidate for the next step on the ladder.

Resources:

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June 7, 2015

Repetition

There's no course on job search

There’s no course on job search

Not long ago I heard a complaint from one of the industry’s more vintage and distinguished recruiters. (I’ll paraphrase.)

“This business would be a lot more interesting if we could get past the how to write a resume and cover letter stuff. And it would be much better if we didn’t spend so much time on how to interview. Why do we have to go through this so much? It should be obvious!”

True enough, it should be obvious to those of us who’ve been around the block several times. But there are a lot of dynamics that are driving the actual need to have this “wisdom” regurgitated on a regular basis. Let’s look at a few of them today.

Babies

For some reason, people keep having babies. Then they send them off to school to learn all the basics – except for how to write a resume and cover letter, how to interview, how to go to work. Somehow, that information is supposed to get distilled before graduation from high school but it doesn’t. So we have these quasi-adults meandering around looking for meaning that’s associated with their existence and wondering where they belong. Some of them get recruited to things such as gangs, sports, lured into competing for a slot on America’s Got Talent or The Voice or any number of other things that bring some form of recognition and prestige. And some of them try to figure out how to get on Survivor or Big Brother. The thing of it is, no one told them they’ll still need to pass the interview to get accepted on the entertainment scene.

We need to keep doing the stories about how to write a resume as well as how to write a cover letter because there are millions added to the next generation on a daily basis. None of them know this and it essentially isn’t taught in school – not middle school, not high school, and sort of in college but that’s a bit late.

Technology

The way we do things in business is constantly evolving. At one time, you just walked into a business and asked whether or not they were hiring. If there was a possibiity of a situation, someone in charge would talk to the person and do some informal screening. Provided the conversation went well, there was a get hired on the spot moment with a start date that ranged from that instant to maybe a couple of days later so that appropriate clothing could be gathered.

Today, things don’t work on the same principle. We’ve stopped walking into the business and asking for work. We’ve, for the most part, even stopped scouring the classifieds for “Situations” because they’re now online at various websites and company Careers sections. Networking sites now offer information about open positions, with details about more specifics.

The rules of the game for submitting applications have also changed. Even with temporary staffing agencies, you now set up an interview time online. Going into the office is a necessity for the sake of completing some of the paperwork and taking the computer administered tests to assess where one’s strongest skills are. (Yes, the screening process is still intact.)

Actually, there’s a very subtle reason for continuing to have the applicant come into the office. Those who show up, and show up on time, have demonstrated an genuine interest in pursuing the opportunity. Those who do not show up, have an excuse about why they aren’t there, are running late, need to reschedule, have lowered their seed position and will need to make a very strong showing when they do get to the office for the in-person screening and interview. And getting into the office is yet another way to evaluate how well the applicant follows instructions.

Fashion

Because we’ve become more accepting of cultural differences, styles that are acceptable for interviewing are beginning to change. What used to be proper attire for Sabbath and not for the office has become appropriate for either venue. How many applicants as well as recruiters and human resource managers are aware of this fashion evolution is still to be determined. However, it is a certainty that finding some lawsuit that challenges failure to hire based on wearing traditional garb will be easy.

En Masse Education

It isn’t always the applicant who needs a verse or so of the hiring mantra. Recruiters could stand a refresher course in what is acceptable. Those who are new to the industry would do well to take time for getting refreshed on what is involved in sourcing, screening, and hiring the right person. Even the government is trying to work out that formula to everyone’s satisfaction. And there’s still the ‘know thy industry’ caveat.

There are a lot of factors that go into the formula for making a successful application for a job. With each advancement in technology, with each new birth each year, there will be more people who need to learn how to apply and more who need to know how to select the right one. Suffice it to say that for each employer or recruiter or manager, there are that many people who have their own idea of who a resume and cover letter should be formatted. It’s all subjective; it takes a lot of sifting in order to get to the standard and then to get to what’s right. And for those who have been at this for a while, it’s important to have refreshers. Today we briefly looked at three aspects of the job search and why these topics keep coming up as repetitious coaching subjects.

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March 22, 2015

Developing Good Mini Habits

Filed under: Career Tips,Education and Training — Yvonne LaRose @ 5:16 AM
Tags: , , ,

There was a recent question posted on Quora where the person wanted to know some “mini habits” that can be practiced everyday for about five minutes. Now that was definitely a good question because it focuses on building in small steps to be more efficient.

Read more of Developing Good Mini Habits in the “Ask Yvonne” folder of Entrances Bulletins.

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.

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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.

June 21, 2014

Personality: Being a Great Boss

Filed under: Education and Training,Leaders — Yvonne LaRose @ 10:48 AM
Tags: , , , ,

This week was full. There were many things to take in. But by far, the most compelling was an instagraph about personality traits a leader needs to have. Do you agree with the 12 traits? There’s one additional that’s sort of obscured because it’s w-a-a-a-a-y down at the bottom. It’s called encouraging good habits.

great boss personality traits

Although it’s more an advertisement disguised as a blog post, the content is still worth taking into consideration. It’s especially important for women who are climbing and clawing their way out of being a support person and into being a manager, a leader, a boss. It puts things into perspective and turns the lens of the camera [of investigation] back on the user. Many times, the problem is internal and comes from what you are projecting onto others and your environment.

