I Hate My Job!

Photo Credit: Theskooloflife.comAt one time or another many people have utter the words “I hate my job“. This is a loaded statement and can include a number of reasons one feels dissatisfied at work  like; not feeling challenged, dislike like boss, dislike co-workers, doesn’t believe in culture or C-Level leaders, no opportunities for growth, location, pay, corporate shenanigans’  and/or  lack of recognition.

According to a study done by Mercer, 32% of workers are seeking new employment and according another study done in 2012 by Mercer a total of 64% of the participants cited being somewhat to total dissatisfied with their job. That’s a lot of unhappy and disengaged people in the workforce. That information should be a HUGE RED FLAG to our business leaders but that’s another issue and post. We all know we can only control ourselves. So then the question is: “what can we do to take control the situation? Whining, complaining and crying is a waste of time and immature.

Here is what you can do to regain control of your work situation:

Evaluate and assess the situation: Slow down. Make a list of your the parts of your job that create dissatisfaction. Once you have your list to paper you will be able to see the true business issues and pure emotional issues. Then assess whether or not you have any control or impact on the items in your list. Then depending on your evaluation determine whether the best route is to A: Stay and design ways to solve your problems or B: If the issues are not in your control you need to design a way to move forward.

Develop an exit strategy: Many people cannot leave a company without another job, and honestly in this marketplace leaving without another job could be career death! It’s important to develop a job search strategy and then commit to finding another job. Or maybe it’s time to start your own business?! Regardless your desired path you need to develop a plan for finding and gaining new employment.

Create Enjoyment: Focus on the aspects of your job that you do enjoy or create new challenges. This will introduce a new zest into your workplace, making it easier to stay engaged. Or maybe just take a lunch break everyday, a walk, get fresh air and rejuvenate.

Shut-up: Stop talking about your job dissatisfaction at work. Chances are you’ve been unhappy for a while and have shared that feeling with a few trusted c0-wokers. Heck others may feel the same way you do, but after a while it really becomes annoying! Once you’ve decided you’re unhappy in the workplace keep it to yourself and work on your exit strategy. This is why you need to shut-up; other co-workers may be really happy at work and you could be bumming them out, or maybe they are unhappy and you’re making it worse. Honestly, after you’ve vented to your co-workers there is really no value added to your time or reputation in continuing to discuss it, it just becomes non-productive gossip. So suck it up and shut up. (Remember, if you are choosing to be proactive about your concerns then definitely don’t shut-up about your solutions.  If you have ideas for correcting issues that are making you unhappy then now is the time to bring those ideas to your leader and start working on implementing those strategies.) 

Game Face: Lastly, get a reality check! The company is not paying you to sit around and complain about your job, so put on your game face . Essentially I’m saying you need to be an actor. Since you don’t own the company and most likely don’t hold the power to change anything pretend that you are happy and satisfied at work. You’ll be surprised because not only will you start to feel happier, you’ll strengthen your resilience skills. 

We all go through these difficult moments. It’s important to take a little time to evaluate the issues and make a clear business decision about your career path. Stop wasting your time on a treadmill of “I hate my job” rants and take control of what you can (which mind you is a lot). Then make it happen find the job and company that will revive your passion and excitement, or take measures to improve the aspects of your job that you do not like. It all comes down to you and your ability to take accountability for your actions, control your destiny and motivate yourself to move forward!

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Are You Pregnant and Interviewing?


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Are you pregnant and interviewing? Have you ever questioned whether to disclose this personal (completely non-relevant) information to the potential employer? If you have asked this question the below information could be helpful.

This is a question that has come up several times over the course of my career and I’ve consulted with both men and woman HR professionals about this topic.  Interestingly more often the men I’ve spoken to felt full disclosure is best. However, a majority of women agreed that pregnancy  is a temporary “condition” and does not have ANY direct impact on a woman’s knowledge, skills and abilities to do the job, therefore it is not relevant information for a future employer to know. (NOTE: Not ALL men felt one way and ALL women felt another way. This information is based solely on my memory.)

