Archive for the ‘Increasing Your Career Currency’ Category
The Art Of Quitting (Or Staying)
Jenna Goudreau, who runs a diverse and informative women-oriented column on Forbes.com touches upon a very important subject in her recent article, The Dos And Don’ts Before Leaving Your Job. A study by insurance provider MetLife shows that 36% of workers are planning a fresh start in 2011. If you are one of them, there is a warning for you from career experts, including yours truly: when heading for the exit, “watch your step” and don’t make mistakes that may trip you up in the future.
For example, you should make sure your bosses and co-workers don’t see your departure as a let-down for the company and make the transition as smooth as possible.
“Workplace expert Lynn Taylor, author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant, suggests employees consider their response to a counter offer before they resign,”– the article says. But don’t be lured by money if there are deeper problems with the business or its management.
Whatever the situation might be, I advise against letting negative emotions fly – biting your tongue will increase your chances of a positive recommendation.
Another vital issue is prepping your replacement and following up after you leave. This responsibility, while important, should certainly be limited, and the article quotes my recommendations in this regard.
As the final step, I recommend spending some extra time to look around and tie up loose ends, making sure your “clean break” is literally clean.
The article – that you should read in its entirety – will help you if you are leaving your job, but have you given enough thought to this important step? Is it absolutely the only thing to do? In my recent article for Psychology Today I advise to “look before you leap.” Do this before making your current job a “thing of the past”:
Examine practical risks associated with leaving.
Create a “Solutions” document, to examine what can be done to improve your situation.
Make your “Skills Inventory” and see what additional skills you can offer in your current position.
Revert negative thinking and examine what’s right with your current job, instead of focusing on “wrongs.”
For more, read the complete article here.
Of course, sometimes moving on is the only way to move ahead. That’s why my next blog will be on When It’s Time to Leave Your Job. But for now, let’s have another look at our “bird in the hand” that for some reason we don’t like anymore.
How Many Thank-You E-mails Land the Job?
After a job interview, you need to follow up to stay visible – without becoming a pest. I discuss this issue in my new Business Week article and offer my perspective on how to find a perfect balance based on a number of factors.
I start with an example from my personal experience – of two excellent and equally qualified candidates competing for the same job. One was virtually silent after the interview and thank-you e-mail. The other one sent the thank-you and also checked in about every 10 days with interesting links and industry information. Eventually I had to go with my gut: Since Candidate B went out of his way to demonstrate his interest for the job, I selected him. He remained part of my team for years until he had to relocate for personal reasons.
So Candidate A lost out in large part because he failed to follow up with enthusiasm. But over the course of my career, I’ve also had to exclude candidates from the running because they made pests of themselves after the interview.
It is obvious that candidates who can manage just the right amount of contact are the ones most likely to succeed. So how do you know what the right amount of follow-up is? Every other week is a good general rule, especially if you’re getting a positive response from the interviewer. But every situation is different, and there is a number of things to be factored in. For the complete picture, read more on BusinessWeek.com.
Turn Yourself into an Office Diplomat
I always emphasize the importance of interpersonal skills. As I mention in my book, Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant, the ability to understand your fellow co-worker and maintain open communication is the basis for humanizing the workplace.
I recently addressed this issue in my article for BusinessWeek.com where I discuss “office diplomacy.” We’ve all observed managers with a knack for making people feel included, gently persuading others to cooperate, and generally inspiring others. Today’s most sought-after leaders never stopped displaying these qualities during the recession. Poise, transparency, and tact will also help any job seeker. In the article I offer suggestions on how to handle office relations, keep communication clear and to the point and make good impression at job interviews.
Read more on how to be an “office diplomat” on BusinessWeek.com.
Acing a Job Interview: The Art of Proper Follow-Up
Often a job interview is like playing poker – you have to know how much to reveal, how much to conceal, and when to call for all cards on the table. If you play your hand right, the game is yours. But what to do when you’re across the table from an interviewer with the world’s best poker face?
You can succeed at the interview game if you’re good at reading people. You’ll need to decide how much or how little communication is right with the particular hiring manager, time your moves perfectly and watch for signals and the feedback you’re getting, or not getting.
With good interpersonal skills and an upbeat approach you can beat the odds in the interview game. But like in everything else, there are some dos and don’ts to remember. I offer tips on how to excel at “job interview poker” in my Psychology Today article.
Landing a Survival Job
Today many people are forced to look for jobs below their qualifications. In the current tough economic climate even “settling for less” often presents a challenge and needs to be done right. What advice would you give to candidates seeking “survival jobs” – or use yourself in a tough situation?
Megan Malugani, a contributing writer for Monster.com, quotes opinions from a number of workplace experts (including yours truly) in her recent article: “A survival job should be something you enjoy,” says Lynn Taylor, a workplace expert who is CEO of Santa Monica, California-based Lynn Taylor Consulting and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant. “Your likelihood of landing even a survival job is greater if you demonstrate genuine enthusiasm, so don’t waste anyone’s time with a job you dislike from the start.”
You’d also need to tone down your resume to avoid being perceived as overqualified. Focus your resume and the interview on the actual job at hand.
Above all, stay positive and remember that any experience is an opportunity to learn.
For more tips, read the complete article at Monster.com