It can be overwhelming to try to develop all of these traits in one sitting or one day. Habits are developed over time. Personality traits are developed over time. They may be deliberate efforts in the initial stages. But eventually, they no longer need any thought. It’s been internalized to such an extent that it’s simply the automatic reaction, a bit like developing muscle memory when training for a physical activity.

It was once said that in order to conquer something so that it becomes ingrained, it must be repeated at least seven times. With self governance practices, it would be more accurate to say it must be done at least everyday for about a month. But that isn’t the end of the exercise in developing a habit. Practice is usually done in a private place. So the next step in developing a habit is to develop the boldness to do it in public and without embarrassment. The goal is to make it your habit – your positive habit.

Let’s say you already have some of these traits in your arsenal of positive traits. What’s the first one you’re going to work on developing and the one after that? Are you going to seek out a support system to pull these things together? Maybe they don’t even need to be told they’re part of your support system. They’re merely your friends or colleagues who are part of your associations. Isn’t that great? They can watch you evolve before their eyes. You can measure how well you’re doing by the reactions they have to what you’re doing. Sneaky little thing, that. [snickering] Of course, another way to accomplish one of those traits is to learn how to encourage collaboration, which is another way of creating informal mentoring and training relationships. Get busy learning about developing yourself so you can do likewise with others.

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June 9, 2014

The Growing and the Going

Here’s some interesting news. The job market is opening up again. Unemployment claims are down from the April 2014 statistics. “Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 1.2 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively.” (Employment Situation Summary of June 6, 2014) Nonetheless, the critical questions are

  • In what industries is there positive growth?
  • Are there age limitations on these opportunities?
  • What is the average salary?
  • How much education is required?

Growth Jobs

Now these are some excellent things to take into consideration. The first article I found lists seven careers that are growing while offering compensation at significantly more than a minimum wage. All of them require at least an Associate’s degree. But the average pay starts at approximately $22 (computer support specialist and paralegal) and increases to just over $34 (diagnostic medical sonographer and dental hygienist). Sandwiched inbetween are occupations such as police officer, web designer, and registered nurse.

It’s important to also state that “all wage information [is] from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Employment and Wages data, May 2013.”

A police officer is going to have age (35 years) and physical agility restrictions. The LAPD puts their officers through their specialized training and schooling. For some reason, it seems they are also required to learn penmanship. This would be a good occupation for someone who knows how to take orders, show restraint, know the difference between a situation that requires active intervention and when just talking the individuals into calmness is appropos. This occupation also requires good listening skills and being objective.

A dental hygienist is also going to have physical demands on their abilities. Standing for long periods of time and the ability to reach, especially at odd angles, are things that should be considered.

The jobs that require personal interaction with people will also require good listening skills, sensitivity to what’s happening with the person with whom you’re dealing, and the ability to tactfully and accurately give instructions. Where reports need to be prepared as part of the follow up, good grammar and spelling are imperative.

Take a look at the occupations that are enumerated. Some of them can be accomplished while seated, even seated at home. So don’t rule out web design just because you can’t sit in the traditional cubicle. (In fact, maybe you want to celebrate that one!)

Shrinking Demand

The next five occupations are noted as having “salary information and projected job growth rates from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012.” The growth rates between 2010 to 2020 are low, in some cases only 5%, in one case as low as 0%. In other words, these are jobs to be avoided if you’re looking for long-term opportunities.

But I began to scrutinize the jobs a little closer and paid closer attention to the descriptions. Perhaps it isn’t so much a matter of the jobs dying as much as the titles are changing to something else. While a teller may be a job that holds little promise of a future (and low pay), it is a starting point in the world of finance. There is some merit to considering it as a job to get you through school at night while earning your degree – and the qualifications for the next step. That occupation is compared to opportunities as a financial analyst which requires more sophisticated skill sets and more advanced education.

Likewise, it was surprising to see that fashion designer is a fading occupation. However, the article attributes a number of factors such as competitiveness and allure of the trade contribute to its low pay. On the other hand, a position as an art director is a much more lucrative situation as far as compensation, growth, and opportunity for career diversity – not to mention prestige.

What’s in a name? It seems, quite a bit. The dental lab technician is a low paying job with little growth prospects. But turn that into being a dental hygienist and the options explode. Much like the teller jobs, it appears the lab tech is an entry-level situation that can be done while gaining education in order to take the next step.

