Posts tagged: jobs

What? I Can’t Hear You (I’m Not Listening)

I learned this week that the number one skill that the worker of the future will need is active listening.  You know, the skill where you actually pay attention to what the other person says.

It’s says a lot about modern living that the number one skill we’ll need is something “soft”, not technological and I think it’s a good thing. So how can we improve this essential life skill?

1.  Listen with your eyes – Eye contact can help you pay attention and has the added benefit of making the speaker feel special. This is especially important in coaching, mentoring or leadership.

2. Summarize – when the person is finished, repeat back what you heard. When you know you are going to do that, you will pay more attention and stop thinking about what you are going to say next.

3.  Pay attention to you own body language -  Are your shoulders square to the person speaking? Are your arms uncrossed? Are you leaning forward slightly? These are all signs that you are listening.

I like to practice these skills on the people who mean the most to me; my children, my family, my friends,  my co-workers. I also make a conscious effort to practice this everyday with the people that I meet. You’ll have to ask them, but I hope they’ll tell you that after we’re done talking; they feel good because they know I’ve heard them. This is probably one of the most important things I do everyday.  I am interested in stories about how better listening is changing your life.

If you’re looking for a little more information, try this article called, “Now Pay Attention.”

Mobs of Jobs – Job Hunting on Twitter

I teach social media for job hunters several times a month and meet lots of great people. When I talk about twitter, I often hear, “Twitter’s stupid.” If you don’t need a job and think twitter is stupid you can stop reading right now.

If you have an open mind, you might be very surprised at the number and types of jobs available on twitter. I was talking to a recruiter recently and she said that when she gets a new professional position, the FIRST place she posts it is twitter. Why? Because it’s easy, it’s free and she knows that only people who ‘get’ social media will be looking there. Only people with updated skills know to look on twitter.

Remember, you don’t have to have twitter followers or follow anyone to search the powerful real time network. Go to twitter, find the search box and input any of the following:

  • #jobs
  • #jobsearch

If you are looking for a job by field input:

  • #jobs #marketing
  • #jobs #engineering

Or by type of position

To find a job almost anywhere in the world, check out  this link – 400+ twitter feeds of job openings around the world.

Here’s a resource for getting started on twitter, Twitter for Beginners – An EBook

Let me know how it’s going. I’m cheering for you.

“We’re Letting You Go” – What to Do Next

Patience worked out for George Clooney

“We’re letting you go.”

For those of us who have heard these words,  just reading them in can make us wince.

The new George Clooney movie, Up in the Air, is about being let go. I recommend it to anyone who’s in transition. (Grab a friend and head to a matinee; you’ll be glad you did.) Up in the Air is just like hell in the hallway. You may not choose it, but once you’re there, you have choices to make. Action is necessary, patience is key.

When I was young, I was fired from a job. Here’s the story. For one of my first jobs, I worked part time selling shoes. The store manager kept telling me to ask every customer if they wanted a purse, stockings and other ‘stuff’ in addition to the shoes. The few times I tried it, the customer snorted at me. I didn’t like pushing items that people didn’t ask for.  I knew I wasn’t cut out for that kind of selling and so did my boss.  He gently “let me go” 2 weeks before Christmas.

Later in my career, when I was laid off from Eastman Kodak after 17 years; I was fortunate. I was offered several alternative positions but ultimately I took a package and left the company to start my own business.

Do you feel stuck or are you energized? Are you using your time wisely or are you worrying your days away? What are you teaching your children by your actions?

There are so many free interesting educational opportunities. Here is just one:  free video courses from Columbia, Yale, UCLA, Michigan and MIT.

Whether it’s continuing your education, upgrading your skills, finding a mentor, starting a business or deciding to change professions; you do not have to be afraid to hear those words. My favorite saying works at any time of the year:  change is good, timing is everything, patience is the key.

I’m Mad As Hell And I’m not Going to Take it Out On You Anymore!

“You do not have to be good,” is a line from a poem by Mary Oliver (Wild Geese). When I first read that line I was shocked. Growing up an Irish Catholic in Boston (yes, home of the Puritans), I learned early in life that ‘being good’ was required.

Over the years, I learned that while being good is an important part of ‘being a good person,” believing that I had to be good all the time caused problems. Why? Because it meant that I had to pretend that I never got angry. And anger is a normal part of a person’s range of emotions. It’s not getting or feeling angry that’s a problem; it’s what we do with that anger.

To release my anger appropriately I learned to:

  • Hit the bed with a tennis racket (try it, it’s great!)
  • Scream loudly while driving in the car (alone, of course- on the highway is best)
  • Exercise and play sports
  • Listen to really loud music (and dance around)
  • Talk to a friend, who will listen and not give advice (second part is really important)

In times of stress, we all find ways to cope. At this time of the year, particularly with New Year’s resolutions flying around, I want us to talk about this emotion. I can be a hidden enemy since there are a lot of unhealthy ways to cope with it. And worst of all, when I don’t deal with it, it comes out sideways in the form of overeating,unnecessary shopping and yelling at the people at inappropriate times. I really don’t want to do any of those.

I dislike new year’s resolutions so I’m not making any. I do like focus and I have my eyes on the prize for 2010.

Mine are:

1) Live one day at a time, just this day right here.

2) Tell the people who mean the most to me how much I love them, everyday.

That’s it.

Got constructive ways of dealing with anger? Please share them so we can all learn to cope better.

