Monday, November 26, 2018

How to Get the Job of Your Dreams

Once you figure out what your dream is, you shouldn't let anything stop you from reaching that goal. Here are some tips from Inc. to help you get the job of your dreams:

1. Find the company you want to work for.
Obvious, right? Not really. Many job seekers respond to as many job postings as possible, hoping the numbers will be on their side.
But shotgun resume submissions result in hiring managers sifting through dozens of candidates to find the right person. (Good luck emerging from that particular pile.)
To show the hiring manager you are the right candidate, you have to do the work. Instead of shot-gunning your resume, put in the time to determine a company you definitely want to work for -- both in terms of the job and cultural fit.
2. Really know the company.
Pretend I'm the hiring manager. "I would love to work for you," you say. What I actually hear is, "I would love for you to pay me."
You can't possibly know if you want to work for my company unless you know a lot about my company; that's the difference between just wanting a job and wanting an actual role in a business.
Talk to friends, relatives, vendors, customers... anyone you can find. Check out management and employees on social media. When you know the people, you know the company. Learn as much as you can, then leverage that knowledge.
3. Determine how you will make an immediate impact in the role.
Many companies see training as a necessary evil. Training takes time, money, effort, all of which are in short supply. An ideal new hire can be productive immediately.
While you don't need to be able to do everything required in the job, it helps if the company can see an immediate return on their hiring investment. (Remember, hiring you is an investment that needs to generate a return.)
Identify one or two important things you can contribute from day one.
4. Don't just tell. Show.
Put what you can offer on display. If you're a programmer, mock up a new application. If you want a sales position, create a plan for how you'll target a new market or customer base, or describe how you will implement marketing strategies the business doesn't currently use.
A tell and show is your chance to prove you know the company and what you can offer. Your initiative will be impressive and you'll go a long way toward overcoming concerns that you're all hat and no cattle.
Is it fair you're doing a little work on spec? Should you have to create a mockup or plan to get the job? Probably not, but doing so will set you apart.
Never let "fair" -- when the only person "disadvantaged" is you -- get in the way of achieving your goals.
5. Use a referral as a reinforcement.
Business is all about relationships. We've all made bad hiring decisions, so a referral from someone we trust is like gold.
You may have to dig deep into your network or even forge new connections, but the effort will be worth it.
Knowing that someone we trust is willing to vouch for you is a data point that often tips the decision scale toward giving you an interview, and even giving you the job.
6. Be the one who knocks.
Yep: Channel your inner Walter White.
Don't wait to be called for an interview. Don't even wait for an opening to be posted; after all, you've identified ways you can immediately help the company you want to work for. Wrangle an introduction, meet with someone who can actually influence the hiring decision, and pitch away.
Think it won't work? It will -- as long as you show the person you contact how they will also benefit. Say, "I really want to work for your company. I know you're in charge of social-media marketing and I've developed a data-driven way to analyze activities, ROI, brand awareness, I'd love to take you to lunch and show you. If you hate my ideas, at least you got a free lunch. If you love them, you learned something. What do you have to lose?"
A friend of mine who runs a tech company has hired four people who approached him in a similar fashion. He's a go-getter; he loves hiring go-getters. And he loves when they find him.
Just make sure you go straight to describing how the company will benefit from hiring you. Say, "Your website is good, and I can make it even better. Here are changes I will make in the first month, and here is how those changes will improve conversions and SEO results. And here's a mockup I created of a new site design."
Approach people right and they will pay attention -- especially entrepreneurs and small-business owners. I don't know any smart people who won't drop everything to learn how to improve their business.
7. Assert yourself.
Many people are poor interviewers. That's especially true of small-business owners; many are terrible interviewers. (As a friend of mine says, "I don't work in HR. I run a business.")
So be direct and to the point. Explain what you can do. Describe your background. Don't talk about what the job will mean to you; talk about how the company will benefit from hiring you. Show you know working for their company is different (every company thinks they're different) and how you're excited by the challenge. Sell yourself: use what you know about the company and how you will make an impact to back up your pitch.
8. Ask for the job.
Most people don't mind being closed. Plus, a decision put off until tomorrow is a decision added to the to-do list; no one wants more on their plate.
If you truly know you want the job -- and by this point, you should -- ask for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Who knows: if you've worked hard to truly set yourself apart, you might get hired on the spot.
I liked when people asked for the job. Most hiring managers do. Who doesn't love initiative and drive?

