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, 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: - 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 your homework here, get a few themes and then use the other tips to verify.  So...get info from 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 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 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.