Posts tagged: Linked In

Key Hiring Question: When & Why Will You Leave?

When you are interviewing for a job… probably one of the last things on your mind… is why and when you might leave. You’re thinking… I don’t even have the job… why would I think about when I might leave?

Great companies make this complex question part of the interview process.

In an insightful article by someone I admire, Charlene Li of Altimeter Group, How I Hire: Figuring Out Fit — And The Exit Strategy… she outlines the criteria and process for assessing candidates based on culture, skills and my favorite and what I consider relatively unique…  sense of purpose.

“As part of the hiring process, I also talk with people about how they will leave Altimeter one day. The idea of lifetime employment is dead, so why not face up to the reality that this person we’re hiring will one day leave? It’s a core part of us living the value of Integrity — that openness and transparency develops trust.” Charlene Li

The last regular, ‘show up in the office’ job I had, I actually negotiated my departure date as part of my hiring package. When they offered me the job, I told them I would stay one year.  It allowed me to focus on getting the job done without worrying about how I’d leave. It was very empowering.

I am not suggesting that every time you take a job, you should negotiate your exit. What I am suggesting is that you think about what you want to get from the assignment… even it it’s just to earn some money or stay for 6 months.  Be conscious of what it will look like when you have reached that goal.

By the way, this takes courage and it puts the responsibility for finding your next ‘step’ right where it belongs; with you.

Image credit: Diane Arbus Moving On

The Most Important LinkedIn Page You’ve Never Seen…

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LinkedIn (LI) is my favorite social site. Why? Because they built a ‘professional’ social site that truly adds value.

Initially, LI gave users something valuable.. an electronic Rolodex. The site helped us understand to increase the value of our already valuable connections (and gave us tools to use them more effectively). In my recent post, ‘Because Every Job is Temporary…” I discussed the fact that we all need to be looking for work — all the time. Therefore, building a network, helping others and keeping our skills up to date are critical.

Then they made it problematic for people to ‘spam’– if you said you didn’t know someone… they got bounced from LinkedIn temporarily. When they said they valued our privacy, they meant it (unlike some others…)

Once they gave us this tool (for free), they then helped us to build connections across industries, interests, commonality — with groups etc.

So, what’s this page I’ve never seen? It’s called Talent Solutions and it is part of the LinkedIn Recruiter offering which is only visible to companies that pay to use the sourcing and hiring tools. Recruiters can see all your information, but you can’t see them. Think no one is watching you? Think again. If you are actively adding to your skills, building your connections, interacting with people and posting your blog/slideshare/other content regularly, then you are the kind of candidate many recruiters are looking for.  The real reason you should care about LinkedIn… explains more.

Like the Panda in the picture… you have to work for your food, even if the tree is right in front of you.

Photo Credit: Tai Shan, National Zoo Panda dbking

What Is The Stupidest Thing That Could Possibly Work?

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There’s that line from the movie Forest Gump… “stupid is as stupid does” … well, there’s stupid and then there’s bravely awesome. Clay Shirky, one of my favorite authors, says…

“My motto for 2013, adapted from Agile Programming precepts = What Is The Stupidest Thing That Could Possibly Work?”

One of the reasons we keep doing the same thing over and over and don’t innovate… is that we surround ourselves with people just like ourselves. It’s human nature. And if someone sounds different or has goofy ideas or looks different; we forget to value the difference. We discount them based on whatever. The goal of diversity is to OPEN up the pool of ideas and thoughts. Recent research shows that large corporations that have women board members are more profitable than those that don’t. This only tells part of the story.

Real innovation must come from change and change takes courage. We’d all still be hitting each other with clubs if there weren’t some of us willing to create tools to go get food.

The more we think about things and try to ‘figure it all out,” the less likely we are to take the risk. The most successful parts of my life.. traveling, new jobs, speaking in front of large groups, etc. all came to me because I didn’t think about what might happen. I just did it.

We don’t have to engage in foolish risks without considering how to mitigate them, but letting “risks stop us from doing new things” is the safe road and on the ‘safe road’ only the guy with the biggest club will survive and I’m not having that.

