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Posted June 06, 2016 by

Why employees should put extra effort into impressing the boss

Woman raising her hand to ask question photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

At the very beginning of your career, you may be faced with the fact that all the knowledge and the diplomas in the world will not be enough to save you if you are on your boss’s bad side. You will end up watching from your cubicle how other people are getting promoted, while you are sitting there and doing the same things you have done on your first day at work.

You see, when people graduate they are full of confidence and hope, and that is not a bad thing, but books and tests are just the basics that should be upgraded with experience and interpersonal relationships. One of the people who can affect your professional growth the most is your boss, and you should do your best to make that relationship productive and mutually beneficial.

Learning from your boss

One of the main reasons why you should have a good relationship your boss is the opportunity to learn from someone who is in a position you would love to be in the future. If you are constantly giving your maximum with work tasks and showing consistency and dedication, you will have the right to participate in some important conversations and find out many valuable things, not only about the company you are working in, but also about the road to success.

Self-improving

At first, your motivation may be just to impress your boss, but as time goes on, your dedication and efforts will grow to become habits and make your career success even more certain. Showing up to work early and taking initiative might seem like “sucking up” to your boss to other employees and to you yourself, but actually, when you think about it, there is nothing wrong with these actions. On the contrary, they showcase you as a well-educated and ambitious man/woman.

You are the image of your boss

… and vice versa. A good boss surrounds himself with competent people, and if you show to be anything other but that, you will not only make your boss look bad, but also create a negative image about yourself, which can impact your position in the firm, and even future employment opportunities. If you on the other hand, do your best to make your boss succeed, you will show that you are a great employee worthy of going up the corporate ladder.

Improving your current job

If you want to love the job you are doing, you have to make it a job you can love. The best, and possibly the only way to do so, is to make your boss fond of you. If you are consistently productive and assigning for the difficult tasks, you will have a more pleasant relationship with your boss, which will make your working hours less stressful. Beyond that, you will get better assignments and maybe become the right-hand-man/woman.

Getting promoted

The ultimate goal of every employee would never even be considered without a long process of impressing the boss. After all, your boss is the one handling the decisions about transfer of the employees to a better job. If you notice he is giving you some extra projects and work, accept it with enthusiasm, because this can be a part of grooming you for higher jobs, and eventually even his position. So, make sure you are on his radar by struggling to get new challenges and more recognition, instead of struggling to get your work done.

Some people would love to spend their days at work unnoticed to avoid conflicts and critiques, but by doing so, they are also avoiding praises and opportunities. Do not be one of those people and fight your way up to the top, in a struggle where impressing your boss is your best chance to succeed.

In search of more career advice? Come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Nate Vickery, guest writer

Nate Vickery, guest writer

Nate Vickery is a marketing manager and a blogger. He is also the editor-in-chief at BizzMarkBlog.

Posted May 12, 2016 by

10 soft skills employers expect of recent graduates

Background concept wordcloud illustration of soft skills glowing light courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Kheng Guan Toh/Shutterstock.com

Are you ready to find your dream job as soon as you graduate? Then, it’s high time to draw a detailed plan with soft skills required for the workplace. This will help you stand out from other candidates and be a perfect fit for the position of your choice.

To successfully accomplish the task, college graduates can analyze requirements for current vacancy announcements, make use of LinkedIn or Branded.me profiles of people with a great experience, and study analytical articles on the labor market to always stay updated.

It’s not a secret, though, that plenty of online sources post about top soft skills potential employers want in their candidates’ CVs or resumes. So, why not focus on them to make your preparation for obtaining a good entry-level job a bit easier? Here’s what is highly demanded by most of the recruiters:

1 – Lifelong learners

Recent grads can hardly boast of knowing everything about the work they will perform daily. It’s quite natural when something is learned along the way. Sometimes employers prefer young, enthusiastic graduates over highly experienced professionals, since the former tend to learn and absorb new information more eagerly and are ready to develop a learning habit. The latter instead are quite often more stubborn and unlikely to reach a compromise, which can hinder team effectiveness. Additionally, lifelong learners are supposed to know how to obtain and process information to solve the problems they haven’t faced before.

2 – Team players

Teamwork is not only about collective responsibility for every team player’s actions. It’s also about communicating your message to others and achieving that goal with the help of knowledge and each employee’s efforts. Effective team performance depends much on the correct management and delegation of tasks. In contrast to past expectations for team players, modern employers are looking for those who will be proactive and suggest creative solutions. Initiative is strongly encouraged.

3 – Effective time managers and schedulers

Chaos brings no positive effect. To show high productivity and performance, it’s crucial to hone time management and prioritization skills. These two skills rank high on most employers’ lists of soft skills. For that, managers and schedulers need to negotiate deadlines and schedule tasks appropriately. Should tasks be equally urgent, they’d better discuss which one to take first together with their reporters. When using electronic or paper planners, think of short breaks that need to be made between tasks, divide time-consuming tasks into several subtasks, and leave about 10 or 15% of time for coping with emergencies and contingencies. Set reminders well in advance, and review to-do lists daily.

