December 13, 2011
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December 12, 2011
Monster Global Poll: ”Ever Done Something Regrettable at an Office Party?”
A poll conducted by Monster shows that too much cheer can be dangerous at the office holiday party, as one person in ten admits to having either done something extremely regrettable and been fired because of it (four percent), or acted in a way that was somewhat regrettable and damaged their career/reputation (five percent). But nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all respondents say they have never done anything regrettable at an office party.
We asked site visitors, “Have you ever done something regrettable at an office party -- for example, consumed too much alcohol or spoken offensively to a colleague or superior?” and received 3,699 responses. Here are the United States results:
- Extremely regrettable: I’ve been fired for office-party behaviour: 4 percent
- Somewhat regrettable: I’ve damaged my career/reputation: 3 percent
- Mildly regrettable: I’ve been embarrassed for a few days: 10 percent
- No regrets: I’ve misbehaved, but with no ill effects: 14 percent
- I’ve never done anything regrettable at an office party: 69 percent
And here are the international results:
- Extremely regrettable: I’ve been fired for office-party behaviour: 4 percent
- Somewhat regrettable: I’ve damaged my career/reputation: 5 percent
- Mildly regrettable: I’ve been embarrassed for a few days: 14 percent
- No regrets: I’ve misbehaved, but with no ill effects: 14 percent
- I’ve never done anything regrettable at an office party: 63 percent
Overall, it seems as though Americans have fewer regrets, though the same number have been fired for office-party behavior: four percent. Among international respondents, U.K. residents appear most red in the face, with nine percent answering that they were extremely regretful about their behaviour at an office party; they were closely followed by respondents in Finland (seven percent) and the Netherlands (six percent). At the other end of the spectrum, only two percent of French respondents admitted to being fired because of regrettable behaviour.
Meanwhile, 15 percent of all European respondents answered that they have done something mildly regrettable, causing embarrassment for a few days, followed by Canada (12 percent) and the United States (10 percent). Further, nearly 14 percent of Europeans admitted to having misbehaved at an office party but felt no guilt and experienced no career repercussions, compared with 19 percent of respondents in Canada and 14 percent of respondents in the United States.
An overwhelming number of respondents in Italy (82 percent), France (80 percent), and Germany (75 percent) answered that they had never done anything regrettable at an office party.
“Workplace holiday parties are a great opportunity to build morale and camaraderie among work colleagues, but people should keep in mind that usual codes of professional conduct apply. It's a party, yes, but it's happening in a professional realm,” says Charles Purdy, Monster.com career expert. “I recommend that people attending workplace parties plan to limit alcohol intake, and that they look at the event as a chance to network and socialise with colleagues and managers that they don't otherwise have a lot of contact with. Look for opportunities to impress your peers -- not to distress them.”
For tips on how to behave at your office holiday party, read:
December 09, 2011
Monster Healthcare Virtual Career Fair
From December 13 to 15, Monster will be hosting a Healthcare Virtual Career Fair, created to help healthcare professionals connect in a new way with national and local healthcare providers and companies with positions to fill.
To participate, all you need is an Internet connection. You'll be able to interact online with exhibitors and attendees via written chat, webinars, and video chat; access information about open positions; exchange contact information; and schedule meetings with exhibitors and professionals.
The registration process takes less than five minutes, and gives you full access to the virtual fair.
How to Make the Most of a Virtual Career Fair
Set yourself up for success with these tips:
1. Make sure your resume is up-to-date. Because this is one of the first things that potential employers will see, it’s important proofread carefully and highlight your top accomplishments clearly.
Start your resume with a clear summary of your background and what you have to offer an employer. (For tips on crafting your resume, check out "Resume Tips for Healthcare Professionals.")
2. Research employers. You never want to enter a conversation with an employer without knowing a little bit its goals, its products, and its mission. After you register and see some of the participating employers, you can go to the company websites and do a bit of research. This is knowledge that will serve you well during the fair.
