Archive for job

THE 5 WORDS NEVER TO SAY…DURING A JOB INTERVIEW by Dr. Paul Powers

Posted in General Management, Life Management, The 5 Words Never to Say... During a Job Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

THE 5 WORDS NEVER TO SAY…DURING A JOB INTERVIEW by Dr. Paul Powers

Job hunters greatly outnumber openings these days, so even a seemingly minor slip of the tongue can cut short your employment opportunities. The five words that can undermine your job chances…

1. CRISIS

Job applicants often trumpet their ability to respond calmly and intelligently to workplace challenges. Trouble is, when they use the word “crisis” to describe a past professional challenge, they send exactly the opposite message. Epidemics and hostage standoffs are crises — an employer’s budget crunch or public relations headache is not. Calling an ordinary workplace situation a crisis will make you seem like an alarmist — the sort of employee who will blow problems out of proportion and infect those around you with panic. You’ll seem more poised and reliable if you instead use words such as “challenge” or “problem” to describe these situations.

2. PEOPLE PERSON

Interviewers often cringe inside when applicants describe themselves as “people-oriented” or “a people person.” This is like saying that your worst flaw is that you work too hard — it’s such a cliché that it will make you seem uninteresting or evasive to an experienced interviewer. Worse, “I’m a people person” is so general and unverifiable that it tends to be offered up by applicants who have no real skills or accomplishments to discuss. Saying something similar could cause the interviewer to subconsciously associate you with this group even if you have an impressive résumé.

If interpersonal skills are an important part of what you have to offer, find a more specific, less clichéd way to convey this. You could identify your talent as “conflict mediation,” “coordinating teams” or “soothing upset customers.” Cite specific examples of the times that you have used this skill successfully.

3. CAN’T

Using negative words and phrases such as “can’t,” “there’s no way” or “impossible” during an interview could make you seem like a negative person. Few qualities turn off potential employers faster than negativity. If you must tell an interviewer that what he/she wants is impossible or that you need a larger salary or budget than he is proposing, find a way to phrase this in a positive way.

Example: The interviewer says that the company is looking for someone to expand its Web site, but your experience tells you that the budget or time frame being discussed is insufficient. Rather than say, “It can’t be done,” or “That’s not going to work,” you might say, “Let’s discuss some of the options we would have for getting that done.” Mention outsourcing certain functions… or focusing initially on only the most important elements of the project.

4. IRREGARDLESS

It isn’t really a word at all. The correct word is regardless. If the interviewer is a stickler for grammar, using this nonword might create the impression that you are ignorant. Another frequently misused word that could hurt your chances is “literally,” which often is used by people who mean figuratively.

Example: “I was literally putting out fires all year.” No, you weren’t — unless you were a firefighter.

5. FIRED

Interviewers often ask applicants why they left their previous jobs. It’s fine to say your position was eliminated in a workforce reduction or that you were laid off, but never say that you were “fired.” Though you might consider “fired” and “laid off” synonymous, the former has a much more negative connotation — that you messed up — in most people’s minds.

– Paul Powers

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

Advertisements

LIFE IS A BALANCING ACT by Mark Victor Hansen

Posted in General Management, Life is a Balancing Act, Life Management with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2010 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders.

LIFE IS A BALANCING ACT by Mark Victor Hansen

Life on a tightrope
Imagine a tightrope walker in circus. He is on a rope suspended a few feet above the straw covered floor. His purpose is to walk the rope from one end to other. He holds a long bar in his hands to help him maintain his balance. But he must do more than simply walk. On his shoulders he balances a chair. And in that chair sits a young woman who is herself balancing a rod on her forehead, and on top of that rod is a plate.

If at any time one of the items should start to drift off balance, he must stop until he can get all of them in perfect alignment again. For the tightrope artist doesn’t begin until all the elements above him are aligned. Only then does he move forward, carefully, slowly across the rope.

