Friday, June 28, 2013

What Are You Doing to Help Rebuild the Organizational Bond of Trust?

 “Yup, not even a year and they eliminated my job. Can you believe that?”
I noticed on Facebook a post from a good friend who just lost her job. About nine months ago, we had met in New York to have a celebratory lunch. She had just found her dream job and was beyond excited.
Now, not even a year later, she is out. She was a passive candidate — accomplished, not actively looking for a new job, but the role was a perfect fit. Or at least she thought it was.
When I reached out to her, she confirmed it.
That is about the third story I have heard that fits that profile. Someone gets recruited and hired with all the fanfare, and before they could warm their seat, a corporate initiative comes through and pulls that seat out from under them.
Where was the plan?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Your Team Will Thank Your Contribution When You Find Your Authentic Voice

 “I just sat in the room in awe. All these senior writers, and here I was. I did not speak because I had not found my voice.”
That statement was from Mitchell Hurwitz, the creator of Arrested Development, speaking about his first big break into the TV business as a writer. He had joined the TV series The Golden Girls, working with a writing team of grizzled veterans. It was his first big break into comedy writing.
I was intrigued by his quote. Everyone struggles to find that voice where we speak from a platform of knowledge and authority. How many times have you sat in a meeting and just did not feel comfortable putting your two cents into the discussion? But over a period of time we usually feel that, yes, we do have something to say.
Keeping quiet and assessing the dynamics

Friday, June 14, 2013

Following Your Career GPS: Recalculating to Keep Yourself on Track

Recalculating, make a right at the next light. Recalculating, make a left at the next intersection.
With GPS in a car, there is no need to get lost anymore. I now live in Saudi Arabia, and of all the items that I brought over, my Google Maps app is something I never leave the house without.  
Try following direction and the entire street markings are in Arabic. So if I am looking for Exit 8 this is how the signs look: ٨مخرج
Sometimes, our careers can be like traveling in a foreign country. We get lost, we make the wrong turn, and sometimes end up in a destination that is far from our original target.
Having a career GPS system

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Surviving in the Workplace: It’s All About Being Able to Adapt to Change

This could be you but then again I hope not.
  1. We tell interviewers we are “not really into that social media stuff.”
  2. We have not stayed current in our field or we aren’t articulate about trends and leaders in our field.
  3. We dress like someone in a past decade, or worse, wear a suit and tie [or the female equivalent] in an environment that stopped wearing suits years ago.
  4. We still have a flip phone.
  5. We are not physically fit and sometimes overweight.
  6. We have so much experience and have interviewed so many times we don’t spend much time preparing for the interview. Fact is, top candidates spend 8-16 hours preparing.
Bill, thank you — you nailed it!
Shaking my head in disbelief
I’m just amazed by the number of folks that fall into this category, people who are completely oblivious of what is going on around them and refusing to “get with it.”  We all know someone like this, and regardless of the change that is coming, they just refuse to be a part of it.
I got an invite through LinkedIn the other day, and when I clicked over to check out this person, I found that he has all of three (3) connections. There was absolutely nothing on his LinkedIn page but job titles, company names, and duration of service. He was even too lazy to fill in his roles and responsibilities even though he has been in the banking business for over 15 years.
This is the way you should look at this. Think of LinkedIn as the new business card. As a matter of fact, I now hear many people say, “Let’s connect on LinkedIn; I will send you an invite.”
But, LinkedIn is not the only social media platform that is out there. Twitter has become the gathering place for whatever your profession is. No matter what the top issues are that your industry is faced with, hang out on Twitter and follow your profession to get a sense of what folks are talking about, as well as what people in your profession are reading
The job market is tough, no matter if you are out of work or gainfully employed, but nobody is interested in anyone that is just too complacent to keep up. Everything today is moving at warp speed, from technology to disruptions in your industry.
The starting point is out of sight
Who would have ever envisioned how the Internet has changed our lives, from desktop computing to mobile, brick-and-mortar to e-commerce, foundational companies like IBM to Facebook and Google. If you think this does not affect you and your career, you are sadly mistaken.
And the great part of all this is that it is now slowing down, but I still know many professionals who refuse to get on with it. Their thought is that if they can just hold on, they will be out of the market in 10 years or so.
That is such a defeatist attitude. I had someone tell me that “I will give you a call, because I don’t have the time to do that ‘texting thing.’ ” I’m still SMH (shaking my head).
A young lady told me the story of how she decided to give her grandmother an iPad. Everyone in her family told her that would be such a huge mistake. The grandmother was in her mid-80’s, however what they did not realize was that she was a “young mid-80’s. When she received the gift she thanked her granddaughter so much for it. She had been reading so much about “this iPad thing” and was very interested.
She spent every day after that getting acquainted with her new toy. She took classes at the local Apple Store to learn all the tips and tricks. Now at the family gatherings, there she is showing off her apps, how she reads her newspaper, magazines, etc. She even created a LinkedIn and Facebook page.
Even in her mid-80’s, she had a hunger to get with all these new things even though her working days are long gone. I tell that story to all of my friends who are still living back in the past as if it is coming back. It is like keeping old clothes in your closet that you are just sure will come into style again. It may show up  again, but it will be an updated version of before. If you haven’t figured it out, nothing EVER goes back to where it was.
Change is hard
Change is sudden; it is like the rules have changed overnight. It disrupts our equilibrium. Whether it’s the sudden loss of a job or the changing dynamics of your work, the world you once knew is gone, and sometimes, it’s difficult to know what to do next.
Yes, it can be frightening because our survival instinct is based on being able to predict our environment and acting accordingly. When predictability disappears, so too does our sense of equilibrium.
Survival is based on adapting. And that survival is contingent on developing strategies to adapt, survive and potentially thrive during some of the worst conditions that many of us have seen in a lifetime.
Yes, my friends it is that serious.