3. Set some career goals. You may think that telling an employer that you’re “open to any opportunities” will make you likelier to land a job. In fact, hiring managers want people who have specific skills, interests, and specialties.
Think about what your career goals are, so you can target your efforts (this is much more effective than scatter-shot applications).
4. Keep it professional.Even though this is an online event, dressing professionally and making sure you are in a professional-looking environment will boost your confidence (and you don't want to be in your pajamas when a hiring manager requests an impromptu video chat!).
Office Holiday Party Etiquette -- Monster Twitter Chat Edition
Work-related holiday events -- not everyone is a fan. In a 2010 survey, Monster.com asked people, "How do you feel about workplace holiday parties?" -- and 43 percent of respondents said that, at best, they only tolerated them. (A full 11 percent responded with a resounding "Bah, humbug!") And in a recent Monster.com poll, 17 percent of respondents said they'd done something "regrettable" at a workplace holiday party.
I think that a primary problem with workplace holiday parties is that they juxtapose two opposing mindsets: "work" and "party" -- it's very hard to do both at the same time. My advice? When balancing the two at an event that could affect your career, put "work" first. Doing so at your office holiday party (and other career related -- or potentially career-related -- events) can have real benefits. Also, it'll help prevent the disappointment that comes from thinking an office party is somehow going to be an outrageous good time.
And if you're looking for a job or actively looking to advance your career, the holiday season provides myriad opportunities for self-promotion and career networking -- if you're prepared and paying attention.
Do you have questions or comments about holiday networking, or other professional etiquette questions related to the holiday season? Join me for a live Twitter chat on December 15, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern / 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Pacific: the hashtag is #MWchat. You can also join the discussion on our Facebook page, or share your thoughts in the Comments section below. In the meantime, here are some basics:
For Your Office Holiday Party
1. When attending holiday events at your workplace, limit alcohol intake. You want to be able to make a good impression -- save "letting loose" for when you're with friends and family.
2. Pay attention to the time you arrive and when you leave. Even if you don't really want to attend, avoid arriving 20 minutes before the end just to make an appearance. On the flip side, don't party into the wee hours either. Coworkers and managers will notice both errors in judgment.
3. Your company party may be the only time you see high-level executives, or managers from other departments, in person. Take advantage of this. At the very least, don't spend the entire evening with your regular office chums -- get in the holiday spirit and mingle with people from other departments. Plan in advance to discuss issues related to your industry and your company, but be aware of others' efforts to steer the conversation away from "shop talk."
4. Dress professionally -- don't undo years of professional behavior with a silly or overtly sexy outfit.
(Get more tips in "Office Holiday Party Etiquette.")
For Professional Networking Events
1. Set networking goals for events. Before you go, think about whom you want to meet and what you might be able to talk about.
2. Make sure you've planned and practiced your elevator speech, and prepare for conversations by making sure you're up-to-date on news and events in your industry.
3. Conversations should be focused on the person you're speaking with, not you and your job search -- that can come later, after trust has been built. When you meet someone new, start by asking questions -- and really listening to the answers.
4. Bring business cards, not resumes. The goal of networking events is to build rapport -- it's not the place to make a hard sell for a particular job. Share business cards, follow up with a friendly note after the holidays, and connect via professional networks such as Monster's BeKnown.
(Get more advice in "Networking Tips for the Holidays.")
For Social and Family Events
1. If you're unemployed and looking for work, take some stress out of the question "How's your job search going?" -- by planning ahead to answer in a positive way. Talk about what you've been working on to advance your career or skills, and any good leads you have.
2. Keep an open mind and don't be shy about discussing your career goals. A good professional network has lots of different types of people in it, so don't assume that someone has nothing to offer you professionally.
(For more tips, read "How to Turn a Stranger into a Network Contact.")
Don't forget: Join me for a live Twitter chat on December 15, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern / 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Pacific: the hashtag is #MWchat.
