Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pay attention to what Mamma told you …

“If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings”. - Brian Tracy

I attended the Times Union Job Fair this past Monday and hats off to the TU team for an excellent production. The panel of experts on high tech jobs in the region was very well done as well and very interesting.

I only had a few minutes so I took a quick tour – it was packed – some may say that is good; some may not. Many of the attendees were so well prepared – dressed to impress with a plan of who they wanted to see. Others, sadly, looked like they just climbed out of bed – poorly dressed, in sneakers, jeans, flip flops (it’s January!), baseball caps and generally non-impressive and as we know, first impressions count huge.

I was relating the experience to my wife Vikki who has hired hundreds in her career (Vikki is the Publisher of Capital Region Living Magazine
and she said, “… Guess they did heed what their mamma told them as kids ….”. How true, so I thought – let’s look back what we learned from our elders and heed their advice when interviewing or even applying for a job.

Remember hearing:

• “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything” – My mom told me this all the time. It is a reminder to keep mum and don’t trash your current or former employer, anyone you worked with or other situation that can cause the interviewer to label you as a whiner, lacking decorum or class, difficult to get along with or work with, hard to please or tough to manage. There is nothing good that can come out of badmouthing; take the high road.

• “Wear clean underwear” - Or shine your shoes as your Dad or other elder may have said. Always – always – always dress to impress, look and act professional and sweat the small stuff – shined shoes, clean fingernails, “appropriate” dress. You mom may have told you to get a good night’s rest before a test – but don’t show up like you just rolled out of bed.

• “You can’t hide from a lie” - Speaking falsehoods will come back to bite you. Fudging your resume or an application, stating that you have experience in something you do not, just lying about your education and the list can go on will get you in dutch and perhaps fired and that will be so tough to explain. Remember – nothing is secret with employers utilizing assessments and background checks to verify the information you present – so make it factual.

• “Good deeds make the world go around” - If you are in an interview or looking at a position and it isn’t for you for some reason, do a good deed – share it with someone else and tell the hiring employer what you did. You will score points – and you help another – that is a win.

• “Smile grumpy head – no one wants to look at that puss” – A smile can warm most any situation. People want to work with others who are motivated, fun to be around and who make a warm impression. We all have worked with someone from hell – grumpy, never smiling, miserable and remember what you thought about that person? Wear a smile – it competes the “outfit”.

• “Remember to say thank you” – The thank you at the end of the interview, phone call or even first contact is very important. After an interview, follow-up – not the next day of next week, but the day of your interview and make it unique and personal like handwritten note mailed by snail mail.

• “Keep it up and I’ll whack you with this frying pan” – I know, not socially acceptable. But at times in life, we do need a whack to get out of a funk or kicked into action. That extra jolt of motivation or fear. That offhanded comment from someone you love to tell you to get off your butt or out of the fog and move forward. It works.

Lessons from life learned in the kitchen or on the street can define your life. Remember what you learned; put it in practice and soar.

And thank you for reading this. - Dan

Dan Moran
President & Founder
Career Management & Transition Specialists
Celebrating 24 years providing career management services in 2012!
125 Wolf Road, Suite #128
Albany, NY 12205
Office: 518-261-4212
Cell: 518-641-8968
eFax: 586-279-4212

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