Why is This A Great Place to Work?

This is my favorite question to ask when I’m interviewing for a job. I say, “I’m looking for a great place to work.  Why is Xyz Company a great place to work?” The range of responses is revealing.

Some hiring managers have already answered this question in the way they talk about their work, their team and the company. It is apparent from their enthusiasm that they like where they work.

Others are not as comfortable. I look for body language to read between the lines. Slumping shoulders, a lowering of their voice, eyes to the floor (maybe all in a split second) tell me that they are not as convinced as they’d like to be.

I liked this article on, determining the corporate culture of a company. While jobs are tight (and they won’t be forever), the ability to assess whether a company is a good fit for us is an important skill.

Think about answering these questions for the last place you worked and then think of the answers you’d like to have for your next employer.

  • What 5 key words or key phrases best describe your company?
  • What would you guess would be the 5 key words or phrases that your (husband/wife…) would use to describe your company?
  • What is your favorite day of the workweek? Why?

By the way, turnabout is fair play. I am always prepared to answer their question about why I’m the kind of employee who would contribute to making their company a great place to work. Happy Holidays.

You’re Doing It Right – The Lemonade Movement

Chris Brogan blog & newsletter inspire

There’s a new movie coming out called the Lemonade Movement. Lemonade Movie.  I don’t know much about it except that I watched this video trailer for it and found it inspirational.  The clip shows people who have lost their jobs who are now doing new, fun and fulfilling work. Not what they planned on… but much better. So I say, they’re doing it right. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a minute to watch this short video of people who lost their jobs and found themselves.

I’m just like these folks and many of you; I’m out there finding my way. I know that though there are many risks and a lot of uncertainty; there are also some very cool rewards. Each of us can find our way. That’s what makes it good. What’s even better is that we can stand by each other and offer encouragement. I hope you’ll take a minute today and encourage yourself and someone else.

And speaking of doing it right; if you don’t know or follow Chris Brogan, I suggest you check him out. Chris is the co-author of a terrific book call Trust Agents. Check out his book and blog and my favorite, his newsletter. He writes it like he’s talking just to me.  He reminds me to help and promote others, not to take myself too seriously and to always do good work. I appreciate that because I know he is walking the walk.

You are on the verge of something something big. Let me know what it is…

“When I Drink Alone, I Prefer to be By Myself”*

I recently attended a local TEDx (Technology, Entertainment, Design) event. TED’s focus is stimulating thinking and innovation by bringing together speakers and an audience from as many divergent fields as possible. A perfect networking opportunity.

I showed up by myself.  Why? Because while I am uncomfortable walking into this room full of hundreds of people alone; I know that if I am with a friend, I will miss opportunities to meet new people.  As I pushed my way through the crowd, I saw a few people I know. I said hello but quickly moved on. I’m here to make new connections and I can’t do that  talking to people I already know well.

The first person I met was from Rochester Institute of Technology. The demonstration is remote movement technology. Fascinating. In the auditorium, I sat down in an empty seat. I started talking and laughing with the guy next to me. It turned out he’s the vice president of human resources for one of Rochester’s largest employers.

A few minutes later, a young man plunked down in the seat on the other side of me. He’s a Taiwanese national who is studying industrial design at one of the local college. We shared ideas about design.

If you are looking for a job or trying to build your company, I suggest you attend events alone. Being a little uncomfortable is a good thing. It means you are stretching beyond your comfort zone.  Are you meeting 5-10 new people a week? There are a lot of ways to do this; you need to make a real effort.  What’s your favorite way or place to meet new people? Please share your thoughts.

*Song lyrics from George Thorogood and the Destroyers, I Drink Alone. My blog does not advocate drinking and certainly not drinking alone. :)

Twitter’s Not Stupid If You Follow Smart People

I hear it over and over, “Twitter is stupid.” When some people find out I teach social media they tell me how dumb twitter is. They know almost nothing about twitter and have never even seen it, yet  they are convinced (based on something they’ve read or heard) that it’s a waste of time. When I explain it, some people still argue with me and announce,”I’ll never use twitter.”

To that I reply, “You don’t have to.” If you can grow your company, find a job, network effectively or accomplish your other goals without it, then good. If however, you’re looking to inexpensively reach new contacts; you may want to have an open mind. I encourage people to learn what twitter is and how it might help them. I agree Twitter isn’t for everyone but only make that decision after its capabilities are understood.

If you are unfamiliar with Twitter you may think that you have to follow people and have followers and that is what it’s all about. The power of twitter is in REAL TIME SEARCH. All the information that is attached to a ‘tweet’ is there because a person thinks it’s worthwhile.

Here are just a few facts about twitter for job seekers. Did you know that:

  • There are a minimum of 180 recruiters on twitter?
  • There are over 50 companies who regularly post jobs on twitter?
  • You can find jobs by searching on a profession e.g. @engineering
  • You can find an internship by searching @findinternerships
  • You can research jobs by geography
  • Check out 50 Terrific Twitter Tips for Job Seekers

Companies post jobs to twitter because:

  • It’s free
  • It can easily reach passive and active candidates
  • People who find jobs there already ‘get’ the power of social media and don’t need to be trained

I regularly teach social media for job hunters, my next session is on October 29 at the Pittsford Library, Rochester, NY. Let me know if you’d like to join us. The sessions are free, fun and you can network at the same time as you learn. I am looking forward to meeting you.

twitter I found a job tshirt pic