Monday, November 12, 2018

Moving Forward From Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, some bigger than others. More important than the mistake itself is how you move forward after a setback. Check out these tips straight from Inc. to learn how to get back on track after any mistake:

1. Take full responsibility.

The only way to claim power in a difficult situation is to take full responsibility for the outcome you are experiencing. This is not to blame yourself, as many of us have that 20-20 hindsight, but to take a good critical (not criticizing) look as to how it happened and how you can be proactive in moving forward. Blaming others only makes you feel less in control and more anxious about taking another risk.

2. Find the gold.

In every setback there is an opportunity or what I call "the gold" that will bring you more success through self-awareness and experience. There is something you needed to learn in order to get to the next level of your business. For every business owner the gold is different.

Often business owners will discover that a financial setback reveals a pattern of over-giving or undercharging which would have gone unnoticed if a cash flow crisis did not occur. Sometimes the gold is in changing strategy and other times the setback is about the personal growth of the business owner.

3. Reset your vision.

When a slowdown or failure occurs, it is an excellent time to revisit your goals and reset your vision. Failure is not a period but a comma. When you are going at rapid speed, you can get off track and the failure gives you that comma, the pause, to re-evaluate your vision and what you are trying to accomplish.

For example, our business was running on autopilot for years. We had the same lead generation and sales funnel, and it worked effortlessly. Over the past few years there has been a change in technology and the old sales process was not as effective. We, as owners, were changing and growing but our business was still running on old ideas and sales started to slow down. This was the perfect opportunity for us to look at who our target market was and where we wanted to go long-term. We realized how we needed this slow down to stop and reset our vision.

4. Celebrate small wins.

The best way to regain momentum is by creating small wins for yourself. The key to controlling the win is to be non-attached to the result of your action. Celebrate your actions as a success in themselves.

In other words, face difficulties in your business with non-judgment. Avoid thinking of setbacks as losing or failing and you will not be emotionally-tied to the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship. When you can take advantage of the down times you can emerge even stronger and create a legacy that lasts.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Worlco's Guide to Phone Interviews

Phone interviews can be very stressful. Without the benefit of seeing your interviewer in person, it can be hard to pick up on body language or social cues. Even worse, some people neglect to take phone interviews seriously and pick up the phone completely unprepared. Below is Worlco’s list of phone interview tips!

  • Pay attention to enunciation and tone- Say each word separately, paying attention to your tone of voice. Assume off the bat that the phone service will not be perfect, leaving you to work extra hard to have each word heard.
  • Speak slowly- Have you ever been on the phone with a friend as they rushed through a story, merging words together and mumbling to the point that you had no clue what they just told you? Don’t make that mistake!
  • Refer to your resume and the job description- One positive of phone interviews is that you can keep your interview and the company’s website/ job description in front of you the entire time. Check your notes often to make sure every answer is perfect.
  • Prepare the same way you would for an in-person interview- Just because the interview is on the phone doesn’t mean it’s any less serious! Practice in advance and study up on the company. The day of your call wake up early and dress in your go-to interview outfit, so you can feel as ready as possible.
  • Say thank you and follow up- Just like you should prepare for a phone interview the same way as an in-person meeting, you should follow typical interview protocol after. Thank your interviewer for their time at the end of your call and be sure to send a thank you note.

  •  Take long breaks between words or sentences- Long pauses will have your interviewer checking their reception or wondering if you’re confused by their question. Pauses over the phone don’t feel as natural as they might in person!  
  • Take the call in public or a noisy area- The last thing you need during your phone interview is a distraction! Take the call at home in a private room where your family or roommates know not to disturb you.
  •  Put the phone on speaker- While it might be nice to have your hands free during your call, having your phone on speaker may produce a loud feedback or echo. Use headphones with a speaker if you’ll feel more comfortable not holding your phone.
  •  Cut your interviewer off- Without body language or other cues it can be hard to tell when your interviewer is finished speaking. While you don’t want to wait too long to answer a question, you should allow at least one full second after your interviewer has finished a question to make sure they’re done speaking.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Are Bad Hires Draining Your Company?

According to an article posted by Inc., only one out of five new employees are successful. Bad new hires can lead to lasting problems for companies, more than just a waste of money and drain in morale. If your company is having a problem with bad hires, be sure to reach out to Worlco Computer Resources so we can help you get your team back on track! 

