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Casting Ripples by Beka Rice

Posted by cpoblog on January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

This post originally appeared on bekarice.com: http://bekarice.com/casting-ripples/

You never know what ripples your actions are going to cast. Now do me a favor. Read that first sentence again, but slow down and think about it. People look at statements like that and say, “Yep, I know. Makes sense,” and that’s the extent of their consideration. I think that idea is more important than we give it credit for and deserves more than a cursory glance and feigned contemplation.

This is a bit similar to the post I wrote on Unknown Unknowns, but I’m taking a slightly different approach and throwing out some different thoughts. I think considering the ranging consequences of our actions is a lost habit, and that it shouldn’t necessarily be.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
-Mother Teresa

Instant Culture

We live in a fast-paced world. If you’re American, you know that this is true of many parts of the country and is a point of pride for us. I have no problem with living at such a pace and don’t see it as a bad thing, but I think it exposes some flaws in our decision making process of which we can try to be conscious. Since we operate at an “instant level” – instant communication, instant food, instant responses – I think that we sometimes forget that this isn’t always a good thing. That sometimes careful consideration is far more important than the immediacy of our action.

instant Instant is not always good.

I catch myself trying to respond to text messages from distraught friends quickly so that they don’t feel ignored, and then realizing that a swift response is not what’s most important; a carefully considered response is. Can you give a conversation its due if you’re concerned with continuing it rather than enhancing it? Sometimes you can do both, but there are times that they’re mutually exclusive and you have to decide what’s more important.

This is simply supposed to serve as an example. Immediate action is not inherently valuable. You create value in your interactions by ensuring that they’re actually valuable, not simply prompt. We can create value by putting forth our best ideas, best solutions, or honest answers within a conversation, but not by answering quickly.

Consequences of Immediacy

So how does this relate to casting ripples? I think that instant culture overshadows careful consideration, and that it can be a bad thing. I think that it sometimes prevents us from wondering what ripples our words or actions will cast, and what other ripples those will change when they bump into one another.

When we make snap decisions or act swiftly, there’s no way to look forward for the consequences our actions can have. Not only that, but any consideration of the domino effect that your actions may prompt from others is cast aside. While not every action or decision is a matter of great importance, I think the pressure to act or decide quickly for nominal issues bleeds into the decision-making process for far more important issues.

Instant may not mean "quality". Instant may not mean “quality”.

Before you dispense advice, try to make a point, or make a decision bigger than what’s for dinner, maybe we should instead take a moment of pause and wonder what effects our actions will have. What consequences will our course generate, and how will it affect others? I know it’s an easy concept, but again, it seems like we forget it just as easily.

Let’s not fall prey to instant culture and the pressure to be swift and decisive. Let’s instead place proper importance and measure on our actions and live intentionally. When we consider the ranging effects of our actions, we can then understand how we can use them to affect the change we want to see. We can then return to our quote:

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
-Mother Teresa

Instead of remaining ignorant of the ripples we cast (to our detriment), we can instead acknowledge their future existence, consider what we want them to look like, and act accordingly for the better.

 
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College students: Avoid these 6 career mistakes

Posted by cpoblog on August 29, 2013 in For the candidate...

(MoneyWatch) Although it’s still tough in this economy to find employment after graduating from college, half of new grads end up finding jobs that they like.

That requires avoiding common career mistakes, according to David Delong, author of “Graduate to a Great Job: Make Your College Degree Pay Off in Today’s Market.” Delong, a former career-planning researcher at Harvard Business School, says recent college grads are often confused by the following job-search fallacies:

1. I can do my entire job search online. We’ve all heard the lament of job-seekers who complain that they have applied to hundreds of jobs without a nibble. Simply responding to job postings on the Internet is highly unlikely to get a job. Keep in mind that many jobs are never even advertised online.

“The activities most likely to make you successful — face-to-face networking, strong interviewing skills and challenging internships — have little to do with the Internet,” Delong says.

