Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Benefits of Giving and Taking a Sabbatical - Your Career Intel

The Benefits of Giving and Taking a Sabbatical - Your Career IntelThis summer, Lucas Group gave me the opportunity of a lifetime a paid work sabbatical to follow my passion for exploring other cultures. For one amazing month, my husband, two teenage children, and I unplugged our phones, forgot about email, and immersed ourselves in the art, food and people of France and Italy.Wandering through the Louvre, Uffizi and other museums, my family bonded in a unique way. And I focused entirely on life not work-life balance, but life itself.Ive been working at Lucas Group since I turned 21, and for the first time as an adult, I truly focused on who I am apart from my job. Not surprisingly, I returned to work in July refreshed and refocused. Taking a break allowed my brain to rest and made me a better teammate, partner, wife, and person.The typical professional works 40 or mora years before retirement, and for many, the only real respite is a few weeks of vacation each year. Taking extend ed time away from the office to enrich your life, spend mora time with family, help others, learn a new skill, or follow your dreams is incredibly rewarding for employees. Sabbaticals also provide a great return on investment for the companies that offer them.Here are a few of the upsides of offering and taking extended time away from workIncreased Motivation and ProductivityStudies show that employees come back from a sabbatical ready to bring their renewed energy to the office. When I returned from Europe, I realized how much missed my clients, my candidates, and my work. I listen even more intently to peoples true needs now.In an article about a rigorous multinational study on sabbaticals, Forbes Magazine found that the positive changes often remained after people returned to work, suggesting that the sabbatees and their organizations both gained significantly from the leave itself. An author of the study stated, We discovered that a sabbatical affords the opportunity to acquire interpersonal and professional skills that you wouldnt have a chance to build otherwise.Job RetentionCompanies typically offer sabbaticals to employees who have worked for a certain period of time (five to seven years is common), andemployees may take multiple sabbaticalsas long as they work a minimum number of years in between. Its a great incentive for workers to remain at a company longer. Some companies, like Lucas Group, offer an additional incentive for longtime employees because I took a sabbatical after 25 years of service, the company also gave me a bonus to be used towards the cost of the trip.Another benefit of sabbaticals is that people arefar less likely to be lured awayfrom their companies by other organizations within the first few years after they take a break because their loyalty remains high.Better IdeasNo matter what a person does during a sabbatical, fruchtwein find that disconnecting from the daily work routine for a while gives them a fresh perspective on thei r business. This infusion of ideas after an employee returns can have many positive consequences for a company.I know that I bring more value to Lucas Group now, and Forbes found the same to be true in its coverage on an important sabbatical study Researchers found that the majority of leaders surveyed had greater confidence in their role upon return and felt that the sabbatical allowed them to think outside the box, generating new ideas for effecting change and raising funds for their organization. In addition, the majority found that they were better able to crystallize the existing vision for the organization and to create a new, more powerful one.Better TeamsI have a great team at Lucas Group, and when I headed for Europe, I knew I welches leaving the reins in very capable hands. They rose to the challenge which wouldnt be a surprise to some management experts. Fast Company reports that teams learn to function in new and better ways when they have to take on the responsibilitie s of the missing team member. Forbes echoes that sentiment Most intriguingly, the researchers found that, for the majority of leaders, the interim leaders who filled in for them during their leave were more effective and responsible when their boss returned. Many interim leaders even continued in a more collaborative role with the senior leaders post-sabbatical. The leave actually provided the opportunity for second-tier leaders to develop their skills and abilities.In ConclusionEmployers who offer sabbaticals give their employees a true gift of being able to unplug. Its a life-changing opportunity especially if you have a family to be truly present in your life.For anyone considering taking extended time off work, I recommend a few keys to make the most of your timeDetermine ahead of time what your passion is and make that the focus of your sabbatical. What do you want to get out of this break?Stay free from work distractions while you are away.Afterward, take time to digest what you learned so you can make positive changes.Sabbatical StatsWho offers sabbaticals? Many forward-thinking companies do, including 25 percent of Fortunes100 Best Companies to Work For.The majority of workplacesabbaticals are paid or partially paid.Lucas Group offers a month-long paid sabbatical every seven years to employees. At 25 years of service, Lucas Group also gives employees money to fund the getaway itself.

