Thursday, December 20, 2012

We Care A Lot - Recruiting Advice from Faith No More


It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of my musical blogs...not necessarily my most popular content but hands down my favorites to write.  I was driving home tonight, cranking Faith No More and inspiration struck.  Before I get into it, a quick comment on Faith No More.  They are considered by many people to be a “one-hit-wonder” band with Epic...now, this may be technically true from a Billboard perspective but they are undoubtedly one of the coolest, most artistically interesting bands ever.  So, if you are not familiar with them....that’s fine, read this blog and then give them a listen.  If you like the kind of music I do, you’ll thank me.  If not, well that’s fine....I’ll shut up and keep talking about recruiting.  With that...

You're my flavor of the week - Be Aggressive

Great tune here and a great lesson.  There are always “Flavors of the Week” from a hiring and recruiting perspective.  Looking for folks with “big data” skills?  How about “Hadoop”?  Or maybe folks who can do TPS Reports?  The point here, when hiring or looking for a job...focus on the core skills.  The trendy “buzz words” will come and go....but core skills rule the day.

You want it all but you can't have it - Epic

Pretty easy lesson here.  Gotta earn it.  In today’s economy and job market....nothing is handed to you.  You’ve got to work hard and earn it.  You want it all?  Go get it.

Because the plot thickens every day and the pieces of my puzzle keep crumblin' away but I know, there's a picture beneath - Falling To Pieces

One of my favorite songs, really cool.  Regardless, great recruiting and career lesson here too.  The point here, having a job is easy but having a “career” is tough.  Difficult stuff to not only work day to day but focus on the big picture.  If you want to get out of the “Time to Make the Donuts” job mode....look at the bigger puzzle and start building a career.

Let me introduce you to someone before the party is done.
Someone to look to in need or in want or in war
If you give him everything, he may give you even more - King for a Day

It wouldn’t be a Jeff blog without a shout out to networking.  Always a point of emphasis as a loyal reader who will remain nameless pointed out this week :)  BUT it’s an important note.  If you really truly want to be successful at networking you absolutely, positively have to pay it forward.  Give everything you can...and eventually it comes back around your way.

You're perfect, yes, it's true
But without me you're only you - Midlife Crisis

Another great song, it’s off the album Angel Dust (probably the one album to buy).  An awesome lyric about teamwork.  You might be great, but you’re even better with a great team.  This is always the case.  The greatest employee is always better with a team.

Enjoy it while you can. - Last Cup of Sorrow

Important note about work/life balance.  Life is short people, enjoy it.  It’s hard but you have to do it.  With technology today do you ever REALLY unplug?  Probably not but we should.  Take some time, enjoy the world around you....refresh, recharge and then when you work, bust it.

I wanna be free to know the things I do are right - Easy

So, this song is a cover...so it’s kind of a stretch but a great recruiting link here.  The best jobs and the best companies not only challenge you but inspire you to do the right thing...even better, great things.  When looking around for a job or role....find something that not only pays the bills but inspires you to do great.

Ok, that’s it...give Faith No More a chance and take some time during the holidays to enjoy your friends and family.  I’ll try to get one more “Year in Review” post out before the New Year.  Oh, and if the Mayan’s were right and this is my final post.....it’s been a great ride :)



Monday, December 17, 2012

The importance of speaking out!



Ok, just a few posts left this year but this is one that I’ve been thinking about for a while.  You hear a lot about the importance of speaking your mind and speaking up in meetings....what’s just as important is taking time to occasionally speak OUT at events.  I recently spoke at a few events here in Boston and it really reminded me of how important is to do if you have the opportunity.  Here’s why:

1) Share your expertise - Speaking out gives you a chance to share your experiences and help other people advance their career.  Sharing what you know is the ultimate experience in my opinion as you get to collaborate and share with other folks in the industry.

2)  Networking on Steroids - That’s right, speaking out at an event is like networking on steroids.  Think about it.  People are there to year YOU speak and listen to YOUR experiences....so, it’s a great chance to meet other folks and do some serious networking.  You can’t go wrong here, seriously, makes networking so easy to do.

3) Public Speaking are GREAT skills - The ability to present to a group or speak publicly are skills that every employer wants.  Most people are afraid of speaking publicly and really stress out when they have to do it.  So...practice makes perfect.  Take the opportunity, get good at it and turn it into another skill in your skillset that you can leverage in your professional life.

4) It’s fun - I love speaking out, think it’s a blast and really have a lot of fun doing it.  So, give it a try and I think you’ll like it too

That’s it this week, I’ll try to get another post out this week but if not....have a great holiday and we’ll keep the conversation going in 2013!

Good luck out there, tough time of year but LOTS of hiring going on.....

Monday, December 3, 2012

Avoiding a Culture Trap

Ok, I’m back...been a crazy few weeks between Thanksgiving and the end of the year rush.  This weeks blog, is a special request from a friend and former colleague.  The question is...when looking for a new job (or taking a new job) how do you do a good job during the interview process and avoid a bad culture.

There are a bunch of things you can do, in no particular order:

Glassdoor.com - I’m not a HUGE proponent of this site, too many sour grapes for me BUT you can get a bunch of information here.  The key...do your homework here, get a few themes and then use the other tips to verify.  So...get info from Glassdoor.com but don’t live/die by it.

Trust your network - The best data comes from people you know/trust.  What you want to do is take the information you got from Glassdoor.............and cross reference it with trusted sources.  If you don’t know anyone directly at the company, use LinkedIn to ask someone you know for a referral.

Ask - You know, ask about the culture in your interviews.  Sounds silly right?  Well, if you ask EVERYONE you meet what the culture is like at a company you get similar answers from everyone.  If not.....yellow flag.  If you get crazy answers....red flag.  Lots of candidates shy away from “culture” questions during the interview process but really you should ask.  Companies screen out for “culture” fit all the time....why don’t you do the same?

Fix it - That’s right, you find yourself in a tough culture.  Do what you can to fix it.  TOUGH STUFF to be sure and not for everyone but depending on your role, in many ways it’s your job.  You won’t accomplish this over night, it’s a long term play but if you are a superstar employee...you can impact change across the whole organization.

That’s it this week, good luck out there...hopefully these “fiscal cliff” talks end soon and we can all focus on creating more jobs.