Posts Tagged With: corporate life

On catching the red dot

So I’ve been covering for a vacant position for a while now and recently was given permission to post the job (yay!) and the autonomy to make my own decisions (double yay!).

Let the games begin!

But before I start let me say that I’ve interviewed for many jobs in my life.  I’ve won my share and lost just as many. Looking back, there were roles I wasn’t ready for, others someone (Divinely) guided me away from, and still more where I just wasn’t the one.

In 1989, before an interview for my very first *big* corporate break, I spent the afternoon at the library researching the corporation and discovered they were breaking ground on a multi-billion dollar plant in Saudi Arabia.  During the interview, when asked what I knew about their company,  I spoke in general terms but also referenced that project.  I saw the HR Director’s eyebrow shoot up and a smile cross her face.  And in that moment I knew I had it; I started soon after and stayed (and grew) for 12 years.

  • Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help a hiring manager see you as their solution.

9 years ago when a Territory Manager announced her retirement, I asked to be considered.  No I’d never been a manager but I was doing similar work and knew the processes & department inside out.  I was able to articulate to the powers-that-be that they’d be wise to choose me – and they did.

  • Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help a hiring manager see you as their solution.

4 years ago I applied for and won the position I’m in today, leading the Department.   I endured 4 grueling interviews but I knew, just like that first *real* opportunity, that this job was mine.  I knew there was no one more qualified: it was on me to convince them of that.  I prepared my list of accomplishments, practiced questions and answers with Hubbs, read up on my list of awards, best practices and process improvements.  I was ready. I brought my A-game and trounced the competition.

  •  Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help the hiring manager see you as their solution.

So now, when I find myself on the other side of the interview table, I can’t help it, I look for candidates who prepare like I would.

I look for people with passion for the work, not just a way out of what they’re doing now.

I look for someone who can see themselves in the job and help me see them as part of my team.

So here’s what actually happened, in no particular order:

  • A woman wrote a compelling cover letter detailing the reasons why she’d be a great fit.   Except she cited the wrong job.  Oy.
  • Two (men) tried to cut to the front of the line by emailing or calling me directly for an interview, ignoring HR protocol.  Not cool, back in line you go, and, by the way, neither made it past “go.”
  • One person never bothered to read the job description ~ during a phone screening he admitted that the part of the state this job covers is the part “he hates.”   Yeah, we’re done.
  • Another (man) winked at me at the close of an in-person interview.  Lysol, please.
so awesome

Don’t be this guy

~ Sigh~

People are fascinating and the things they’ll tell you in an interview (or anywhere) are astounding.

Example:

  • Question: This position manages many deadlines and details ~ describe for me what tools or tips you use to stay on top of multiple projects.
  • Answer: “I’m not a detail guy and I’m not very good at managing deadlines either.”
  • My thoughts:  Dude!

Another example:

  • Question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Answer: Well I plan to move south next summer so I’m hoping you guys have something down there I can transfer to!!
  • My thoughts: Holy hell my head hurts.

There was one exception however.

She arrived early, calm and well-spoken.

She had a pleasantness about her, confidence without bravado.

She listened.

She articulated relevant experiences.

She asked good questions; she’d done her homework.

She connected the dots.

I am not indecisive: When I meet someone with passion and potential, I know it.

It wasn’t long before an offer was extended and thankfully accepted.

caught the red dot

 

** How about you?  Have you been on the other side of the interview table?  How do you prepare? What do you look for?  Do you know a dot catcher when you meet one?**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Joy, Life, Politics, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The sounds of sadness

“..anyone who’s ever lost their temper knows that anger is often just a louder form of sadness.”
~ Sydney Levin Senior Homepage Editor, AOL.com

I’ve been pondering on all that we learn about life via the wonderful world of business, especially as I watch our youngest navigate college course selections for his fall semester.  He has no idea what he wants to do, career-wise (who does at 18?).  He’s venturing in slowly, taking a few classes and working. And I’m fine with that.   If it takes him longer, so be it. I don’t care.  I’d rather he wade in and embrace the current on his legs than jump off the deep end and drown.

We were discussing different class choices today and one that jumped out at me was “Business ethics.”  This course focuses on office culture, confidentiality, diversity, communications etiquette, dining etiquette, dress code and sexual harassment.

Wow, how could I have benefited from such a course in my tender years.

You see, like most of us, I took the usual “pre requisites” and later, coursework that was specific to my degree. I could have used a class that taught me what to do when someone put me down, discounted my input, or stared at my chest too long.  I could have used the practice to learn how to deal with men who leered and women who back-stabbed.

But, like most of us, that wasn’t an option. I learned the hard way.  I learned to laugh off someone’s stupid  comments and leering eyes.  I learned, over time, to speak up and make it clear when their jokes weren’t funny.

I think back to when I was working as an executive administrator for a global corporation.  Most employees were well-behaved, polite and extremely dedicated.   But there were always those few executives, all men, who took their positions of power just a bit too far.  They enjoyed their status and expected others to grovel. Many did. I wouldn’t.  There was the aged goat who spoke condescendingly to us about “never fishing off the company dock” and then went on to marry his secretary, 25 years his junior, 3 months later.  I recall the time that one suggested that all we (admin staff) were good for was “prettying up the outer offices and making sure their homes were managed.”  My gasp gave me away.  I remember his beady eyes boring down on me and feeling the dread that washed over me like a summer’s rain.  He turned and, in front of a room full of colleagues, asked, “Did you have something to add?”  And I did.

I unleashed a hornet’s nest of commentary, spewing years of pent-up frustration at that greasy little twerp.  I related what it felt like to be discounted and how rude it was of him and his cronies to treat us all like second class citizens.  I wish I could tell you everything I said, but I can’t.  What I do remember is that others in the room faded from my vision as my focus became his sweaty face.  I watched him chew his bottom lip as the color drained from his cheeks and his knuckles gripped the table.

Unlike a Julia Roberts movie, it was not my finest moment.

There was no applause, only stunned silence as I made a quick exit.

Oh I was mad and, some might say, justifiably so.

But, in the process, I lost control and ultimately … I lost ground.

It was an important life lesson:  I had to learn how to be heard without losing myself along the way.

He never heard a word I said and, looking back, I can’t say I’m surprised.

But I did.

I heard it.

And I learned from it.

And that’s why the kid is now signed up for “Business Ethics 101.”

 * * *

And you? Have you ever lost your cool in a corporate environment?  What did you learn from it?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, fear, Growth, Life, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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Happily After Retirement

- Loving where I am right now!

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...