5 Sure-Fire Ways to Lose Your Job!

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Lose Your Job!

Getting a new job is hard work…and you don’t want to undo it by either adopting or reverting to some really bad career habits! Whether you are new to the job….or you are a tenured employee…here are five habits of highly unsuccessful people. Purge them bad habitsfrom yourself and safeguard against them creeping into your daily behavior. These on-the-job-habits are often fatal to jobs …and careers if not corrected.

Fact – when your behavior becomes disruptive to team performance, attitude, moral and overall harmony – the boss’s job is to “fix it”. Often that means firing you if earlier steps of progressive discipline have failed to resolve it.

Fix these five factors in your mind and do a self-examination to see if you are guilty of any of them. Ask trusted co-workers if you are guilty of any of them. Job and career success are dependent on you NOT wearing any of these “hats”.

Keep in mind that the business section of the newspapers and publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Business Week have story after story of CEOs that have lost their jobs due to “management style”. This really means that they couldn’t get along with the right people; they have behavior habits similar to anyone of these five factors!

Ford Motor Company Chairman Henry Ford II fired the very successful Ford President Lee Iacocca with the comment “I just don’t like you” ending years of disharmony between  the two. An extreme example of mannerisms costing someone a job!

1. Gossip. Don’t participate in the chatter than can pollute a workplace. A comment or observation leads to someone turning it into a fact. People start discussing the non-fact and speculating on outcomes. At its extreme it undermines reporting relationships, creates distrust and can destroy the harmony of a team. Rest assured if you participate you will be quoted and if  your boss catches wind of your involvement one too many times … out you might go. The reason?….  “enough is enough”.

Use as your benchmark the “Momma and Washington Post (or your local newspaper) Rule”. Say nothing that you aren’t prepared to see quoted on the front page above the fold and delivered to your mom’s (or your boss’s) front door.

Stay away from those do gossip and if you must interact with them do so only in conjunction to the job to be done. When they raise the gossip factor, simply say “I do not want to discuss that or get into that….and you’d be wise to also do the same”.

2. Assertive or Aggressive Body Language. When making a point don’t stab your index finger in the air like a dagger – it is insulting and overly aggressive. Don’t cross your arms when others are talking – it says “I don’t agree”. Don’t roll your eyes when someone says something your disagree with – it mocks the point they are making. You need to avoid judgmental body language; when it gets to the point that no one wants to interact with you… it might be time for your boss to clean house.

3. Offensive and Inflammatory Statements. Avoid inflammatory statements such as “Let me tell you something” or “Trust me on this”. It isn’t just the words… they are usually accompanied by an assertive approach. When that occurs, it is a total annoyance at best on the part of whomever you are talking to. Purge from yourself those annoying (and predictable) statements and comments.

4. Mood and Attitude Swings. When you are up and enthusiastic one day and moody and uncommunicative the next, it confuses and annoys people. Consistency of behavior is important to teamwork and understanding co-workers. When your presence becomes a drag on others you have become a supreme annoyance to others. No one wants to work with a team member for whom the glass is usually  half empty! When it impacts productivity, it is not uncommon for a boss to step in to solve it…often by termination.

5. Poor Clock Management. Tardiness, late for meetings, reports and work not done on time, not returning phone calls in a timely manner (or not at all!) Reliability and dependability is critical to a team. You waste the time of others when you are not on time. It drives those that are on time nuts! Think “Lombardi Time”* …. 10 minutes early is ON TIME!

OK… unless you have an extremely tolerant boss, five  sure-fire ways to lose your job is to participate in any of these areas. Keep them in mind as you go through the work day and be determined to not let any of them represent who you are!

* “Lombardi Time” comes from a characteristic of the legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi (the Super Bowl Lombardi Trophy is named for him). There are lots of different versions of what constitutes “Lombardi Time” as it became known. One is “Ten minutes early or it’s too late.” It became well known that Lombardi expected his players to be 10 (some say 15) minutes early for all meetings – what he actually told them probably varied, so an exact quote may not be possible to determine.

Follow me on Twitter for notices of these posts.

For jobs and career opportunities in the Washington, DC metro area –  visit the NRI website. Many jobs are listed there …..and NRI Recruiters can find others for you!

My LinkedIn profilefollow me on twitter

Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

Moving Up the Career Ladder; How to Get that Next Job

Moving Up the Career Ladder; How to Get that Next Job

MovingUpTheLadderA job can be static – no change from day to day. A career, however,  is a progression; increased responsibility, new experiences, increased knowledge and wisdom, more money and usually a more rewarding position.

The big question is – how to make it happen after several years in the same job? You know your job inside and out… and do a good job of it. How to leverage it into your next career step?

Keep in mind that while luck plays a part in any success story, lucky people also make their own good luck! With that exception, however, your career and career path is no one’s responsibility but yours! So – how do you go about building a career path?