 Here are Inc.’s tips to help your company stay motivated after a bad employee joins the team:

1. Have a continuous hiring strategy in place.

The costs of a bad hire add up quickly--including training and salary costs, as well as costs associated with other employees picking up a bad employee's slack. According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, the costs of a bad hire can add up to 30 percent of the hire's annual salary.
In some cases, you might keep a bad hire on board to stay fully staffed--only to finally hire someone when it's gotten out of hand. Doing so can have a negative impact on your team's productivity and profitability.
To avoid keeping bad hires on your team for long, have a strategy in place to continuously hire--especially for roles you know will open up throughout the year. It'll help you quickly replace bad hires and build a network of talent to staff up as your team grows.
Keep jobs posted on your career site--even if you don't have an immediate opening. If a strong candidate comes along, you can offer an informational interview. If the interview goes well, you might even decide to hire the candidate before you have an immediate need. If not, you'll have a pool of talent to tap into when you need to make an urgent hire--like when you let go of a bad hire or suddenly experience business growth.

2. Rethink your hiring process.

If you notice your team has made several bad hires in recent memory, it's likely time to rethink your hiring process. Many businesses make the mistake of hiring employees too quickly to fill open roles. Hiring the right employee is much more important than simply filling a seat.
Rather than simply manually reviewing applicants and completing one or two interviews, your hiring process should include several verification steps to determine whether or not each candidate is truly a fit for your team. For example, you can use prescreen surveys to gauge whether or not candidates meet the requirements for the role before you even move forward with an interview.
Other verification steps, such as reference and background checks, can help your team feel even more confident in the candidate before extending an offer. That'll ultimately decrease your risk of making another bad hire.

3. Check in with your team.

Check in with your employees following a bad hire. Individual team members often end up getting overworked due to a bad hire who isn't performing, or even mistreated by a bad hire who isn't a culture fit for your team.
Ask your managers to reach out to employees about any challenges they've faced with the bad hire. Collect feedback about what the company can do to ensure the rest of the team continues to be excited to do great work. Doing so will make everyone feel valued and motivated.
Bad hires pose a risk for throwing any team off track. With the right strategy in place, you can ensure your team remains productive.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Increasing Productivity- Jeff Bezos Style

It’s no secret that Amazon is a giant success… But how did Jeff Bezos manage to grow the company to where it is today? As the world’s richest person and CEO of Amazon, he has had his share of success. Bezos gave some insight into his business tactics recently when he disclosed his three key productivity tips. While we may not all reach Bezos’ level of success, we can all apply these tips to further advancement in our own careers.  

 1. He gets plenty of sleep. Studies have shown for years that good sleep "helps us to think clearly, remember information, and make decisions," according to The National Sleep Foundation. "When we don't get enough quality sleep, it impairs our 'executive function'--a set of abilities we need to do well in school, at work, and in all realms of daily life."
Bezos is a believer. He goes to bed early and makes sure he gets eight hours of sleep. "I think better, I have more energy, my mood's better," he said.
2. He doesn't schedule meetings before 10 a.m. Unlike high-powered executives who start at dawn, Bezos says he likes to "putter" in the morning--reading the newspaper, drinking a cup of coffee and eating breakfast with his children.
That may seem like wasting time, but Bezos is actually gearing up for the day. As Laura Vanderkam writes in Fast Company, too many morning meetings can be viewed as an opportunity cost--yes, you've checked that meeting off your list, but you could be using your time for more productive work. "Researchers with Johnson & Johnson that measured people's energy levels throughout the day found we hit our peak right at 8 a.m.," explains Vanderkam. "That is game time. We are ready to execute. But an 8 a.m. meeting supplants a time you would have been motivated to start something big."
For Bezos, the strategy is to schedule "high IQ" meetings starting at 10 a.m. and ending at lunch.
3. He makes just a few decisions a day. As a senior executive, Bezos says that his primary job is to make a small number of high-quality decisions. "If I have three good decisions a day, that's enough," he said. "They should just be as high quality as I can make them."
That doesn't mean that Bezos makes decisions slowly. In fact, as he wrote in his 2017 letter to shareholders, Bezos believes that for a company to maintain the energy and dynamism of a start-up, "you have to somehow make high-quality, high-velocity decisions. Easy for start-ups and very challenging for large organizations. The senior team at Amazon is determined to keep our decision-making velocity high. Speed matters in business--plus a high-velocity decision making environment is more fun, too."
So Bezos works to make a few crucial decisions that will keep Amazon--and his other ventures--moving ahead. "Even though Amazon is a large company, I want it to have the heart and spirit of a small one," he said.

