Have You Thanked A Teacher Today? 4

I have a new Twitter follower named Marilyn. I clicked on the link to view her website and found this. The sign is tucked in the top right corner of her blog. I think it speaks volumes to the spirit and dedication of those who are shaping our future leaders.

Your job as an educator is many times thankless. I wanted to personally say thank you on behalf of parents everywhere for teaching our children.

You can see the sign and read more about her program’s at Advanced Educational Consultants, LLC. You can follow Marilyn at http://twitter.com/mkoppelman

Five Ways People Burn Bridges When They Leave A Job 10

There are times when wanting to get out of a situation seems like the only thing that matters. “Just get me out of this job”. And the consequences? You’ll “cross that bridge when you come to it“. So something happens at work that you see as the last straw and you decide to quit, to give notice, to say “take this job and shove it”.

However you may feel on the inside, when you finally make the decision to leave, you must do it on good terms.

Don’t be the person who:

  1. Failed to give proper notice
  2. Slacked off after you gave your notice
  3. Talked trash about those in the office you never got along with
  4. Called out sick two days before your last day (but went clothes shopping for your new job)
  5. Failed to thank those that mentored or helped you

At the time, you may feel justified in doing these things. Later, you may find that things aren’t as great in the new company and those problems you had with your previous job seem smaller and smaller. Now what do you do?

If you pulled any or all of the five things above, your chances of getting your old job back are pretty much slim to none. Leaving on good terms sets up a safety net. And if they can’t re-hire you, they can and will give you a positive recommendation, perhaps even a contact they know is hiring.

Don’t let getting out of the job at any cost cloud your vision of how you should leave. Keep your bridges in good repair instead of burning them. You never know when you’ll need to cross one.

Students – What You Get From A Summer Job That You Can’t Get In The Classroom 4

You may get more than a paycheck from your summer job

In high school, I had after school jobs doing landscaping and I pumped gas. Each summer when school was out I would work the grave yard shift at a gas station. I’d go in at 11PM at night and get off at 7AM the next morning. I thought it was great because then I could spend the day with my friends in a boat on the water. I’d sleep a little bit in the evening, sometimes a very little bit,  and then go back to work.

To get through college, I drove a school bus and I was the Assistant Manager and Projectionist at Cinema City Theaters in Tabb, Virginia. Later I had jobs on campus in Student Government and even taught sailing for the college as an adjunct professor to earn some extra money. I made it through high school and college with all of those part and full-time jobs. At the time all I thought I was getting from them was a paycheck. But as I look back at them know, I know got a lot more.

I learned about alarm clocks and how to get places on time. I learned that employers expect you to show up at 11AM if they put you on the schedule for 11AM. I learned they don’t mean show up somewhere around 11AM ’cause we know you were out late and you may need a little extra time to get going today.

I learned about raises by watching what happened to those who had been at jobs longer than I had. I saw that those who were rewarded were usually the ones who were solving problems for the boss, taking on extra responsibilities and making the day go smoother. I saw that the employees who always had a problem with something were not well liked and in time were no longer employees.  I also saw that the Boss’s son seemed to get away with things that no one else could (and never got fired).

I learned how to deal with supervisors and managers and owners of the small businesses I worked for. I found that the relationships I developed with them were far different from the ones I had with my teachers in the classroom. Each workplace had its own structure, its own set of rules. Some places I worked were very strict.

I spent three weeks and three days as a fry cook for a new fast food restaurant that opened near the college. Very strict, very high expectations and very greasy. At the movie theater, my boss was just the opposite. She was much more laid back and as long as things got done when they needed to be done, life was ok. She even let me borrow the company van so I could take five friends with me to the Hampton Roads Coliseum to see Jethro Tull in concert.  Pretty wild.

Some of my friends actually thought about the types of summer jobs they took and found internships and jobs in the field they wanted to pursue. At the time it just seemed kind of cool, but now I see how helpful that was to their ultimate career choices. You might want to give some thought to the types of jobs you seek out in high school and beyond. They really can be the groundwork for rewarding jobs after school.

It’s not too late to find a summer job. And if you already have one, congratulations! Enjoy your summer away from the classroom, but as you work and earn a paycheck, don’t be surprised if you actually learn something.

Don’t let your attitude keep you from getting the job or promotion 3

“People don’t get what they want, they get what they are”

Dan Cruoglio

Attitude is the key to getting the most out of each day. And having the right attitude is critical in landing a job or a promotion. In fact, I would go out on a limb and say that you will not get the right job until you get the right attitude. As my friend Dan said “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”.

What I think he means is your inner beliefs, your core values, your ideas about yourself will eventually surface. If you are telling yourself you want to make $100,000 a year and have the corner office, but deep down (when no one is looking) you only see yourself in a cubicle, living paycheck to paycheck, guess where you end up. As Dan says “When you squeeze a lemon, you don’t expect to have orange juice come out”.

Figuring out what you are willing to give to get what you want is the key to getting what you want.  If you truly want the corner office, you will “pay the cost to get it”. Everything has a cost and you must be willing to give what it takes to get there. To get the corner office the cost may be arriving an hour  before everyone else every morning, volunteering for the tough jobs, the jobs others shy away from because they are hard. It may mean long weekends reviewing notes, re-writing proposals, learning the things you need to sit in the comer office. It may mean extensive travel, time away from family and leisure activities. Knowing the costs and then making the commitment to paying those costs is the only way to get to that corner office.

So if you can figure out who you are, not just on the outside, you will be light years ahead of most candidates for a job or a promotion. Then you must make the commitment to do what it takes to achieve what you want. Once you do that, you will be one step closer to the right job or to picking out the desk for your new corner office.

