I believe we all agree that life is full of mistake. I believe most of us would also agree those very mistakes could also lead to success. That is, if we recognize the mistakes made and make the necessary corrections.
In your last interview for a job that you knew you were qualified for and wanted to have, do you know the real reason you were not hired, or not promoted?
If you analyze that interview and be honest with yourself, get pass the pity parties where you comfort yourself by thinking it was someone else’s fault. You need to also move pass the idea that someone better fitted for the positon got the job over you, if that was the case, there’s nothing you could have done to change it, so don’t waste time concerning yourself with it.
What you need to focus on is that question you did not have an answer for; or, when you gave the answer, you immediately wished you could snatch it back, or when you gave that answer you could see a facial expression from the interviewer that let you know he or she did not like the answer.
Once the moment passes, you can’t get it back. Of course, what you should have said or done in a given moment can never be redone, but if you take the time to understand what was wrong with that answer and why it might have led to failure, you can practice your way to success the next time that question comes up in an interview.
Question: What mistake or failure did you have recently that might lead to your next success?
If you were to ask any successful person, what was the biggest contributor to his or her success, if they had time to truly think it thought, most would say, my past mistakes. For most of you, that statement comes as no surprise.
Having said that; I will add, most of us make a mistake or two weekly, just humor me with the weekly thing; I’m trying to be generous. The problem is, for most people when we make mistakes, we either look for a rock to hide under, or prepare for the berating that we believe is surely on its way.
Once you are passed that moment and whatever reaction is invoked happens, I suggest you consider, the Serenity Prayer. You know the one about knowing the difference between the things you can or cannot change.
Take the time to deconstruct what caused the failure, not the failure itself. Armed with that information, you can begin to fix notable problems that can be corrected by changing some of the steps in that process, or if need be, change the process you were using. It may not be necessary to abandon the ship. With the right thought process and improvements, your last mistake just might be your ticket to your next success.
Please humor me once more, as I give an example of what I mean by ‘deconstruct what caused the failure, not the failure itself’.
Let’s say your goal was to take a walk. You started out but never completed that walk, so you failed. If you deconstruct or look at every part of how you tried to took that walk and what individual acts occurred during your walk, your findings might be you kept stumbling. You may find the cause of your stumbling was you did not tie your shoes. By having that knowledge, you may be able to make some changes to improve your process and succeed on your next walk.
I know, I know, that example may sound simple in many ways, but I challenge you to look at your last failure, if you deconstruct it, you just may find making some very simple changes might lead to your success.
Now that we are a couple of weeks into the New Year, most of us have stopped trying to think up a resolution that we will not keep, or the one we did come up with has or is started to fade by the wayside. Therefore, I want to talk about setting a goal that anyone can reach, you just have to understand what you are doing and why.
As with almost everything, there can be many ways to complete a project, or reach a goal. The goals I am speaking of here are being promoted and/or making more money.
Have you ever said or heard someone say, “That’s not my job”, that is a statement of someone going nowhere fast. (If this statement bothers you, that’s okay, reflection is good)
Don’t get me wrong, I know there are uncaring supervisors and bosses out there that only focus on getting projects done at any cost; never including what may be good or helpful for his or her team. However, when you take on the task of doing something you were not hired or trained for, the act of doing it is your training program.
If you learn to do it well, you also earn the right to lay claim to that as a new competency or skill in your next review, or perhaps in a scheduled meeting you request with a decision maker that will appreciate a homegrown up and coming new leader to the team.
Another way of looking at it is, a position you would not be hired into because you lack the qualifications, you might be promoted to because of your on the job training, and your ability to sell yourself.
So, next time you feel a supervisor or boss is asking you to do a job you were not hired for, don’t think, “That’s not my job”, think, here is my path to a promotion.
My next article will be part two of ‘The Path to Promotions and Bigger Pay Increases’ entitled, ‘Who you should speak with”.
For many job seekers, at some point in your job search, you will see or you may be asked if you would be interested in a seasonal position. For some job seekers, the first reaction and sometimes the only reaction might be, absolutely not. That is because he or she is probably thinking, I have been looking for a job for some time now and I am not going to settle for a dead end seasonal job that will only led me right back to the job search again.
I am not putting blinders on, I agree for most job seekers that will be the reality so this may not work for everyone. However, here I would like to share two points of light. First and most widely understood, it is probably better to have a job providing a temporary income while you continue to look for a more suitable position as opposed to having no income while you job search.
Second and not so well known, most companies especially retailers, keep a close eye on their seasonal workforce looking for caring conscientious workers that they will most likely offer a permanent position when the seasonal work is over. That could be a first step into the position you would like to have.
Something to consider, it may be a good idea to add seasonal positions to your job search.
