I’ve been giving some advice to a mate recently about getting a job. He had some good referrals into senior people at a business he’d love to work, so he was after some pointers on how to make the first approach. After I told him what to say word for word (in fact I even wrote it for him), he kept coming back to me with stalling questions like, "what if he doesn’t get back to me? Should I change my LinkedIn profile? Should I change my email signature?"
Do you hate setting goals? Does the thought of past goals unachieved make you feel like a failure? You’re not alone, in every team I’ve ever managed I’ve been big on goal setting and have had push back time after time from people who hate goals. In fact, up until just recently I’ve been pushing the JobAdvisor team to be good goal setters. Then I had a conversation that shifted my perspective.
Here I am, in a blink of an eye my first month at JobAdvisor is almost done. And so what better time to reflect on a very important topic: How to approach your first few weeks and months in a new company! Luckily, after some wisdom imparted from a former colleague, I had stopped to give it a bit of thought before I started. (Rather than taking my usual approach of diving in head-first). Nonetheless, I thought I better look at what the experts had to say.
Recently I wrote about how to Make Sure Your Meetings Don't Suck and as one reader rightly pointed out, one of the most important things to do is make sure people show up to your meetings on time. We all hate people showing up late for our meetings. It drags the meeting out for everyone else, the interruption makes you lose your flow, you need to re-explain everything all over again, and probably what’s most infuriating is the arrogance of the latecomer thinking it’s completely acceptable making other busy people wait on them. But how do you actually get people to show up on time?
I've been lucky enough to work in a few companies in my career; both big and small, locally and overseas. Each of those companies has had their own pros and cons, each its own set of challenges and opportunities, and they’ve taught me a fair bit about what type of company I really enjoy being a part of. I started out small, then went big, and am now back small again.
After running an employer review website for a number of years, and having launched an internal employee feedback mobile app, one of the key things that comes up time and time again with the companies and employees we speak with is how much people hate meetings. Well, at least they hate meetings that are a waste of time. We’ve all had them, in fact I’ll be honest and say I’ve run a few of them! Those meetings where half the people have no idea why they’re there and the other half have their noses in their phones and laptops because, well… they’re too busy to listen to your drivel.
Sourcing top talent has always been tough. But you’ve probably noticed that it’s getting tougher. And you're not alone here. A study by Deloitte last year reported that 75% of companies globally are struggling to attract and recruit the people they need. Seventy-five per cent. Supply of talent simply cannot keep up with demand and as a result top performers are now more aspirational and demanding than ever before.
Someone asked me the other day, what’s my number one tip to accelerate your career and I said, “Focus on learning. Don’t worry about what you’re getting paid, worry about what you can learn and the money / promotion will take care of itself. To which they responded, “but what if I’m not learning anything new in my job, should I quit?”
Building your professional network is no easy task. It takes time, energy, commitment and above all, a genuine interest in the people that you are looking to connect with. For some people, starting professional relationships can be the hardest part of this formula, and the one thing you don’t want to be is cringeworthy in front of the people you are trying to impress.
I’ve written about time management a lot before but I’m ashamed to admit I don’t always take my own advice. Last week I had a moment of brutal honesty with myself which resulted in one simple change that has made a world of difference in my ability to get s*** done.