December 08, 2011
Holiday Parties: How to Make an Impression to Help Your Career
By Vickie Elmer for Glassdoor.com
Holiday parties may seem like a time to kick back and enjoy -- and yet they also may be the best opportunities all winter to grow your network and add a little warmth to those who have helped you out, or may do so in the year ahead.
After all, there are plenty of holiday celebrations and fundraisers where you can build connections, whether it’s a group of neighbors at a cookie exchange, a professional association holiday happening or your company’s party or potluck. Every social event brings opportunities to connect -– and those connections, carefully nurtured, could lead to career or other opportunities later on.
You want to create a bond and build trust, paving the way for further contact later, said Nancy Karas, a Five O’Clock Club senior career coach who also has worked as a human resources executive. Here’s her advice on how to do that before and during the holiday parties:
Seek out the stars and shakers. Take time ahead of the event to create a list of people with whom you’d like to connect. Try to get a list of attendees. Come up with at least four people – and then be glad if you get to spend time with half of them, she said. When you’re at your professional association party, maybe you want to meet the president or president elect of the organization. Look up the head of a committee you’d like to join, or someone you’ve emailed often about industry news, or the head of a division of your company where you’d like to work. Karas chooses people who are happy and confident, or those who may be able to assist her in achieving her goals.
Do some due diligence ahead of time. Once you have targeted a handful of people, read up on each of them. Make note of what charities they support and what hobbies or sidelines they have. Find out about their personal interests as well as their professional path. “Find a common bond, a common denominator and use it to connect with that person,” she said. It could be a charity or children the same age or a shared passion for freshwater fishing.
Prepare a two-minute pitch. Create a concise statement that focuses on who you are, what you’ve done, and what your career goals or aspirations are. Then practice it so you sound polished and professional “so that you can do a good job presenting yourself in the way you want to be seen.” You may not use it at every event, but when someone important asks about you and your professional expertise, you are prepared to share your accomplishments and talk about yourself a bit.
Consider how you could help. Watch for opportunities to connect the executive with someone you know, or with a cause that may appeal to them. Or see if you could network on their behalf or send them an article you just read about a country the executive will visit with her family over spring break. “Everybody needs something in business and in life,” said Karas.
Come in projecting confidence, professionalism and warmth. You want to be seen as cordial and smart, not overly pushy. Do not pitch yourself for a job opening or pass out resumes or brochures for your consulting company. If you want to give the person your business card, wait until the end of the conversation when you’re moving on to hand it over, so it feels more like a farewell and hope we can connect again gesture. “The goal is to build a relationship and open the door now,” said Karas. “Make that connection; have a really meaningful conversation.”
“If you look like you’re on a mission to network, you’ve also scared people away, she said. “It’s a holiday party -- come on festive, relaxed, warm and happy.”
She suggests you limit conversations that are unproductive and avoid drinking anything alcoholic. Pick up a sparkling water with lemon instead. That way you are the person who makes a positive impression, not the one people are gossiping about the day after the party.
For more seasonal career and job-search tips, visit Monster's Guide to Office Holiday Parties and Gift Giving.
Guest blogger Vickie Elmer regularly contributes articles on careers and small business to the Washington Post. She has collected a slew of journalism awards, large and small. Her career and workplace articles also have appeared in Fortune, Parents, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, the Financial Times, the Chicago Tribune, Newsday and many more.
December 06, 2011
Creating Credibility: Ten Tips for the Workplace
Words have to match actions. In addition to meeting your deadlines and hitting all your goals, it's vital to establish trust in your word -- to build your credibility. In both verbal and written communications, including everything that you publish through social media, a lack of trust will lower your credibility. And once you’ve lost it, it’s all but impossible to win back.
No matter where you are in your career, follow these rules to establish and maintain your credibility.
Show Concern. People will care about you, and more importantly trust you, when you care about them. People want to know that they have a sympathetic ear in you. Even companies in reputational crisis mode know the first reaction must be to show sincere concern over individuals in question.
