14 Ways to Love… Your Job

Today is Valentine’s Day but it’s not just for spending time with the one you love! Odd’s are you’re going to be spending most of your time at work – a place where most Americans devote 8.6 hours a day according to the U.S. Department of Labor. So while you’re checking online for last minute reservations and dinner ideas, why not take some time to reflect on some of the ways you can fall in love with your job.

Here are some of the best ways to reconnect with your career and reignite the passion:

  1. Try being grateful about having a  job in the first place.
  2. Remember where you job that you came from – would you rather be there.
  3. Share the experience that you’ve gained with others through a mentoring relationship with a younger colleague or student.
  4. Eat lunch with a co-worker instead of at your desk.
  5. Go to the holiday party – and have fun!
  6. Give your colleagues written “thank you” letters for a job well done.
  7. Take initiative to solve a problem that’s been bugging the office for a long time.
  8. Connect with others in your profession… ask them why they are passionate about their job.
  9. Smile when speaking to a customer.
  10. Write down a list of your accomplishments in the last 30 days, 6 months and 1 year.
  11. Find a Career Mentor who can help add clarity to your purpose.
  12. Reflect on all of the ways that you have been able to help others as a result of being at your job.
  13. Realize that you’re there because you’re valued. If you weren’t you wouldn’t be there!
  14. Repeat items 1 through 13!

Did I miss something? What are some of the best ways to “fall in love” with your career?

What to do if you’re not qualified for a job

Job seekers, Imagine this scenario:

You’re on the web and you come across your “dream job.”  The job is just perfect for you but there’s just one important thing missing…

Your “qualifications.”

If you’ve ever been in that situation, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard one of two things after you applied for the job:

“Thank you for your application, however we have decided to go with someone more qualified at this time.”

or… “…silence… no response…”

The match for job seeker and employer is no different than any other relationship. The employer is looking for the “best fit” and if you don’t have the qualifications, it is not in your best interest to apply for the job and here’s why:

It makes you look bad. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come across resumes for candidates who have expressed interest in a position but did not have the desired qualifications. No matter if you are an employed job seeker or an unemployed job seeker, job search is not a charity, it is a serious business decision. So, if you are not qualified then you have to understand that it’s nothing personal against you but you just do not meet the minimum expectations and HR may question why – after reading the job description – did you even seriously consider applying for the job.

You get really paranoid. Nothing invokes paranoia more than waiting on something you’re not qualified for. Why?  Because on one hand you know you’re not qualified and on the other hand you are hoping feverishly that the employer thinks you are. That’s a recipe for disaster and high blood pressure. Increase your odds of actually establishing a connection by applying for jobs that you are qualified for and you may notice more call backs from employers who are looking for your skill set and background.

The odds are against you. Your unqualified resume in a pile of highly qualified resumes is just a small fish and a large pond of really large fish. We have this backwards psychology that goes into effect when we see a job that we’re not qualified for. It says “no one else is qualified for this either” or “this is perfect for me and no one else!” Unfortunately, those two things aren’t true and in fact the truth is the exact opposite. I can tell you from experience that recruiters who post jobs online have to go through a ton of resumes. Some good and mostly bad. If you want to stand out, apply for a job that you excel at and not one that is out of your range.

Leadership Takeaway: Culture begins with you. Teach your recruiters to source and interview only the best talent for the job. If you create a culture of greatness then it is very easy to spot and shy away from talent that cannot compete in your organization.

Human Resources Takeaway: Training your recruiters on the key skills to look for in qualified candidates will help ensure time isn’t wasted with candidates who do not fit what you are looking for. Utilize key automated screening tools that prevent job seekers who don’t qualify from even applying to the position.

Professional Development Takeaway: If you’re not a fit, that can be a good thing. Understand that by obtaining the desired qualifications, you can one day be qualified. Also, if you were to be hired for the position and you couldn’t keep up with it then you would be looking at possible termination or re-assignment. No one wants that. Take your time.

To see more job search strategies in my latest book “Never Miss the Mark: Career search strategies provided by HR Pros.

Your guide to workers’ compensation insurance

A newly published guide for Business Owners and HR Professionals has been published on InsuranceQuotes.com. It features Seven important tips that must be considered to help employers save money and decrease the stress surrounding this process. The guide features the following quote and supporting information from Jumpstart:HR CEO Joey V. Price:

 

7. Make note of pre-existing conditions.

Workers sometimes get hurt on the job by tweaking a pre-existing injury, says Joey Price, CEO of Jumpstart HR, a human resources consulting firm in Washington, D.C. A construction worker who injured a knee while playing sports several years ago, for instance, may be more likely to suffer knee problems while working at the project site.

For pre-existing conditions, you may be able to prove that your work site did not contribute to the injury, Price says. Doing so can free you from any liability charges that may arise from an incident. Screen employees during the hiring process, and document any pre-existing conditions. If an injury does occur, you’ll have notes ready to help assess the situation.

To read the guide in full, visit this link.

To learn more about how Jumpstart:HR can help you navigate the challenges of WC Insurance, send a message here to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.

Don’t let humility humble your career growth

In a perfect world, merit alone would be the key driver behind career growth and development.