Photo credit: Projectile Placement skycaptaintwo

Shake, Rattle and Tweet

I like twitter. I use it for both business and personal purposes. I know, you’re shaking your head right now and wondering how I have time to fool around on twitter.

If you are interested in a great twitter tutorial… check out Charlene Kingston’s free eBook, Twitter for Beginners. You do need to register to get it but I promise you won’t get ANY spam from her and you’ll have a great resource.

I wish I could show you right now the power of real time search. If you follow smart people, leaders in your field, you can learn a great deal in a short period of time. I use it to search for relevant information for my clients. I also search for articles that I think would be relevant to my connections, then I add my 2 cents and post the link to Linked In.

This article helps you to learn how to target your tweets to people by occupation (e.g. attorneys) and location (e.g. city). You can provide customer service or listen to what people are saying about you or your competition. In just a few minutes a day, you can keep up with real time information about your industry.

Just remember that marketing today isn’t about telling the world how great you are… it’s about adding value.  Just because you can easily find a target audience on twitter doesn’t mean you should spam them! (definition of spam: I don’t want it and I didn’t ask for it).

I realize it’s popular to say (and think) twitter is stupid.. and it’s certainly your choice to stop reading this or think twitter is dumb. But it’s the business that is most adaptable to that often wins. Are you adapting?

Image credit: twitter tricks

How to Ruin that Face to Face Meeting You Worked So Hard to Get!

This week I had a couple of meetings like I do almost every week. (Do you meet between 2-5 new people a week?)

First — the good meeting!

One was with a guy I met who has been unemployed for about a year for the first time in his career. I met him briefly after a talk I had given. He confirmed our meeting the day before. Yeah for him. Then he offered to buy me a coffee, I always appreciate the offer. Another yeah for him. (cost him $1.72) He told a story about delivering meals to shut ins as one of the ways he spent his time while unemployed. Triple wow. He even asked how he could help me. Unbelievable.

And now the not so good meeting:

Meeting with someone I had met before and had helped him with something. By 5pm the day before, he had not confirmed our meeting so I did. Ick, not happy. I usually send my cell phone number so in case something comes up last minute.. the person doesn’t leave me sitting there. Hmm, maybe you could send me yours so in case something comes up for me? Nope. Didn’t improve.

In the article, “5 ways to lose your dream job during the interview process” — the same simple etiquette applies. Confirm your meeting, be polite, don’t talk too much, think of ways you can help the other person, don’t be cocky, send a thank you note, etc.

Seems pretty simple to me. But if it’s so simple, why don’t most people do it? I have no idea. Sigh…

Oh, and did you send a Linked In invitation after your meeting?

Photo credit: photo bucket

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

I’m Telling Mom…No One Likes a TattleTale

No one likes a tattletale. Well, unless the information is valuable. So when you are looking for a new job (exciting and terrifying), information about a prospective employer can be priceless.

The way it used to be -Do you remember the old boys network’? I do. Because I’m a girl (and an old one at that) – the boys network wasn’t really open to me. Yes, I had excellent experience and yes, I had a Master’s Degree but… I was still a girl.

But I never let anything stop me. I just kept trying, learning, sharing, being myself. And I’m happy to report that due to circumstances beyond their control, the network (while still alive and well) isn’t what it used to be.

I also had a little help from my friends, kind and generous mentors and the great equalizer, the internet and it’s child – social media came along.

The way it is now – When you want information about a company, you can turn to sites like Glassdoor.com. This site allows real people to give information about their employer. The good news is that it’s anonymous. That’s also the bad news. The site has input by company, job type, salary and even interview questions.

Like any other ‘crowd-sourced’ site, you need to be careful. One disgruntled person can make the numbers look bad so it’s important thing is to read all the comments. Check out all the data. Particularly around salary. (there are so many helpful sites!) I know it’s an ‘employer’s’ market right now, but that won’t last and this probably isn’t the last job you’ll negotiate a salary for. (booyah!)

Image credit – This child’s mother and father… and LoveAmourLove.com

New Executive Title – “Custserv/HR/Mktg/IT” Leader

Functions in the workplace are converging.  Social media is jumbling responsibilities at the enterprise at an alarming rate. Let’s take twitter for example.

