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I like Simon, one of three judges on American Idol. I find his feedback refreshingly honest. And while his words startle me with their ego wounding potential, the traditional feel-good, let-you-down-easy, sugar-coated feedback is not much of a gift. It's hard to tell someone they're not good enough and their dreams are not going to happen, at least in this venue. But not telling them is no gift either. Some contestants rise to the challenges he throws at them. Some don't. And, some can't. Which one are you?
The people who influenced me most in my career were those who gave me the hardest critiques. Stricken with a bruised-ego for days, or on occasion for months, inevitably their feedback helped me make the right life choices to improve, change direction, or stay the course with intensity. In fact, the boss who was the hardest on me is the one I thank the most. Good was not good enough if I was capable of better, and she was quick to point out when that was. No sugar coating from her. And the funny thing? When I was honest with myself, I knew she was right.
Being honest with yourself is one of the challenges to winning at working. We all have talents and abilities, but they're not always in the areas we pursue at work. Too many people I've run across in my career have American Idol Syndrome (AIS). Like Idol contestants auditioning with little or no singing ability, these people believe they are good at what they do. They can't understand why they don't get the promotion, the outstanding review, or the highest increases. They view themselves as varsity team material, but they play with junior varsity skills.
When I was a freshman at Stanford, I got a D in biology. Stanford graded on a bell-curve, so an 84% that might traditionally put me in a B category, was near the class bottom. Accustomed to A's, first quarter grades woke me up. At first, I rationalized a D at Stanford was an A or a B at most any other school. But, reality prevailed. I wasn't at another school. If I was going to compete at the school I was at, it was time to use more than high school skills to bring results.
Are you applying yourself? Are you as good as you could be to get the raise, the promotion, or the more interesting work? If these are things you want, don't suffer from AIS. Give yourself some Simon-esk feedback. Ego aside. A Simon-esk answer to the questions, "how good are you?" and "are you in the right field?" offers you a chance at becoming happier and more successful at working. The answers give you choices: you can stay the course; find a playing field at your skill level; improve your skills to compete where you are; or change directions.
(c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Sign up to receive Nan's free biweekly eColumn at http://www.winningatworking.com. Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a writer, columnist, small business owner, and on-line instructor. Visit http://www.nanrussell.com or contact Nan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hospital Staff at Great Risk of Attack and Injury Whilst at Work
There are millions of people working extremely hard every day in the UK to ensure that the public are healthy and recover from illness or accidents. Countless medical staff around the country study hard to become doctors and nurses and then work long hours and endure stressful situations in order to save the lives of men women and children every day. These people are present day saints and have chosen the caring professions because they genuinely want to help others. Sadly though, their efforts sometimes are not appreciated.
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Sophisticated job seekers know and understand that sometime during the interview and hiring process you will be asked to supply references. With this in mind, here are five concepts to focus on in developing your reference list.
Use a resume as a foot in the door
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"So, why don't you tell me about yourself?" is the most frequently asked interview question. It's a question that most interviewees expect and the one they have the most difficulty answering. Though one could answer this open-ended question in a myriad of ways, the key to answering this question or any other interview question is to offer a response that supports your career objective. This means that you shouldn't respond with comments about your hobbies, spouse, or extra curricular activities. Trust me, interviewers aren't interested.
Mastering the Job Interview - 5 Tips to Make Yourself Irresistible to the Interviewer
So you've figured out, more or less what you want to do and where the opportunities are. Now; you have been called for an interview. Here are five steps for interview success for students and graduates:
Conflicts With Your Boss Are Inevitable, But Can Be Healthy
If you are a pro-active, get-things-done type, sooner or later you will come in conflict with your boss. The same sort of assertiveness and confidence that leads you to have a mind of your own has helped him to earn his position.
What To Do When HR Calls...
Generally, when you present yourself as a prospective candidate for a new employment opportunity, your information will filter through the Human Resources department. Since every company has their own hiring process, understand that you cannot always control when HR will call you. Our philosophy is that a prepared candidate will have a higher chance of success than an unprepared candidate.
How Long Does It Take To Write A Resume?
Many people can easily write a resume in just a couple of hours. They can do this by following a resume sample and just writing their information in place of the sample. This is the quick and easy way, but it's not the most effective way.
Why You Only Really Need Four Sample Resumes
Any job seeker looking for sample resumes usually doesn't have to look very far.
Would you like to have more energy and synergy in your job and career? If you are not enjoying work the way you used to and if you would like to contribute in a manner that produces more results with less effort, then Energizing Synergy is what you need to cultivate.
Avoid Your CV Always Ending Up in the Bin
Cover Letters must grab the reader's interest so that they immediately want to learn more about the writer (you).
Whats Stopping You from Getting Your Next, Good Job?
This question comes up often when I'm working with someone to help them move forward in finding their next job.
Technology in the Workplace - Boon or Curse?
Like all new innovations, technology in the work environment can either work for you or against you. What is good for the employer or is not always the same for the employee.
Opportunities in Automotive Services Industries - How To Cash In
I believe it would be safe to say that the transportation industry is one of the highest revenue producers in today's modern economies.
The Not-So-Effective Cover Letter
Here's a newsflash: Cover letters work, plain and simple. This is why I'm intrigued by the fact that a) jobseekers rarely submit them and b) hiring managers seldom read them. As a result, I started asking questions. Specifically, "What's your problem with cover letters?" Here's what I found out.
Job Interviews: Answering Whats Your Greatest Weakness?
Many interview guides advise candidates to answer the common "What's your greatest weakness?" question with a positive trait disguised as a weakness. For example, "I tend to expect others to work as hard as I do," or "I'm a perfectionist."
Why You Should Never Complain About Former Bosses
You're at a job interview. You're doing great, answering questions left and right. You're enthusiastic, upbeat, confident. Then they ask, "Why did you leave your last job?"
Finding Freelance Writing Jobs - Join Us On The Job Search
Finding freelance writing jobs require great skill, dedication and lots of patience. There are many qualifications that businesses look for prior to hiring an individual to fill their job vacancies though. When the potential applicant arrives, he or she must possess a good working knowledge of the tasks that the business person needs. If they don't there is sure to be someone else who does. Therefore, when looking for writing jobs, the applicant simply must make sure that they are the most qualified for the employment opportunities.
Preparing For Your Job Interview: What You Need To Know To Be Successful
In the limited time an interviewer has with you, their mission is to know you and assess your worth, especially in relationship to the other candidates interviewed. Asking you questions is the way they accomplish that mission.
How will you respond when you're asked the following two questions?
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