Life is an experience. Translate experiences from which you gained life skills into those that are applicable to business.
This means showing examples of how you’ve demonstrated the job elements of knowhow, problem solving and accountability in your life.
A job is made up of basic elements called Knowhow, Problem Solving and Accountability.
Knowhow consists of the sills, experience and personal qualities which permit you to do the job.
Problem Solving is the capacity to address an issue through research, careful analysis and teamwork while deriving a competent solution.
Accountability encompasses the degree of impact of the job on the organization.
As you build your resume, consider whether or not you’ve addressed these three elements in telling your story.
In this job market you should always be looking. If you are just starting college (two-year or four-year, it doesn’t matter) make it your business to get exposure to prospective employers who visit campus and to network with graduates from your school who are working at an employer that interestss you.
If you wait until your senior or last year of your degree program to show employers your interest or to build a network, you will have put yourself at a distinct disadvantage. Such disadvantages will make your job search more stressful and less succcessful than it might have been.
To make this point, suppose that you have a college degree but the job market isn’t very responsive to you right now. You could work at the convenience store at a gas station near an interstate highway and find that you could learn how a retail business operates. You might even find that you like the work environment and start building a career in retail management that you would not have imagined otherwise.
In my case, I started out as an auditor in a public accounting firm and ultimately wound up doing research and writing articles and books on generational communications. My efforts have contributed to the commercial success of the businesses I was involved in. there is no way this could have been predicted when I started out my career.
Remember that your first full-time job after graduation is a door opener. You can’t know were it will lead you. So be careful not to close doors prematurely…or to fail to open a door because on the surface the job seems beneath you as a current college student or recent college graduate.
This is the name of my newest book and represents a new twist on my work in cross generational communication. The forum for this next step is ClemsonBuzzz.com and UGABuzzz.com which are the first portals being launched in the CollegeBuzz website family
I’ve assembled a collection of career tips based on my nearly 40 years of experience in business and put them in a book entitled Ask the Boss: 101 Career Tips (even if you don’t have a job). I’m offering the book for sale and will take one tip from the book each weekday Monday through Friday and put it on this blog.
Why am I doing this? Because I believe that young people of college age are entering a prolonged and potentially disillusioning transition to the work world. We Baby Boomers have been very supportive and protective of our children. While we have given them much in many ways, there are some ways in which we have not done right by them ..that area is in getting them ready for the work world. So I’m doing what I can to help out.
If you are a parent or other adult with a college age young person in your life, buy this book. If you are a student, take advantage of the wisdom in this book (and be on the lookout for the start of the CareerCall option coming shortly).
Ask the Boss…can be purchased($11.95 per copy) by going to my website: http://www.wstantonsmith.com
The story goes that during the 1930s a yogi from India was traveling by train from the East Coast of the U.S. to Los Angeles. He was in full regalia, turban, robe and sandals. Seats in this particular train compartment faced each other and sitting across from him was a famous movie star. The movie star frowned at the yogi and generally kept up a disapproving scowl for an extended period of time. Finally, the yogi spoke to the movie star and said,”Excuse me why are you making such a face at me?” To which the star replied, “That’s none of your business”. The yogi said, “It is my business because I have no choice but to look at your face for many more hours”. The star laughed and what follows is a lesson for us all.
The yogi said,” We’re all a little bit crazy in this world. We seek to associate with people who are similarly crazy to us and we sometimes disapprove of people whose craziness we don’t know about. I know who you are and your movie business craziness but you don’t know my craziness. Fools argue and wise people discuss. So let’s learn about each other’s craziness. They ultimately had a very constructive discussion and enjoyed the trip together. Neither tried to convince the other that his craziness was better or worse than the others. They just learned how to be comfortable in each others company during the journey.
That is what we need in this world right now; a willingness to be comfortable with each other’s existence whether we agree with them or not. No ridicule and withering criticism…just respecting each other. Why? because at the base of it we’re all crazy from some point of view. So let’s admit that we’re all perhaps more than a little crazy. If we accepted our own craziness and that of others, we’d be on the road to a more civil and constructive tone in public and private discussions. The tone has to improve if all of us realize that we may not be quite so sane as we think we are and that we could be wrong in ways we’d been blind to. Sound crazy…maybe so but what other advice can one crazy person give another.
My friend Penelope Trunk has done it again in her post of July 15, 2011 entitled, ” What Gen Yers Don’t Know About Themselves.”
She has sparked a debate which needs to happen now that gen y is getting into the post-college stage in some considerable numbers. What does gen y bring that is really new to the workplace and how does this square with what many of us who have studied and admired gen y expected to happen?
Here’s my take on selected aspects of Penelope’s 5 things gen y doesn’t know about itself
1. Gen Y mistakes the speed of the Internet for their own speed.
This is a common loss of perspective among humans of any generation. gen y finds itself the beneficiary of technological breakthroughs provided by past generations. As it was raised with these technology tools, gen y would appear to be the first generation in recent history to know more than older adults about something as crucial to living as is technology. But what gen y can’t know yet is how to use the technology in a balanced and effective way. If fact we’re all trying to learn this.