I would like to share with you an interesting concept on what is a fairly common question that may come up in an interview. On several occasions when I ask participants in my workshops, “what is the most difficult question for you in an interview”? I am sure for most of you; you are conjuring up your own vexing questions as you are reading this. The question I want to speak of here is, “If you had to describe yourself in terms of any animal, which animal would you be”. While you consider that question, let me add that many of the participants that mention this question, also adds he or she does not understand why an interviewer would ask such a question. They feel the question is unprofessional, he or she is not a good interviewer, and just does not know how to ask better questions. Farther, they often say, the interviewer does not realize that type of question may even derail an applicant’s concentration for the rest of the interview.
I enjoy responding to those that bring up this question and the opinions or (feelings) it steers them to, simply because to explain the neurosis of someone asking that kind of question, is also explaining the very essence of the interview itself.
What the interviewer is trying to get at by asking that type question, is simply what do you think of yourself. If he or she were to ask you straight out, “what do you think of you self”? You would probably use those few precious seconds you have between hearing the question and giving an answer to construct a thoughtful, warm and fuzzy answer that you think the interviewer wants to hear. However, by adding the animal element, some applicants are more likely to have that proverbial internal mental meltdown and blurt out an answer that is attached to an emotion you are feeling in that moment. Example, if that question in anyway angers you, you might say, “a bear”; translation, you are aggressive and possibly prone to attack. On the other hand, if that question scares you and makes you what to try to avoid answering, you might say, “a lamb”; translation, you may not stand up for yourself and cower from confrontation or making difficult decisions.
In short, that type question is designed to help the interviewer quickly combine elements from two different types of interview technique, a personality assessment that can reveal things about you that you might not have wanted to share and, a stress test to see how you handle pressure.
So, if you want to have a little fun and at the same time, prepare yourself a little more for an interview, ask yourself, “what animal best describes your personality”? Your answer just might get you that job.
The York Career Fair Committee recently completed a very successful community job fair. By successful I mean we brought together several hundred job seekers and several dozen employers at what turn out to be a great venue, Santander Stadium in York, PA. No doubt, the workshops we offered a week before the event to help job seekers complete resumes and providing key points on preparing for the job fair, as well as preparing for interviews was really helpful for many participants. It was good to see many of the participants were well dressed and well groomed complete with polished smiles, firm handshakes and plenty of resumes. It was an outstanding event.
For me, with so many job seekers coming together in a limited amount of time, it was an opportunity to observe and learn. I was looking for take-a-ways that I might share in future workshops. My biggest take-a-way however, was not something new or even a point that might be a little more difficult for job seekers to execute that we could shed a little more light on. My take-a-way was very basic and should be intuitive to job seekers. Like leaving home to drive somewhere and making sure, you have your driver’s license.
I would be remiss not to share this point. What I observed was far too many job seekers dress inappropriately, male and female alike. Some job seekers did not have resumes or any other documents that could help employers remember something about them, some were unable to complete applications he or she were given at the event because they were not mentally prepared to document their work history.
My point here is, with dozens if not hundreds of applicants applying for the same job at any giving time, any job seeker that does not listen to sound advice about proper dress, smiles, good handshakes and having resumes, is for all tents and purposes, giving him or herself, little chance of being successful in their job search.
This year the York Career Fair Committee is offering a new program to assist job seekers that plan to attend the York Career Fair on Thursday, October 16. The program consist of Pre-Career Fair Prep Seminars and is a collaborative effort between State Representative Kevin J. Schreiber’s office, Bell Socialization Services Inc., City of York, HACC York, PA Career Link, PA Board of Probation and Parole, York County Domestic Relations, York County Probation Services and Arc of Success LLC.
In these sessions we will work closely with participants to help him or her better prepare in several areas, building the resume, how to navigate a job fair and how to prepare for and ace the interview.
The Pre – Career Fair Prep Seminars will be:
• Monday, 10/6/2014, 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 1: pm to 3:00 pm
Pa CareerLink, 841 Voglsong RD, York, PA. 17404
• Tuesday, 10/7/2014, 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Judicial Center Hearing, Room 1 and 2
45 North George St., York, PA 17401
*Electronic Devices not permitted
• The York Career Fair will be:
Thursday, October 16, 2014 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Santander Stadium, 5 Brooks Robinson Way, York, PA 17401
If you are, or know a job seeker in the York, Pa area, you are welcome to any or all events.
For more information, call 717-848-9595
This is great information I want to share as compiled by Susan Ricker of CareerBuilder that is well worth the time to review before going to an interview. Here is her verbatim list.