Monday, March 9, 2020

10 Common Behavioral Interview Questions and How to Answer Them - Jobscan Blog

10 Common Behavioral bewerbungsgesprch Questions and How to Answer Them - Jobscan BlogPosted on May 17, 2016February 21, 2019 by James Hu Hint It Starts Way Before You Get to the InterviewOne clich weve all heard is that past behavior predicts future behavior. That may or may elend be psychologically sound, but it is the theory behind behavioral interview questions. Many recruiters believe that the best way to gain insight into how youd handle certain situations is to ask you to tell a story about how you handled a similar situation in the past.No matter how experienced you are, it can be tough to come up with a detailed story in the middle of an interview, so its important to prepare ahead of time. With that in mind, here are 10 sample behavioral interview questions and suggestions for answering them successfully.Describe a situation where you disagreed with a supervisor.What theyre looking for Communication skills, ability to formulate an argument, ability to compromise, and willin gness to take direction.What to say Dont talk about an argument you had especially an ongoing argument. Instead, describe a situation where you presented your arguments calmly and carefully listened to your managers position. The specific entscheidung isnt as important as the process. If applicable, talk about how the disagreement ended up strengthening your relationship.Tell me about a time when you had a conflict at work.What theyre looking for Emotional intelligence and conflict-resolution skills.What to say Try to avoid personal conflicts. Instead, choose a situation that allows you to talk about a professional disagreement. Talk about how you communicated your position, how you listened to learn more about your colleagues position, how you resolved the problem, and, if appropriate, how the disagreement impacted the relationship. Be careful not to demonstrate bitterness or resentment, especially if the resolution didnt go your way.Tell me about a situation where you had to solv e a difficult problem.What theyre looking for Critical-thinking skills, creativity, persistence, and people skills.How to answer Choose an example that you remember clearly enough to describe your thought processes as well as the specific steps you took. Your interviewer doesnt just want to hear what you did he wants to hear why you did it.Describe a project or idea that was implemented primarily because of your efforts.What theyre looking for Accountability, persistence, thoroughness, and resourcefulness.How to answer If possible, choose a situation that you saw through from beginning to end. And youll probably get bonus points if you can include something about how you worked with other people to get it done.Tell me about a time when you worked well under pressure.What theyre looking for Mental and emotional toughness.How to answer This is one of the trickier questions. If you platzdeckchen the bar too low, the interviewer is likely to think, You call that pressure? On the other h and, its important to choose a situation you handled exceptionally well. Your best bet is to go with the most stressful example you have where you totenstill performed well.Tell me about a time when you had to delegate tasks during a project.What theyre looking for Emotional intelligence, critical thinking, management style, follow-up.How to answer Start by describing the situation and why/how you decided to delegate. Next, explain how you decided whom to delegate to and if they didnt report to you how you enlisted their help. But dont forget to include something about what happened after you delegated. How involved were you? How did you follow up? If things werent moving along as they should, how did you resolve that problem?Give me an example of a time when you motivated others. What theyre looking for Emotional intelligence, empathy, and adaptability.How to answer What you were trying to motivate people to do and exactly how you did it are less important than how you figured ou t what would motivate each person in the story. Focus on the process How did you change your style for each person you were working with?Give me an example of a time when you demonstrated initiative and took the lead.What theyre looking for Accountability and a sense of ownership.How to answer Think of a situation where the easy way would have been to just do what you were told and not worry about whether that was the right thing to do. Describe why you decided to take the initiative, how you went about it, and the outcome.Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.What theyre looking for Critical thinking, willingness to admit error, ability to learn from mistakes.How to answer If possible, talk about a situation where you had a plausible excuse for missing an obvious solution. But dont phrase it as an excuse just include that little tidbit when you set the stage. Then talk about how you discovered your mistake, how you reacted, and what you did to resol ve the situation.Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.What theyre looking for Insight into your values.How to answer Dont make it all about yourself. Its best to talk about something that you accomplished by leading a team. And, while its important to include facts and figures when you talk about the results, its equally important to talk about any positive impact on the people involved.The key to acing a behavioral interview is to thoroughly understand what each question is really about and then prepare an answer that demonstrates those qualities. Its critical to choose your examples ahead of time, or youll inevitably leave something out or focus on the wrong thing. If possible, choose stories that could be used to answer multiple questions.More Interview PrepCommunications Coach 3 Things to Do Before an InterviewHow to Answer What Are Your Salary Expectations?How to Look and Sound Professional in a Phone or Video InterviewFacebook Commentswpdevar_comment_1 span, wpdevar_comment_1 iframewidth100% important