Earlier in my career I witnessed a very blatant pregnancy discrimination situation during the interviewing and selection process. I informed the decision makers about  a little something called …..wait for it…… The Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The decision makers were surprised that such an Act existed, which I found shocking!! This experience opened my eyes to the potential discrimination issues that could arise with pregnancy and interviewing. My simple interpretation of the Act is: legally employers cannot make employment decisions based on pregnancyThat being said I would recommend approaching the topic with caution as some employers can be smart, or stupid, however you look at it and  can find completely legitimate business reasons not to extend an offer or to retract an offer once they learn about a pregnancy. 

So back to the question, Do I tell a potential employer about my pregnancy? I will answer with more questions. Based on your interactions with the potential employer ask yourself:

  • Is the company culture family friendly?
  • Does your potential future boss have a family or has he/she mentioned anything about their company culture regarding families and work-life-balance?
  • Do you know anyone that works for the company? If yes, can you find out more about the  culture?

Obtaining a better understanding of the employers perception and culture could help guide you to the “best” decision.  As a working mom you need to do what is best for you and your family, you are your own company in that moment. However it’s important consider the company’s perspective and business needs.

In a worse case scenario say you exercise full disclosure and the company withdraws you from consideration or retracts an offer. You can either A: Pursue legal counsel (good luck) or B: Thank your luck stars from saving you from a crappy employer that does not care about work-life-balance.

I want to hear from you, especially any of the legal experts and attorneys!

#DearGrads Your Work is just Beginning – Advice for New Grads

Courtesy Microsoft ImagesOver the last several weeks I have read many blog posts with great advice to the graduates of 2013. I figured it’s time I put  my experience to advice. Hopefully, our new graduates are in the social media world and reading all this excellent advice!! Al-righty, here we go…..

#DearGrads,

Your work is just beginning. Walking down the ceremonial aisle and reaching for that leather-bound folder containing that very important piece of paper is an awesome feeling. Typically there is a lot of emotion tied with this day. You’ve worked hard over the last 4 years to achieve this degree, you’ve built many relationships with people and lastly this day commences this part of your life’s journey. Your new chapter into adulthood is now beginning. 

My college experience was a bit different, I did not go away to school. I worked full-time while paying for classes with cash, so my journey was not only a little longer but lacked the full “college experience” dorms, friends my age, games, parties etc. I took night classes and many of my classmates were adults going back to school. This brought new appreciation to my pursuit of education and I felt like a learned a bit more about life experience from my classmates.

Here’s my advice for new grads:

  • If you know your direction and purpose then pursue it, hard!
  • If you’re not sure your direction, take time to figure it out. Employers want people who have demonstrated passion for the work they do. And by time I don’t mean take 4 years, while living in your parent’s basement rent free, I mean do some purposeful soul-searching.
  • Start planning your future, set some short-term career goals.
  • Get involved in your community and your desired profession. Join your local chamber, societies, associations, non-profits, meet-ups and volunteer.
  • Build your network your new professional network and invest in the relationships you built in school (the ones with friends, advisors and professors).

Transitioning into the workforce is harder than ever, developing a solid strategy for your entry into the “real” working world will set you apart from your competition.  So when you’re done enjoying a little vacation break from your last 4 years of hard work be ready to get back into that game!

Also check out my dear friends the Early Careerists. They are an excellent resource for new graduates and early careerists.

3 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Your Job Search!

Photo Credit: Microsoft ImagesWe all know recruiters are using LinkedIn to source and connect with talent. Job seekers are using LinkedIn to seek jobs and connect with employers. But did you know that job seekers can use LinkedIn to prepare for a company interview or to learn more about the company culture? Well, they can!

Here are a couple of ways to use the information on LinkedIn to aid in your career decision-making process.

First, search and follow the company LinkedIn page. While this is the most obvious, it is a great opportunity to learn about the company culture, people and company news.

Next, look for open or public groups created by the company. They may have a group specific for job seekers. Observing and participating in the employer group discussions can give you a little insight in to how the company communicates with people; plus the added bonus of building a relationship with the employer.

Now, the GOLDEN part… conduct a people search for the specific company. You can narrow your search to just people in your department, and I recommend searching for both past and present employees. Study the length of employment, titles of positions, responsibilities, promotions, accomplishments and recommendations from other employees. This information will give you a first hand look at the culture of the company, culture of recognition, opportunities for advancement in the workplace and more.

