• Common Challenges for First-Time Managers (and How to Overcome Them)

    by Meredith Masse

    Congratulations! You’ve been hired for or promoted to a management position for the first time in your career! This truly is Common challenges for first-time managers an exciting day.


    It’s also a day that changes…everything. You were once the rockstar subject-matter or technical expert in your last role and, because of your success, they’ve asked you to lead others and coach them to be as good as you are. 


    Yet, if you’re smart (and I know you are) you realize the being a manager, especially one of the greats, requires an entirely different set of skills than that technical prowess you honed for years. Just like learning to ride a bike when you were a kid, you’re going to fall, suffer bruises and feel, at least a dozen times, like saying “do I really want to learn how to do this?” before the new skills feel anything close to “natural.”


    Let’s be honest about the transition: it’s not easy and challenges abound. Here are few challenges you can expect and ideas about how to handle them:


    Challenge #1: It can be lonely. Especially if you’re used to being “one of the gang” in your previous role, and even if it had been at a different company, your status has shifted, and you’re no longer part of the worker-bee clique. Don’t expect your team to invite you to happy hours, BBQs, the weekend kickball game. This will sting the most if you’re now managing a team of former peers. Have faith, they still like you, even if they don’t extend the same invitations to hang out.

    Training Wheels #1: Time for some new work buddies. Look to your new peers and other leaders, devote time to building those relationships and join their “gang.” A mentor or outside certified ...

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  • 3 Ways to Effectively Use Social Media in A Job Search

    by Courtney Farris


    As social media networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook continue to grow, their use in the professional 3 ways to use social media in a job search world increases as well. According to Jobvite, 94% of recruiters are actively using social media sites to find potential job candidates. For companies, finding potential job candidates using social media is fast, low-cost and maximizes the pool of potential candidates. The flexibility of social media also allows employers to quickly target a specific field or experience level.


    Knowing that 94% of recruiters are actively searching for candidates on social media networking sites, it is more important today than ever for job seekers to have a positive, active presence on social media.


    When discussing this topic with individuals in a job search, I’ve found that a lot of people are very resistant. Generally I hear that it feels like an invasion of privacy, it takes too much time out of the day to update or that there are just too many sites to choose from. For those who do shy away from any social media use, here are a few quick tips that I find really helpful:

    1)     Paint a good picture of yourself: The easy access of social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook can give anyone with an account and Internet access a quick snapshot of your life. While that seems like a breach of privacy, there are many benefits to it. By reviewing your profiles, potential employers can have insight into your ability to communicate, your work history, your industry knowledge and even a little bit about your personality and how you like to spend your time. When considering privacy, keep in mind that other social media users only see what you choose to share online. This is ...

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  • Top 4 Things Every Employer Wants to Know in An Interview

    By Meredith Masse


    Cracking the code of a great interview isn’t rocket science. But it does take preparation and practice to ensure you cantop four things every employer wants to know in an interview present yourself as the answer to the hiring manager’s prayers. 


    Review the job ad carefully to make sure you understand not only the job duties and requirements, but also read between the lines to catch any nuances of what’s most important to accomplish in the role.  Have your questions ready as well so you can gauge if it is a great job for you or not. And know that, even if they never ask these questions specifically, at the top of every hiring manager’s mind are the following four critical questions.


    In David Letterman style, the Top 4 Things Every Employer Wants to Know in An Interview are:


    #4. Can you do the work… well? Whether you’re interviewing for a frontline job, management position or leadership role, your next employer wants to know if you can do the work they need done. One of the best ways to demonstrate this in an interview is with concrete examples of how you’ve tackled similar duties, responsibilities and challenges in the past. Deliver your stories by briefly describing what circumstances or challenges you faced, the actions you took to resolve those challenges and, most importantly, the results of your actions. Demonstrate what you’ve done in the past as a way to let them know what great outcomes you’ll produce in your new role.


    #3. Will you be easy to manage… or not? Can your potential new boss see a great relationship or nothing but wailing and gnashing of teeth when you two work together? Be authentic and honest with this one while at the same time trying to understand exactly what it will take ...

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  • 4 Ways to Be Viewed as a Vital Contributor to Your Organization

    by Mary Ann Gontin

    The economic climate continues to provide concern for many people with regard to job security and career opportunities. 4 ways to become a valuable workforce contributor Unfortunately, some people do not grasp a very important fact:  That companies today hire or retain people solely because they can effectively contribute to the success of their employer. 


    Therefore, as an employee your key goal is to find ways to grow your role so that you are considered to be a vital contributor to your department and ultimately to the company.


    Here are four ways to grow your role and your visibility:


    1.     Work on things that matter – observe what is important to your boss and the organization. Are you spending time on things that matter to your boss? On a recent coaching assignment where I was working with a high-potential, newly promoted manager, she complained that she had spent close to 60 hours over two weekends on a project that her boss barely commented on. She was disappointed he did not acknowledge her efforts. However, as I questioned her on the work she did and why she did it, she started to realize she had not verified with her boss that this was a high priority and that perhaps she should have delegated some of the work. The old adage “work smarter not harder” still is true.


    2.    Elevate how you are viewed – be proactive! Ask to attend meetings by telling your boss that you want to be exposed to new things. Explain that you know you may not understand all that is being discussed but you will be observing and hearing what is important to him/her and the company and perhaps identify some ways you can do your job better or differently. Be willing to ...

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