Whom are you fighting at work? Plus A reason a hiring manager WILL prejudice your CV.

Are you fighting time?

Your colleagues?

Your boredom?

Your diet?

Your systems?

Your workload?

Your compensation?

Your benefits?

Your boss?

Your habits?

Your dreams?

Ask anybody why they are unenthusiastic or disengaged at work I would place a strong bet that one of these areas comes up. Yet every single one is in a person’s control. The answer is simple. Change. You don’t like your colleagues, change them or ask your self “do I need to change?” You’re bored, why? Change. You have cravings for those donuts but are resisting, you are making positive change, keep doing it! Your systems suck, be the catalyst for change, demonstrate efficiencies – it may not happen overnight but don’t suffer in silence. Your workload getting you down, why? What can you change, can you delegate, can you say no? Can you change timelines? Can you escalate the issue? Are you actually lazy and procrastinate so things build up? All these things you can do that will affect change, if none of them work then change jobs. But you have to be real with yourself in the first instance.

Many people take the nuclear option first which means they are talking to someone. “I want out, I’m working crazy hours and can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel so I want a new job”. Ok what do you want?” asks the recruiter. “I don’t know” is often the reply.

So if you want out but you don’t know what you want then go back over the list ask yourself who are you fighting, 99% of the time it will be you are fighting yourself. You just need to embrace a bit of change first.

With the ability to look for a job in seconds, it can be the easy way out. But here is the reality, Employers like sticky people. I’m not saying work for the same company for 20 years or even 10, but every hiring manager who looks at a CV will immediately cast dispersions for various reasons if a person’s CV is littered with roles performed for less than 12 months. I want someone who is going to work with us to help drive change and you can’t do that if you jump ship when things get a little tough/busy, I want to see some tenacity and drive. I want to ensure I create an environment that allows for it to happen, and if that does not exist then fine move on, but do it in the knowledge that the next hiring manager is going to ask the question, “Why did you leave your last job?” and trust me you better have a better answer than, “so many things were wrong that I needed to find a better challenge”. The challenge would have been to stay for 12 more months try work through some change and help the business first. That is the person I’m going to hire. Now I know this is a general comment and that there are some proper rubbish places to work so this is really aimed at advising those peeps who are fighting themselves, stuck in a rut in actually not a bad place to work. Ask yourself the tough questions, managers ask these questions when you see engagement dipping. Just ask them first – who or what they are fighting? Then ask them, what can they change?

At Junior level roles we expect to see a little turnover in roles on the CV as you find your place in the world but trust me as you progress up the career ladder we are looking for a little more tenacity and experience combined with a little stickiness. Just look at the CV’s from people your respect either in your org or others, I guarantee they have hung in there at a few places where others have run.

Change is a constant how you adapt is what matters….

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You have been doing conferences all wrong – Try this!

#SHRM15

So I am currently stuck in the Las Vegas Airport – don’t you just love when they don’t tell you about a schedule change, which causes you to miss your flight! So I have a 7 hour wait plus I missed my connection so have to overnight in Miami before flying home. Trying to see the upside in every situation I thought I could bang out a couple of missives. Mainly because the people I met at this years SHRM15 conference were simply amazing and some of the best bloggers in the country.

Before I left for SHRM15 (Which is the biggest HR conference in the world) I had already made up my mind that I was going to do this one differently. For the last couple of years I have attended this event in Orlando and Chicago and its done on a simply epic scale. 20,000 people hundreds of sessions and probably over 1000 exhibitors in the convention hall. It is mind blowing. But I think many people miss what a conference is all about. They spend hours ruminating over which session to go to, who is going to be good what topic they want to learn about . They busy themselves by scheduling everything so that their days are locked in, it’s almost like being in school. I have honestly seen draft fanatics spend less time figuring out their strategy than some of the HR folks spend figuring out their session planner. But they miss the biggest fundamental reason that we go to conference for. Meeting people!

I asked a colleague who was “locked In” how many people they had met or connected with their response “I haven’t time for all that I need to learn stuff”. Now forgive my cynicism but how much are your really going to learn in an hour session that would be worth more than connecting with an expert that you could pick up the phone to later down the line?

