Blogs

Top 10 Career Transition Questions: #9 How do I choose where I want to work next?

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Blog post by Barton Career Advisors Founder and Managing Partner Chris Barton

This video blog is part of a series addressing some of the most compelling questions for those that are beginning a career search. During the last 6 years, we have been asked hundreds of questions related to career transition and best practices. Here we are distilling those queries down to the 10 most critical need to know responses. Here is #9 of 10, discussing how you pick your next employer.

What should my approach for picking target companies look like?

If you’re in a job search and find yourself starting to think about your target companies or roles, there are a few things you should be considering.

  1. You better know your values. You don’t want to pick an organization or role that doesn’t match the values that you have. For example, if you don’t want to travel extensively and work/life balance is important to you, you shouldn’t pick a grinder company that expects you to be on the road and put in extra hours. This may be damaging to a value you that you hold dear to yourself.
  2. You want to assess your skills. Know the skills that you have and bring to the table. It’s really important to be in touch with that as you’re auditioning for new roles and organizations.
  3. Get real with yourself. You really need to make some sense of what you want to do and don’t want to do and whether it will be a fit with the organizations you’re looking at.
  4. Research your choices very carefully. Get on a research engine like Hoovers, the Motley Fool, or sec.gov. Read up on trade information, the company, their culture and philosophies. Research carefully and compare to your values, skills and desires.

If you do these things, you will be on the road to choosing an organization that will take you to the top and give you work that’s truly satisfying.

Request information about BCA Career Coaching Services:

Why Being an Intrapreneur is Good for Your Career

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Where are new jobs being created? Small to mid-size businesses! This is where most of the world works. And if you don’t already work for a small or mid-size business, this is where most of you will find work in the coming years. Being entrepreneurial is all about creating, building, and problem solving! Entrepreneurial companies are about building jobs, creating economic value, finding new markets, innovating and solving unsolved customer and marketplace issues. That is why the jobs are in growth companies. A free market works this way. And these are not the type of jobs that your great-grandfather had turning a wrench on the assembly line, working for a big company. These companies create jobs that demand intrapreneurial behaviors and actions.

Small to mid-size business requires a very different mentality and shift in employee thinking and behaviors. If you don’t want to start your own business and take on the burdens of business ownership, then go work for a growth business. I call that being an intrapreneur. As an owner, we choose to create an entrepreneurial environment, in which you can think and act like a business owner, which is being intrapreneurial! For the Outside-In® Companies, well, we made intrapreneurial a value because we want entrepreneurial behaviors in the business.

intrapreneur-entrepreneurialWe want to encourage all employeees to lift their head, to think and see business problems that need solving and to find solutions to them. Intrapreneurs see business opportunities. Take calculated risks. Will never say that’s not my job. And typically that is what it will take to manage and handle a growing business. All hands on deck. Intrapreneurial employees are interested and clear about the company mission. And have an attitude about their job that is different than those who work for a big company or have a government job.

Intrapreneurship means anyone will do whatever it takes to move the company forward in its mission. And this may seem extreme or impossible if you work some place that says just do your job or says no to every idea that you have. But, imagine a place that wants and collects your feedback and ideas. Or that is pleased when you do something that is not on your personal scorecard but it is great for the business.

So what is the opposite of intrapreneurial?
If you work for the government or a really big company, you’re mostly paid a wage to do a job — nothing more or less. If a wage is what you’re after, great! You found nirvana. But many workers get frustrated and feel like it is hard to have any kind of greater impact. They are made to feel or are told to color within the lines. Don’t challenge. Keep new ideas to yourself. Don’t work too fast. These behaviors will call attention to you, or worse yet others on your team. Many leaders want to change this reality and a few do. BUT, most quit trying for the very reasons others have — it simply takes energy that is not worth it. And in the end, these behaviors are not welcomed because they are a threat. To go above and beyond, one must feel appreciated for it. When they aren’t appreciated, one of two things happens:

  1. Some start to just do the minimum and learn to keep out of the way.
  2. Those who are more intrapreneurial leave!

Contrast that to an entrepreneurial, fast growing and changing business. You’re hired to create economic value. In fact, your earning power is much more directly tied to the power of your ideas and output! Not just the work you do. And in the end, this creates a career path that is more matrix-like, than a ladder that you climb. And climbs take time right? When you slide diagonal and side ways? It happens faster!