Monday, September 10, 2018

"Per my last email..." And Other Phrases to Never Use

Have you ever received a reply to an email asking you to clarify a detail you explained in your original email? Or maybe you've been stuck waiting for a reply to a time sensitive email? While it may be all too easy to reply to these emails with passive aggressive comments such as “per my last email” or "did you receive my email?", it’s important to take a step back- after all, you’ve probably been guilty of the same behavior in the past. Check out Inc’s guide to improving your emotional intelligence- and patience- below:

1. Your cold email was totally impersonal and irrelevant.
You may be in a position in which you have to cold email people for work. That's fine. But make sure the emails you send are really compelling and captivating. Otherwise, you can expect to get a lot of radio silence -- which is a loud and clear message the recipients aren't interested.
Remember, from important work emails to spam-y marketing emails, the email bombardment never stops. Your recipients can't reply to every single one. So make sure to personalize your email. Sending the same blanket email to 100 people is a sure-fire way to get ignored.
Oh, and a super-duper important tip: Triple check the recipient's name before hitting Send. Yes, I definitely saw your last email. But you didn't just spell my name wrong. You used someone else's name entirely because you're copying and pasting the same message to 100 people. If you didn't take the time to get my name right, why should I take the time to reply? Ignore.

2. You're being passive aggressive.
"Not sure if you saw my last email" is the digital version of the passive-aggressive note posted above the break room sink about washing your dirty dishes.
Yes, they probably saw it. Reminding them of it is not going to make the situation any better. Take a page out of Mark Cuban's book and just get to the point. Keep the email brief and tell them what you need and why. For example, if you're waiting on them for a decision and you have a deadline, let the person know. Don't expect them to be a mind reader.

3. You're potentially being disrespectful of your recipient's time.
How long has your email been sitting in this person's inbox? A day? Maybe two? Remember, not every email demands an instant reply. So following up 24 hours later to ask if they got your last email might not be necessary. Give them a chance to reply first!
And on that note of respecting people's time, was the request in your last email clear? If you're prone to writing emails several paragraphs long, that could be part of the problem. People might be ignoring your emails because they don't have the energy or time to wade through the epic novels you send.
And while you may be writing your emails on your computer, it's likely that people are checking them on their phone. The Adobe survey found that more employees are checking emails on their smartphones compared with last year.
Your long-winded emails feel even longer on a tiny screen. Reread your emails before sending and see if you can slim them down.

4. Email might not be the right medium.
If this is someone you work closely with but can never seem to get a reply, consider a different medium. Maybe this isn't the ideal way to get in front of this person. Consider that they might be overwhelmed by their inbox. It's entirely possible they didn't see your last email because there are hundreds of others demanding their attention.
Perhaps scheduling a regular one-on-one meeting with this person every week could be more productive. Even if it's just for 30 minutes, you can quickly run through all your requests when you have their undivided attention.
Don't beat yourself up too much if you've recently used this phrase. "Not sure if you saw my last email" is simply a symptom that we all send -- and receive -- too much email! But you still want to stay on people's good sides. So it's wise to try to phase it out and improve how you craft your emails.

Monday, August 27, 2018

How to Initiate A Career Change

According to an article posted by Inc., only 14% of workers think they have the "perfect job". If you find yourself in the 86% who is unsatisfied with your career, it might be time for a change. Follow the below steps to start your transition into an employment opportunity that will finally allow you to enjoy going to work.

1. Assess your funds.

If you don't know what career lane you are moving to next, do know that the journey to figuring this out will take some time. Consider what your finances will look like if you ever find yourself with unstable employment options. Some experts say that you should have at least six months' salary socked away for a rainy day.

2. Get back into learning.
Maybe your current position doesn't challenge you. If this is true, it has probably been some time since the last time you learned new things and expanded your skill set. Practice learning again by taking a class or getting started on a new hobby. Your new career will likely require that you learn a lot on the job.

3. Do your research.

Study up on the positions that look attractive to you, don't just daydream about them. Figure out what you want and what you don't want. The more information you can acquire, the better decisions you can make about where you want to go professionally.

4. Don't stop networking.

Make new connections in different industries, join professional organizations, and realize that even a simple coffee meeting can bring you more than just insight into someone else's professional life -- it could even bring you a job.

5. Open your mind.

Seek out new experiences, spend time with different types of people, and consider new resources, like hiring a life coach. You want forward movement, not inertia, and new people and experiences will get you to where you need to be.

6. Look for "better."

Finding the "perfect" job after switching out of an old one will be near impossible. In fact, eliminate the idea of perfection completely -- it will be more productive to simply identify what characteristics of a new job will be better than what you do currently.

7. Have the right mindset.

Although your current position may need a change, don't let past negative experiences affect how you approach future opportunities.

8. Remember to take your time.

Don't rush into the first position you find. After all, you wouldn't want to fall into another job that you really don't like. And remember: rejection, although demoralizing, is just part of your journey. Enjoy the ride to your new career.