For Better or Worse: How Being Impatient Affects Your Career

Patience is a virtue.” As most of us, you’ve likely heard this motto frequently throughout your life. Yet, while patience as a trait, is laudable, we are here to explore the various ways that this particular characteristic (and its polar opposite) can affect our career: for better or worse.

Alyse Kalish, writer and associate editor for The Muse, further researches this concept.

Effects of Impatience on Career - two people watching presentation

When Impatience Can Be Detrimental

Expecting results too quickly

An overly eager mindset can be detrimental if you’re expecting extreme results in a very short time-frame. Goals are important, but unrealistically high expectations can often result in disappointment. It’s important to remember that our most significant goals take time as well as a process of trial and error. Additionally, Kalish states that “[when] we’re impatient that something’s taking too long to get off the ground, or our careers are moving too [slowly], we never fully appreciate the small strides we make along the way”.

Reacting abruptly

When presenting coworkers and team leaders with information, it’s important to allow them enough time to process and respond accordingly. No one wants to be perceived as a “nag”, so be sure to wait a reasonable amount of time before following up.  As Kalish affirms, “In the day to day, being impatient in how you communicate will only lead people to ignore you or dislike working with you.”

Insisting on a promotion before you’re prepared

Kalish reminds employees that there are, unfortunately, certain realities of our careers that must be accepted. While we have all heard stories of a friend or colleague that received a promotion three to six months into a new job; remember this is the exception, not the norm. Kalish reiterates, “…for the most part, you shouldn’t expect a raise or promotion or some other big career opportunity before you’re truly ready for – and you’ve earned – it”.

When Impatience Can Be Helpful

You know a negative situation has dragged on too long

We are often acutely aware when something is taking much longer than it should. Perhaps you have addressed a less-than-ideal circumstance at work which was never properly resolved. Long-term issues that involve inefficiency, outdated systems or even unfair treatment will surely benefit from an increased sense of urgency. Kalish reminds readers that “…even if you can’t directly change them, you can often start productive conversations on ways to do things better”.

It leads you to take action and be helpful

If your impatience sparks you to get involved and proceed proactively, this can actually be a good thing. According to Kalish, “The people who spin their impatience into a positive thing do so by focusing on what they can do rather than what they need from others”. If you find yourself growing intolerant when a colleague seems to be lagging, consider what systems you can create — or what you can do on your own — that will help the job get done quicker.

You find ways of challenging yourself

Those who are willing to challenge to themselves are more likely to master their job duties and even take on more responsibilities at quicker rate. In this sense, as Kalish agrees, impatience can actually double as a sort of ambition. You may even find yourself learning new skills that allow you to resolve more issues on your own.

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In Conclusion

When channeled properly, a healthy sense of impatience can drive employees toward a more rewarding and successful career. Just remember how and when to draw the line between motivation and intolerance.

 

Fred Coon, CEO 

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200

 

 

 

3 Actions to Avoid When Working With Job Recruiters

Job seeking, whether at a higher career-progression level or the more common job hunt, is an old (and often tedious) hat for most of us. What used to entail sitting in appointment waiting rooms, going door-to-door from one business to the next, hand-delivering resumes and perusing the “Hiring” sections of local newspapers has evolved into scouring craigslist, Linkedin, Simplyhired, Monster and a half-dozen other mass-mill job-hunting websites. Face-to-face networking is still a powerful tool, but success typically calls for already knowing how to go about the process of attending local business networking meetings and presenting yourself both professionally and approachably.

Recruiting actions to avoid - professional woman in meeting

There is, however, another route one can pursue in addition to your own personal efforts. That is, of course, where job recruiters and agencies come into play. And there are several things that you should be aware of before considering working with them, many of which fall into either a pro side or a con side, although we will say right off there is an odd flow between the two. In other words, one can sometimes lead to the other.

General Overview

Recruiting companies have one goal: to find and fill positions for their client. Their primary client, however, is in most all cases not you (the job seeker) but the companies seeking talent to fill positions in their employee chain. The flip-side of this – the one that you can utilize to your advantage – is the fact that recruiters deal with the companies (specifically the hiring departmental personnel) which you most want to be noticed by. This is the key point to remember in dealing with recruiters and why they are worth engaging in the first place: They possess the connections and relationships vital to getting noticed. It is with this fact firmly in mind that we go into the following section of Do’s, Don’ts, and contextual Maybe’s.