Class of 2013? How to get a job now
4 college class that can help you get a job
7 ways undergrads can build their resume

2. I’ve got to start out in the right field or I’m doomed. Nonsense. For one, odds are that college grads will change jobs within two years, and that job will likely be in a different industry. “The fluidity of today’s economy makes assumptions about linear career development obsolete,” Delong says. “Find an interesting opportunity where you will learn a lot and dive in.”

3. Liberal arts majors don’t get jobs. Employers aren’t just looking for students with specialized degrees. Employers are interested in new hires who can think critically, are great communicators and have demonstrated leadership. Your major will be less important if you have shown these skills through extracurricular activities and internships and convey your abilities in an interview.

An employer survey released this year by the Association of American Colleges and Universities suggests that employers want recent college graduates to be broadly educated. Ninety-three percent said that a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems is more important than a job candidate’s undergraduate degree.

4. I can get a job in a cool field. “A lot of students dream of working in ‘cool’ fields without understanding the dynamics of how careers evolve in that profession,” Delong observes. For instance, there are plenty of journalism students at the University of Texas who think they can stay in Austin and get a journalism job. In journalism, however, students typically start in smaller markets and must work their way up while moving to different communities.

5. My college career services center is lame. Campus career centers vary in how helpful they are, but students shouldn’t assume that they can only be counted on for reviewing resumes. College students should explore what their career center can do for them, and they shouldn’t wait until their senior year.

Services that a good center should provide include: Career counseling, aptitude testing, resume writing, practice interviews, job postings, alumni networking and career fairs

6. It’s going to be harder than you think. Too many students think they can find a job if they start looking after Christmas break in their senior year. Wrong. You need to lay the groundwork long before then. The search can be time-consuming, but it will be well worth it.

By

Lynn O’Shaughnessy /
MoneyWatch/ August 13, 2013, 8:17 AM

 
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7 Modern Day Ways To Leave A Lasting Impression

Posted by cpoblog on May 24, 2013 in For the candidate...

Dale Carnegie wrote a fantastic book back in 1936 that really spelled out How to Win Friends and Influence People, and in my view it was so successful and continues to be successful because it contains such a lot of common sense about treating others how we ourselves like to be treated.

Unfortunately, we sometimes forget our common sense due to work and other pressures, and times have changed a little too, so I have put together a quick list with a few examples of both “old” and modern day areas to focus on to leave a lasting impression and be remembered for the right reasons.
1. Pay someone a compliment

If there is a genuine reason to pay someone a compliment, make their day and tell them. The person wearing a great shirt or a nice perfume will always appreciate a positive compliment, and that compliment will stay with them all day. I wear the best shoes I can afford and they get noticed, very often making the topic of conversation.
2. Say thanks often

Show your appreciation by saying thanks when someone holds the door open for you, or goes out of their way to do something. When did you last thank your partner for being awesome or your staff for doing a great job? Appreciation is one of the main drivers for someone staying committed in a relationship or job, don’t forget to tell them.
3. Give generously

If you are not the type to get stuck in when manual labor is needed, how else can you give generously? A fellow Rotarian who didn’t have the time for the physical work, gave his expertise generously instead, allowing the club and other charities to benefit from his experience and knowledge.
4. Do what you say you will

Don’t let others think badly of you by not doing what you said you will, even the smallest of things, someone may well be relying on you.
5. Smile

I am a big believer in this. The chap that held the door open for me with a beaming smile made me feel like a princess. How can you pass on such great feelings to others to make their day?
6. Use their name

What was the name of the barista that made your coffee this morning? Next time you order, thank them as usual and follow up with their name, it will be noticed. Using their name really is Dale 101, “the single sweetest sound in any language is a person’s name”.
7. Follow up

The drain layer that came to give me a quote didn’t follow up until 2 months after he visited. Needless to say, someone else did the job and he lost out. Do you follow up 100% of the time in a timely manner before your competitor gets in? You will stand out just by following up every time because so few people do it.

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130523231310-33236097-7-modern-day-ways-to-leave-a-lasting-impression

 
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Privacy rights – Things are getting more complicated for sure…

Posted by cpoblog on May 2, 2012 in For the candidate..., For the employer...