You may know the online shoe retailer Zappos.com – they make a big deal out of using technology to give customers what they want and need 24 x 7. This is NOT because Zappos thinks that technology is cool. Their culture is totally built around superior customer service.  Check it out here.  Here’s an example of their twitter feed…

“Oh whoa! Truly sorry about that. We will try not to let that happen again. We had some slight hiccups in out Tweets today. ”

Check out Zappos employees communicating here.  And they are not alone.  Check out this tweet from a satisfied Southwest Airlines customer:  “Southwest completed my name change within 2 hours of my faxing them the info! #customerservice #newlywedtweet”

What about when an employee goes on GlassdoorFacebook  or twitter to complain about your company, whose responsibility is it to monitor and follow up?  HR? Marketing?

When things go wrong with a sale, who hears about it? The sales person? Customer service? Marketing? Maybe the IT department if it’s a web sale? Is response via social sites in your organization’s workflow?

Is a company’s Facebook or Twitter pages the responsibility of marketing, advertising, customer service or public relations? Smart companies are actually co-creating products with customers in real time. So now do the product development folks need to monitor twitter too?

What if I need to  download a 3rd party app to my desktop and cell phone to monitor twitter for my job… Does IT support that? Across which platforms (Apple, Blackberry, Droid or tablets?)

If you manage marketing, sales, customer services, human resources, IT or finance; are you paying attention? The head in the sand thing isn’t going to work any more.

Image Credit: All News Wire

Well, You Still Need to Wear Pants…

Do you believe the world of work has changed forever? I do. Whatever the root cause of our unemployment issues; big companies will no longer create the majority of our new jobs; small and mediums-sized companies will. And many more people will work for themselves or freelance.

The stereotype of a freelancer is a geek with a laptop sitting at home on their sofa in their sweats. You might be surprised that freelancers, like entrepreneurs, come in all shapes, sizes and are from many different fields. Think for a minute of consultants; engineering, management,etc.

I have a strategic marketing consulting practice that is supplemented by teaching at the Masters level and an active speaking schedule so I consider myself both an entrepreneur and a freelancer.  As more  folks aged 50+ lose their jobs (and have lost significant value in their retirement plans) — more of us will need to find work wherever we can.

This week I had the opportunity to visit NYS Senator Joe Robach with a group of freelancers and representatives from the Freelancers Union . (If you are an independent worker, you may want to check out their site. It’s free to join!) At issue is the right for freelance workers to have the same protection to ‘get paid’ as ‘regular’ workers;  83% of freelancers have experienced delayed, reduced or non-payment. Senator Robach was very supportive of the bill.

If we are going to adapt to a global marketplace, we are going to need keep up our legal and regulatory supports for new kinds of work. Are you working freelance? I’d love to hear from you.

Photo credit: Freelance Switch.com

Spectacular Failure – An Aspiration

When was the last time you had a spectacular failure?

I don’t mean “oops”— I mean whoa, that did not work out the way I thought.

No one likes failure —  BUT, I know if I’m not occasionally failing and — failing fast, then I’m not taking enough risk.  Most of the good stuff in my life came to me because I could not get what I needed or wanted via  ‘the safe road.’

But remember this. I’m a Capricorn; the goat. We do not leap or pounce; we plod.

So for all you who are thinking… yeah, it’s easy for her.  STOP RIGHT THERE.  Taking risks is hard, scary, unsafe at any speed.

Here’s what helps me take more risk:

— My mentors are in their 20’s & 30’s.  I am eager to learn from them & they are patient and generous.

— I gravitate to people who are trying new stuff and look for opportunities to associate with entrepreneurs.

— I try to read books that challenge my thinking. (I know, books are long and take a lot of time to read but I skim.) I visit the library. You can add your review to your Linked In profile. Here are a couple of suggestions that I’m going for:

Thomas Friedman’s new book, That Used to Be Us or Burg and Mann (Go-Giver), It’s Not About You.

Change is good, timing is everything, patience is the key. However… the good Lord helps those that help themselves. If you always do what you always did… you’ll always get what you always got. How’s that working out for you?