Forest for the Leaves

As with the cultivation of any relationship, especially a professional one, there are certain fundamental ground rules that, if crossed, can sour what may have been rewarding soil. Some of these are essentially boiled down to very common sense ways of interacting decently with other human beings, while others are highly specific to evolving business cultures, which can vary widely between industries and individual companies. Nonetheless, we can deliver some general, yet solid actions of which to steer clear when dealing with job recruiters:

  1. Being Indirect. Don’t play games. This seems fairly simple, but too often in the business world people play odd, subversive games. For instance, using the agency to get in touch with a company that has caught your interest, and then going around your recruiter to apply directly.
  2. Being Dishonest.  If you’re not willing to consider a position below a certain income threshold, don’t tell your recruiter that you’re open to lower-paying positions. This just wastes time on both sides, as well as making your recruiter look bad with their contacts, potentially damaging their relationships with companies. If you’re not willing to relocate, don’t say that you’re open to position beyond a reasonable commute.
  3. Being Unprofessional. Again, one that may seem beyond obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people will dissemble, get overly personal, be rude or aggressive with and even outright lie to the very person they’re engaging to find them a job.

Recruiting actions to avoid - businessman at desk

Again, simple and concise: Be upfront and professional every bit as much in your job hunt as you would be on-the-job and advancing your career. Remember, you’re dealing with a professional who is as serious about their career as you are; treat the relationship accordingly.

Further Reading:  Behind the Scenes of Corporate Recruiting

Fred Coon, CEO

Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with LinkedInSecrets.us. Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

Terms That Successfully Indicate Your Leadership Talents

Even the most experienced leaders must prove their skills to potential employers. Often, it’s not enough to simply state “excellent leadership skills” on your resume. In a perfect world, your experience should speak for itself. Yet whether you are seasoned or an aspiring leader in your field, there are certain terms that will help you solidify these strengths on your resume as well as during an interview.

Terms for Leadership - Man at laptop with writing tablet

Recruiter, career strategist, and author, Jenny Foss, has offered a practical list of terms for job seekers to choose from that will truly reiterate their strong suits in various leadership positions.

Show your abilities as a trailblazer.

Since innovation plays an important role in decision-making and the ability to move forward with effective plans, clearly this particular skill is a vital part of being a well-rounded leader. Foss recommends the following expressions:

  • Ignited
  • Modernized
  • Optimized
  • Piloted
  • Pioneered
  • Revitalized
  • Spearheaded
  • Transformed

Indicate Your Financial Prowess

Most leadership positions will include some element of money-management, so it’s important to cover your bases. Showing your sense of accountability in this area will certainly help you stand out to hiring managers. Foss suggests that job-seeking leaders consider choosing from the following descriptive terms:

  • Budgeted
  • Cut costs
  • Drove growth
  • Invested
  • Negotiated
  • P&L Accountability
  • Reduced

Point out your knack for employee development

The capacity to inspire and urge others to hone in on their own particular talents is a must for those in leadership positions. Foss proposes the following words to “showcase your ability to rally others to pull off remarkable things”.

  • Advocated
  • Coached
  • Galvanized
  • Ignited
  • Mentored
  • Motivated
  • Shaped
  • Supported
  • United
  • Uplifted
  • We (rather than “I”)

Point out your capacity to influence others.

In addition to the skills listed above, effective leader must know how to influence or persuade others into agreeing with and implementing their ideas and suggestions. Therefore, it’s crucial that you convince a hiring manager of your ability to ensure that others will get on board with your strategies. Some terms that Foss recommends in this context are:

  • Convinced
  • Gained buy-in
  • Mobilized
  • Negotiated
  • Prompted
  • Propelled
  • Spurred
  • Won

 

Terms for Leadership - Businessman holding business card

In summary, we fully support Foss’ concept that using the right words under the right context can help you successfully convey the true span of your leadership talents.

Fred Coon, CEO 

Take your job search and LinkedIn profile to new levels and achieve your career goals with LinkedInSecrets.us. Leveraging LinkedIn for Job Search Success 2015 will transform how you use LinkedIn on a daily basis and create a profile that will WOW recruiters and hiring managers.

New Job Require Traveling? Practical Tips for a Stress-Free Trip

If you are one of the many Americans who have jobs that require travel, there are many things you can do to streamline your experience.  Following are some tips that will help make it, if not enjoyable, at least manageable.

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Airports & Borders

We’ve all heard the stories of extensive TSA delays and subsequent missed flights. The airlines have since advocated for an alternative because they don’t like it any more than the travelers do.  Business and first class travelers are their bread and butter, generating more revenue than most of the rest of the plane put together.

As a consequence, a number of Trusted Traveler Programs have arisen with names like Global Entry, Nexus, and Sentri, if you’re traveling internationally.  There is the TSApreprogram for local travel.