What is privacy? As job-seekers are judged by their tweets and Facebook posts, uncertainty abounds

By Lini S. Kadaba

FOR THE INQUIRER

When Dave Clarke wants to fill a position at AuthenticMatters in Old City, he sifts through the stack of resumes and looks up candidates on Google.

He expects a presence online, he says, especially considering the company’s work — digital strategy and communications consultancy. “That’s your online resume,” AuthenticMatters’ founder says of tweets, blogs, and status updates. “It’s not what you attach to an e-mail.

“We’re not digging for dirt or hunting for drunken photos or anything,” he continues. “But hey, if those pop up, it tells me that the candidate doesn’t understand data, or frankly, the Web in general.”

Sometimes, what an employer finds can send a candidate straight to the reject pile. Job offers — and jobs — have been lost over Facebook photos that show misbehavior, or remarks better left untweeted. There’s even a new term for it: Facebook fired.

As employers increasingly use social media searches — Google, LinkedIn, Twitter — to screen potential hires, privacy experts, as well as civil liberties proponents and politicians, are questioning the practice. At the same time, some employers consider a search a necessary double check of information — basic due diligence.

“There’s a lot of moving parts and changes happening very rapidly,” says Eric Patton, an assistant professor of management at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. “There’s a lot of debate around this entire topic about what’s appropriate to look up and what’s appropriate to use. This is something that’s not going to go away. It’s going to get more and more complicated as time goes by.”

In recent months, politicians on both sides of the aisle have expressed concern over reports that employers are demanding Facebook passwords to look at private profiles of prospective job candidates. Proposed legislation that would ban the practice is under consideration.

“As we begin to live parallel lives on the Web, our privacy rights are slipping away,” argues social media and privacy expert Lori Andrews in her recent book I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy.

In the infamous “Cisco Fatty” case that Andrews cites, a college student who landed a summer job with multinational Cisco Systems tweeted about her good fortune, saying in part, “Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” Unfortunately for her, a Cisco associate saw those 140 or fewer characters and asked for her hiring manager’s name. The exchange went viral and reportedly the woman’s offer was rescinded.

According to a new ExecuNet survey of 313 recruiters, about half of the respondents eliminated candidates based on information gleaned from Internet search engines. Information uncovered included DWI convictions, unethical work practices, and blog posts that showed poor judgment, says Robyn Greenspan, editor in chief of the executive business network, based in Norwalk, Conn.

Marc Bourne is vice president and cofounder of Know It All Intelligence Group, a Bensalem company that performs employment background screenings for employers. Most of his clients stick with the traditional review of public records. But a growing number want a social media hunt. He says the best protection against a poor online image is the privacy setting. “You’ll have nothing to worry about,” he says.

What about prospective employers who request passwords? Bourne and others say that such stories are rare occurrences that grab the headlines. Employers interviewed for this story said they would never make such a demand.

“I think that’s a little overboard,” says David Neff, president of Neff Associates, a PR business in Philadelphia. “I respect the privacy of other people. As an employer, there’s a certain amount of goodwill.”

In addition, employers appear to have a like/unlike relationship with online searches, preferring a social media survey to a Google look-up.

An October 2011 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey of more than 500 of its members involved in recruiting found that about 18 percent use social network searches to screen candidates — up five percentage points from a 2008 survey on the same topic. However, only about one-fourth of the recruiters looked up a prospective employee on Google or another search engine — a decrease from the one-third who reported this activity in the earlier survey.

Two-thirds of the organizations that do not scour social media during the hiring process worried about legal exposure if they discovered protected information, such as age, disability, or religious affiliation. They also questioned the accuracy of online data, and relevance to work-related performance. One-third had concerns over the job candidate’s privacy.

Those results echo Andrews’ concerns. The law professor and director of the Institute for Science, Law and Technology at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago calls it “Web-lining,” drawing a parallel with the illegal practice of redlining by banks. “Our private information collected on the Web can lead to Web-lining, where negative decisions are made about us that are based on our digital self,” she says. “The online self is becoming more important than the off-line self.”