4 – Good listeners and masters of convincing people

Being a good listener doesn’t mean you should keep silent while somebody else is expressing his or her thoughts, so that you can further move on to your statements. The point is to really listen and hear other team players and choose the best solutions working together. Another important thing is to know how to make everyone understand what you mean. In other words, you should learn to use simple and concise statements, speaking with confidence to all people in the company regardless of their seniority.

Problem solver words on business cards courtesy of Shutterstock.com

iQoncept/Shutterstock.com

5 – Problem solvers

At the top of most top list of soft skills is “problem solving skills.” The first step to successful problem solving is to clearly understand what the problem is and what caused it. The next step is to carefully consider interests of others and list all suitable solutions. The final step is to evaluate suggested options by listing their advantages and disadvantages, and then choose the one that has the most pluses. To be an efficient problem solver, you need to get rid of fear. By focusing more on tackling the problem, you will be able to do it with ease.

6 – Company fan

Being a company fan means to be knowledgeable about your employer’s industry. Understanding what key benefits the company gives to its customers or clients, how the process of decision-making is organized, what main competitors the company has, etc. are among the things job seekers should learn before a job interview.

7 – Data analyzer

If you work with people with analytical mindsets, you are a lucky person. This allows you to quickly gather, assess, and analyze new information, selecting only the things you will need at work. This soft skill is highly required for making future plans or prognoses, and creating recommendations for others to follow. This skill is also helpful when you need to analyze your successes or failures, which is very important for your progress.

8 – Tech-savvy person

This means not only knowing how to create, delete, or remove presentations or surf the Internet proficiently. Being tech-savvy means knowing what tools and programs are used by the specialist you want to become. For example, if you want to become a web designer, you will need to master such programs as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Indesign.

9 – Critical thinker

If you have a chance to join a series of workshops on how to become a good critical thinker, jump at the chance! These practical lessons will teach you how to criticize somebody else wisely by finding a strong argument and how to accept criticism of your work. Being a critical thinker is essential for improving your communication skills and professional growth too. Critical thinking ranks high on the list of soft skills regardless of your job title or position.

10 – Curious mind

Being curious means to never be afraid of asking questions. Though, it doesn’t mean you should behave like a chattering box, annoying other employees with your never-ending questions. You should ask questions when you don’t know the answers so your work won’t be done slowly. You must use proper discernment to ask questions of the right person (your manager or mentors) at the right time (one on one and in quiet settings, and preferably not during the last five minutes of meetings).

A few final tips

Taking an active part in extra-curricular activities and voluntary projects can also help job seekers develop a set of useful skills for their future jobs. By establishing friendly relationships with people, you increase your chances of getting what you need. Who knows, maybe some of your peers or instructors will recommend you as a highly promising hire one day.

Need more help with your job search? Head over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Nancy Lin, guest writer

Nancy Lin, guest writer

Nancy Lin is a student of Rockhurst University and enthusiastic freelance writer who enthuses about rock music, writing, and classic English literature. Feel free to contact her at Twitter or Google+.

Posted March 12, 2016 by

Preparing introverts and extroverts for the job search

Extrovert or introvert as a choice of different belief courtesy of Shutterstock.com

kentoh/Shutterstock.com

Introverts and extroverts handle things in very different ways. School counselors’ job is to help all of their students, and one of the best ways to do this is to know how introverts and extroverts prefer to do things. When preparing them to leave college and enter the job market, there are several things a counselor can do that will help tailor students’ paths with their personalities.

Discover which they are

Before school counselors begin counseling students based on their personalities, they have to determine if students are introverts or extroverts. Unless counselors have a longstanding and personal connection with students, it is probably a good idea to give them some tests to help determine their personality style. Tests — such as this one from Psychology Today — will help determine whether students are introverts or extroverts. Often students themselves are not aware of their own styles, and doing the test will be beneficial to both students and counselors.

Inform students how their personalities can impact their jobs

Many people do not know the difference between introverts and extroverts, and they often don’t know which category they fall into. Once school counselors have determined which one students are through some tests, they can begin telling students about what it means. Explain to students how extroverts and introverts may tackle different scenarios, and how they prefer to do things.

Choose the right application method

Now that both counselors and students understand the latter’s personality type, they can begin tailoring the application process for when they are looking for jobs. For example, counselors can tell extroverts that face-to-face interviews are better for them, since they are more outgoing, while introverts may be better at cover letters and resumes.

However, some application types cannot be avoided; in this case, counselors should help students improve on things that are not necessarily their strengths. For example, here are some ways that introverts can prepare for interviews.