A Fresh Approach To Leadership 2

Peter Drucker’s quote “Management is doing things right; Leadership is doing the right things” is just a starting point for what a true leader can be. Here are three ways to lead:

  1. Don’t rely on too much data – Managers can spend time analyzing reports, doing studies, collecting data, but in the end the decision still must be made. Leaders don’t fill their heads to the point they can’t make a decision. They know when it’s time to take action.
  2. Don’t make excuses – There’s an old expression that goes something like this “you can make excuses, you can make money, but you can’t do both”. Successful leaders face the same problems the rest of us do. But their focus is on what needs to be done to “make money” where “making money” equates to achieving any goal or objective.
  3. “Know instead of Believe” – People believe a lot of things. We learn from our parents, friends, teachers and we come to believe certain things. Leaders find that they  ”know” things. It’s that feeling, something you can’t put your finger on. Leaders have it and pay attention to it. ( Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell covers this in great detail )

These three ideas are the starting point for a fresh way to look at leadership. As a leader, I’m sure you will add your own.   Please share your ideas for the rest of use, so we too can become leaders

Forget everything you have heard about interviewing 1

I have written many, many articles about the responsibilities a person has when going for an interview. But what about the responsibilities of the interviewer? In speaking with job applicants recently, I am hearing that the person conducting the interview:

  • was late for the interview
  • was unprepared
  • asked inappropriate (and sometimes illegal) questions
  • was unclear about the job description for the position they were hiring for

So all of the preparation candidates do by practicing the answers to basic questions and having great questions to ask may not be enough to land the job. While forgetting all of that preparation really isn’t the answer, my suggestion is that you have a plan for the interview. Don’t wait to be asked. Have a plan to communicate your abilities, but more importantly how you use those abilities to solve problems. Regardless of the job you are applying for, the reason there is a job opening is because the company has a problem and they are hiring to solve it.

It may be that they are swamped with phone calls for orders and so their problem is they don’t have enough experienced sales people or the company is looking to expand into China and they don’t have an experienced manager who is fluent in Mandarin. By identifying the specific  problem the company has, the problem the interviewer is hiring for, you can land the job by showing that you can solve the problem.

In the end, it is up to you to show, with specific stories, that you are the right person for the job. By understanding that the person doing the interview may be more nervous and much less prepared than you are, you can help them by showing them what they need to know to hire you.

While that’s not what you usually hear about how to land a job, in today’s market, it may be what you must do to stand out, to end up in your next new hire orientation!

Last night I met the strongest man in the world. And he is looking for a new job. 2

Last night I met the strongest man in the world. And he is looking for a new job. He currently works in a hospital, the hospital that helped save his life almost 13 years ago.
The strongest man in the world has been awarded three Emmys, The Associated Press Award for Best New Jersey Newscast and two Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards as a Television Producer. The strongest man in the world has traveled the world teaching others how to be the best in broadcasting, even traveling to Russia and Kosovo (that’s a story in itself). His opportunities were endless, his enthusiasm enormous and his confidence unshakable.
When the strongest man in the world came in contact with Kryptonite, his whole world collapsed. It took away the use of the entire left side of his body and stirred up his mind so he couldn’t articulate his thoughts. This would have dampened the spirits of a mere mortal, but not the strongest man in the world. He found the antidote to the Kryptonite was his own attitude about the effects it was having on him.
Within weeks, the strongest man in the world was walking and talking. He learned to read again, to interact, to strengthen the limbs that the kryptonite had made fallow. Soon the strongest man in the world was helping others in the hospital who had also come in contact with kryptonite, sharing his experience and sharing his vision of a better future, a stronger future, a future free of the effects of Kryptonite.
More than a decade later, the scars from his encounter with Kryptonite are not visible to the naked eye. The one that remains is the ability to feel unshakeable confidence. Yet as you talk with the strongest man in the world, you see that his regaining this skill too, is inevitable. Having come so far, he is ready to face the job market and get back to the work he loves, the creativity and collaborative endeavors that allow him to use his superhuman strength for the good of others. The right job will be found, the career path once again joined.
I believe there are more Emmys in his future. For after all, to me, he is the strongest man in the world.

The Shocking Truth About Today’s Jobs Number 1

Bleak May unemployment report suggests economic recovery may be stalling

The Labor Department reported on Friday that the nation’s economy added only 69,000 jobs in May, bringing the unemployment rate to 8.2% – The Washington Post  

Until this morning, the Jobs reports over the past few months have been encouraging. People are actually quitting jobs. In some sectors, good paying jobs are going unfilled. So why did the one point uptick send the markets into a tumble and cause network reporters to spend the day saying “the jobs sky is falling”?

The shocking truth is that things really haven’t changed since 2008. People are playing their cards closer to the vest. Employers are stretching the limits of their existing employees productivity rather than hire. And businesses, unsure of the political climate, are reluctant to invest in long-term projects which create new jobs.

WASHINGTON — A new study from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the Great Recession that technically ended in 2009 has doubled the time it takes before the average unemployed person either finds a job or gives up looking for work.

Each month, BLS announces the latest unemployment rate and several other characteristics of the workforce, including the length of time people have been jobless. Last Friday’s announcement brought news that the average unemployed person had been looking for work for 39.7 weeks as of May (the median length of unemployment rose to 22 weeks). Huffington Post

So the truth is landing a job is going to be work. You need to have a long-term focus even if “you need the job now”. If you start with the right attitude, you will greatly increase your odds of success. Avoiding highs and lows helps keep your emotional energy intact. Make sure you set goals for how many interviews you will have, resumes you will send and the amount of time you will spend networking to find work.

When you get interviews, think of them as just a step in the process. Keep your routine going until you find yourself in a new hire orientation. Then you can relax and congratulate yourself for a job well done.