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Beware These 4 Career Myths

Beware These 4 Career Myths According to Googles dictionary, a myth is a widely held but false belief or idea. Myths by their very nature surround us like air and often go unnoticed and unchallenged. We accept them without ever really questioning them.Unfortunately, many myths surround our careers. These myths raise and narrow the expectations we have about our career paths, making it more difficult than it needs to be for us to feel fulfilled and happy.There are four myths in particular that I want to focus on dispelling todayThe Myth of the TitleThe Myth of Divine InterventionThe Myth of the LadderThe Myth of the Rosy GlassesIt is my hope that, once you are aware of these myths, you will be able to avoid falling victim to them1. The Myth of the TitleAccording to thismyth, youneed to pursue a specific title. You are first exposed to this myth when you are around four or five years old. It comes with the words, Now little one, what do you want to be w hen you grow up? As kindly as these words are, they impart to us the idea that we must be one thing and one thing only in our careers.The big idea behind this mythis that a career is about having a title and being able to say I am a fireman, or I am a dentist, or I am a shopkeeper, etc.Children are rarely rewarded with smiles from adults should they reply that they want to try out lots of different things, or that they want to skip from one title to another, or that they want to make a up a new title. So this myth goes largely unquestioned and perpetuates itself with ease.As Emilie Wapnick explores in a wonderfulTED talk,some people in fact, many people are not destined for just one career. Rather, they are multipotentialites. Increasingly, the work worlddoesnt hand people distinct titles. Instead, the typical career today is varied, composed of different elements and created in a way that suits you.2. The Myth of Divine InterventionSomewhere along the way, we pick up the second m yth the Myth of Divine Intervention. This myth teaches us that our career needs to be something that we feel called to do, that there is one thing (i.e., one title) out there that is the thing that we were put on earth to do.Along with this comes the belief that we can only have a great, fulfilling career if we find that one thing. When we dont and most of us dont we feel like we got it wrong. We feel unfulfilled, like we are missing out on something.I dont want to imply that you shouldnt look for and do things you find meaningful, but that finding things you care about is a much more realistic and more attainable goal than finding the vocation you were supposedly born to do. The luminary thinker Seth Godin explores this idea further in a lovely short deutsche bundespost about finding your caring rather than your calling.3. The Myth of the LadderAs if theMyth of the Title and the Myth of Divine Intervention did not make it difficult enough to feel good about our careers, theres an other myth we must contend with the Myth of the Ladder.The Myth of the Ladder says that no matter what it is you are doing in your career no matter how content and happy you currently are you should be looking to advance to a position of greater power and influence.The insidious thing about this myth is that it implies that it is not enough to become more skilled and proficient at what you do. Instead, the myth goes, you should always be looking to move up the ladder, taking on more responsibility and gaining more power.I see this myth in action all the time when good operators are urged to go into management roles because they have to advance their careers.Now, it is important that you continue to challenge yourself at work in order to prevent growing bored in your role, but that does not necessarily mean you have to spend all your time trying to climb the corporate ladder.4. The Myth of the Rosy GlassesFinally, there is the Myth of the Rosy Glasses, which tells us that getting a higher-paying job, or a job with better conditions, or a job with a better babo will solve all of our problems. According to this myth, the things that trouble you now the barriers and setbacks you come up against will just disappear as soon as you find a new job.PfftVery rarely does this happen. Financial freedom, for example, does not come with increased salary it only comes when you learn and follow the principles of good money management. Better relationships dont materialize because you move to a sunny climate. Careers dont become more fulfilling and engaging because you change jobs.Before falling for the Myth of the Rosy Glasses, ask what you need to learn from your current circumstances so that you can avoid these barriers and setbacks in the future.In general, it is a good idea to take some time to examine how these myths might be influencing the decisions you make in your career. It may be that you still make the same decisions after learning about these myths, but at le ast you will be fully informed about just what your decisions mean.A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.Katherine Street is the director of People Flourishing.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