In addition, school counselors can steer them towards jobs more suited to their personalities. As an example, an introvert may not be best suited for a sales position job, or one requiring a lot of group work. On the other hand, an extrovert is probably not suited for a job requiring them to work long hours alone.

College sports male volleyball finals in Milan courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Paolo Bona/Shutterstock.com

Suggest outside activities

Since a lot of college students do not have work experience they can add to their resumes, outside activities can help bolster them. Give students some options for things they can get involved with that will be suited for their personality types, along with their interests. The more activities they can get involved with, the better their resumes will look.

Encourage them to explore outside their style

While it is a good idea for students to play to their strengths, that does not mean they should avoid anything that makes them uncomfortable. School counselors should encourage students to keep an open mind, and to try some things not necessarily suited to their personality types. At some point along their career paths, students are probably going to do something outside their normal comfort zones, and by expanding their horizons now, they will be better equipped to handle it in the future.

Hopefully this short list will help school counselors tailor the counseling of their students. Helping students realize what their strengths are and how they can utilize them is a great tool for after they graduate and will help guide them for years to come.

Need more tips for your job search? Learn more at College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Photo of Tony Newton

Tony Newton, guest writer

Tony Newton is a contributing author for @DailyKos and @NationOfChange His favorite subjects are social awareness campaigns and public policy in pedagogy.

Posted February 17, 2016 by

Consider these 5 things before choosing a human services internship

 

Dewey Delisle started eight years ago at New England Center for Children (NECC) as an entry-level teacher. Now he finds himself training and managing interns as the Intern Specialist, and has great advice for students seeking a human service internship.

Delisle proved himself capable, loyal, and passionate about working to transform the lives of children with autism worldwide through education, research, and technology. That, in addition to obtaining his Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, led him to promotions from within the company over the course of eight years. (more…)

Posted August 18, 2015 by

Four things to do after your job interview

job applicant having interview. handshake while job interviewing

Job applicant having interview. Handshake while job interviewing. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Getting to the interview stage of your job application is an achievement on its own. In today’s competitive world, everything does not come the easy way and same goes for the job. Especially during the number crunching economic times, it is terrifyingly difficult to find a decent white collar job. This is why an interview chance is one of the best opportunities you can grab, more so if you are a fresh graduate looking to find a good job. When you reach to the interview stage, there are several things you must do the right way if you wish to have any solid chance of consideration after the interview session. (more…)

Posted August 04, 2015 by

Ten Tips For A Successful Graduate Year

Caroline Schmidt

Caroline Schmidt

For many graduates across the world, graduation signifies both the end of something and the beginning of something. For many it is the ultimate progression they have been longing for. A chance to step forward from what feels like a lifetime of learning and finally into a career. Here are some essential tips for your graduate job search success. (more…)

Posted July 14, 2015 by

How to Begin the Job Search as a New Graduate

Young female bachelor kneeling on a start line with a hand give a guide to start her new journey

Young female bachelor kneeling on a start line with a hand give a guide to start her new journey. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

You’ve just thrown your graduation cap into the air and you’re thinking finally, freedom! You ascend one end of the stage knowing you’re leaving school behind, and descend the other end having officially entered ‘The Real World.’

Then it hits you.

Soon you’ll have to:

1. Apply for jobs.

2. Figure out how you’ll be using the degree you’ve spent years of sleepless nights and thousands of dollars to earn.

Don’t panic. These two tips will get you started in your job hunt. (more…)

Posted May 22, 2015 by

A Graduate’s Guide to Getting Motivated

Brad McMurrey photo

Brad McMurrey

Your personal and career success are going to depend on more than what you learned in college. Having the ability to motivate yourself could be more important than any knowledge you have. Since they don’t teach this in school, here are some key motivational thoughts that might help.

1. You make your life. Consider this sentence with emphasis on each important word:

· You make your life. It’s up to you, no one else.

· You make your life. It doesn’t just happen. You have to act.

· You make your life. It’s your life that’s at stake. (more…)

Posted May 18, 2015 by

A Graduate’s Guide to Negotiating Your First Salary

Smiling woman having job interviews and receiving portfolios

Smiling woman having job interviews and receiving portfolios. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Congratulations! Whether you’ve just graduated or you’ve had a couple months to contemplate the degree you’ve earned, completing a college career is no small task. And for many, it’s just the kind of warm-up you need for a successful job search. In my years counseling young professionals, I’ve helped many prepare for every step of their journey in landing the career they love. That’s formed the basis for this negotiation guide: (more…)

Posted April 30, 2015 by

5 Finance Niche Career Options to Choose From After You Graduate

Customer and female financial agent in a discussion at desk

Customer and female financial agent in a discussion at desk. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

There are many career options that you can succeed in as a finance graduate. Some financial sub-fields require you to have further specialized knowledge beyond your degree. If you are targeting any such field, you have to invest further time and financial resources to get the necessary qualifications.

Below are some career options you should consider in the finance industry: (more…)