Like almost every endeavor – you need a plan:

1. Put together a “brag book”. It really isn’t a book and it isn’t bragging if you actually did it! Create two files – and suggest you make them both digital as well as hard copy.

  • File #1 – a series of documents you have written that detail your achievements and accomplishments. e.g. – “Chaired companywide meetings and efforts to define needs and requirements for a new phone system.” Or “Member of a small steering committee responsible for moving our offices to larger quarters including acquiring all new furniture and installing modular work stations.” These statements will end up in your resume and be talking points for future job interviews. This file includes any certificates you have received for participating in training sessions, community events, etc.
  • File #2 – includes copies of every performance review as well as letters and emails from other complimenting  you on your work. If you get a favorable  comment from a co-worker, supervisor, customer – anyone – document it in this file. Just be sure to include what it was about. “Bill told me thanks and that I was doing a great job” won’t hack it. Rather “Bill complimented me on the results we achieved for 3rd quarter – we were under budget for costs with zero errors” –  more like it!

This file will also provide material for future interviews and your resume but unlike file #1, these come from third parties and are “endorsements” if you will. When you get one – ask the person giving it to go to your LinkedIn profile and “endorse” you for that skill or area of performance. Be assured your LinkedIn profile will be reviewed by every prospective employer and you want those endorsements there!

2. Look ahead to the options available for your next job – specifically if with your current employer and generally if you need to move to a different organization to move up the employment food chain. e.g. –  if you are a staff accountant, your next job might be accounting manager, controller, A/R – A/P manager or some accounting specialty (tax, payroll). If a salesperson, perhaps sales supervisor or lead account sales.

 3. Once identified, research what you need to have in the way of experience and accomplishments to be eligible to apply for that next step. You can ask for more responsibility in your current job or the areas you seek. Offer to assist others….anything to gain the requisite experience. Identify people  who either have or have had the jobs you aspire to. Talk to them and ask them candidly to evaluate your candidacy for such a position. Talk to staffing service professionals that work in your area of expertise and ask them the same questions.

Your objective is to really understand what you need to possess on your resume in addition to the contents of the two files in your “brag book” to be qualified for the next step. Furthermore to know where your shortfalls are so you can work on them.

Also keep in mind that the process is not finite; organizations and hiring authorities have varying standards that must be met – some make sense and some may not. The only way to know for sure is to test the waters. With your current employer ask your boss, “I want to move up in the department – where do you see the opportunities are for me and what do I need to do to be qualified for them”. Register with one or two really good staffing services and go thru the  process of interviewing for a new position. Discreetly if currently employed; you don’t want to jeopardize the bird in hand!

4. Finally – exhibit positive factors critical when interviewing such as:

  • Possess and exhibit a great attitude.
  • Possess and exhibit a great work ethic.
  • Mirror the behavior, dress and communication skills of those you see as role models.
  • Understand and “talk the talk” of your current employer; exhibit pride to be working there –  be an ambassador for the organization to the outside world.

And as you go through the process – be reasonably patient. See my post of March 18 “To The Kid At The End Of The Bench – Careers and Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight”.

You don’t want to be someone who changes jobs every 2 or 3 years…unless it is with the same employer.  Changing employers frequently brands you as a “job-hopper”!

Good luck moving up the career ladder!

Follow me on Twitter to be notified of new posts to this blog.

follow me on twitter   My LinkedIn profile  

See new job listings at www.nri-staffing.com

 

Changing Careers? Some practical advice and how to find resources to help pave the way!

The following is a question asked following the webinar I did for the alumni of Georgetown University entitled “Resumes, Interviewing and the World of Work” along with my response:

Dear Mr. Mulberger,

I enjoyed listening to your webinar this afternoon and thought that your presentation was very informative and interesting.

transition-3rd-blogI would like to receive your suggestions on how to go about changing careers from teaching math to working as an actuary. There are certain skills that overlap, however, there are other desired skills that do not show up on the resume. How could the cover letter and resume be enhanced to highlight qualifications? Would you recommend going back to school for an additional degree?

Thank you very much and I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

“Webinar Attendee”

Dear “Webinar Attendee”

Glad it was of value for you!!

Before you sign up for another degree suggest you find a way to talk to a few practicing actuaries and and/or those who run such a department or internal program.

A quick google search for “actuary associations” brought up: http://www.actuary.org/ with this contact information – 1850 M St NW #300, Washington, DC – (202) 974-6007

The search also brought up other entities…all fertile ground for research.

Suggest you make some phone calls…you will note that the association President slot changes annually.. so they are volunteer leaders…practicing actuaries…. the Executive Director runs the association (is a salaried employee).. Track down one or more of them and ask them the questions that will give you the answers as to what your challenges will be to make that change. http://www.actuary.org/content/messages-president

“I am very interested in making the change from teaching match to being an actuary. Can you spare a few minutes to give me some  guidance and answer a question or two?” Most will say yes!

