When I saw the headline of an article titled Aspirin vs. Vitamin, I have to say I had no clue that the words to follow would be “Which Jobseeker Are You?” At first I couldn’t quite figure out how aspirin could be related to job seeking, but after reading the full article, I realized the analogy not only totally made sense but I wanted to share this interesting concept.
The basic concept of the article (for those of you that don’t like to read!) is that jobseekers generally, and often unknowingly, put themselves in the category of being either an aspirin or a vitamin when looking for jobs. Hiring managers are really looking and needing to hire an aspirin- someone to take away their pain. But most jobseekers are selling themselves as vitamins- something that is incredibly important to health and that will help keep future pain away but does not bring much immediate relief.
So your goal as a jobseeker is to identify the cause of pain for that manager and sell yourself as the cure—the aspirin to stop the pain! While vitamins are nice and beneficial to long-term health, they may not be necessary to fix something now. Genius analogy.
So how do you find the pain and determine if you are the cure? It all comes down to doing your homework. You should always be prepared for interviews but keep the aspirin concept in mind to help you focus your research and be as prepared as ever.
No one wants pain. But when a company has it, make it your job as a candidate to figure out how to be the cure!
After 17 days of non-stop sporting action, the Olympics are officially over. The closing ceremonies are complete, the flag was passed on and the torch extinguished until summer Olympic action picks back up in Rio 2016. And we all probably have a lot more free time! The sporting action certainly lived up to all the excitement, but it was the non-sporting extras such as social media, apps, tools and news that also caught the attention of spectators and participants during the games. In addition to lessons on social media etiquette, by observing the athletes and circumstances of the games the world can learn other rules and lessons to live by. Here are a select few:
1. Practice may not always make perfect, but it’s still necessary. It’s very rare that someone or something can be perfect and success takes a lot of hard work. Most of the athletes devoted their lives to make it to the Olympics. Too often, many think that we shouldn’t have to work that hard to be successful, but the reality is that few things in life come easily. As all athletes demonstrated, if you want something badly enough, then you must be willing to do the hard work to get there.
2. Motivation, inspiration and drive are critical for success. Athletic skill is clearly an important component for excelling at competition, but most athletes in the games exhibited more than just physical excellence. Their significant achievements can also be credited to continuous motivation, drive and faith in themselves. They live by the mantras: never settle for just good, always strive to be great and push yourself beyond limits. For South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, a dramatic feat had already been accomplished by simply him competing in the games as a double amputee. And USA track athlete Manteo Mitchell ran the entire 4×400 relay on broken leg. These incredible obstacles did not stop them from their ultimate dream and their sheer will drove them to success.
3. Teamwork is critical to success. Surround yourself with colleagues, friends and family who will help and support you. In team sports, athletes obviously work together to win, but it is also important to acknowledge examples of non-traditional team events. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete ever, thanked his relay team for helping him to win all those medals. Without them as a supporting cast, he wouldn’t have won as many medals as he did. Another common sight seen was of the families and coaching staff supporting and cheering the athletes along as if they were themselves competing. This support was critical in contributing to the athlete’s success. No one can truly do it alone.
4. Learn from your mistakes. At the end of practice or their performances, the athletes recapped their mistakes to see what they did wrong and learn how they can be better next time. The USA women’s soccer team lost the World Cup to Japan last year, but when facing them in the Olympics a short time later beat them to win the gold. Surely they reviewed and watched and analyzed their past matchup to ensure a better performance for the future. Same is in life where we need to observe ourselves, ask for feedback and measure our actions so we can strive to be more effective in the future.
The Olympics were certainly action packed with all the athletic events we awaited and anticipated. These last two weeks also reminded us that Olympic athletes should be admired not only for their athletic skill, but also for the behaviors and examples they set for us to follow and live by.
What was your favorite Olympic moment or lesson learned? What will you remember most about these London games?
The Olympics are halfway over and alongside the extravagant opening ceremonies and record-breaking results, another hot topic continuously being talked about among athletes, viewers and media is social media and the pivotal role it has played so far during these games.
With over 15 million people currently following the Olympics via social media, this is by far the most social Olympics yet. It appears however, that this social behavior is taking the gold medal on the gossip podium—and unfortunately it’s not all positive.