Unfortunately, Corporate America is far from a “perfect world.”

In an corporate environment where mean people earn more, I think there are several lessons that all individuals can learn from “mean” people if they want to see their career grow. As a self-proclaimed, and humbly affirmed, “nice guy” who has gone from entry-level HR Assistant to Interim HR Director of a 1,200 multi-state Federal Contractor to now HR Consultant, I can say that I got here by being nice but I didn’t let humility humble my growth.

Here are three ways humility can humble your job growth:

You won’t toot your own horn. How many times have you heard a manager or co-worker give you a pat on the back or send a congratulatory email for your hard work on a project? Not often, right? Well if people are rarely shouting praises about you then you have to take that responsibility upon yourself. When speaking with your manager and other persons of influence, learn how to build in the  milestones and achievements that you’ve accomplished.  “Mean” people do a great job of explaining their case and so should you!

Being humble can make you “blend in” very well…. too well. Pop quiz! Think back to high school or college and think about the most humble person that you can remember. What do you remember about them? As I am thinking back, I can only remember the fact that this particular person was “nice.” I can’t attribute any measurable achievement even though I can remember that they were just a nice guy. If humility trumps your ability to promote yourself then you may run the risk of blending in with the walls as opposed to standing out as a leader or person who has accomplished notable things.

You’ll quiver come performance review time.  Performance Reviews are often hampered by a concept in HR called the “recency effect.” The recency effect is a term that describes managers who can only recall information that has happened within the a “recent” time frame. When managers fail to remember your efforts and you are humble about bringing them up, this makes for a terrible quiet storm that results in lower marks than you could’ve received if you only were able to speak up!

What can humble people learn to help grow their ability to communicate past accomplishments and to navigate career growth in spite of “mean” individuals? Here’s a list:

  • Learn to confidently talk facts and figures.
  • Document past performance so that you can remember it come performance review time.
  • Let your personality shine through in conversations and in the workplace.
  • Develop leadership potential by offering to take on tasks that “lead” rather than “support.”
  • Learn to speak up and talk about yourself – that isn’t a crime :).
  • Never forget your career goals and what you wish to accomplish – and always be in the drivers seat of making sure you get there.

 

Leadership Takeaway:  Humble people need a boost. Don’t let your humble people go unnoticed but learn to encourage them to grow. Jumpstart:HR can help you learn to engage your humble individuals in a way that shows you care.

Human Resources Takeaway: The performance review process can be riddled with human error and inconsistency. Learn how to create a consistent performance review process that eliminates these things and gives all employees a fair review process.

Professional Development Takeaway: Humility can hinder your career by way of missed promotion or failure to network effectively at business functions. Schedule a chat with me and learn how to incorporate skills that show you know how to boast but not at the risk of being “mean.”

6 Reasons Why Your Best Employees Will Leave

Let’s face it… Some of your best talent’s New Year’s Resolution might just be to leave your organization. Don’t believe me? Check out this new article on Inc.com to understand why some of your brightest stars might be planning their escape in 2012 (or may have already begun the process!)

http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/6-reasons-why-your-best-employees-will-leave.html

A quote from the article:

Sometimes great employees leave because you can’t afford to pay them more and they can earn more somewhere else. Unfortunately, that happens.  Often, though, great employees leave because your company has changed—and they don’t want to change with it.

Here are six of the top (non salary) reasons your best employees will leave:

 

Looking for an objective and knowledgeable resource to help encourage your talent to stay? Contact us to learn more about how you can encourage and engage employees which ultimately leaders to higher retention and stronger company culture.

The origins of employee retirement benefits pension plans

Guest Contributor:  Yolanda Santirosa

The earliest pension plan, established in 1875 was the American Express plan. Benefits under this plan were 50% of the average pay earned in the final 10 years of a participants employment and could not exceed $500 dollars annually. The second plan was established five years later by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1880. During the next 50 years roughly 400 retirement plans were established. The railroad, banking and public utility industries instituted the early employee retirement plans. During this same time frame the manufacturing industry was still relatively new and therefore they were slow to develop employee retirement plans since they were not faced with employee retirement problems. The first group annuity contract, which is a contract designed to meet retirement goals between an individual and an insurance company, was issued in 1921 by the Metropolitan Insurance Company. Also, in 1924 the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States became the second company to offer group annuities.

Even though pension plans came about in the 1800’s there was no significant growth in pension plans until the creation of the Wage Stabilization Act of 1942. During World War II as part of a general price control effort, the Wage Stabilization Program denied employers competing for labor the ability to offer higher wages as an incentive to attract and retain employees. Additionally, union leaders found that the wage control hindered their efforts to persuade employees to join unions and created difficulties for the union leaders to validate the advantage of belonging to a union to their membership. Under the Wage Stabilization Act the War Labor Board permitted the establishment of fringe benefits programs that included pensions thus beginning the practice of employer-sponsored health and pension plans. Finally, in 1948 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that employers had a legal obligation to bargain over the terms of pension plans.

Reference
Allen, E. T., Melone, J. J, Rosenbloom, J.S, & Mahoney, D. F. (2008). Retirement plans 401(k)s, IRAs, and other deferred compensation approaches. (10th.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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