•Appearing disinterested — 55 percent
•Dressing inappropriately — 53 percent
•Appearing arrogant — 53 percent
•Talking negatively about current or previous employers — 50 percent
•Answering a cell phone or texting during the interview — 49 percent
•Appearing uninformed about the company or role — 39 percent
•Not providing specific examples — 33 percent
•Not asking good questions — 32 percent
•Providing too much personal information — 20 percent
•Asking the hiring manager personal questions — 17 percent
Your body language is also being evaluated by hiring managers. Here are the top mistakes employers reported:
•Failure to make eye contact — 70 percent
•Failure to smile — 44 percent
•Bad posture — 35 percent
•Fidgeting too much in one’s seat — 35 percent
•Playing with something on the table — 29 percent
•Handshake that is too weak — 27 percent
•Crossing one’s arms over one’s chest — 24 percent
•Playing with one’s hair or touching one’s face — 24 percent
•Using too many hand gestures — 10 percent
•Handshake that is too strong — 5 percent
This article is meant to be thought provoking and might be a helpful aid for some of you in reaching your next level of success.
If you research what a leader is, you might say a leader has followers and guides or directs others and is somewhat seen as an overseer that might be seen as working a little apart from the team.
If you research what a manager is, you might say a manager is one who handles, controls, or directs and is more focused on completing daily tasks and projects given to him or her and might work closely with a team of subordinates on a day to day bases.
When you look at most definitions for manager or leader, you will see that the titles are nouns. When you look at the root or base word in both of these titles, you will see that manage and lead are verbs. If you spend any real time researching both titles, you will soon begin to feel they might be the same. For the most part, they really are very similar. The biggest difference is a manager tends to be very much hands on and is process and detail oriented and focused on getting his or her own job done as an individual. (Might have hooray for me tendencies, could hurt a team).
A leader has a more global view; delegates and focused on motivating his or her team to get their jobs done as a whole. (Might have one for all and all for one tendency, is good for a team).
As a manager who might be more focused on the systematic details of a journey (the task), a slippery slope to watch out for is micromanaging, which can destroy morale and individual creativity as well as overall productivity of a group. The best defense against this might be to focus on having more trust in the team and making a conscious effort to delegate to others, which goes a long way in helping develop others.
As a leader who is more focused on the big picture and the ultimate end of the journey (the goal or achievement), a pitfall might be missing the smoke before a fire starts. Because a leader is expected to be more trusting and delegate more, some small issues might slip by unnoticed until they become big issues. The best defense against this might be consciously having informal communication periodically with subordinates to ask how things are going – what he or she may be most concerned with and, a great way to ask is there anything I can help you with now in a non-intimidating setting.
Giving associates’ the opportunity to seek out or to simply got help to clean up a small issue before it gets out of hand in an informal manner might promote more openness without a person feeling he or she might be judged or possibly looked at in a negative way.
I realize this information probably is not news to most of you so here is my point and my proposed takeaway. If you are a manager, a leader or a director of any kind and you take the time to study and analyze the true essence of each of those titles, if you are able to incorporate the best aspects of all three into your method of operations, you will most likely be a more highly effective and respected boss.
This point is true in all aspects of life and, no matter what it is you are trying to achieve, you are most successful when that moment hits and you are willing to embrace it and react on it. Here are some examples I hope are thought provoking:
A person in a leadership or management position likes to micro-manage; rather it is because he or she does not trust anyone to do the job without their input constantly or, he or she believes it gives them greater job security, both reasons are fool’s gold and is for the most part, more harmful then helpful. When that “aha moment” hits him or her, and they realize the collective genius of the team, far outweighs an individual’s ability, that is when that leader or manager becomes most successful.
Parents that tend to allow a child to pretty-much have his or her way, rather it is because the parent believes it is easier and keeps the peace then give a little tough love or, they believe it shows more love and puts less stress on the child and themselves. When that “aha moment” hits the parent and they realize the time will come later in life when that child will become a part of the greater society and community on his or her own, they will learn they cannot always have it his or her way. The dysfunction and stress on both the child and the parents can far outweigh the peace and harmony perceived from those earlier let them have their way years. In my opinion, when that “aha moment” hits and the parents make sure the child learns and understand he or she simply cannot always have their way, it has two tremendous outcomes. The parents will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment for the path they put the child on and, the child will find greater success as part of society.
When a working person, albeit an hourly associate, a manager or a CEO, no matter how well he or she might believe they are doing, no matter what benefits are received and, no matter what the salary might be, many people feel he or she is still unhappy because something is very much unfulfilled in their life and is missing. Here, I must say, I am not short sighted; I know many of you might be thinking, ‘with all of that, what can be missing’. The answer is passion and love for what you do. When that “aha moment” hits and you find a way to bring your dreams and true passion to life, there are no words for the satisfaction and fulfillment you will have in your work life.
Now, I am not saying everyone can or will live out his or her dream, or will be totally fulfilled in his or her work live. However, I am suggesting that everyone that is living his or her dream life and truly feel fulfilled in their work life, did indeed look for, listen for, recognize and most important, reacted to his or her “aha moment”.
Have you had or, are you looking and listening for your “aha moment”? It just might change your life.