Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Must Read: What Everyone Needs to Know About Social Media (Part-Two)

Part TWO: 6 Ways to Create A Positive Social Media Presence

Create Relevant Profiles
Build professional profiles for yourself that include your job history. LinkedIn is an obvious place for such a profile, but Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are also sites where you can include this kind of information. These profiles should demonstrate not only what you've accomplished, but your strengths and what you can offer future employers. I’d recommend building your LinkedIn profile while you are in college. Start building that online presence early.

Connect with others in your industry. LinkedIn's Groups are an excellent place to do this. Search the directory to find applicable Groups in your industry.  Join those that suit your background and knowledge.  Introduce yourself to the other members. Build your capital by becoming known as a source for industry information. 

Be Engaged
Follow companies in your field on LinkedIn and Twitter so you're automatically notified about new hires, developments, and other news. “Like” companies you’re interested in and join the conversation about industry trends on Facebook. This is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and value to a potential employer.  Steer clear of conversations regarding politics or anything that could become emotionally charged.  Stick to industry related topics.

Be Known As Resource
Help out others by answering questions, making introductions. It's very apparent if you have a one-sided "what's in it for me?" mentality. Build your social capital by regularly answering questions on LinkedIn and provide links to great content on Facebook and Twitter.

Don’t Ask For A Job
Keep your name in front of people in a position to help your career. However, do not ask people outright for a job. Make connections with the right people and let them see you are an intelligent, qualified candidate by updating your statuses several times a week, providing content to the groups you join, and tweeting about that interesting article you just read.

Make A Plan
It's also important to have a game plan in mind when you set out to use these sites as part of a job search. In other words, plan your online activity as part of each day.  Each part of your job search must be organized and disciplined.

Scot Dickerson, CPC

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Importance of a Mentor

What do you remember about the 1985 Chicago Bears? The commercials: Taco Bell, Pontiac, KFC, Honda Scooter. Who hasn’t seen the “Super Bowl Shuffle?” Perhaps it’s Jim McMahon, the Punky QB known for his brash playing style as well as his rebellious nature off the field.  How about Mike Singletary who earned the nickname “Samurai Mike” in recognition of the intimidating focus and intensity he displayed on the field? Arguably one of the best, if not the best, balanced NFL team of all time.

The following is an excerpt from Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football:

“Like the Beatles, there was a Bear for every sort of fan: Jim McMahon, the Punky QB, for the cocky daredevils. Walter Payton, Sweetness, the great running back, for the aficionados. William Perry, the Fridge, the gap-toothed 325-pounder, for big tall men. Dan Hampton, Danimal, the ferocious defensive tackle, for band geeks filled with secret violence. Mike Ditka, the coach who actually looked like a bear, for lovers of Patton-like rhetoric and the military boot. The offense was good but the defense was vicious: the famed 46, a concussion machine that swarmed and confused and beat other teams bloody.”

Peel back all the layers surrounding this bigger than life team and inside you will find a lesson in mentorship that had a lifelong impact on one person, Mike Singletary.

Buddy Ryan, Defensive Coordinator was the architect of one of the most feared defenses in NFL history, as well as the inventor of the fabled 46 defense.

Although Mike Singletary’s outstanding play in 1981 was enough to earn him near unanimous all-rookie recognition, Buddy Ryan constantly pushed the young linebacker to do more. Ryan, who was initially displeased with the way Singletary handled himself in the "46" defense, rode the rookie mercilessly. For the first year of their association Ryan never called Singletary by his name. He referred to him only as "Number 50". For nearly two seasons Ryan refused to let Singletary play on third downs or obvious passing situations.

Ryan's constant pressure pushed Mike to become a complete linebacker. By 1983, Singletary, who was named defensive team captain, was playing on all downs and even the acid-tongued Ryan was singing his praises. "Mike is the best linebacker in pro football," said Ryan.

Mike went on to become the cornerstone of Ryan's "46" defense. For 11 consecutive seasons, beginning in 1982, he finished as the team's first or second leading tackler.

Mike Singletary gives much of the credit for his success to Buddy Ryan. "I really didn't like Buddy for a long time," Singletary said. "But, he taught me about myself, made me reach for things I thought I never had. I never would have achieved what I have without Buddy."

Once Mike put his ego to the side he became a “student” of Ryan’s purpose.

The point of all this is that having a mentor is an invaluable asset to your success in every part of your life. Certainly this is true on the job.  When you are exploring a job opportunity it is important to identify the mentor who will be available to you. A mentor can guide you to success in your new role. It’s important that the chemistry be right between you and that individual.  A person can be a mentor or a tormentor.  In Mike Singletary’s case, Buddy Ryan was first seen by Mike as a tormentor, but once he put his own ego to the side, he gained invaluable knowledge from Ryan that made him who he became.

Identify who your mentor will be. Make certain you have an opportunity to meet that person during the interview process. Ask the questions to be certain this is a relationship where you can gain the education you seek to continue to grow and succeed. 

Scot Dickerson, CPC

Monday, February 1, 2016

Looking Ahead: Materializing Job Trends

Every year I like to explore things I’ve seen first-hand through my constant interaction with hiring managers, human resource professionals as well as insurance industry professionals at all levels. In just the end of 2015 Q4 and very beginning stages of Q1 2016 I’ve seen some very interesting trends materializing in the market. 

Here is a list of 4 things I have seen from my interactions:

1.     1. Over the years I’ve seen at least half of my client companies have a policy against rehires. However... I’ve seen a shift in that now a majority of companies have become accepting of former employees returning. This trend seems to be happening because professionals are switching jobs more often, and the access to talent through technology is greater than ever before.

2.     2. I met with the CEO of an organization a few weeks back and one of the things he mentioned was that over the next couple years they will be experiencing a significant number of executive retirements. Succession planning and next generation leadership development will be a priority in 2016.

3.     3. I was speaking with a long time client who is a human resources professional, they lost three employees to competitors. In the exit interviews each employee headed out was consistent as to why they were leaving. Nothing to do with the company or the pay. The only reason they were leaving was because the other company was allowing them to work remote. More employees are willing to switch employers based on the flexibility programs. With the rise of telecommuting, co-working spaces, new technology tools, workers are demanding flexibility.

4.     4. Further increase in the utilization of contract staff by employers. We’ve seen this on the list every year for the last few years. 2016 is no exception. The continued rise in Contract Staffing will prevail as companies accept this as a solution to employee leaves of absence, particularly busy periods of the year and/or special projects where extra help is needed.

Scot Dickerson, CPC