Monthly Archives: May 2010

Thoughts On Networking And Connections

By Kay Stout

Electronic collaboration is the perfect solution when you need information and/or help from a friend or colleague.  You don’t have to be in the same room, city, or country, you just need to be connected electronically.  I was reminded of this when Employment-Essentials asked for my contribution. Enjoy – and stay connected electronically.

It’s true that everything that was old, soon becomes new again.  In today’s job search the buzz word is “networking”.  While many see it as a rather new element of the job search, like the Beatles once sang, With a Little Help from my Friends, in today’s world it is about making a connection with someone.  The fun today is you can make a connection electronically, in the comfort of your home in your favorite at-home attire.  Remember, if you are connected by Skype and a camera, you might even be seen ‘round the world in a less-than flattering way.  Also, everything you say electronically may be transmitted by someone in such a way that it goes around the world.  So think twice, type once, and hesitate  awhile, before you hit the send button.

Also realize that, just as one Can’t Buy Me Love, you can’t Buy Me A Job.  But you can make connections that will prove invaluable with today’s job search.  And, if you stay in touch, they can prove even more valuable five to ten years from now.

There was an interesting article last fall in Forbes, profiling Sheryl Sandberg and her makeover of Facebook.  Everyone wants to be connected, to network, and to reach out to family and friends but, as the article highlighted, the challenge is, how does that help from my friends translate to money for the people behind the scenes who’ve written the connections that make Facebook so much fun?

Before they become profitable, Facebook’s theme song could be A Hard Day’s Night as they grapple with the balance between connectivity and profitability.  For us, it will be how much connectivity do we want and with whom???  We want help from our friends – – but not all our friends. It is going to be an interesting journey for everyone.

Kay Stout owns and operates P S Consulting, an Oklahoma City-based human resources firm offering career counseling, executive placement, and military transition services. The company specializes in consulting advice that will provide the catalyst to help their clients achieve their desired position.


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How To Make The Best Of A Bad Boss

At one time or another, we’ve all likely had a bad boss.  And while that connotation can include bosses who intimidate employees and play favorites, those who aren’t qualified to lead, and even those who inflict emotional and physical abuse, there are several steps you can take to insure your bad boss doesn’t jeopardize your good career.

First, analyze how your bad boss acts with everyone in the workplace.  You may find that your boss is bad to everybody, not just you and, if so, don’t take it personally.  Keeping your head down and making sure your boss’s actions and attitude don’t affect your performance is a key technique that plenty of people, from athletes to architects, use to survive on the job.

From there, analyze how your bad boss manages.  If he or she is a micro-manager, learn to get ahead and provide information and updates well before it would be required or requested.  It may take a lot of work initially, but it can save your sanity and improve your productivity.  If your bad boss barely manages, do everything you can to make sure your contribution stands out from your supervisor’s shadow.

Next, analyze the effectiveness of your bad boss.  If he or she isn’t achieving what they were hired to do, make sure you keep records at home of your contributions and the challenges you’ve conquered.  And, if you haven’t done so already, start your search for a new job pronto!

Finally, analyze his or her ethics.  If your boss takes credit for your ideas or accomplishments, maintain your own records at home for use when you create your new résumé.  If your bad boss is breaking or bending laws or even violating company policy, and your previous analyses listed above have provided negatives at every turn, then it’s definitely time to update your résumé, brush up your interview skills and jump ship.  If it gets to that point, you may be leaving a sinking ship to the rats, but in the long run, your career will still be afloat!

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How To Find Hidden Jobs

Even in a down economy, there are still good jobs available. However, since those positions are often unadvertised, it’s important you know how to tap into the hidden job market.

Now more than ever, it’s important to develop professional and personal networks because, in this day and age, who you know is as important as what you know. Building strong networks professionally and personally can give you an edge over the competition in a job search.

Start building your network via friends and acquaintances and then current or former co-workers. From there, connect with suppliers, clients, and even competitors. There’s strength in numbers, but it only takes one of your connections to think about you first for the job you’d be perfect for!

Even if you currently have a job you love, it’s good advice to keep feelers out anyway. Job requirements or personnel can change, so you never know when you may decide to seek a new job. That’s why keeping in touch with friends and colleagues can put you at the top of their mind if and when they hear of a position opening. And that’s the inside info that can get you in the door for a new job first.

Finally, even if you don’t land the first hidden job you encounter, it can still work to your advantage. The person or persons you interview with, even if you don’t get hired for the position, are contacts that can expand your professional network even further in the future. And that can give you access to even more hidden jobs.

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