Demonstrate Cooperation with Good Intentions. To be credible, you must demonstrate that you are acting in good faith to the best of your knowledge and ability. People must believe that you want to cooperate to help them achieve their personal and career goals. They will forgive you for poor judgment, but they will rarely forgive you for poor intentions.
Admit What You Don’t Know. When people smell blood, they start to dig. It’s human instinct to push when they feel they are being bluffed, especially when you’re trying to gloss over spotty patches in knowledge, memory, experience, or something else. Admitting ignorance is a simple principle -- easy to remember and easy to accomplish -- but can be a difficult pill to swallow. Nothing makes people believe in what you do know like admitting what you don’t.
(For tips on public speaking, read "Confront Your Fears and Communicate.")
Be Complete. Are you telling all you know? You need to recognize the difference between lies, half-truths, omissions, and cover-ups. True but incomplete statements can lead to false conclusions; literal truth, when offered without complete explanations, can lead to literal lies. Knowing smiles accompanied by long silences can elicit wrong conclusions. Lying happens in numerous ways. Intentions stand center stage here. Ultimately, questionable intentions cast doubt on character.
Stay Current. Give up outdated data, opinions, and stereotypes. Given today’s information overload, data more than two or three years old can’t support your decisions. Correct but outdated statistics soon become incorrect.
Be Clear. Sometimes the better we understand something, the worse we are at explaining it; our familiarity makes us careless in describing it. It’s difficult to remember a time when we didn’t know something that has become second nature to us. Ambiguity creeps in when we least expect it. Meanings depend on context, tone, timing, personal experience, and reference points. The best test of clarity is the result you see.
Keep Confidences. What happens when a boss or confidante tells you, “This information is not to leave the room,” and it instantly does? And you’re the carrier pigeon? When people know you break confidences -- that you share personal, confidential matters -- they fear you. Breaking confidences speaks volumes about your character. People who observe your ability to keep your promises and your confidences will begin to trust you with their real feelings.
Avoid Exaggeration. Did you wait on the phone for five seconds or five minutes? Did the supplier raise the rates by two percent or ten percent? Did the scores dip to 30 or to 10? Spinning a story can put you on a slippery slope. Exaggeration makes for great humor, but it's a credibility killer.
(For more tips on effective communication, read "The Listener Wins.")
Accept Responsibility. If you were involved in the decisions, actions, and results, or had some control over a situation that didn’t end the way others wanted it to, own up to it. Shirkers suffer credibility gaps.
Be Sincere and Genuine. People who pretend to be sincere can pitch an earnest plea, look at you with pleading eyes and a straight face, and promise the world. But genuineness comes from character and is therefore harder to generate on the spot. You either are or you aren’t. What you experience is what you share. What you value is what you give. What you say is what you believe.
Dianna Booher is the CEO of Booher Consultants, a communication training and consulting firm, and the author of the newly revised and expanded bestselling classic "Communicate with Confidence! How to Say it Right the First Time and Every Time!"
December 02, 2011
Monster Employment Index Rises 10% on an Annual Basis
The Monster Employment Index (MEI) -- a monthly review of millions of job opportunities posted on online job boards and corporate career sites in the United States -- showed strong hiring in November: The year-over-year growth trend from November 2010 was measured at 10 percent, with all metro markets tracked by the MEI showing positive annual growth. This is despite the slight decrease in activity measured monthly (a 2 percent decline from October), which is typical of seasonal patterns. Transportation and warehousing continued to be a top growth market, while retail slowed significantly afterits notable increase in October.
“The (MEI) continues to remain positive and in-line with typical mid-autumn recruitment trends recorded in recent years,” says Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster Worldwide. “While recruitment activity continues across a broad range of sectors, the current outlook on hiring as we approach 2012 remains cautious with continued business and economic uncertainty."
(For tips on continuing your job search's momentum, read "Keep Your Job Search Going Through the Holidays.")