Let’s take a quick look at the social media good, bad and ugly of these Social Olympics thus far:
1. With the Olympics across the pond and in a different time zone, social media has allowed us to follow our favorite commentators and athletes while making it easy to get a personal look and experience the games from their “eyes.”
2. Improvements, developments and enhancements to social platforms are already resulting from the exposure:
a. Starcount is a new website that shows currently who the most talked-about and trending athletes are on social media.
b. The International Olympic Committee has teamed up with Facebook to create the Olympic Athletes’ Hub, a website dedicated to keeping fans updated on current happenings in London.
The Bad & Ugly
Social media has given the world a backstage pass to the Olympic Games, but it has also provided fans and athletes with a variety of new ways to get into trouble. Hopefully, all the delinquents have learned from their mistakes and the rest of the social world has learned from them as well. As professionals we need to remember that social media is publicly published content- just as other traditional forms of communication are and should be treated with the same care and professionalism, regardless of the context and situation.
We should all learn from these experiences, focus on the advantages and benefits of social media and be thankful to be part of the connected social society that we live in today.
What’s your opinion of how social media is shaping the Olympics? How do you think social media will change based on experiences from these games?
“Why?” It’s one of those questions that to anyone who has spent time around young children has probably heard one too many times. As adults, we tend to get impatient and annoyed by this simple question, but kids may actually be on to something! Kids ask why because they are generally not satisfied with the first answer—and this isn’t always a bad thing! “Why?” is an important question that in some circumstances probably isn’t asked enough.
Asking “why”—especially in the workplace—can be extremely helpful in getting to the root of the question or true problem and figuring out a real solution rather than just a temporary quick fix or “band-aid.” In other words, in our busy lives, it can be easier to just answer hastily to a request or question, but by asking why a few times first BEFORE giving your answer, you might find out valuable information regarding the root or cause of the original question.
In his recent book, The Lean Startup, author Eric Ries references the concept and example of the “Five Whys.” His thought is that at the root of every seemingly technical problem is a human problem and asking Five Whys provides an opportunity to discover what that human problem might be.
It may not help or apply in every situation, but try asking why and see what happens! Everyone is busy and moves so quickly during the day, so it initially may take a little extra time, but acquiring more information and getting to the root of the question can help save time and improve the quality of your work in the long-run. So the next time someone asks you a question, channel your inner 3 year old, ask “Why” a couple times and wait for the answers!
With Memorial Day coming up this weekend, it’s a day set aside to remember the fallen men and women who have served in the United States Armed forces. As a day to memorialize the people and loved ones that are no longer with us, it’s also appropriate to remember great accomplishments in our own lives. So on this holiday of “remembering”, we wanted to remember and pay tribute to some of the great career and life advice we’ve received along the way. Here is a sampling of our favorites:
1. Remember a Work/Life Balance:
It’s really easy to get caught up in succeeding in your career and putting everything else on the back burner. But don’t get sucked in! Having a balance between work/life makes you a more focused/harder worker and hopefully a more pleasant employee to be around in the end.
2. Be the Problem Solver:
When you can solve (or at least try!) your own problems at work it makes things easier on you in the long-run. Solve the problems that you can on your own and when something comes up that you do need help with, your boss and coworkers will be more willing to help since you don’t run to them for everything.
3. Attitude Is Everything:
No one wants to come to work every day into a miserable work environment. A positive attitude and outlook goes a long way and you will find that people will catch the contagious “spirit” as well. Positive environments make for the best working space and the most productive because people enjoy being at work.
4. Treat Others As You Want to be Treated:
This may seem too obvious to state, but this golden rule of life also applies in the workplace! No matter how busy or stressed or overworked we feel, it’s imperative to stop and think about how our actions will affect and be received by others. Or put another way: Think Before You Act.
5. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have:
One of our recent posts addressed dressing appropriately for the interview, though this is great advice, dressing to impress shouldn’t stop there. Dress codes are very different in different organizations, but remember to err on the more conservative side. If you dress too casual or sloppy (even if it is technically “ok”) that is how people may perceive you. So if you hope to eventually move up and on, step up your fashion game and dress to succeed!
Whether it came from a family member, loved-one, co-worker, boss or mentor, we’ve all received advice from someone important in our lives. In this weekend of remembering, what’s the greatest or most memorable advice you ever received?