A craft and fine artist has a lot of competition going against it in addition to poor economic conditions. However, before leaping into a career as a graphic artist (much more lucrative), consider the markets that the fine arts and crafts fields offer. Rehabilitative services can be delivered to those whose motor skills are impaired or in need of development. That creates opportunities for a broad age spectrum from small children who need to learn how to hold and manipulate instruments in order to do many things all the way to seniors who need to maintain their motorskills – and all the folks on the spectrum inbetween.

Which leads me to the last category of jobs that are fading – credit authorizer compared with actuary. While the availability of online credit reports is creating pressure on the life of the credit authorizer, there will still be banks and real estate businesses (title companies, for example) that will rely on the authorizer’s collection of data. Again, it’s a starting point; it doesn’t have to be done in a cubicle; there are low physical demands although the need for care in collecting and interpreting data for the correct individual or entity is paramount.

There for the Taking

These forecasts aren’t in a crystal ball. Anyone can access them for free by using the Occupational Outlook Handbook, a comprehensive tool published by the federal government. Portions of the information is available by using the salary calculator tool on any job website. And there are also salary websites (whose calculator tools are usually part of the job websites) such as Salary.com or PayScale.com. Use them in combination with other tools or just use one. Do your research. Keep yourself on a positive plane.

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April 18, 2014

Traits of a Great Leader

Today’s HR Daily Advisor has an article that itemizes the 14 traits of a great leader according to Marvin Bower and then talks about the qualities of those traits. The 14 traits are listed here.

  1. Trustworthiness
  2. Fairness
  3. Unassuming behavior
  4. Listening
  5. Open-minded
  6. Sensitivity to people
  7. Sensitivity to situations
  8. Initiative
  9. Good judgment
  10. Broad-mindedness
  11. Flexibility and adaptability
  12. Capacity to make sound and timely decisions
  13. Capacity to motivate
  14. Sense of urgency

You can go to the article to read a discussion of each attribute.

The order of these traits is interesting; I speculate about whether they’re ranked in order of importance or not. Whatever the ranking system, the next thing to consider is whether you, in your career goals, have these traits or not and what you can do to develop them. Author of the article, Dan Oswald, tells us many of these attributes cannot be taught but can be learned and developed. I would venture to say having reliable mentors and coaches is one way to accomplish the learning and development involved. Further, these coaches and mentors should demonstrate these attributes in their own dealings, no matter what the industry.

And then comes the tricky part – does Boss have these qualities. If not, which are excusable and which ones aren’t required in that milieu.

There’s one very important characteristic that’s missing from Bowers list. Have you been wondering about its absence? Perhaps we should talk about that one another day. It’s “good ethics.”

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August 25, 2009

ROI

It was 40 years ago this morning that I began investing and the significance of making good choices became acutely underscored in regard to education, training, good listening skills, and communication. The awareness of where to network, as well as how, became another important factor at that time.

Being a member of a minority group meant, as my Second Grade teacher advised her students, being twice as good as our white counterparts so that we could be considered half as good. That meant being prepared for the rejections that would occur throughout our lives that were based on the mere color of our skin and texture of our hair no matter what the venue. But that lesson had to be taught in an indirect manner so that it felt as though it was intuited knowledge. Thus, acceptance and the true meaning of diversity, recognizing all of the races and cultures and ethnicities and blendings that caused our existence could be embraced and celebrated. That also spelled understanding discrimination without needing to endorse it nor waging a war about it. Sometimes the best way to defeat the hate is to simply wall it up in a container and then stow it.

These are all fine things to consider. It’s admirable to aim for accomplishing them as far as developing a person with a meaningful existence who will increase the value of their workplace. They will improve the community for the fact that they passed through that space and did positive things as they impacted it. They strove to do the best possible in the workplace and everywhere else. These are the factors in our investments. But its the return on investment, the ROI, that gives us the bottom line on whether the training and development was properly handled.

Do they fight resistance with all of the tools at their disposal, being selective about which to use at the proper time and in the right measure? Or do they become complacent and accept the dregs that smack of insult instead of the measure to which they have worked to earn and merit?

What type of ethics do they ultimately practice, whether in spite of or because of our training? The question also needs to be raised as to whether our input and training would have made a difference. We question whether we should have been more adamant about certain matters as our capital was being developed. There are some who would tamper with our product and interject negative influences that should not have been part of the training. Still others will attempt to approximate what they see us using but they have no sense of how to replicate the lessons. Therefore, their theft mangles the training and undermines the development regimen so that remediation is not just necessary, it is mandatory.

The issue of knowing when to let go in order to test both our own selves as to our abilities at development as well as the product to see how well it performs becomes critical as time passes. It’s important to do periodic quizes. Taking the small steps to curb disaster are easier in those small increments rather than wait until one payload is ready to be delivered and fails.

After going through all of the development and training of our investment in our future, we want to see our dividend and returns at least doubled. If they aren’t, there’s disappointment in the effort. What still needs to be considered in this regard is whether we’re using the proper measuring stick. It could be that we’re using the one for the architect when the activist logorithm is the correct rule. No matter. It’s important to have a sense of how much return we’re getting on that investment.

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