Thursday, January 25, 2007

You Are What You Do...

If you believe this then I would encourage you to visit everyone's favorite job board. Monster came up with quite the tool to identify your career personality, and then of course conveniently links the results to their current job openings. Smart folks... I like it. Here are my results if you were interested:

Life as an INFJ (Intravert, Intuitive, Feeler, Judger)

People of this type tend to be creative, original and independent; thoughtful, warm and sensitive; global thinkers with great passion for their unique vision; cautious, deliberate and planful; organized, productive and decisive; reserved and polite. The most important things to INFJs are their ideas, and being faithful to their vision.

Great careers for INFJs

Special education teacher
Alcohol and drug addiction counselor

Universal design architect
Holistic health practitioner
Diversity manager / trainer
Speech / language pathologist
Career counselor
Director of religious education
Editor / art director

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hungry Hungry Hippos

At 10 years old, a visit was not complete to my childhood best friend's house without a greed-driven game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. We would perch on the floor behind our favorite colored hippo and pound the lever until all the white marbles were resting safely in the bellies of our beloved warrior. The tallying of the marbles began immediately to crown the triumphant hippo and the options were win, lose, or more often than not because of an even number of marbles... a tie. Ties were optimal because it meant no hurt feelings.

The image of those gobbling hippos enters my head when I find myself in the middle of negotiations between candidates and companies. Each party begins devouring with the mentality of feast or famine and unlike the board game, rarely does it end in a tie.

At the drop of the last marble companies open wide and attempt to consume as many negotiation points as possible leaving the candidate feeling like a pawn all the name of risk avoidance. This works when the market is saturated and the candidates are desperate, but when there is demand for their services these candidates continue to consider other options at places where they are not treated like commodities but rather an integral piece to a companies overall strategy. When offer time comes companies are naively surprised to find the candidate is no longer available because they found a company that valued, not exploited their experience.

There are also candidates out there dead set on leaving the recruiting table having to undo a notch in their belt to accommodate all their marbles. Companies offer a more than fair salary, excellent benefits, are reasonably accommodating and still it's not enough. They need MORE time to THINK about it. It's enough to make you want to draft your own Jerry Maguire mission statement. These candidates are able to do this now, but the market will more than likely change and they will find themselves with a slightly smaller mouth than they used to have. My advice to them is not not burn bridges while you still have the upper hand.

So how does a society raised on games like Hungry Hungry Hippo's transition into the CarMax version of a win-win when it comes to the hiring process? Is it feasible for a company and a candidate to tie? It may not be, however I think it should be the goal.

My humble advice to companies... if a candidate matches what you are looking for, do what it takes to bring them on board as soon as they are available to start at their requested salary if in range. It will show the candidate they impress you enough to act fast. It will also free up your recruiting resources to work on requisitions in the early stages that need maximum attention.
And candidates... try to avoid stretching out your decision period by nickle and diming in the hopes something better may surface. If you like the company, pull the trigger. It will show the company your strong decision making ability and perhaps allow the recruiter you are working with to sleep a little better that night.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Putting the Resolute in Resolution

I love root words and more specifically root word origins. They force us to relinquish the mentality of arrogance Americans so easily fall into because of our current position in this world and realize we are but a young country who has formed a language around the words of those who have spoken before us. I am not a big events history person, but I find myself mentally devouring the words of speakers who dissect the literature and writings of historical authors. At the end of the talks or sermons my index and middle finger are cramped from my attempt to capture all I can, much like a child licking clean their fingers after a bag of Cheetos. So many "Ah ha!" moments of mine have come after dissecting a word and drawing conclusions from context of the origin of the work. As 2006 came to a close I found myself obsessed with the word "resolution" because of it's frequent use this time of year. I wondered if people knew what they were saying so I researched and well, I hope you have an "Ah ha!" moment because of it.

You cannot say or read the root word of resolution without thinking immediately of someone or something that is flat out immovable. A resolute person in the business world embraces a company's strategy and stays the course because of a firm belief in it's goals and objectives. There's honor and character associated with this trait. It inhabited no doubt our fore father's who founded this great nation which is why we struggle with the arrogance I spoke of earlier. These guys believed and sunk in their pilgrim buckle shoes and we are a free and democratic nation because of it. So then why is it that if we associate resolute with words like firm, steadfast, and fixed, you discover it's Latin origin (resolvere) means to relax and untie? I think it's because in order to be resolute on anything it is smart to first untie and analyze our thought processes before we take a stand on anything.

For many of you your resolution this year is to find another job. You feel under-appreciated and not utilized. You are not passionate about what you do. You salary is not the amount you believe you deserve. Based on these and many more cons on your pro/con list of what do to you have decided to MOVE on and are resolute in doing so. I encourage you before you begin to update your resume first untie the messy knots of your current situation and get to the heart of what is bothering you. If you are going to take a stand, don't do it half way and just because you are frustrated. I assure you before any successful leader did anything worth while they took some time to resolve before they became resolute. If you skip this step you have cheated the word resolution out of it's meaning and cheated yourself out of being successful.

That was fun!