We’ve all seen it in the office—the chocolate on the desk, doughnuts in the meeting, leftover cookies in the kitchen and yes, even a White Castle Crave Case magically appears in the break room. It’s all so hard to resist and seems to appear right when the cravings hit….and so the “Office 15” begins.
The news has been full of reports lately that working in an office and desk jobs are detrimental to our health in many ways. According to Business Insider: 75 percent of workers who use a computer suffer from eye and vision problems and 1 million workers call in sick to work every day due to stress. But the biggest issue of all—we’re getting fat. Our desk job society hardly has any physical labor and if your office is anything like mine—snacks and treats are EVERYWHERE. This is causing a much higher increase in weight gain, obesity and health problems among corporations everywhere. Or like in my case, that extra 5-15 pounds that you have gained since first starting your job is the main issue.
How can you keep from gaining the Office 15? It’s not easy, but with a little focus, effort and a LOT of willpower, you CAN do it. Here are some other tips to try:
Take the stairs: Whenever and wherever you can!
Exercise ball: Many people in offices use these in place of chairs at their desk. It helps with balance, posture, core strength and possibly burning a few more calories without even realizing the effort!
Short walks: Even if you can’t get outside, take short walk breaks around the office at least once per hour. And if you can’t go anywhere, just do a couple jumping jacks or other types of stationary movement!
Healthy snacks: Keep a little stash at your desk for healthy snacking when tempted by the “bad stuff”- nuts, sugar snap peas or carrots (any low maintenance veggie) and of course simple fruit can be good and easy!
Remove the temptation/distract yourself: Try stretching, make a cup of tea, pop in a piece of gum or a mint and it can even be good to use this “temptation” time to return calls or the other little task items you’ve been “saving for later.”
Don’t be another Office 15 victim! It can be tough to stay strong, resist treats and temptations and try to be healthy but you will be much happier and healthier if you do.
We hear it all the time, “network, network, network.” But in my attempts to network, I often end up talking to anyone and everyone about nothing particularly important. I find myself pondering the purpose of these trivial conversations. How do we find the “right” people to network with? And how do we make these connections useful?
Instead of focusing on networking, try connecting. Networking is a means to an end while connecting goes much deeper and can be more beneficial in the long run. Connectors build relationships and take an interest in helping each other out. Connecters are the people who seem to know everyone (and if they don’t personally know someone, they ALWAYS know someone who does.)
How to bridge the gap between being a networker and becoming a connector:
A conscious effort to connect with the people around you will be infinitely more helpful than small talk about the cheese platter at your next networking event. So “connect, connect, connect,” and soon you will be the person who seems to know everyone!
I consider myself a fairly tech savvy person and according to my recently taken DISC assessment, I’m also extremely social. So much so that I was actually cautioned to not take too long of lunches in order to stay focused and not become distracted at work (but that story is for another post).
Technology mixed with social- these two traits combined should create the perfect marriage for me to manage social media, right? Well- I used to think so, but lately I have been feeling a bit, well……consumed by it all. Everywhere I turn I’m bombarded by social media terms and technology and the VOLUME is overwhelming. Tweets and posts and blogs and pokes and circles and pins and …….how does anyone have time to work?! I subscribe to many different blogs and sites and newsletters – all with updates and new technologies in the social world. So much information that my head is spinning! Sound familiar?
According to a recent Mashable report, Americans spend about a quarter of their online time on social media. How do we decipher it all? Can you be focused in the world of social media which occupies so much of our time? It may not be perfect, but I have compiled a list that I vow to stick with in these confusing social times.
I know, I know— all of this is easier said than done. Trust me, I need to practice what I preach considering in the course of writing this blog, I got distracted more than 10 times and ignored the flashing Outlook calendar reminders attempting to keep me on track. I promise I’ll do it right… starting tomorrow!
When preparing for an interview, it’s likely that you’re going to review and prepare for questions that you are are going to get asked. Great move, as you should be the one doing most of the talking. However, there comes a time in every interview when the interviewer wants to know if YOU have any questions. Read More
The ever-ubiquotous piece of advice that we’ve all heard throughout our careers: “Network! Network! Network!” What DOES it mean? Does it mean to get on Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? These days, it probably does. In the job-hunt, however – where good networking skills can undoubtedly add to your net worth – we’ve noticed one area where your resume can pull double duty, and that is your REFERENCES. Here, we list our top tips for making the most out of this part of your resume: