Posts tagged: human resources

I Hate Being A GrownUp

One of the good things about about being a grown up is that you get to choose when you act/think like a kid. The problem is that many of us never choose that path, even for a few minutes. Once we’re grown up, we think it’s wrong to be silly or color outside the lines. This is a shame.

The older we get the more invested we are in ‘the same’; what Seth Godin calls lizard brain. Our prehistoric need to stay in the cave, “to back off, be careful, go slow, compromise.”

The idea is to live our lives according to what we (and our loved ones) need at the time.  This doesn’t mean I have to work at this job or this career forever. Just right now.

People forget this. They also forget that they can change their minds. I am not recommending arbitrarily job hopping. But trying several different paths to build skills and ‘try things on’ is a legitimate path – AT ANY AGE.

The problem is the judgement of other people, specifically our fear of it. When I requested and got approval (in 1984) to manage my team while working part time, many of my colleagues were upset. Here’s what they said; “why does she get to?” “she can’t be serious about your career” and my favorite “I wish I could do that.” Blah, blah, blah. I showed them how to do it, they were too afraid. That’s cool. You do it your way and I’ll do it mine.

But if you think you can go your own way and not face judgement from others, stop. it. right. now. Accept the fact that for whatever human reason, the pack doesn’t like lone wolves. If you choose a path that isn’t like everyone else’s, people are going to be upset and many will let you know.

Insofar as you can (and still pay your bills) stop thinking/worrying about what everyone else wants/thinks. You will NEVER please everyone so you might as well please yourself.  For me, this was a tough lesson, but once I learned it… I was free forever.

It’s hell in the hallway but the difficulty doesn’t last forever. But when you’re in the hallway… it sure feels like it will.

Want a laugh? check out my daughter Jenna’s take on ‘grownuphood” (alert: fbombs & other foul language included)

Photo credit: Why Do We Work?

 

No Boss, No Office and My Peers Decide My Pay… What?

“Imagine a company where everyone is equal and managers don’t exist. A place where employees sit where they want, choose what to work on and decide each other’s pay. Then, once a year, everyone goes on holiday together.”

There is such a company, it’s called Valve.

For those of you who think this is: stupid, could never work, is just an experiment and could only work in a handful of cases, perhaps you are correct. I’m not here to argue with you. The point of this post is to challenge our ideas of what is ‘necessary’ in the work environment.

You can read the Valve Employee Handbook here. It is titled: “A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when there’s no one telling you what to do.”

If you are in any kind of leadership role in ANY organization… I encourage you to browse their handbook.

… if you are a 10 year old company that has worked hard “to recruit the most intelligent, innovative, talented people on Earth, telling, them to sit at a desk and do what they’re told obliterates 99 percent of their value.”

The handbook goes on to outline what to expect and how a new employee can find their way through this new way of working.

Check this out: “While people occasionally choose to push themselves to work some extra hours, at times when something big is going out the door, for the most part working overtime for extended periods indicates a fundamental failure in planning or communication. If this happens at Valve, it’s a sign that something needs to be reevaluated and corrected.” And then they give you guidance as to how to get help to resolve the problem.

Would you like to work here? If not, why not? If yes, why?
Most importantly, what about the Valve culture can you adopt at your organization to make it more effective?

Image Credit: Banksy

(More) New Tools for Managing Your Career – Are You Tired Yet?

Whether it’s job hunting or managing your career; it’s all a big pain. I need to learn new stuff, talk to people, use my brain and do things I don’t want to do.

So every time I read about more new ‘tools’, my head spins and then I stop whining and get learning. Do you know about

Talentbin.com – scours the web/social/everywhere to find candidates that match a potential employer’s criteria (tech)

Path.to – goes way beyond the resume to understand values, desired work environments, etc. (design & tech)

Silp - social recruiting for ‘passive’ candidates

Somewhere – let’s companies talk about themselves as ‘cool’ employers and their environments (the old/new attraction vs. promotion idea!)

Then there’s Splinter.me  – that hopes to help both the employer find candidates and also provide information to the candidate; about the credentials of the person who DID get the job, where your skills gaps are, etc.

The point is not to learn about every new job service and sign up. It is to be aware of the ways in which recruiting, job hunting and career management are changing. Do you have a job search or career improvement group you meet with? If so, different people could learn about new tools and then share their learning. Everyone wins and it perhaps minimizes the overload!

Photo credit: The Garage barto

How Fair is Your Pay? 5 Steps to Getting Your Share

This pretty picture has nothing to do with fair pay… but it is an inspiring, life affirming photo. I want to inspire you to make sure you get what you want from your life. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. Today. It is, after all, all we have.

When I read this article about Whole Foods compensation structure — I was amazed and wondered why more companies don’t follow suit. Here’s the bottom line:

“Execs can’t earn more than 19 times the company average, the co-founder gets $1 a year, and non-execs get 93% of company stock options. The result is 7% turnover — among the lowest in the industry. Says co-CEO Walter Robb: ‘[We] really make love to the company values.’” I would say they put their money where their mouth is. Most companies SAY that employees are their most valuable asset but how do they demonstrate it?

Not all of us can work for Whole Foods so what can we do?

1) Mean what we say and say what we mean. Be a person of integrity. You will never regret it.

2) Keep your skills current. When you do that, you give yourself the opportunity to change… jobs, organizations, fields, etc.

3) Pay it forward. The more aware you are of helping others achieve their goals, the better.

4) Be nice. Organizations look to hire people who can get along. Being nice never hurt anyone’s career. Don’t be a doormat but the most successful people I know are generally described by others as ‘one of the nicest people I have ever met.”

5) Work for yourself. You don’t always make the most money this way… but you’ll make sure you get your fair share!

Checkout these online salary resources:

My favorite is Glassdoor.com where employees post the real skinny on salary, work and culture. Also try salaryexpert.com, jobstar.org (links to over 300 professional salary surveys) and salary.com.  It’s not all about money… but getting comparative data can give you strength in negotiating. By the way, if you don’t ask for the money you deserve… you’ll probably never get it.

Photo credit: mmtzjr69out  Double Bubble Rainbow

The Facebook Nightmare – Lost Job Opportunities…

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have a very healthy skepticism of Facebook. I am not alone. We have 3 grandchildren under the age of 5; 2 are “on” Facebook, 1 is not. I support a parent’s right either way.

But I also know how much joy and connection Facebook brings to so many people and I respect and appreciate that.

When I read, Facebook’s Generation Y Nightmare,  the article put into words what I sometimes feel is the dilemma of sharing your ‘present’ on Facebook and illustrating it with photos.  The author of the article imagines a young lady, Tina, at 18 in 2012. The items she posts now will effect not only her future career opportunities but also her alternatives for health care.

Yes, it’s imagined and yes, this assumes that ‘nothing changes”, but it’s not hard to imagine judgements/decisions being made based on incomplete or ‘what’s readily available’ data.

So, I encourage you to review your Facebook ‘timeline’ – assuming that privacy settings didn’t work… (which I think is the reasonable thing to do these days)  — what would your future employer or insurer learn about you might prefer that the whole world NOT know.

I know a young man who lost his job as a student teacher because of his ‘drinking a beers with his buddies’ photos on his Facebook page. He was over 21 and the pictures were harmless and yet the school district’s policy on ‘public comportment’ took away his future career. You may think this is unfair but the truth is… this is happening. The nightmare hasn’t even begun yet.. for those who can’t tell their parents… please don’t put me on Facebook!

Thoughts?

Photo credit: Jack Skellington-O-Lantern  randysonofrobert

9 Deadly Sins of Job Hunting

Ok, these may not be deadly but they can slow down your search. Take care of these and your search will go smoothly because you’ll be building relationships and learning during your entire search.

You may not want to address these issues… but you’ll be glad you did.

I borrowed some of these from 7 Deadly Sales Sins.

1. You don’t know who you are so you can’t concisely tell others. Seems simple enough but trust me, if it’s been a while since you’ve looked for a job… you probably don’t know yourself as well as you need to. Look into those dark corners, root out your foibles and shortcomings and learn to say great things about yourself and your capabilities.

2. You don’t know what you want. If you don’t know where you’re going; any road will take you there. How can others help you if you don’t know what you need or want. I know it’s easier to define what you don’t want. Start there.

3. You don’t know how to easily help others (or worse you don’t understand why it’s important.) Being of service, listening, making referrals, introducing like-minded folks, etc. it’s not hard but you do have to stop thinking about yourself long enough to consider what to do.

4. You don’t understand what recruiters, hiring managers or human resource people need. If you put yourself in their shoes for a minute, you’ll be much more effective at getting their attention.

5. You’re afraid. We all are, you are not alone. Some of us just “fake it ’til we make it.” Take a page from that book.

6. You stay in your house and tell people you can’t network because you’re: shy, introverted, technical, a geek, blah, blah, blah. Get over it. Most of us don’t want to meet a bunch of strangers, but we do it.

7. You don’t follow up. You know, thank you notes you talk yourself out of.

8. You don’t have a process for your search. Do you have a spreadsheet of your contacts, companies and connections? Do you have a plan to meet 7-10 new people a week? Do you have a job search ‘buddy’ who can help you? Are you learning new skills?

9. You don’t ask for the job or you ask for every job. Be clear about what you want, who you are and when the time is right, be sure to be clear that you believe this is the job for you and why.

Bonus: You don’t have a complete LinkedIn profile with at least 200 contacts. sigh… what are you waiting for?

I believe in you. Go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: MelB Handovermouth

 

Feedback: Electric, Real-Time, Nasty or True

I work with companies on multi-generational workplace issues  because I heard so many complaints about the “younger generation’s” poor “communication” skills. Gen Y employees may be different in many ways other from other generations; but that doesn’t mean they’re bad or wrong — they’re just different.

One common complaint I hear is that younger employees want to give and get “constant feedback.” Most of us oldsters are uncomfortable with this. Being stoics, we think everyone ought to just ‘get on with it.’