2. Gen Y wants to look like a winner more than they want to be a winner.
I am very pleased that gen y is so team oriented. This orientation may be what we need to recreate a civil, less partisan, public dialogue that includes a respect for everyone’s views. As with anything taken to an extreme team focus can lead to stagnation, lack of initiative and wheel spinning.
3. Gen Y misunderstands entrepreneurship
Gen Y is the “checklist generation” looking for the right answers and very wary of making mistakes. I am again not surprised because we adults of all generations have created the conditions that have led to this state of affairs. The gen yers weren’t the ones who demanded that trophies be given to everyone just for breathing. It was well intentioned but unrealistic parents and teachers. Whether I like it or not, life is a contact sport and while we can smooth the edges for our children, we can’t take out the hard knocks. I’m optimistic that once gen y gets oriented to the post-college world that they will have their share of successful entrepreneurs.
4. Gen Y thinks they don’t believe in God.
I find gen y quite open about exploring differing paths of spirituality. This is quite refreshing but I share Penelope’s concern that there is too much pitting my God against your God and that kind of conflict is not constructive at any age.
5. Gen Y mistakes their own practical behavior for revolutionary behavior.
I believe practicality can be quite revolutionary. My reasoning is that so much of the antics in our political and social life seem to be based on ideology, fantasy, and an intolerance of dissenting views. As a consequence a practical, constructive approach to interactions with others would seem quite extraordinary if gen y could help all generations to accept such an approach.
A final thing gen y doesn’t know about itself.
Gen y can play a crucial role in improving the quality of work life if they stick to their beliefs in flexibility, career life fit, inclusiveness. team play and balance in all aspects of life. A gen y once asked me when we were going to learn to treat each other with authentic respect in the workplace. My answer was and is: “Any cycle of non-constructive behavior stops when those who have been mistreated themselves say ‘enough already’ and refuse to continue the offensive behavior. So what gen y doesn’t know about itself yet is that they can make a huge contribution by just being themselves and continue living their positive values.
Recently I authored an article for HR Magazine the most influential HR oriented publication in the UK. If you follow the link above you’ll find that the article titled “Different Slant: How talent or HR professional make a convincing case about key people.” The original title was “Let the All Whine” and for a variety of appropriate reasons the magazine chose to use a different title.
I’m inviting you to read the article within the frame that I originally conceived the message: that many highly successful leaders (C-Suite Heroes as I call them in the article) have a huge blind spot which threatens their own success as well as that of their organizations: they are dismissive of any messages that threaten their prerogatives namely to do whatever they please with little regard for “less” successful employees. I believe that HR professionals in particular must be able to argue with facts as well as feeling to be successful in helping these executives with this huge blind spot about the value of all employees not just the “keepers”, i.e., those who fit these executives view of people they need to care about.
My wife and I were guests at the 2011 Computerworld Awards Program Gala Evening on Monday, June 20, 2011 at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Here’s a brief description of what transpired, why I was involved and why this type of event is critical to the uphill work of preserving a positive future for us all.
For 23 years the Computerworld Magazine Honors Program has sought to recognize those “visionary applications of information technology that promote positive change”. This program is the largest and most prestigious of its type in the world. This year there were nearly 800 nominees from around the globe being considered in one of 11 categories. In the “training/education” category, Morgan Stanley, an Honors Program sponsor, reached out to its vendors to identify applications which Morgan Stanley believed to be exceptional and which it could nominate with pride.
A vendor that I worked closely with at Deloitte is named BrandGames; it is a Morgan Stanley vendor. Morgan Stanley was impressed by BrandGames role in building a simulation directed at high school students called Virtual Team Challenge (VTM) (see definition below). VTM is an idea which my team under my leadership protected and cultivated for a number of years within Deloitte. VTM continues to receive support after my retirement and is still being used by Deloitte in its outreach to students who might ultimately be in the talent pool from which it will draw. About 15,000 students per year play this game in their respective class rooms now with an exponential increase expected within the next few years.
The exciting thing about VTM being an award winner is that it not only is among the 262 Laureates for 2011, but that VTM was on the short list of the top 5 in its category. Put another way, it is in the top 55 of 262 Laureates, i.e., the top 20 % of award winners and the top 10% of all nominated. This is rarefied air and I couldn’t be more thrilled for Scott Randall and his colleagues at BrandGames and my former colleagues at Deloitte.
Description of VTM
First-ever 3D avatar-based multi-player business simulation, allowing U.S. high school students the ability to learn about the business world and business careers, at no cost to schools.
Why is this type of award program so important?
Of course there are commercial benefits to being recognized by your peers and this is important. However, the prime reason for the enduring value of this program is expressed in the tag line to the program logo: Honoring Those Who Use Information Technology to Benefit Society. As a part of this program Computerworld saves the details of these technological solutions for posterity and makes them available through a research reference capability. The cataloguing and preservation of this intellectual capital demonstrates optimism about the future and endorses the vital concept that a greater good exists that transcends all the petty divisions which seem to afflict humans. Congratulations to Computerworld Magazine and the event sponsors, WYSE, MorganStanley, Booz Allen Hamilton, Sybase, Bank of America, CISCO, LexisNexis, Microsoft, PSI Software AG, Information Builders and Marketwire.