Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What makes me NOT want to leave a company/client/shop

One of my friends pointed me to this blogpost from Derik Whittaker,... very obviously but not always as evident.

Many times while you are doing the whole interview dance the company will ask you why you left a former company or client. But how often do they ask you what you need/want to not leave your NEXT place? Sure some times they may ask what makes you happy, or what type of place do you like. But how often to they ask you point blank, what can WE do, what can WE provided for you not to leave this company (assuming you were to hire on)?
  • Allow my voice to be heard
  • Put me in a position to succeed
  • Put me in a position to make a difference
  • Make effective communication must be priority
  • Manager that will battle to the death for their team
  • Team members that challenge me
  • Cool technology

Monday, May 19, 2008

success quote

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. -Bill Cosby

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

STAR method for answering interview questions

Situation * Task * Action * Result

Include these elements to tell a compelling story about what you have done that demonstrates your transferable skills.
The STAR method works best for behavior-based questions that begin with "Tell me about a time when…" or "Describe a situation when…," but this approach is good to use whenever you find yourself sharing an example in response to a question.

Situation: "Recently, I completed a project that involved working with a team…."

"...our task was to implement an emergency preparedness plan for our department."

"My role was to inform staff about the procedures we needed to follow in case of an emergency that required us to evacuate our office. I did this in several ways: by emailing everyone and sending an attachment describing the evacuation plan, exit route, and designated meeting place; by creating a colorful visual display on the bulletin board in our staff work room; and by taking everyone through a hands-on exercise during a staff meeting."

"The result was that when the University conducted a drill for the entire campus, the staff in our office assembled at our pre-arranged meeting place quickly and without hesitation."

Make sure to focus on what your role was when you are describing a team project. Don't forget to give a result or outcome. Even if the outcome wasn't positive, be prepared to discuss what you learned and what you would have done differently.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Personality theories, types and tests

personality types, behavioural styles theories, personality and testing systems - for self-awareness, self-development, motivation, management, and recruitment

Motivation, management, communications, relationships - focused on yourself or others - are a lot more effective when you understand yourself, and the people you seek to motivate or manage or develop or help.

Developing understanding of personality typology, personality traits, thinking styles and learning styles theories is also a very useful way to improve your knowledge of motivation and behaviour of self and others, in the workplace and beyond.

Understanding personality types is helpful for appreciating that while people are different, everyone has a value, and special strengths and qualities, and that everyone should be treated with care and respect. The relevance of love and spirituality - especially at work - is easier to see and explain when we understand that differences in people are usually personality-based. People very rarely set out to cause upset - they just behave differently because they are different.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Put yourself out there

Take a risk. When it comes to connecting with others, challenge yourself outside your comfort zone.
Although this may go against the grain in traditional corporations, initiate emotional engagement with other people, and maybe even a bit of physical contact - within acceptable boundaries of course. It's safest with someone of the same gender, unless you know the other person well.
Physical contact is an immensely powerful thing. Many people really enjoy a good hug - in fact sometimes it's the only cure when people are upset or angry. Physical contact does however carry certain risks in the workplace because of the risks misinterpreting signals, so if in doubt don't use it. Nevertheless there are times when you can trust your instincts and reach out to people in this way, even if it's a gentle touch on the arm, or a pat on the back.

Being friendly though is perfectly safe. Go out of your way to greet a colleague you haven't seen in a while. Be the first to say hello. Never ignore someone because you think they ignored you first - they probably never even noticed you because they were still thinking about the big game last night, or whether they left the oven on.

The world is full of people who wait for the other person to initiate contact. No wonder people don't generally communicate well - they are all too busy thinking they've been ignored, when in fact nothing can be further from the truth.
Everyone longs for the other person to initiate content and give them a big friendly smile.
And that's the way it starts - then you do begin to do it more often, and then other people try it too because they see it's safe and nobody dies, and before long everyone on the floor is happy to make the first move, then it spreads to the whole building. Because everyone realises it's okay to be open and friendly.

Individuals at all levels of an organization welcome being treated as a full person, not just a workmate or a phone extension, or an email address.

So put yourself out there: approach people as people - in a genuinely friendly way - be affectionate and caring - through hugs and pats when it's okay, or simply through a big warm smile.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

CIOs Are Looking for Soft Skills

In a survey (from may 2007) by technology recruiters Robert Half, they poled 1,400 CIOs. CIOs were asked, “In which of the following areas do you think your IT staff could most use improvement?”

  • Technical abilities............................................................ 25%
  • Project management skills.................................................. 23%
  • Verbal and written communication abilities............................... 15%
  • Organizational skills.......................................................... 14%
  • Interpersonal skills............................................................ 12%
  • None/no improvements needed.............................................. 3%
  • Other/don't know.............................................................. 8%

While “technical abilities” were ranked first as a single classification, the combination of verbal and written abilities, organizational skills, and interpersonal skills, in other words those abilities that are typically thought of as “soft skills,” accounted for 41% of the areas that need improvement.
“Technology changes rapidly, making it crucial for IT staff to constantly learn new skills to keep pace with industry advancements,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “While it’s ultimately up to the individual to keep his or her technical abilities current, the best employers invest in ongoing professional development for employees at all levels. Professional development programs also can aid a company’s recruitment and retention efforts. In today’s competitive IT hiring market, employees want to work for firms that encourage them to build new skills and assume more challenging responsibilities.”We all know that technical professionals need solid technical skills, and most organizations budget for training programs that help technical pros keep pace with industry advancement. However, in order to take advantage of the technical skills, CIOs are beginning to recognize that they need to upgrade the soft skills of their teams as well.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Decibel Management

Never heard about it? Well me neither but most of you probably know what I mean. Who has had a manager who never listened to what you wanted or needed. A manager who loves to speak without listening to what others have to tell. Someone who makes more noise than sense?

From now on I’ll call it “Decibel Management