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Six Signs You're About to Be Fired

WSJ Careers - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 17:35
For busy and confident executives, these warnings are easy to miss.

Harsh Light for Restructuring Business

WSJ Careers - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 11:13
Women often don't have it easy in the restructuring industry, a business marked by demands that don't always square with family life.

Interviewing For Your Job…

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 07/21/2014 - 09:11

It might provide some peace of mind when you think you have it all and that you are nice and comfy in your current job with nothing to worry about. Just because you get a steady paycheck, have been temping in a job for a year or more or are liked by the powers that be, does not guarantee you’ve got the job in the bag. Interviewing for your job means you may have still to audition for the part just when you think the casting call is over.

Having the inside track on a position when you are currently working for the company of your dreams does not always guarantee success. Finding and keeping a job is never a sure thing not when situations out of your control at work change the dynamics of the workplace and you are caught in the middle of a game of hide and seek. You are always on the spot when it comes to keeping your job. Remember there are no guarantees that you are the one they want even if you are busting your butt at work to prove yourself to those that matter most, the decision makers. Situations come and go and people change their minds as it relates to who they want to hire for a particular position.

If you have your sights set on landing and keeping a job, remember there are a few things to keep in mind when you are asked to interview for a job you were sure was yours in the first place:

  1. Assessing the Competition: Who are you competing against? What is it about your skills vs. someone else’s that are better or worse in comparison? Understanding who you are competing against and what the hiring powers are looking for in a candidates will help you position yourself for success when it comes to being considered for a job you thought you already had.
  2. Managing Your Expectations: Everyone wants to be liked and valued in what they do and working and interviewing for a job is no exception. But knowing that there are some things that are out of your control helps you to manage your perception on your candidacy for a position even though you think it’s a slam-dunk and you are the perfect person for the job. Keeping your expectations in check means you are level headed about your situation and will be confident about how you are likely to interview for the job when asked.
  3. It’s Not Personal: As much as it feels like you are entering a beauty contest when it comes to managing your job expectations, learning how to make it less personal and to keep it professional will help you to keep the feedback objective. If you are not sure why you were passed over, it was probably less likely about how you look or spoke and more about the person involved in making the hiring decision. Keep it professional remember it’s not about a popularity contest.

When it comes to wanting to impress someone you work with or who is making a hiring decision that involves you, make sure you are positioning yourself in the best way possible. Surround yourself with allies and people who support your work and are not afraid to speak up on your behalf and you will be one step closer to keeping the job of your dreams in place even though you may not have thought you had to fight for it.

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To Make Yourself More Productive, Simplify

WSJ Careers - Sun, 07/20/2014 - 02:31
Small adjustments in work routine can vastly improve efficiency.

When One Pay Raise a Year Isn't Enough

WSJ Careers - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:39
As companies try to retain top employees and hit growth targets, some are ditching the annual salary review and doling out raises and bonuses several times a year.

Ever Thought, 'How Did He Get Promoted?'

WSJ Careers - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 18:02
Those co-workers with an inexplicable ability to rise in the ranks may possess "dark" personality traits.

7 Things NOT To Do In An Interview…

Lisa Kaye - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 13:58

Well you got the call and you are finally set up to meet with a team of people at the company you’ve been dying to work for. Maybe you just lost your job, maybe you quit unexpectedly because you could not take it, or, like some you keep knocking on every door hoping someone will answer. You are not alone. It’s hard to figure out what will and won’t work when you are meeting new people for the first time. Perhaps someone refers you for the job that is high up in the organization like the CEO and the position you are applying for is an entry level one-how do you position yourself? Or, you could have a friend or relative in the company that put in a good word for you, how much do you leverage your connections for the right opportunity? When it comes to meeting people for the first time on an interview, how much is too much information and what can help or hurt you land the job?

When it comes to making a good impression though, here are a few things to consider when you finally do get your interview and want to really impress the hiring team:

  1. “I’m sure I can figure it out?” When it comes to describing what your skill level is and what systems or processes you are familiar with it’s best to be honest and not try to impress someone for the sake of it. Your skills are one of many professional attributes you possess that are important to a hiring manager. Understanding and presenting yourself accurately is key when asked about skills you may not have. Telling a hiring manager you can figure it out does not leave anyone with a sense of confidence that you can master the skills for the job. Shoot straight and tell it like it is when it comes to describing what you know.
  2. “It’ not personal”: So you maybe lucky enough to know the right people but flaunting your relationship with a senior member of the company is not the way to impress the hiring team. Remember, these folks likely report to or work for the top gun. Your relationship whether real or imagined may threaten folks you are meeting with. Describing your relationship with the person who may have referred you for the job as “personal” rather than “professional” send out all the wrong signals and puts everyone who meets you in an uneasy position. Keep your personal and professional boundaries apart and be clear you are not there to forge a personal connection you are there because you want the job.
  3. “Wink & rub”: Responding to a question or comment posed by the interviewer with a “wink and rub” of the hand is not an appropriate gesture if you want to be taken seriously in an interview. You may have some good skills, but knowing how to present yourself in a professional manner will help you land the job you want and not offend the people you may work with. Touching, winking or giggling should be saved for a date and not an interview.
  4. “Sending gifts,” You may think it’s a courteous gesture to thank someone for interviewing you. No one likes it when you send chocolates, flowers or balloons to the interview team and thank them for interviewing you for the job. Bottom line, it’s viewed as “bribery” no matter how insignificant the size of the gift. Sending a follow up email, note or letter is a much more appropriate response to saying “thank you” than a Starbucks’ gift card.
  5. Trying too hard: Answering every response with “I can do that” is not a way to reassure a hiring manager that you know what you are talking about. You may be eager to please but being too eager is a sign of desperation and not of someone who wants to pitch in and be a team member. Being direct about what you can and can’t do on an interview gains you far more points that trying to be a pleaser.
  6. Doesn’t be a groupie: Everyone wants to interview someone who is interested in the company and the people who work there. But don’t feel the need to recite the entire employee directory for the company. You will likely come off as a stalker or a groupie rather than someone who is in the know and has done your homework. Underplay your relationships and talk about the company and its products and services if you want to impress someone with your knowledge rather than recite the employee listing.
  7. Chewing, biting & crunching: The only thing that should come out of your mouth on an interview is your words and not what you are eating. Chewing gum (no matter how delicately you chew), biting your lips or crunching on candy are all distractions to the interviewer and are really not appropriate during an interview. If you are thirsty ask for water don’t consume a small meal.
  8. “The color of Halle Berry’s skin please” And when someone DOES offer you a drink whether it is water or coffee (best to ask for water it’s less complicated) don’t be cute enough to describe how you like your coffee as the skin color preference of a major celebrity. It might be cute in a coffee shop, but it certainly doesn’t win you over with a recruiter whose probably got ten more candidates lined up after you and has to try to figure out the complexion of Halle Berry’s skin tone! Not cute or cool under any circumstance.

Remember, first impressions count and you do only have one shot to make it stick. Make sure you don’t say or do anything that will make you appear less than qualified for a job you really want. You are what you say and what you do in an interview so make sure the lasting impression you leave is not something they will talk or tweet about once you leave. If you want a call back, act like a star not a starlet!

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Copyright © 2014 Lisa Kaye | HR | Consulting | Los Angeles | Entertainment | Human Resources | Search - The Career Rebel
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Employer Spends 13 Years to Close Gender Gap in Pay

WSJ Careers - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:53
McGill University spent 13 years and $19 million to ensure gender pay equity among its employees. U.S. employers could soon face similarly sticky pay issues.

10 Overused Resume Terms

Lisa Kaye - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 01:17

Making it to the interview stage may seem like a long, endless journey with you not knowing how it will end up. You may get a job offer, you may be passed over for the job or you may just feel like it’s not the right match. It might feel great when you get the call and they want to set you up for an interview but do you ask yourself how you even got that far? It may have been through an introduction or it may just have been the compelling words on your resume whatever the reason knowing what terms or phrases to avoid on your resume might help you get one step closer to landing the perfect job.

What does your resume really say about you?   If you ever wondered what works and what does not work when it comes to impressing someone you don’t even know here are a few “overused” words and phrases that you might consider eliminating from your resume if you want even a fighting chance at nailing the next job interview:

  1. Thought Leader: When it comes to describing your leadership qualities and those you may admire in others, using this phrase to highlight your ability to be both thoughtful and a leader in one phrase seems over reaching and not a great way to explain how you truly think, feel and lead.
  2. Thinking Outside The Box: Depending on whose box you are thinking “in” or “out” of may not be to your advantage when you are trying to explain how “creative” a thinker you really are. Best to think of another way that bests describe your ability to be innovative by citing a few key business examples rather than overusing a phrase that really isn’t very original to begin with.
  3. Strategic Thinker: Much like being a thought leader being strategic is not something you need to think too much about if you are truly “strategic”. Showing someone how strategic you are is always about highlighting your professional results and not merely declaring you are able to think or act strategically. You need to prove it in order to convince someone else that you are strategic.
  4. Results Oriented: Your orientation towards results is a given if you are good at what you do. Stating that fact is one thing but highlighting your accomplishments and the way your results increased profitability for the company is another. Show me the money and we’ll show you results.
  5. Highly Motivated: You may be motivated by your work and your ambition to succeed but telling someone you don’t know in your resume about your motivations is not necessarily going to win you any extra points. Let’s put it this way, one would hope you are motivated, no need to pronounce it as some professional revelation.
  6. Change Agent: Not everyone likes change. Change for change sake is not necessarily something you need to brag about. Being an agent of change implies you can make things happen. Just be careful that your agent status does not make you seem like you are a security breach or a career operative.
  7. Dynamic: Being a dynamo is great when you are setting up a dating profile but describing yourself that way in a work situation is not necessarily the way to get the support of others. Describing yourself as “dynamic” is great if you are trying out for a professional soccer league.
  8. Bottom Line: When describing your skills like a balance sheet be careful not to make yourself appear to be so goal oriented that you miss the big picture. Being able to relate to the people in your professional circle the way you can manage your departmental budget takes more skill than being a bottom line bouncer.
  9. Best in Class: This might work for entry into a “dog show” competition but not when you are trying to explain how great you are as it relates to your professional skills. Save the “best in” for a beauty contest and not your resume.
  10. Team Player: This phrase may have meaning when watching the World Cup but when you talk about how well you play with others in the workplace, it’s not necessary to let everyone know you can and will play nicely with other employees if your job depended on it.