So try to behave in these intrapreneurial ways :

  1. Create value. Look around and see what is broken or wrong in your area. Figure out how to fix and then, fix it!
  2. Keep growing and learning. Think this is a silly? Well, many won’t invest in themselves, but the world demands it. Keep up or suffer the outcome.
  3. Understand how people handle change. You must change personally or know how to help others.
  4. Know your market. What are customers saying to you? What is the market sharing? I bet your company can get better and so will your career if you know and work on this.

Outside-In® Chronicles: Hard In and Easy Out

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Outside-In® Chronicles: a throwback post, originally published five years ago in November 2010 While many of the same “people questions” exist, the state of the economy, with the lowest unemployment rate since April 2008 (5.0%), makes the answers or solutions uniquely different. And through all the ups and downs in hiring, our mantra of “hard in, easy out” has remained the same.

Leadership is all about the “people side of the business”. It just seems as if the focus and importance of people issues ebbs and flows with the state of our business. For the last two years, most “people” conversations have been exclusively about cutting costs, reducing head count or associated expenses, and/or plans to create efficiencies. Many businesses find themselves in a spot where they are lean and this means that many, many organizations find themselves panicking quietly about people and talent issues. I hear these questions each and every day with more urgency:

Should we hire to add headcount or use temporaries?
I do not have staff to conduct hiring; how do I get started again?
Should I have a long term strategy or simply react now?
How do I make hiring a core competency? What role should my managers and staff play in the process?

I will let you in on a little secret – HR folks of all kinds are now finding jobs at a steady, if not record clip. We cut them fast and hire them back just as fast. Perhaps a little too fast. Over the last twenty years I have operated within an informal mantra, “It should be hard to get into your company as a new hire, yet very easy to leave”. This statement of hard in, easy out is simple to remember yet profound in its significance to your business.

Concept of confusion and right strategy of a businessman

First, let’s address “hard in”. Your employees want to feel proud of how we bring new staff into the business. It is great if your process for hiring is effective and makes it exclusive. It should be difficult to get hired. Truthfully, it should be a process that never, ever stops. How many of you regret that your stopped viewing talent over the recession? Most of us (if we are honest) know it to be true. We need cash and TALENT to win as opportunities continue to emerge!

The “easy out” is just as important. Trust me when I say that the workforce knows they will not work for you for a lifetime. They expect to have seven or so different roles throughout their career. This reality is reinforced every moment with a media frenzy of companies that make business decisions that impact their workforce! The workforce knows business can no longer afford to be loyal. And surprise! They won’t give it to you anyway. There is too much churn and reality in the business world for anyone to be lulled into a false sense of security. No longer do candidates call us and say, “I am just looking for a safe company that I can stay with for many years.” That is no longer the reality for most employees.

My suggestion is to create an honest, open environment around this issue. Your culture must be capable of accepting the fact that you are “leasing” an employee for a period of time. You want their productivity, their creativity, their innovation and they in turn get fair market value in compensation and learning that makes them a more valuable asset to their careers.

Make it hard to get in to your company, yet make it very easy to leave. Do this and you will have the talent you need and the honesty that makes business simple, refreshing and a great story to share.

What should I bring to my job interview?

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After you settle from the excitement about your upcoming interview, some reality sets in. My work is not done yet, time to get prepared, you think. You start thinking about the types of questions your interviewer will ask you and plan to make sure your suit is clean and pressed. And hopefully you don’t wait until the minute before you should be starting your commute to get to the interview on time (10-15 minutes early) to think about what you need to bring with you.

