attitude

The Three C’s of Interviews – Two land the interview, the third lands the job 5

Has this ever happened to you? You hear about a job and review the posting. The job description reads just like your resume. You have done everything that the company is looking for. Your references and your on-line presence confirm you are that person. You apply and get a call for an interview. The job seems destined to be yours! But something goes a little sideways during the actual interview and two weeks later you learn they hired someone else. What happened?

Employers really are only looking for three things.  The first two are what get you into their office for the interview. The third is what actually gets you the job. 

The Three C’s of Interviews are:

  1. Capability
  2. Character
  3. Compatibility

First, they want to know if you can do the job. Some major employers now use keyword software to sift through on-line applications looking for specific skills. Make sure you read the posting completely and include references to the exact skills being advertised.

Second, employers want someone they can trust.  Be sure to coach your references so they know what position you are applying for. Remind them of specific projects that you were involved in so they have a positive story to tell about your abilities. And review your on-line presence. Know what an employer will see when they Google your name.

The third C is the hardest to measure. Before the interview make sure you have done your homework about the company, the industry and the major players in the organization. As you enter the building, the office or the conference room, you must be observant. Look at the posters and pictures on the walls. How are the employees interacting? Are there clues you can pick up about the culture?

Years ago I had an interview for a management position.  The Executive I was to speak with was seated at his desk. Behind him was a huge photo of a sailboat. I was the Commodore of our sailing team in college and had lived on a sailboat for a year between high school and college. It was very easy to find a mutual interest that showed the interviewer I was compatible. Conversely, at another company the poster behind the interviewer said “we are going to have a sales contest, the winner gets to keep their job”. That was a very different kind of interview.

In the end, you can feel pretty confident that you have gotten past the first two C’s when they call you for an interview. Your job during the interview is to make them “C” you fitting in. Do that and you will be sitting in a new hire orientation for your new job.

The 9 Hour, 12 minute and 36 second challenge 1

How do you spend your workday? On average, a full-time American worker spends 9 hours, 12 minutes and 36 seconds working and commuting. Do you enjoy what you do? Can you honestly say “I can’t believe they are paying me to do this?

I spent a summer during college working for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. My job was to collect water samples in the Chesapeake Bay. I would tow an 18 foot Grady-White motor boat with twin Mercury outboards to different rivers that feed into the Bay. I would then follow the incoming tide, stopping to take water samples at designated intervals. One overcast day I saw two water spouts dancing around the mouth of the York River. I saw magnificent sunrises, sunsets and met interesting people at every marina I stopped at. “I couldn’t believe they were paying me to do what I would have done for free”.

Ok, you’ve got me. Having a summer job and “working for a living” is not the same thing. But, the closer you can get to that feeling, the more satisfaction you will get from your 9 hours, 12 minutes and 36 seconds.

Five Reasons To Go After Your Goals 3

“Just keep moving forward and don’t give a sh#$ about what anybody thinks. Do what you have to do for you.”
Johnny Depp

The passing of Labor days means the summer is over and it’s time to get down to work. With only 119 days left between now and the end of the year, what do you want to accomplish?

Do you want to find a new job? Maybe you just want to find a job. Do you want a promotion, a raise? At home are you looking for a deeper relationship with your significant other? Whatever your goal, use today as a launching point.

Here are five things to keep in mind when pursing your goal:

  1. You must write it down. If you can’t see it, feel it and read it out loud, you’ll have a hard time achieving it.
  2. You must make it very specific. The more detail you can give your goal, the more attainable it will be.
  3. You must make it realistic. Most of us would like to earn a million dollars a year and having that as a goal would be exciting. But is it realistic for where you are right now?
  4. You must believe in your goal. Johnny Depp’s quote reminds us to do what we believe is right, not what others think is best for us.
  5. You must take action towards your goal. Napoleon Hill said a goal without action is just a dream.  You must take steps every single day towards your goal.

As sad as it maybe to see summer end, it opens new doors for us. Decide what your major focus, your goal will be for the fall and go after it with everything you’ve got. You’ll be surprised where you will be at year’s end.

Parents? Back to School List? Here Are Four Things College Freshman Need Most 1

So you’ve bought the clothes, the sheets (custom length so you can’t buy them off the rack), the college required laptop and the meal plan. You’ve packed change for laundry, filled out the dorm surprise package card from the university and made your hotel reservations for the big trip out to drop your freshman off. All set, right?