Ashley Payne, a Georgia high school teacher, was asked to resign — or be suspended — after the principal became aware of a Facebook photo that showed her on vacation in Ireland drinking a glass of Guinness, as well as a post in which she used an expletive. No matter that her page was private, that she had not friended any of her students, or that she was not doing anything illegal.

In Finland, employers are banned from Googling applicants. The case that gave rise to the rule involved an employer who refused to hire an applicant after discovering he had participated in a mental health conference.

“Rejecting someone because of a potential mental health problem is bad enough,” Andrews writes in her book, “but the applicant didn’t have such a problem — he had attended the conference as a patient’s representative. The employer had jumped to an incorrect conclusion based on data from the Web.”

Andrews has proposed a Social Network Constitution. In the document she drafted, she calls for certain guarantees: the “right to connect,” the right to free speech, the right to privacy of thoughts, and the “right to control one’s image.”

“I think what people post to social network pages should be considered private,” she says. “They might post about sexuality, relationships, political beliefs, illness. The design gives us an expectation of privacy. … It should be non-accessible to employers and schools.”

Robert Sprague disagrees. The associate professor of business law at the University of Wyoming, who studies workplace privacy and technology, says that “anything you post online is fair game. Our privacy laws are essentially binary. It’s either private, or it’s not. If people can see it, whether they do or not, it’s not private.”

The debate often comes down to the question: What is privacy?

“Is it really private if you have 300 friends?” he asks of a Facebook post. “Where do you draw the line? Is it three, 30, or 300?”

Employers also argue that they have a right — even an obligation — to make sure employees are reliable and competent.

“People’s individual behavior can legitimately be brought up in a job search,” Patton of St. Joe’s says. “Courts will usually side with companies if they can make a good argument why they rescinded an offer, if there’s a good business reason.”

Ted Scofield, chief operating officer and general counsel at Icebreaker Entertainment in New York City, often hires graphic artists. If a candidate is not an obvious fit based on his or her resume, Scofield says that “I do what we all do. Google search. … There have been a few I have Googled and found out things I might qualify as unsavory.”

One applicant had been arrested for graffiti. Another had mischaracterized his artistic style. Scofield said he is less concerned about the drinking-on-spring-break photo. “We’ve all done those things,” he said. “It’s more about honesty and accuracy.”

 
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Seven Deadly Sins for New Hires

Posted by cpoblog on April 4, 2012 in For the candidate...

Seven Deadly Sins for New Hires
By Larry Buhl

Congratulations, you landed the job! The hard part is over, right? Not exactly. Your first few weeks in a new company are crucial — they can determine whether your future is paradise or purgatory. And we’re not talking only about mastering the technical aspects of your new job. How you behave in your new work environment is just as important — if not more so.

So when you start a job at a new company, avoid these seven deadly (or at least career-killing) sins:

1. Ignoring the Culture

“Our company asked 250 advertising and marketing executives what the greatest challenge was for those starting a new job, and four out of 10 said it was acclimating to the corporate culture,” says Donna Farrugia, executive director of CreativeGroup.com. How much should you socialize? Do coworkers prefer phone calls, emails or face-to-face conversations? Dress shoes or sneakers? Many aspects of a company’s culture can be subtle and easy to overlook. Instead, observe everything. “Come in 30 minutes early and stay a little late just to observe how people behave — when they get their coffee, where they take their lunches, how they wrap up at the end of the day,” Farrugia says.

2. Arrogance

“Companies can set up new hires for this by treating them, when they’re hired, like they’re saviors,” says Sue Edwards, leadership team coach and president of Development by Design. “As a result, they sometimes come in and insist on doing everything their way, because they’re supposedly so brilliant.” Instead, listen and learn. Take time to understand the company and how things work before you decide to be a maverick.

3. Hiding Out

The flip side of arrogance is timidity, which hunkering down with your own work can look like. Instead, build relationships from the first day. “Take the time to network with your colleagues by having informal conversations to learn what others do and how it affects you,” Edwards says. “It’s also a good way to learn the culture.”