You may have asked the recruiter or interviewer what you should bring to your interview in advance, but even if you did, some things are unspoken musts. So, what SHOULD you bring with you to an interview?

This infographic from UConn’s Center for Career Development outlines 10 things you should bring to your job interview.

Are you prepared?

The Realities of the Current Labor Market. (plus a prediction)

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Contrast perceived advantages to working with small/medium firm versus a bohemoth. What is market information telling us?

The US unemployment rate is at 5.1 %; this is considered full employment for economic discussions. However, we have only been here for a couple months. In fact, at the beginning of this year we were at 5.7%, and this time last year we were at 5.8%. This is not a lot of time for workers to see a change in their job search outlook. Nor is it much time for employers to see and react to trends in turnover and hiring.

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The realities of Oct/Nov 2015 if you’re a worker, is that it has not been “good” for very long at all. Not even long enough to notice any change really. And this unemployment rate a national statistic. Some regions are red hot and doing better like the mid-west or parts of the west. The east is much cooler in jobs-related reporting than other regions right now.

And if you’re in charge of hiring, every company story is different. Fewer companies are really-aggressively hiring right now. Business strategy drives talent plans. And many current talent plans were set during more conservative and modest business times, likely around the second half of last year. Big companies are not adding or are, in fact staying status quo with hiring plans this year. Small to mid-size companies on the other hand, are driving the growth. As is the rise of the contingent worker who is freelancing, temping, or contracting to greater and greater numbers, which (frankly) barely shows in government labor data.

Now for my predictions.

  • Managing labor costs in business will continue to be a critical focus. This means employers still want flexibility in their labor costs as a strategy. Enter in temps, contractors, independents and or outsourcing.
  • Companies will lower labor costs over time. IT is a great example — After years or decades of using contractors many organizations are seeking to lower costs by bringing more IT folks in-house. This will happen in any skill set over time.
  • We are entering an era of labor shortages. The War for Talent predicted the boomers exit from the workforce and it is happening everyday. Yet now, the exiting labor pool is causing a negative point of view on today’s labor numbers. The labor is leaving the workforce as predicted, albeit a little slower than anticipated. But it is happening and it will cause labor shortages. We simply want our labor shortage to be caused by marketplace growth versus a sharp reduction in supply!

Seasonal Jobs in Delware

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Hoping to earn some extra cash this holiday season? Good news for you – each year as we approach Black Friday and Holiday shopping, the demand for seasonal temporary workers increases. Employers start posting seasonal jobs for the winter in late August or early September and continue through the start of December. But according to Snagajob, 94% of seasonal jobs will be filled by the end of November. With a month left to grab your seasonal job in Delaware, here are some places to look:

  1. Amazon Warehouse Job: Amazon is all over the news for creating 100,000 seasonal jobs this year, an increase from the seasonal 80,000 jobs they created last year. They are really gearing up for online shopping for the holidays and need support in their distribution centers. The fulfillment centers in Delaware (Middletown and New Castle) are among those that need help this year. According to Delawareonline, an Amazon spokesperson declined to say exactly how many temporary jobs will be available in Delaware this year, “except to say they will number in ‘the thousands’.” To apply for an Amazon Warehouse job, click here.
  2. Local staffing agencies are filling temp jobs year round — take a look at Placers contract jobs here or send your resume to resumes (at) myplacers.com.
  3. While Amazon is gearing up for online shopping for Cyber Monday and the Holidays, retailers are preparing for Black Friday and the increased foot traffic they receive each holiday season. Among the retailers seeking seasonal employees are, Best Buy with 28 seasonal openings in Delaware, Macy’s with 24 Delaware seasonal jobs and Target, with 15 seasonal postings.
  4. Still looking? Search on sites like Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster, Snagajob and Craigslist. Be sure to narrow your search by location for jobs in Delaware and either use the keyword ‘seasonal’ or select ‘temp’, “seasonal” or “contract” under type of job.

Good luck!