This positive report came on the same day that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced a significant drop in the national unemployment rate: to 8.6 percent in November (with many analysts calling this a positive sign for continued growth -- ompared with a year ago, 1.878 million more people had payroll jobs in November -- while acknowledging that the labor market had shrunk in November).
Fifteen of the 20 industries monitored by the MEI showed positive annual growth trends:
• Transportation and Warehousing (up 31 percent) exhibited notable expansion in online recruitment, indicating an increase in commerce activity.
• Retail Trade (up 13 percent) and Manufacturing (up 16 percent) continued to register positive annual growth, albeit at an eased pace from the seasonal expansion recorded in October.
• Educational Services (down 9 percent) fell into negative growth with reduced opportunities across all levels, from elementary to university.
• Public Administration (down 21 percent) continued to record the steepest decline in November.
• Personal Care and Service (up 65 percent) recorded the highest growth in November.
• Computer and Mathematical (up 19 percent) saw continued demand for software engineers and network technicians.
• Protective Service (down 29 percent) continued to record the weakest long-term trend among occupations
To obtain a full copy of the Monster Employment Index U.S. report for October 2011, and to access current individual data charts for each of the 28 metro markets tracked, please visit http://about-monster.com/employment-index. Data for the month of December 2011 will be released on January 6, 2012.
December 01, 2011
Can Facebook Get You a Job?
At Monster, we believe that effectively using social media is an important part of the modern job search. So when bloggers and journalists pose the question "Can Facebook Get You a Job?" We say, "Sure, it can! That's part of the reason we created our award-winning Facebook application, BeKnown -- to help people use Facebook to advance their careers and create professional networks."
According to this very interesting infographic (below), from MBA Online, 16 percent of Americans say they found their current job via an online social network. That's up from 11 percent in 2010.
What this infographic points at but doesn't quite discuss is the fact that modern job search isn't limited to one platform or medium. You may find out about a job on Monster.com, research the company on social media, turn to a BeKnown contact to find an "in" at the company, and then prepare for your interview by visiting the company's career site -- or some other combination. Using all the tools available to you is important.
The information here points to the growing importance of Facebook in a job search. Make sure you're getting the most you can from Facebook today, with Monster's free professional networking app on Facebook, BeKnown.
Created by: MBA Online
Turn Your Seasonal Gig into a Full-Time Position
By Nancy Mann Jackson for Glassdoor.com
So you’ve landed a temporary seasonal job. But you’d like to stick around even after the holidays are over. While full-time positions may be few and far between when the holiday rush is over, you already have your foot in the door as a seasonal worker, so you’re one step ahead of the pack.
What else can you do to secure your place and turn your seasonal gig into a full-time position? Start with these tips:
- Communicate your desire to stay. Sometimes, supervisors don’t consider the possibility that a holiday worker may want to stay after the temporary gig is up, so make it clear that you’re interested. “Tell [your supervisor] verbally, without being a pest,” says Erin Peterson, recruitment outsourcing practice leader with Aon Hewitt, a global leader in human capital consulting and outsourcing solutions. “Or write him or her a concise but well worded note regarding how much you’ve enjoyed being on the holiday team and state your interest in remaining after the holidays.”
- Be proactive. Don’t just wait to see if your supervisor will ask you to stay; be on the lookout for job postings and apply for any open positions that may be a good fit for you, Peterson says. When the recruiter or hiring manager sees a familiar name (yours) among the pile of applicants, you may have a leg up.
- Behave like a full-time employee. Rather than operating as though you, as a temporary hire, have no stake in the company or its success, behave as though you’re in it for the long haul. “Show up on time, ready to work,” Peterson says. “Limit distractions such as texting and phone calls and focus on the task at hand. And engage with customers; it will be noticed.”
- Go the extra mile. If you really want to make a good impression, do all the things a good employee does, and then do a little more. “Volunteer for extra hours or tasks that no one else wants, such as inventory,” Peterson says. “Make improvement suggestions and implement them, if possible. Surprise customers with service they don’t expect.”