4. Not Clarifying Expectations

When you don’t know what’s expected of you, it’s hard to deliver. Instead, meet with your manager to discuss the responsibilities of your position and how success will be measured. What are the priorities? How should you provide project updates? How will your performance be measured?

5. Refusing to Admit Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, and new hires make plenty. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you don’t admit them, nobody notices them. Instead, accept ownership, learn, make the correction and move on.

6. Rocking the Boat

Implementing changes before you get buy-in from others — and before you understand why things are done the way they are — can lead to jeers, not cheers. Instead, keep an open mind. Fully understand the current processes and procedures before proposing your changes (if you find they’re necessary), so you can make a good case for why they should be made.

7. Not Asking for Feedback

You don’t have to wait six months or a year to learn how you’re doing. In fact, waiting that long could put you, your team and even the company off course. Instead, ask your supervisor for a brief meeting after one month. Discuss what you’ve done right, where you’ve hit some snags and how you can make corrections.

You Can Turn Vice into Virtue

Beginning a new job is never easy. If you know you’re prone to one of these sins, stop and turn that knowledge into a virtue — before it’s too late. “Remember, nobody knows you on your first day,” Farrugia says. “You want to make a lasting impression, but be sure you stand out for the right reasons.”

http://career-advice.monster.com/in-the-office/starting-a-new-job/seven-deadly-sins-for-new-hires-hot-jobs/article.aspx

 
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9 Steps To Quitting Your “Have To Have” Job And Pursuing Your Dream

Posted by cpoblog on December 15, 2011 in For the candidate...

How many of us have dreamed of leaving our current jobs to do what we really want to do? And yet, not many of us have actually left the safety of what we do daily unless forced out by layoffs and downsizing.
Why is that? I would argue it’s due to one or more of these reasons:
We haven’t taken the time to identify a vocation that would serve our passion.
We lack a plan to make a successful exit.
We are paralyzed by a combination of our workload, fear of leaving the world we know, and concern about how we will do financially.

TO READ MORE OF Mark McNeilly’s Blog: CLICK HERE

 
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Problem employees

Posted by cpoblog on October 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ve been hearing and reviewing so many comments from folks about relationship problems brewing and blowing up at the workplace. There is also much around the Internet about folks feeling uncertainty about how to confront negative effects of unacceptable employee behavior.

In today’s economic times, it seems that anger and stress are major contributing factors to problem employees.

First let me add that there are tons of great seminar opportunities available that provide a great platform for discussion on effective techniques for taking on tough situations with confidence and professionalism.

In the meantime, if anybody has some brief worthwhile tidbits that they would like to share, please let us know.

Following are some suggestions we’ve heard or read about when dealing with such headaches at the office:
• Go to the person directly with whom you have the conflict – not through a third party because it can get muddy and convoluted and increase the level of stress and anger. I recommend third party involvement if direct communication is not available and/or if there are serious reasons why you may need to protect yourself.
• Anger generally boils inside of someone when that person feels that he/she isn’t being heard. The person with whom you have a conflict with, go to that person and be willing to listen. Speak in the “I” language and watch out for the dangerous “you” statement. I hear what you are saying….I want you to be more sensitive to my needs….tell the person what you need with the use of “I” rather than using the word “you” like “you need to change” which is a no-no.
• “I understand that you disagree but I guess we see things differently” may be the final result.
• One person’s right to be angry does not mean the other person is to blame.
• Agree to disagree!!

One recommended book that covers all types of relationship problems is The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D. http://www.harrietlerner.com/pages/dance_of_anger.htm

 
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Great tips for Controlling the Job Interview

Posted by cpoblog on October 10, 2011 in For the candidate...

As per article in Men’s Health magazine (http://www.MensHealth.com), Great tips for Controlling the Job Interview (20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition Nov. 2008):

You’re being evaluated before you open your mouth so use your time wisely!

Before a word is spoken, an interviewer will assess a new acquaintance and look for evidence to back that impression according to Gitte Lindgaard, Ph.D., of Ottawa’s Carleton University. A polished look helps you secure subconscious approval.