When Jimi Hendrix (my favorite musician of all time) burst onto the rock scene and created new sounds with his guitar…including standing in front of a wall of amplifiers.. many people thought it was awful… the rest of us… thought it was awesome. A new kind of musical sound was born… music to some… noise to others.

So it is with workplace feedback. Let me introduce you to Cleargears.com, take a quick video tour here. Conceptually, these tools allow your workforce to provide you (bossman or bosslady) with regular feedback and in turn, allows you to understand whether your feedback is being accepted and implemented. Wow – what a concept. Real time feedback. Making you uncomfortable? Get ready – this is the world is headed.

Take a look at Rypple.com; they call it social performance management–  “a web-based social performance management platform that replaces the traditional performance review with an easy and collaborative approach. People always know where they stand and are accountable for achieving their goals.” By the way… so are you.

Whatever the tool and no matter how you feel about providing feedback to your team, I suggest you figure out how to listen better. The future of your organization depends upon it. Remember the shark… survival goes to those who adapt.

Photo credit: Milt. Retirement and Financial Freedom

 

Embrace Disruption

I’ve decided there 3 kinds of people… those who are very afraid of change (about 25%), those who create and embrace change (about 25%) and those who are willing to change if they have to (um yeah, 50%).

Which are you? Be honest… the most important thing is to understand yourself and then build on your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses. Given that GenY (those born 1980-1995ish) will make up 50% of the workforce by 2014… you might consider how you’re going navigate this change regardless of your age and experience.

Hannah Morgan (the career Sherpa) and I have a fun, powerful workshop called, “Taming the Know it All , 4 Generations at Work.” We share our experience in helping organizations understand that people are comfortable communicating in a certain way..it could be leaning over the cubicle wall, or  by phone, email, text, etc. Most of us don’t think twice about what method would work best for the person we want to ‘talk’ to. Taking a moment to consider the “receiver” of the information can limit undue friction. A little thought and training can make a team more efficient, productive and cohesive.

In his blog, Embrace Disruption, Cory Stewart describes his journey; “In May 2012, I decided to make a change. I vowed to start accepting the chaotic nature of life, and embrace whatever challenges may come my way.” Cool Cory. I’m with you.

In his post titled, Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants, he wisely advises us to embrace inter-generational differences by ‘bending’, not dictating, focusing on balance and encouraging collective work.  If this sounds a little too kumbaya for you then you are probably one of those people who’s afraid to change.

And if embracing disruption, thinking about changing my own attitude (one of the few things I CAN control) and being less stressed out are my goals then I’d better listen to Cory. He’s gonna help us make this work. Remember, its not about being right, it’s about being happy. Agree?

Image credit: simplysolo.com

Guerrilla Hiring (Not Hiring Guerillas)

I often talk with job hunters, HR folks and recruiters about how hiring continues to evolve; think mobile/social recruiting.

When I read this post about a woman who recently applied to,  interviewed for and landed a job in less than a week; I was amazed (job on east coast and she lived on the west coast!)

Here’s her story…

“So, on a fluke, I emailed them my resume. By the next afternoon, I had already done a Skype™ interview with HR and they assigned me a project so they could see my work. I emailed my project, they loved it and offered me a job. I was on an airplane that Sunday and started work on Monday!” What’s on Karen’s Plate

Let’s examine this. She…

1) Wasn’t even looking for a job., she ‘stumbled’ across this posting and decided it was her dream job

2) Sent a resume and someone actually looked at it (wow)

3) Interviewed via Skype™  (candidate and hiring manager actually saw each other, felt the mutual energy, etc.)

4) Completed an assignment (wow again). (So this means that the company actually knew enough about the job to have an assignment that an interviewee could complete and then they made it easy for her to submit it.)

5) Evaluated the organization – I wonder what they did to help her understand their culture? (Made interviewing completely painless!)

Of course all interviews can’t happen like this but imagine streamlining the process to even vaguely resemble something like this. What if you Skype interviewed several candidates? If they don’t know how to use Skype — do you want to hire them? and… can you use Skype?

As a hiring manager, do you have an ‘assignment’ for your short list of candidates?

As someone how waited months for a job to — ‘get approved’, ‘open up’, have a new ‘description/classification written’, etc., this whole thing blows me away. In a good way!

Image credit: Philhill.net

 

6 seconds = How Long Your Resume Gets Looked At…

Have you ever been on the hiring side of a resume? It’s not fun.

You often feel like this guy. Overwhelmed by ‘paper’ and buzzwords that don’t tell you anything.

Before you spend more time and get more opinions about your resume, check out this article, “How Recruiters See Your Resume…” Take a look at the heat map associated with this article.

It tells us that the more structured your resume, the easier it is for those 6 seconds to be productive and get you into the consideration pile vs. the no way pile.

The goal of the resume is to… wait for it… get you an interview! Be sure to think of it that way. It’s not to document your entire work history.

By the way, how’s your Linked In profile? Do you have 300 connections? Do you belong to several groups? Have you uploaded your PowerPoint presentations? Do you answer questions? Make sure you include a live link to your Linked In profile from your resume.

Now go forth and streamline that resume!

Image credit: Career Insider