Just as GOLDEN… contact some of the present and past employeesAsk the people you contact for feedback on the company culture, day in the life of that position, advancement; just about any of the pros and cons. People are generally very willing to share information. Their first-hand experience can provide great value in your decision-making process. Contacting people who work in that position, or have worked in that position can offer the most accurate depiction of what the job really looks like.

Some people may find this advice sneaky, but it’s really just a smart approach to using social media in your career decision-making process. Completing thorough research when deciding to make a career move is critical. Taking the time to find out as much as you can about an employer before making this decision can save one a great deal of time and agony down the road. So go forth, seek out and ask!!

Hire for Potential- Stop Dumbing Down the World!

Courtesy Microsoft Free Images

Courtesy Microsoft Free Images

When are we going to stop dumbing down the American Workforce and start hiring for potential? As an advocate of solid training programs and hiring for culture match over hard skill set I struggle with hiring people that claim candidates “MUST have 5 years of really specific list of skills for EVERY SINGLE JOB“.

We all went to school for some length of time thus showing the ability to learn new skills. Completing school requires one to learn and apply that learned knowledge in some form to show a level of competency. Even with this proven, many employers seem to dumb down the workforce by insisting only candidates matching the outrageously long list of specific requirements will be considered for even the most entry-level positions.

When a company lists a number of specific “required” skills for a highly trainable position, I think one of two things:

1.) The company does not place value and time into training programs. AKA Lazy, oh wait I’m sorry “Everyone is working so hard, no one has time. (bad excuse)

2.) The company believes  job seekers and applicants are morons.

I disagree with both reasons for not considering “hiring for potential“.  Here are a couple of reasons why I believe those reasons are poor business decisions:

  • Top talent comes in all forms.
  • It is human nature to learn, grow and evolve.
  • Hiring for culture match is more critical, values are ingrained.
  • Hard skills CAN BE taught and learned!
  • Companies that hire for potential have more opportunity to develop a diverse team, (diversity = success!)
  • “Fresh” eyes! Bringing someone with no to little experience offers a new fresh perspective to the team, opportunity for new ideas!

So let’s stop dumbing down the world! Step out of the “we don’t have time to train” box and start looking at real potential! You don’t need a Receptionist with “5 years of direct reception experience in your specific industry.” You don’t need a cafeteria worker with “At least 2 years of professional customer service experience in a food service industry.” What you need are high quality recruiters who have the ability to identify top talent and top potential. Start hiring for potential and just see the positive impact it has on your team!

 

Wall Street’s “Blunt” Job Applicant

Did you hear in the news today about the “blunt” job applicant? Apparently this applicant applied for a summer internship program with a financial firm on Wall Street. His tactic to “get notice” brought more attention than he probably ever expected. And he did this all through the “dead” cover letter. It’s about  the 3rd paragraph into his cover letter he states the following:

“I won’t waste your time inflating my credentials, throwing around exaggerated job titles, or feeding you a line of crapp about how my past experiences and skill set align perfectly for an investment banking internship. The truth is I have no unbelievably special skills or genius eccentricities, but I do have a near perfect GPA and will work hard for you. I’ve interned for Merrill Lynch in the Wealth Management Division and taken an investment banking class at (BLOCKED), for whatever that is worth.”

All the buzz it would you hire this applicant? Here’s my analysis:

1.) The cover letter is a bit long! However, it worked for him because he created personal interest by reminding the hiring manager of their meeting in NY. He engaged his reader from the beginning.

2) He demonstrates his skills: He’s straight and to the point; which for a finance major perfectly aligns with their nature of directness and being factual. He also demonstrated the ability to use problem solving skills. Problem: 100s of people are applying for this internship. Solution: Stand out!

3.) He created something special and unique.  Just with that paragraph he was able to stand out from the rest of the hundreds of applicants that applied with the same old boring praise cover letter.

Personally, I don’t hire based on cover letters but I would absolutely interview him. Would you hire him?

Cite:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/crossingborders/2013/01/16/wall-street-bosses-are-calling-this-the-best-cover-letter-ever-but-not-everyone-agrees/