A limp handshake makes a worse impression on a prospective employer than body piercings, tattoos, or a crazy hair color, according to a 2006 survey of employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. And a strong handshake can convey vitality, say researchers at the State University of New York, whose findings back the belief that grip strength may correlate to genetic fitness. Keep your wrist and forearm horizontal to maximize force. An inverted or rotated wrist diminishes grip strength.

Don’t worry if you feel you’re talking too little. In a seminal study, people who were eventually offered jobs spoke about 2 minutes less than their interviewers did. Use prompts – “Tell me about a problem your team recently faced” – so your interviewer has a chance to talk shop, and you can flash your problem-solving skills.

A typical interviewer can assess integrity with high accuracy in 10 minutes…..so tell the truth and resist “image-protecting behaviors,” according to a 2007 Journal of Applied Psychology study. Chances of success dropped by two-thirds when applicants omitted details, distanced themselves from failures, or hid embarrassing chapters. Omissions that surface later hurt double.

Interviewers may not remember your answers but the do remember how you answered. Be specific. “They’re looking for examples that indicate how you’ll function in the future,” says Carole Martin, the author of Boost Your Interview IQ. Come prepared with stories and examples that demonstrate leadership ability, communication skills, integrity, and proven performance that you can shoehorn into any answer.

REFRESH YOUR RESUME:

Work Experience: Screeners may forgive up to 6 months of unemployment, a Harvard study shows. Don’t fudge dates, and use your cover letter to explain gaps. Fill jobless time with volunteer or temporary work.

Work experience and academic performance matter a lot to employers. But involvement in business and social organizations demonstrates leadership and can offset shortcomings, a study says.

Emphasize practical abilities such as communication, organization, and initiative-talking skills. One study found that resumes with accomplishment statements were more appealing to screeners.

 
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Top 10 Cities for New Grads

Posted by cpoblog on October 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

According to Apartments.com and CBcampus.com, the top 10 cities for new grads are:
1. Indianapolis
Average rent:* $625
Popular entry-level categories:** sales, customer service, health care
2. Philadelphia
Average rent: $1,034
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, management
3. Baltimore
Average rent: $1,130
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care
4. Cincinnati
Average rent: $691
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care
5. Cleveland
Average rent: $686
Popular entry-level categories: sales, marketing, customer service
6. New York
Average rent: $1,548
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, admin-clerical
7. Phoenix
Average rent: $747
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, marketing
8. Denver
Average rent: $877
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care
9. Chicago
Average rent: $1,133
Popular entry-level categories: sales, marketing, customer service
10. San Antonio
Average rent: $696
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, management

To Read Article:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/worklife/05/13/cb.top10.cities.grads/

 
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So many resumes, so little time

Posted by cpoblog on October 10, 2011 in For the employer...

Are you a hiring manager sifting through tons of resumes trying to find that needle in the haystack? Are you looking at an unusually large amount of resumes and thinking about changing your title now to RESUME COLLECTOR?

In today’s downsizing economy, it’s hard to imagine why so many hiring managers are having tremendous difficulty filling their job openings. This is indeed happening, no question about it. With the challenges we face everyday, I scratch my head every day wondering how any one company can effectively recruit without the help of a dedicated search firm that is solely committed to this effort 24/7!

We review resumes daily from various sources including, but not limited to, job boards, advertisements, mailing lists, social media sites, etc. Keep in mind too that we still dedicate time and effort with cold calling and reaching out to those passive candidates in order to make sure no stone is unturned if we’re going to find that needle in the haystack or the very BEST candidate for our client.

So with that being said, I would be too embarrassed to let anyone know (other than my partner) how many messages are currently sitting in my inbox right this very second!! Let me assure you though that we have a system in place to handle this type of volume because after all, that’s ALL we do.

If you are a hiring manager who would like to review fewer resumes yet hire the BEST candidate for your job opening, then consider using an external agency. For more information on CPO Recruiting Group, feel free to contact us at blog@CPOrecruiting.com. ~MC

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