4 ways to hold peoples attention at networking events

4 ways to hold peoples attention at networking events4 ways to hold peoples attention at networking eventsNetworking events - as social as a dinner party or as buttoned-up as an industry conference - are the ultimate opportunitiesto put the best version of yourself out there in an effort to form meaningful connections with other people.Heres how to keep people inside or outside of your industry interested in what you have to say when you meet for the very first time.Really listen to the other personIts easy to tell when someone isnt focused on getting to know you or your story - their eyes dart, and it often feels like theyre looking right through you.Dont be that person.Instead, try empathetic listening, writes Christina DesMarais in an Inc. articlethat includes networking advice for introverts, extroverts, and the socially awkward. She describes it as trying to see things from the perspective of whom youre talking to with the zweck of gaining information about them.She also feat ures advice from Jacqueline Whitmora, etiquette expert and author of Poised for Success Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals.When you ask the person a question, listenwith the intent to understand and also to establish a connection with that person, because people tend to remember people they have a connection with.Dont be a card dealer . . .In other words, dont move too quickly. Moving from person to person in a hurry probably wont help you earn their respect or keep their attention.Ivan Misner identifies types of desperate networkers in an Entrepreneur article. The Card Dealer is among them.After saying that this type is likely the most common form of desperation hes encountered, he mentions that this networker quickly gives out business cards like hes at a poker table and does not really connect with people unless he thinks theres something in it for him. Misner continuesTo the Card Dealer, networking is mostly a numbers game.The more people he can pass his cards to,the better hes doing (or so he thinks). Card Dealers tend to have a network that is a mile wide but an inch deep because they dont spend time building relationships. It never works in the long run and they just look inexperienced, frazzledand yes - desperate.. . . but do hold the cards yourselfInaHarvard Business Review article, Dorie Clark, who says shes hosted more than two dozen dinner parties to expand her network and meet interesting people, writes that you should seek to become the center of the network.She cites the example of Jon Levy, who began throwing Influencers dinner gatherings at his apartment in New York City with luminaries in different fields, and offers a strategy.Clark says to start by inviting the most interesting professionals you know and request that they suggest the most interesting connections they have.Over time you can build a substantial network, she writes. At a certain point youll gain enough momentum that professionals who have heard about the dinners will even reach out to ask for an invitation.Be a resource for othersProviding someone else with what they need is a good way to prove the value of your new connection.A Monster article mentions that you should respond to others challenges. Theres no better way to establish a business networking relationship than by helping them with a pressing issue, the articles states.If someone states a challenge that theyre facing, respond- no later than the next morning- with something of value that addresses their issue, says John Felkins, president of Accelerant Consulting Group, an organizational development consultancy in Bartlett, Tennessee.And who knows? Although you shouldnt purely give help to get it back, the person you assist may be able to vouch for you in the future or support your career in other ways.Being good at networking starts with recognizing that youre having a conversation with another human being who may be able to teach you something new if you r eally engage with them.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Open season for the CIA!

Open season for the CIAOpen season for the CIASo, all you aspiring secret agents with an interest in international affairs This is your chance. Visit the CIA site for further details.Posted by Todd Obolsky, Vault News & Commentary

Sunday, December 22, 2019

How to Hide Your Job Search From Your Boss

How to Hide Your Job Search From Your BossHow to Hide Your Job Search From Your BossThe security of your job is paramount until you guarantee a new job offer.Youve decided to look for greener pastures, but until you find those you want to stay in your current position.That reality requires job seekers who are employed to walk a tight line between publicizing their desire for new employment and hiding their intentions. There is also the basic fact that job search takes time and compels changes in your behavior that might signal your departure to your current boss.Should you be worried enough to conduct a clandestine search? Absolutely, said recruiters and career coaches who spoke to Ladders. The security of your current employment is paramount until you guarantee new employment. If your boss hasnt explicitly given you his blessing, then he shouldnt know youre even looking until the new contract is signed and youre handing in your two weeks notice.Discretion must be foremost in your mi nd when looking for a job. Keep your search concealed, and do not let any aspect of it spill into your current job. Several rules of thumb should guide your search and hide your intentions.Leave no clues as to your search in the amtsstube. An overheard phone call, a resume left in the printer, a suit jacket conspicuously hanging on your chair when you regularly wear jeans to work, all are clear signs that youre trying to find a new position.Wearing a suit to work on the day you had a dentist appointment was a aya tipoff, said Marilyn Santiesteban, Director of Career Services at management consulting firm King Bishop. So is using your work e-mail address or phone number on your resume. Stories abound about a cover letter inadvertently left on the office copier or the person who posted interview details on Facebook or tweeted that they hate their job and are actively looking to get out.Dont advertiseLinda Duffy, President of Leadership Habitude, notes that the Web can indeed be a pot ential minefield for exposing your job search. With so many social-networking sites, including career-minded networks like LinkedIn, there are many ways your superior could discover your search.If they tweet or post on Facebook or LinkedIn that theyre looking, its fairly easy for a company to find out about it, Duffy says. Even if retaliation is illegal, a company can still find mora subtle ways to make that persons work life miserable until they finally quit.I would also remind employees that many employers subscribe to resume databases on Monster.com, CareerBuilder, and other online job-search sites so they can source candidates for their openings. Although employees can make their posting confidential, most dont or dont do it well enough to prohibit current employers from finding it. When I was recruiting at various companies, I would always look to see who in my organization had their resume posted so I knew who might be thinking about leaving.Not at your deskElizabeth Lions, au thor of Recession Proof Yourself, advises against using your work computer or even the wireless network at work to browse career sites.Dont get caught at your desk looking for your next job, Lions says. Many people make this critical error because they had a bad day and decide to look at Monster.com on the work computer over their lunch. Most companies have filters and ways of watching where you go and what you are doing online. If you get caught, the cat is out of the bag.The best advice, said these experts, is to keep the logistics of your search limited to your personal time and your personal equipment (phone, computer, e-mail). Youll have better luck keeping the status quo intact until youre ready to change it.Mind your computer, mind your phone, and always mind the office printer.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