So I mixed it up:

  • I didn’t plan one session
  • I went to the networking sessions
  • I reached out to a couple of people I was interested in meeting as they would be at the conference plus they were also speaking
  • I let people know I would be there in case they wanted to meet me.
  • I only booked one evenings entertainment (A show, it is Vegas after all)

The result:

  • So much more relaxed
  • I met up with a great speaker buddy called Tim Sackett and we hit the convention center together. He is a pro at this and knows everyone so I got introduced to plenty of people as we hit the booths. Made some great connections
  • A by product of this was I was allowed access to the bloggers lounge, guess what I met more really interesting people who were the writers behind many of the blogs I read so for me it was like meeting celebs. I connected in person with around 10 members of our blogging community who we have swapped details and a few stories. Plus they were all interested in coming to speak at my conference in Cayman.
  • All of them are experts in different levels of HR and many have held the very top jobs in our industry so I f I need to learn something, guess what I’m picking up the phone.
  • It was interesting to hear who they were going to see speak and see them speak, so my sessions revolved around who was saying something the blogging community thought was interesting rather than just blindly picking horses (you get what I mean). In turn I attended several really interesting session that gave a different insight or some big data revelation’s.
  • I was invited for drinks with a few of them so I went, lets just say its Vegas, it got messy and we ended up in a penthouse suit of the cosmopolitan at a small private party!
  • I attended the international networking event – but I participated and did the “passport game” (You have a card and you have to get people from different countries to sign it then you put it in a draw for a prize) – I met a bunch of people from all over the world and guess what – I won a prize in the draw a new Ipad which was awesome as mine had just broken. I had done this event for the last 3 years and always just talked to the group I knew. So it paid off big time.
  • I met up with a couple of people who reached out to me on twitter, they were great meetings with something coming from both of them.
  • Within just 3 days I met more people and went to some of the best sessions I have been to simply by allowing myself to be flexible and understanding that I know nothing about where is going to be the right event or session.

So in summary I will never do a conference the old way, this one was so much more fun. Made more so by they accepting nature of a few new friends that allowed me to tag along, were accepting of the introduction and happy that I was happy to meet them.

Tim, William, Laurie, Jennifer, Dawn, Jess, Matt, Career builder, Mel, Sarah, Merren, Robin, Heath and the many others – thanks

Stand out from the crowd!

Every January, recruiters across the globe are deluged with people wanting a change in the new year. But how does that make you look, and are you prepared for the question “Why are you looking to move?”… “Because I’m bored” isn’t a good enough answer (although it may be true!).

So how do you stand out from the rest of the crowd? Well here are some top tips:

1) Apply for jobs that are relevant to your experience.
While not impossible, it is increasingly difficult to move to something new unless you are prepared to take a salary cut as your experience can often count for nothing if you are moving into a completely new area. Use your existing skills and experience to get that leg up.

2) Do your research
Make sure you know where your CV is going and why. Simply sending a CV to a company or agency is not enough. Write a concise cover letter informing an individual why you have selected them as the person who could help you most and what you bring to the table. Follow this up with a phone call – it’s your job search so be prepared to do some legwork. Once you have formed a relationship with your recruiter you will be more likely to be front of mind when an opportunity is presented.

3) We’re on your side
Reputable recruiters will do all they can to assist in the best possible way as they are rewarded based upon success. So remember they are equally disappointed if you don’t get the interview or job that was presented. Whilst they can do all they can to try to ensure success they don’t make the end decision so don’t blame them. Listen to all feedback and if none is forthcoming then change recruiters! Good recruiters will always feedback interview/CV comments both positive and negative so that everyone learns from each process.

4) People like positive people!
Don’t bring any of your personal problems to the interview, especially if the interview is quite relaxed and informal. No one wants to hire problems! Unless your personal problems are going to impact on your ability to perform your job, don’t discuss them. They are your business and talking about them makes you appear desperate/negative and not that focused on your work. So stay positive throughout.

I hope these tips help you! Good luck, stay positive and remember building good relationships is key.