Here are four additional things you should put on your student’s “back to school” list:

  1. Remind them to follow the rules. If a class starts at 10am, the professor expects them to be there at 10am. It is now their responsibility, not yours, to get up in time to get to class.
  2. Remind them to break the rules. Buckminster Fuller had a quote about how one sometimes must create a new paradigm if the old one doesn’t work. Then there’s “Girls who behave rarely make history”.
  3. Take notes, write things down. College will be different from high school. Let me say that again, college will be different from high school. If the expectations are not clear ahead of time, it could be Thanksgiving before your student knows there’s a building on campus full of books; insiders call it “the Library”. Mid-terms for freshman can be a real wake-up call.
  4. Expect to learn – College is a huge emotional undertaking. Not having clear expectations about the outcome cheats the student of opportunities to make connections that are meaningful. As early as elementary school, when my kids went out the door to school I’d remind them to “get their money’s worth” and to “make sure they teach you something”.

As you send your kids off, please add these reminders to the list. If your student really applies all four, she or he will get so much more out of their college experience. And in four years, you can proudly display your Parent of a University Graduate Coffee Mug.

Who Should Think Big? 1

Are You Thinking Big?

Traveling to Yorktown, Virginia from New Jersey, I cross the Potomac River on Route 301. Three miles from the river, at the top of a rather steep hill, is a furniture and carpet shop. The shop has been in business for decades. I’ve been driving this road for 21 years, but the store never stood out in my mind until….

On a recent trip, I saw a giant chair in front of the store. I had a flashback to Lily Tomlin and a character she developed that sat in a humongous rocker. Now, as I cross the bridge into Virginia from Maryland, I am anticipating the chair.

I might have the radio on but I’m concentrating on the road as the two lane Potomac River Bridge is very narrow and Route 301 is a major tractor-trailer highway. Then, out of the blue, a vision of the chair flashes in my mind. I think, “is it still there”? As I drive up that steep hill from the riverbed area up onto the rolling hills, I spot the chair at the front of the parking lot.

I don’t think I will ever drive this section of highway without thinking about this chair. Thinking BIG paid off for this business. I certainly remember them.

Everyone should think big. In business, stores don’t take 75 cents off a $300 TV, they slash prices to the bone! As a candidate for a job, you don’t say you can do slightly better than the next guy, you spell out the tremendous skills you have and then share stories that highlight those skills. As a parent, you don’t encourage children to be average, but to reach for the stars, to follow their dreams. Even in our personal relationships, there’s a place for thinking big.

If you are ever on Route 301 in Virginia, between the Potomac River Bridge and where Route 3 crosses it leading into Fredericksburg, look for the chair. And when you are going to do something, choose to do it BIG. Big gets remembered!

Boss or Leader? 0

Thank’s to www.PMCampus.com for posting this on FaceBook. Has anyone found this to be true?

Managers, Do You Work With Heroes? 2

I was traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike yesterday afternoon. I had gotten on at exit 7A and was heading south to exit 6 to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike west to Route 81. The view on the turnpike in South Jersey is decidedly different from the urban, industrial view many associate with “the turnpike”. Through the trees you can see homes, shopping centers, even the occasional pond or stream. But what caught my eye on this trip was a large sign in front of a building.

It said:

HERO’S WORK HERE

The sign belongs to a company that specializes in Forklift, Construction equipment, Crane, Standby Power, and Material Handling Sales Servicing the Mid-Atlantic. If I were ever in the market for any of those services, I would give my business to a company that felt that way about their employees.

I was still thinking about the sign minutes later as I was forced to slow down due to the heavy volume of traffic ( 4th of July vacationers heading home?). I flashed back to when I owned Strawcastle Snax, a vending company in Williamsburg, Virginia. I had the good fortune of landing the vending machine account for the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. My machines were in the employee lounge, so I entered through the employee door on the side of the Brewery.

Over the door, in large bold letters was this sign:

THROUGH THESE DOORS PASS THE WORLD”S BEST BREW TEAM

Ok, it’s been over 20 years since I’ve seen the sign. The sign may have said “Greatest”. But the point is the same. Management considered their employees to be a very valuable asset. While servicing the account, I remember asking employees about the sign and how they were treated. They confirmed that the sentiment was real, just like the beer foam that washed across the production floor when they bottled Budweiser.

As a consumer, I would want to do business with companies that had this type of attitude towards employees. As a manager, there are so many advantages to this type of philosophy. Besides the obvious “golden rule” ideas, there are productivity gains from creating a work environment where employees feel valued.

Managers, I encourage you to look at how you view your employees. If you don’t work with “Heroes”, then you may have some work to do.

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.

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.

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.