When demand for new workers extends beyond the holiday season, the temporary employees who are likely to be asked to continue are those whose work stands out as excellent and those who have let it be known that they are committed to being there long term if the opportunity arises. If you want to turn your holiday job into your real job, be one of those employees!
For more tips, read "From Seasonal to Permanent."
Guest blogger Nancy Mann Jackson is an award-winning journalist and corporate communicator who writes regularly about small business, parenting and workplace issues. She has written hundreds of articles for publications including Working Mother, CNNMoney.com, Entrepreneur.com, and MyBusiness.
November 30, 2011
Keep Your Job Search Going Through the Holidays
Most of us have a lot to do during the holidays. There are more social events, more family obligations, more errands and chores -- our calendars start to look pretty crowded. So it might be tempting to put your job search on pause. A lot of people assume that no one gets hired during the holidays -- so why bother looking?
But the fact is, no matter how busy your holiday schedule is, now is not the time to halt job-search activities. (In a recent article on MainStreet.com, "Why You Should Apply for Jobs Right Now," I mentioned some of the reasons why.) For one thing, although hiring may slow down a bit during the season, it by no means stops altogether: Comparing December 2010 to November 2010, the Monster Employment Index shows a slight dip in job posts on corporate career Web sites and job boards, including Monster.com -- about three percent. A percentage-point drop in the single digits shouldn't be overestimated -- the data certainly doesn't say, "Take a break from your job search."
In fact, organizations often find themselves in urgent hiring situations at the end of the year. For example, a manager may learn of a hiring freeze in the coming year and decide to fill a position before the gate closes, or, conversely, a forecast of an increased Q1 budget may cause a manager to add a new position to his or her team at the end of the year.
This December, Give Yourself the Gift of Career Success
Here are some tips for keeping your job search going through the holiday season:
1. Don't overlook temporary positions. A healthy portion of them become permanent -- and "holiday" jobs aren't just about retail positions. Plenty of companies have end-of-year crunch times and seek out extra help through temp agencies.
(For tips on getting a seasonal job, read "Get Hired for the Holidays.")
2. Use "down time" to spruce up your online presence. How long has it been since you updated your resume on Monster.com? Or added to your professional profile on BeKnown? Or wrote a blog post related to your industry? These are the kinds of maintenance activities that can slip to the bottom of our to-do lists during the rest of the year. If you're finding fewer jobs to apply for online, use this extra time to get your online profile in shape.
(For tips on maximizing your online presence, read "Build Your Brand.")
3. Seek out volunteer work. All sorts of philanthropic organizations ramp up activities during the holidays -- and volunteering can be a great way to network, gain skills and fill the gap that unemployment might otherwise leave on your resume. Plus, you'll meet other volunteers -- philanthropically minded and community-minded people who may be able to help you in your job search.
4. Make the most of networking opportunities. You don't want to make every conversation about your job search, but letting people know how they can help you is crucial. So have your "elevator pitch" -- who you are, what you want, and why -- ready and perfect. And try to keep things positive: for instance, when you tell people you're looking for work, also tell them how you've been productive with your time off.
The holidays are a great reason to reach out to friends and acquaintances, as well as to reconnect with professional contacts you may have fallen out of contact with. You can send a holiday greeting ("Happy New Year" is a safe sentiment if you don't know which holidays a contact celebrates) with some upbeat news about your job search and a note of gratitude for the help you've received throughout the past year. Make it personal (no one wants spam as a holiday gift).
And remember that the holidays are a time for giving. Find ways to help the people in your network, and they'll be likelier to help you in the future.
5. Recommit to your job search.
Start the year off right: Make an appointment with yourself to determine your goals for the coming year. Then schedule some time to update your resume, practice your interview skills and set some job-search goals.
For more advice, check out some related blog posts from friends of Monster: "5 Reasons to Step Up Your Job Search Over the Holidays" (from Resoomay) and "How to Job Search During the Holiday Season" (from Glassdoor).