How to Get Employment References

How to Get Employment ReferencesHow to Get Employment ReferencesAt some point during your job search, a potentialemployer will request references and conduct a reference check. Typically, it will be when the company is seriously interested in you as a potential hire. Its important to be prepared to provide alist of employment referenceswho can attest to the skills and qualifications that you have for the job you are applying for. You might even want to have a few letters of reference on hand as well. Its a good idea to plan and get your references in order before you need them. It will save time scrambling to put together a list at the last minute. Keep in mind that a positive endorsement can help you clincha job offer, and a negative reference can hurt your chances. Therefore, be koranvers to have a strong list of references who know all about your strengths, and about the jobs you are applying for. Tips for Getting the Best References It takes a bit of time and preparation to g ather a list of strong references. Here are some steps you can take to make sure you select references who will give you glowing reviews Ask the Right People - Former bosses, co-workers, customers, vendors, and colleagues all make goodprofessional references. College professors also make good references. If you are just starting out in the workforce or if you havent worked in a while, you can usea character or personal referencefrom people who know your skills and attributes. These might include friends, neighbors, people youve volunteered with, and more. Most importantly, only ask people who you know will give you a positive reference. Also, try to ask people who are reliable. You want to know your references will respond to employers on time. Be Aware of Company Referral Policies - Some employers will notlage provide references. Due to concerns about litigation, they might only provide your job title, dates of employment, andsalary history. If thats the case, be creative and try t o find alternative reference writers who are willing to speak to your qualifications.Ask Ahead of Time - Its important to ask someone ahead of time if they are willing to be a reference. Try to ask as soon as you begin your job search (if not earlier). This way, you can have a list of references ready for an employer. If you need a letter of reference, ask the person as soon as possible, so he or she does not feel rushed. The best way to ask for a reference is to say, Do you feel you know my work well enough to serve as a reference? or Do you feel comfortable providing me with a good reference? This will ensure that the only people who say yes to you will be those who will write you a positive reference. Provide the Necessary Information - When someone agrees to be a reference, give him or her all the information they might need to give you a positive reference. Provide them with an updated resume. Tell them what kinds of jobs you are looking at, so they know what skills and experie nces of yours they should highlight. If you know a particular employer is going to contact your references, provide your references with information about the job and the employer. If you need a letter of reference for a particular job, tell your reference all the necessary information about where to submit the letter, and when the deadline is. Make Your Reference List - Once you have your references, create a document listing those references. The list of references shouldnot be included in your resume. Rather, create a separatereference list. Have it ready to give to employers when you interview. Include three or four references, along with theirjob titles, employers, and contact information. Once youve made your reference list, check it twice. Have Some Recommendation Letters Available - Many employers wont be interested in written reference letters. They will either want to speak to your references on the phone or via email. However, it is still a good idea to have some letters of reference available for the employers that do want them. If you are graduating from school or leaving a job (as long as you are leaving on a positive note), you can ask your employer for a letter of reference. This way, he or she can write the letter while your work is still fresh in his or her mind. Request a Reference When You Change Jobs - Even if you dont ask for a written letter, you should ask for a reference every time you change employment. Before you leave, ask your supervisor (and perhaps one or two coworkers) if he or she will serve as a reference for you in the future. That way, you can create a list of references from people you may not necessarily be able to track down years later.Maintain Your Reference Network - Maintain your reference network with periodic phone calls, emails, or notes to get and give updates. This is an important way to keep them updated on your life (and your job search). If you are fresh in their minds, they will be more likely to give you mor e specific, and more positive, recommendations. Its Okay to Say No - A prospective employer should ask your permission before contacting your references, although not all do. Its perfectly acceptable to say that you are not comfortable with your current employer being contacted at present. This is especially important when you are currently employed because you dont want your interviewer to surprise your current employer with a phone call checking your references. However, do have a list of alternative references available.Keep Your References up to Date (And Thank Them) - Let your references know where your job search stands. Tell them who might be calling them for a reference. When you get a new job, dont forget to send athank you letter to those who provided you with a reference. Even if you dont get hired right away, take the time tofollow up with your references. Theyll appreciate being informed of your status.