I suggest that life is very much a balancing act and that we are always just a step away from a fall. We are constantly trying to move forward with our purpose, to achieve our goals. All the while trying to keep in balance the various elements of our lives.

Getting out of Balance
Many of us get out of balance with regard to money. If we don’t have sufficient money, then our lives become a money chase. We constantly devote our energies toward improving our finances. In the process we tend to take energy away from our family, our mate, our spiritual and mental needs, even our health. More important, we don’t move forward toward our life purpose. We don’t proceed along the tightrope. Only when we get our finances straightened out can we spread our energies to all the other aspects of our life and proceed with our purpose.

Other areas of our life could be out of harmony. It could be our relationship with our wife or husband. It could be a spiritual emptiness that is gnawing at our insides. It could be lack of appropriate social contract. It could be illness. If any aspect of our life draws a disproportionate amount of energy, we have to shortchange the other aspects. This throws us off and we are unable to move forward on life’s tightrope until a balance can be reestablished.

Getting Balance
Our first priority, therefore, is getting our life in balance. We need to deal with any areas that are taking too much energy and put them in perspective align them so that we have energy available for all areas.

We need to create a balance of winning identities as father or mother, lover, husband, or wife, son or daughter, worker, participant, finisher and so forth. Only when each identity is fulfilled will that area be functioning and not overdrawing our energy.

But it doesn’t happen by itself. Achieving a balanced life is a choice that each of is continually makes second by second, thought by thought, feeling by feeling. On the one hand, we can simply exist. But on the other, we can choose to pack out seconds and create valuable minutes in all aspects of our lives.

It’s important here to understand that others cannot do this for us. I can be me and only you, you. No one can think, breathe, feel, see, experience, love or die for either of us. Inside, we are what we are. We all come into life without a map, an operating manual or a definition of ourselves, other then male or female. It’s up to us to balance all the different aspects of our lives. We can do to by pushing the “decide” buttons in our lives.

Making an Assessment
At first it’s important to stop and assess how we’re doing. We should look at all the various aspects of our life that we are constantly juggling, constantly trying to keep in balance. These include: marriage and family, finances, health, social contact, spiritual development, and mental growth.

Are we able to devote ample energy to all areas? Or are we tipped off to one side, unbalanced in one direction?

STEPS TO ACHIEVING BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE

1. Assess your life as it is now. Looking at ourselves as we really are is the first step in re-creating our lives. Do you feel physically exhausted, mentally stagnant, or find yourself without close relationships? Would you call yourself a workaholic? Do you feel a lack of spiritual alignment? If you answer yes to any of these questions, your life is probably out of balance.

2. Make a conscious decision to become balanced. Choosing reality as our basis of decision, is the second step to becoming balanced. Achieving balance allows us to reach our goals and our purpose in life while creating less stress to do so. A conscious decision to change is now in order.

3. Re-make that decision on a minute-to-minute schedule. We are all instant forgetters. Remember all those New Year resolutions? Renewing our decisions on a daily, minute to minute basis allows us to ease into change, instead of expecting things to change overnight.

4. Set goals in every area of your life.
Set realistic goals in all areas of your life to assist yourself in remembering that your ultimate goal is balance. Your goal should cover:

a. Relationships, both at home and in the marketplace
b. Physical beingness
c. Spiritual alignment
d. Mental development
e. Your job
f. Finances

5. Be willing to take the risk. Being willing to assess ourselves and take the risk to change will not only enhance our lives, but you will feel more energy and an expanded awareness of what life is all about. Acknowledging that balance is essential, and recreating your life to encompass your decision is worth all the risk.

6. Make time to re-assess yourself on a daily basis. None of us can really know how well we are doing with change in our lives unless we are willing to re-assess our position. Don’t feel that your decisions are made in concrete, if something feels that it isn’t working, be willing to look at a new decision. Make time for yourself every day, in a quiet meditative state, to relax and “check yourself out”.

– Mark Victor Hansen

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.