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.

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Internships – How to Find Them and How to Get One

How to find an internship is a subject of great interest to students; internships  are a great path to getting a job offer!

Internships can result in you gaining great experience as well as being a stepping stone to your first post-college job!

internship-1How do you find them? They are rarely advertised because organizations don’t need to…..employers that offer internships – paid and unpaid – are often swamped with correspondence from students seeking to work for the summer as well as referrals from friends and family.

Many colleges and universities build internships  into their curriculum and that might be a consideration when you are choosing where to go to school … or where to transfer.

What we are going to focus on here is unearthing internships that are not part of a school’s program.

There are several ways to unearth internships…and then be considered for them.

1. Ask fellow students where they and their friends have worked as interns in the past. Ask them to ask their parents where internship opportunities might be found. Ask your school guidance counselor. Have your parents ask their friends and peers the same question.

In other words, mine friends and family for leads.

2. Make a bunch of telephone calls. Call organizations in your general area of interest… with a prepared script. If you are studying accounting with an eye to be an accountant your script might be:

Hello. My name is Robb Mulberger and I am studying accounting at American University. When I graduate I will be looking for a job as a staff accountant. In the meantime I am searching for internships where I can both learn as well as contribute. Does your firm have internships?

If “Yes” then proceed to see how you would apply.

If “No” then thank them, ask if they have any leads for you and proceed to make more calls.

If you make enough calls, you WILL unearth an internship opportunity!

Paid vs Unpaid? – unless the finances absolutely don’t permit it… an unpaid internship that is meaningful is better than any of the standard summer jobs (lifeguard, camp counselor, waiter, etc.). It is much more impressive on your resume, can be a great learning experience and can often lead to getting a job offer upon graduation.

When do you begin the process of seeking an internship. Summer ones are usually locked up by Christmas… so start the process in the fall for the following summer.

For more info regarding internnships check out this University of Iowa post.

Note – when you do land an internship, you are entering the adult world. Dress for it and act accordingly!

Good luck!

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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!

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Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

Getting a Job Offer – Avoiding a LinkedIn Pitfall!

Getting a Job Offer – Avoiding a LinkedIn Pitfall!

Let’s talk about LinkedIn photos.  For starters, make sure you have one.  When you reach out to a prospective employer,  they are going to do a Google search on your name and iterations of it; e.g. – Robert Mulberger AND Robb Mulberger AND Bob Mulberger. Your social media profiles speak as to who you are. Look at your LinkedIn  profile.  If you don’t have a picture the employer may feel like you have something to hide.  You don’t, so don’t make prospective employers feel that way. 

Any old photo won’t work.  Make sure you have a good professional picture that wasn’t from a wedding, and where you aren’t cropping out your significant other.  I hope it goes without saying that your significant other shouldn’t be in the picture.  Nor should your dog.  Or your cat.  Or an alcoholic beverage.  And no “selfies”! friendly eye contactMake sure it’s a professional picture. Friendly warm smile. Here is an example of a good picture/smile…as well as one that doesn’t tripangry eye contact the “he looks like a nice guy” meter!

Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words and you don’t want yours to cost you thousands of dollars by ruling you out of a possible job offer!

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 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!

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Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved

Interviewing Preparation – Critical to Getting a Job Offer

Interviewing Preparation – Critical to Getting a Job Offer

Yes – getting a job offer is indeed is a competitive affair.

Just as your organization, division, department, etc. has goals and objectives…. you should too have a personal development plan.

If an interviewer asks “what have your learned this past year that makes you a good hire for us?… last three years”?…you need to have a good answer. And “good” translates to something or things specific, and measurable. Let’s face it – interviewing well is an important step to getting a job offer!

Management expert and author Tom Peters of “In Search of Excellence” fame (a great book by the way –  a must read in my opinion) offers a short laundry list of questions and statements to address so as to create and implement a personal development plan.

  1. I am really good at (list one – three things here). By this time next year I can add (one – two things here).
  2. The most valuable things I have learned in the past six months are (list one – three things… they can be skills learned, information gained or things you learned about yourself to make you a better person and/or a more productive employee).
  3. I am going to (be more active in an organization –  spend more time in the gym – lose “x” pounds – read “x” book that has been sitting on my bedside table for a year or more – etc.). Detail here a favorable action you are going to take.
  4. I am going to reach out to renew my  contact with (one – three names); see if I can’t set up a lunch or coffee with each of them.
  5. I will mark my calendar to do this exercise again in six months.

As you compile things from Q 1& 2 above… find a way to include them in a revised resume as well as update your LinkedIn, etc. profiles so that they and your resume are in sync.

Getting a job offer is a competitive process… do your thinking and preparation to be able to give a great answer to the question “what have your learned this past year that makes you a good hire for us?… last three years”?

You can find much more information about interview preparation in Chapter 8 (Interviewing – The Bridge Between you and Your Next Job) of The Ultimate Job-Seeker’s Guide.

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

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Copyright © Robert Mulberger All Rights Reserved