BTW – creative google searching is a great way to find and then gain access to people… I cover it extensively in a full chapter in my book….

Let me know if I can be of further assistance!

Good luck!

Robb

As a matter of note – use google searches to find trade association professionals you can talk to such as I advised this person. I have a very detailed chapter in the book – “Basic and Advanced Internet Search Techniques” –detailing the Boolean Operators and how to get the most results with the least effort.

Do a google search – just copy and paste this string into a google search window; substitute your area of  interest for “actuary” and “actuarial”. Note the this search string follows google algorithms –  google search “rules” – type it EXACTLY as it appears here if you can’t copy and paste it.

(actuary OR actuarial)  (association OR society OR “professional society”)

From there – make contact as I suggested to my “webinar attendee”!

Good luck!!

LinkedIn  twitter.jpg 

How to Position Myself to Achieve Optimal Interest from Prospective Employers?

I received an email from a job-seeker referred to me as a result of one of my university alumni webinars.

The email asked the question “…how to position myself to achieve optimal interest from potential employers?…and asked about the value of a career coach.

My response was:

The answer lies in the fact that qualifications and experience speak for themselves when properly packaged.

For example a degreed accountant who is currently a controller will respond differently (with regard to resume, cover letter and marketing effort) when applying for another controller position vs an accounting manager position. The first will stress hands-on accounting skills and knowledge; the second will stress management, problem-solving and leadership skills and knowledge.

So first define what  it is you are specifically seeking – and it can be more than one career target. For each career target – fashion a resume, cover letter and marketing plan that speaks to what an employer would want. For example – a firm seeking a tax attorney will want to know how current the knowledge base is, how recent the relevant experience is, etc. You have a number of career paths already somewhat in place but you need different versions of your resume and cover letter to focus on them individually.

As you define career targets… think to where the opportunity lies …go after the “low-hanging fruit” (the positions and career targets that are on the upswing vs those that are not). For example any positions in print journalism are not career targets that makes sense at this time. Research the possibilities for your selected career targets.

So my advice to you is:

  1. Read my book . If you don’t think it has value – let me know and I will refund your money.
  2. Come up with several career targets based upon your personal ambitions coupled with your experience and apply a dose of reality to them based on trends and your research.
  3. Fire up your network and once you have resumes and cover letters in order – follow the advice in Chapter 9 – “Uncovering The Hidden Job Market”.
  4. If you feel a career coach might be of value – sound out the following two individuals – and see if what they offer has value for you. I recommend both  – feel free to  use my name as an introduction.

Angelo Agrafiotis – 973.283.8161 – apagrafiotis@aimlifecoaching.com – www.aimlifecoaching.com Angelo is in New Jersey.

Marshall Brown – 202.518.5811 – marshall@mbrownassociates.com – www.mbrownassociates.com

Marshall is in DC.

Good luck and let me know how it is proceeding!

Robb Mulberger

LinkedIn  twitter.jpg 

 

 

How do I Make a Career Transition?

The following is another question asked following the webinar I did for the alumni of Georgetown University entitled “Resumes, Interviewing and the World of Work” along with my response:

Dear Mr. Mulberger,

I enjoyed listening to your webinar this afternoon and thought that your presentation was very informative and interesting.

transition-3rd-blogI would like to receive your suggestions on how to go about changing careers from teaching math to working as an actuary. There are certain skills that overlap, however, there are other desired skills that do not show up on the resume. How could the cover letter and resume be enhanced to highlight qualifications? Would you recommend going back to school for an additional degree?

Thank you very much and I look forward to your response.

My response was:

Glad it was of value for you!!

Before you sign up for another degree suggest you find a way to talk to a few practicing actuaries and and/or those who run such a department or internal program.

A quick google search for “actuary associations” brought up: http://www.actuary.org/ with this contact information – 1850 M St NW #300 Washington, DC – (202) 974-6007

The search also brought up other entities…all fertile ground for research.

Suggest you make some phone calls…you will note that the association President slot changes annually.. so they are volunteer leaders…practicing actuaries…. the Exec Dtr runs the assoc. Track down one or more of them and ask them the questions that will give you the answers as to what your challenges will be to make that change. See http://www.actuary.org/content/messages-president

You might ask “I am very interested in making the change from teaching match to being an actuary. Can you spare a few minutes to give me some guidance and answer a question or two?” Most will say yes!

Creative google searching is a great way to find and then gain access to people… I cover it extensively in a full chapter in my book….

Let me know if I can be of further assistance!

Good luck!

Robb

Check the NRI website for current open positions in metro Washington, DC…follow me on Twitter … check my LinkedIn profile!

      twitter-bird-blue-on-white     LinkedIn