Tuesday, January 29, 2013

MVP of the Job Scene

I don’t have to tell you that it’s a competitive job market- we all know that. So how do you make sure that you stick out amongst the rest? In an interview, one of the most awkward moments is when you get a glimpse of another person either coming in to interview next or walking out from the interview. This is your one “sneak peek” into the competition. So if you are that internal competitive person like myself, all these thoughts go through your mind about what they talked about, what does that person have they I don’t and the list goes on.
Well, I have a simple tip for all of you job seekers on how to place yourself in front of the competition. Its very simple- follow up! It’s as simple as sending a thank you email, letter or phone call saying how much you enjoyed the interview, learning about the company and how you feel you can help them achieve their goals. That’s it! You would think that most people would do this all the time, but as a recruiter, I can tell you that this is rare and adds a nice personal touch to your name.     

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

“Grow Dammit!”

“You can’t put an acorn in the ground and say ‘grow dammit!’ ” These wise words are those from Steve Stagner, Mattress Firm CEO. Listening to Steve speak about professional growth is always inspiring. When Steve gets a chance to speak to potential new hires of Mattress Firm he always stresses the importance of professional development. What Steve means by this quote is that as a company we can’t just hire new people into our organization and expect them to grow and be successful without the right atmosphere. We have to provide the right environment for them to thrive. We have to nurture the new hires and employees to grow. We have to provide them with the right amount of water, sunlight, soil, and, of course, time to grow and develop.

As a job seeker you need to consider what type of development and environment a company will provide you to grow. You also need to understand that you’re also personally responsible for your professional development. Relying on the company for your growth alone, simply will not work. Finding a place to work that will provide a positive environment for growth is only half the battle. Another inspirational quote from Steve, “Treat yourself as your own company, invest in your professional growth and personal brand.” Steve shared that in his professional career those who take time to invest in themselves as if they were their own company (ex. Steve Stagner Inc.) rise to the top 20% while those who don’t invest in themselves, stay in the bottom 80%.

Here are a few ways to invest in your personal brand (and help grow the acorn, dammit!):

1. Invest in professional attire
2. Read every day for 20 minutes. (Even if it is the newspaper!)
3. Seek out a mentor
4. Set goals and review them frequently
5. Never stop learning!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Turn your job into a career.


In today’s competitive job market many have found it challenging to find a job and nearly impossible to find a career. As a recruiter I have an opportunity to speak with people all over the country that are seeking employment opportunities. Some are currently employed but many are not. If you describe your current employment as a job it is probably safe to assume that you are looking for a better job. Following that logic, I would also presume that if you describe your employment as a career you are much more likely to be satisfied and not continue to search for just a job. So how do you turn your job into a career? The following are six simple guidelines* that you can use to turn your “job” into a “career.”

1. A willingness to embrace change -The work place is ever changing and you must be able to evolve and adapt with it.

2. Being easy to work with –This includes not only having great interpersonal skills but also willingness to help your colleagues, the ability to keep a positive attitude even in the most stressful times, give credit where credit is due, display a genuine care for others. You might even pose the question – What makes you a keeper?

3. The ability to tap both sides of your brain – The person that has a high technical aptitude and rational thinking is no longer heralded as the most important person in the organization. Today’s savvy business professional must be able to tap into both sides of their brain; the left side which typically deals with technical and rational thinking and the right side which deals with creativity, innovation, and intuition.

4. Cultural literacy – Let’s face it, our world has become increasingly small which means that you must become more internationally diverse. Expand your cultural awareness.

5. A quest for self improvement – When is the last time that you assessed your own skills – your strengths and your weaknesses? What are you doing today to improve on both?

6. Versatility – Have you heard the phrase, “I wear a lot of hats” before? Of course you have! No longer can we rely on being one dimensionally good at our profession. To extend your job into a career you must possess many skills to ensure you’re an extremely valuable to your employer and have solid career path for many years to come!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The grass may be greener on the other side, but a lot harder to mow.

I was recently watching the Texans VS. Bears football game when I realized just how much fans may show 100% dedication towards a team, but if something happens they can turn on you in a quick second. As a diehard Texans fan, I was saddened to see a Chicago Bears player get the wind knocked out of him and collapse backwards toward the ground. When he picked himself back up and walked off of the field, the stands erupted into boos because he had missed the ball, not caring about the fact that he may have injured himself.

When it comes to jobs, there are many employees that don’t have dedication toward their job or employer either. While perusing resumes one of the worst things to see is a candidate that cannot hold a steady job or jumps from company to company. Our CEO recently spoke to a room full of college seniors and mentioned something that really stuck in my head. He spoke about how many employees nowadays don’t build “equity” within their job. You have to show a dedication and passion toward your work. Don’t forget that every time you leave a company, all of the time and effort that you put in with them goes away and you have to start all over again. If a company is offering you a larger salary, you have to ask yourself, is it worth it? Is $5,000 worth having to start all over? You may be losing your benefits or even a position you worked really hard to reach.

Employers look to see if a new employee is worth the hours and money instead or whether or not they will quit and move on to the next opportunity. I have seen in many instances that someone will leave the company only to return a quick while later because they believed that the next job would be grand and new. Just remember that while sometimes the grass may be greener on the other side, it can be a lot harder to mow.