Making sure you represent yourself in person as well as you do on your resume should not be considered an art form, but should take more than just common sense when you make an effort to stand out.

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With Offices, Companies Are Thinking Outside the Cubicle

WSJ Careers - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 15:33
More companies in New York City are experimenting with variations on unassigned seating.

Essential Financial Steps for Young Workers

WSJ Careers - Mon, 07/07/2014 - 06:00
Within your first five years on the job, make sure you do these six things.

Arizona State in Thunderbird Talks

WSJ Careers - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 18:24
Arizona State University is in talks to take over the Thunderbird School of Global Management, in a deal that would keep the financially fragile Glendale, Ariz., business school alive, but in a radically different capacity.

Hiring Process Just Got Dicier

WSJ Careers - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 06:29
The Supreme Court's decision to allow some employers to opt out of covering contraception on religious grounds may provide legal cover for companies. But discussing religious beliefs can be a legal minefield.

Gender Bias Alleged at UCLA's Anderson

WSJ Careers - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 02:34
UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management, one of the nation's top-ranked business schools, is "inhospitable to women faculty," according to an internal academic review.

How Elite B-Schools Pump Up Applicant Pools

WSJ Careers - Thu, 07/03/2014 - 02:33
Applications are rising at many elite U.S. business schools, but the increase may be more of a triumph of marketing than a growing appetite for business degrees.

Chinese Workers' Hopes Rise With Auto Sales

WSJ Careers - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 10:11
Ford, GM and other foreign car makers in China find it harder to attract and keep engineering talent, as more Chinese car companies offer better pay packages and at times broader professional experience.

Relationship Advice for the Mentored

WSJ Careers - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:03
Those with limited workplace experience perceive small blips with superiors as crises. New employees end up damaging their relationships with mentors not by making gaffes, but by reacting to them poorly.

Diageo Remains Measured on Acquisitions

WSJ Careers - Wed, 07/02/2014 - 02:33
Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes says he is optimistic that the U.K. spirits giant can extend its market-leading position even as it remains disciplined in the hunt for acquisitions.

Job Independence

Lisa Kaye - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 11:51

Job Independence simply stated comes from never having to be a slave to your work.  Whether that implies you are content being self-employed, not employed or a long timer at a job, your independence comes from calling your own shots and never having to feel restricted by anyone or anything.

You may think job freedom is a luxury for the rich or the famous and would not apply to you.  Think again.  Creating a career where you have the freedom to choose is your first step towards true emancipation.  Having the ability to decide what type of job you want and whether the one you have is good enough opens the gates to allow you to walk in or walk out of any job situation that may not be right for you.  Your career freedom comes from being able to pick and choose and from knowing that you can celebrate your job freedom by not working and going to school if that’s what you decide.

There are many people around the world who do not have the freedom of choice whether it’s in their job, their home or in their relationships. Realizing that you live in a time where flexibility, fluidity and the fact you can call your own shots is an honored tradition, gives you the courage and ability to take leaps where you may not have dared to jump before.

What does true Job Independence mean to you?  How do you value your ability to be free when it comes to your career choices and do you take full advantage of your options? As you move into 4th of July celebration mode, ask yourself a few questions to determine whether you truly possess job independence:

  1. Can I walk away at any time?:  Knowing that you are not trapped by your circumstances means you have a good sense of freedom when it comes to moving out  of a job that you no longer like or where you are not growing.  Most people stay at a job for financial reasons and because the fear in moving into a new position may be too overwhelming for them and they’d rather just stay where they are.  Nothing screams “prison” like being held hostage by your lack of career choices and to stay in a job you hate no matter how valid the reason.
  2. Can I say “no” to my work?   Complete freedom comes from being able to not only walk away from a situation that is not right for you but to be able to say “no” to work that is not to your liking.  How many people do you know that have that option?  You don’t need to rebel against the hierarchy in order to be heard, but being able to professionally assert yourself is the key to true job independence.
  3. Do I have true flexibility?  Choosing whether to stay with your job is one thing but do you have the freedom to come and go as you please at work and make your own schedule?  Having creative freedom in your work projects is as important to creating job independence as your ability to walk away from your job or to show up to work when you want.

Having job independence means you are not limited by your surroundings and you can make your way at any time and under any circumstances.  If you are lucky enough to have true job freedom, than you have much to celebrate this holiday!

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Tech-Impaired? Find a Young Mentor

WSJ Careers - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 02:33
There is a growing digital divide in workplaces between twentysomethings with social-media savvy and older managers. To address it, more companies are trying reverse mentoring.