You should absolutely register with these programs at the first opportunity to decrease the amount of time you spend on interminable security check lines.

If traveling internationally, get your passport if you don’t have one already.  Be familiar with the rules (some countries require that a passport be valid for at least six months longer than the last scheduled day of your visit).  Don’t turn in an old passport with still-valid visas.  Instead, carry both passports so you don’t have to go back to an embassy and repay for the visa services.

Planes

If you’re new to the game, focus on one or two airlines that will offer you the most suitable services for your needs.  If you are “hopping” from airline to airline in order to save money, it is going to take much longer to accumulate rewards.   Those rewards can be used to upgrade your flying experience, moving from economy to first class, or even business class.  There is no doubt that a 14-hour business class flight to New Zealand is much better than any sort of economical fare.

Moreover, on long flights, no matter how comfortable the seats are, get up every 90 minutes or so and take a little walk up and down the aisle, if circumstances allow. Otherwise, do your best to practice some basic stretches. This is required in order to avoid getting a DVT (deep vein thrombosis), which is not only very painful, but a potentially life-threatening blood clot that form in the legs.

Some employers require you to use your own credit card to pay for expenses and then submit a bill upon return.  The added benefit to this is that all of the “air miles” that you collect belong to you, not the company.   When vacation time rolls around, a free flight to an exotic locale may be just the thing you need.

Your Carry-on

Be sure to keep a handy change of clothes in your carry-on bag.  Baggage does occasionally get lost, but many times it’s due to passengers arriving late for check-in.   Airlines ask you to arrive early for a reason; they want to make sure that you and your luggage get on the same plane.

If you can force everything you need into a carry-on, this does give you more latitude with your arrival time.  Wear your comfortable leisure shoes to travel and pack the formal business footwear.  Having both means you won’t have to play tourist in fancy leather shoes if you decide to do a little exploring. In any case, pay attention to the arrival times, especially if you have bags.

You can always buy extra toiletries (for example, a disposable razor and shaving cream at a local discount or Dollar Store) if the need arises, but it is smart to make a point of having your charging cables for all your electronics in your carry-on bag.  The same is true if you take a daily medication.   Have at least a couple of day’s supply in your pocket or your carry-on and make sure you have a prescription describing what you are carrying in case it comes into question.

Hotels

The same rules apply with hotels, in that you can get an upgraded suite, free meals, and additional days at no charge, along with other benefits.  Five days working in Amsterdam, for instance might be exhausting, but an additional two days all to yourself with no responsibilities would give you time to tour famous museums, galleries, their renowned coffee shops, and other attractions.

 Stay Healthy

Be sure to make a point of washing your hands frequently while traveling.  Your immune system may be perfectly adequate for the local flora and fauna where you live, but a foreign environment might have significant challenges to someone not used to it.

Don’t try brand new foods on your first night out.  Wait until you’ve been jet-setting for a while and developed some tolerances.  Drink bottled water; drink from sealed soda-pop bottles.  Never accept ice unless each one has a dent in it (this identifies them as having been made from condensation rather than local water that has been frozen.  Most hotels have ice machines that condense water). This is especially true if you have an important meeting in the morning and you want to avoid being stuck in the bathroom of your hotel room.

Try to steer clear of communal objects like airplane pillows and blankets unless they’re wrapped and sealed.  Bring an inflatable pillow if you need it, or better yet, one of the types that store completely flat.  It’s got a nice hollow for your face to provide darkness, a place to comfortably cross your arms, and it is even soft and comfortable!  Getting a few hours of comfortable sleep can be just the ticket.  Don’t forget the earplugs for much-needed silence!

Useful Tools

A complete set of international electrical plug adapters is generally small and can be a virtual lifesaver.  Your laptop may have enough USB ports that you can charge all of your electronics without having to bring along all their unique transformers.  That saves weight and space.  Sometimes renting a phone is cost effective (and required in some countries that don’t support your phone-type, such as Japan).

Carry candy or energy bars with you.  One winter storm in an airport that has sold out of food is enough to make that a must-have.  Also, keep a notepad handy if you’re hitting a lot of hotels on a long trip so you don’t mix up yesterday’s room number with the one you just received.  Finally, always buy a copy of the local paper, irrespective of language, and carry it when you’re out.  It makes you look like a local so a certain element of the population will turn their attention elsewhere.

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The Takeaway

All things being equal, the person who does the most planning and has the wherewithal to stick to their schedule is going to be the person who succeeds in enjoying their business trip rather than just “getting through it”.  Plan, accomplish, and succeed!

Further Reading:  Weighing the Pros and Cons of Jobs That Require Travel

 

Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200