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Category: Professional Development

7 Ways to Show Emotional Intelligence in a Job Interview

Filed under: Attitude, Interviews, Job Market, Job Search, Personality, Professional Development

Yes, having solid technical skills is important in landing a job, but maybe not as important as you might think. In fact, in a survey of more than 2,600 hiring managers and human resource professionals, 71% stated they valued emotional intelligence in an employee over IQ. What’s more, 75% said they were more likely to promote a highly emotionally intelligent worker; and 59% claimed they’d pass up a candidate with a high IQ but low emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is going to be even more relevant for job hunting in the future too, the Future of Jobs Report from The World Economic Forum ranked emotional intelligence in the top 10 job skills required for 2020. Since more companies are paying attention to hiring people with high emotional intelligence, if you’re looking for a job it’s an important skill to demonstrate in your interview.

Here are 7 ways that to demonstrate emotional intelligence in a job interview:

1. Actively listen

Instead of focusing on a response to the question being asked, give all your attention on the question itself. Don’t give in to the urge that you have to answer the question immediately. Interviewers are looking for a thoughtful response, instead of an immediate one that indicates that you are giving them an answer that you have rehearsed. Repeat the question back in your own words to make sure that you understand it the way that it was intended. If you are not sure if you are answering the question ask the person asking it.

2. Show emotions

Many interviewees, due to nervousness, can came come across as wooden and tightly controlled. It’s not only okay to show some emotion, but the right emotions will form a connection between the interviewer and you. Smiling, as long as it doesn’t appear forced or inauthentic, is always good. Showing enthusiasm and some excitement is also good if it is real. The caveat is not to force any emotions. If the interviewers get a whiff that you are coming across as someone other than yourself, it will cause them to mistrust you and decrease your chances of getting the job.

3. Share the credit for your achievements

Take a cue from professional athletes when they are interviewed after a win or achievement. They always credit their team mates, their team, rather than taking personal accolades. When asked about a project that you are proud of, or that was successful, be sure to share credit with the team, unit, and others who were involved in the project. Make it clear that you are proud to be a member of the group that was involved in the success. This gives more credibility to you being a team player, than if you simply claim that you are, which everyone does.

4. Share how you are trying to improve yourself

The typical advice for answering a question about your weakness is to frame it as something that is actually a strength. For example, claiming to be a perfectionist, or becoming too involved in your job, which can be seem as strengths by an employer. These answers do not cut it any more, as interviewers are looking for something more substantial. When disclosing a weakness be sure to indicate what you are actively doing to work on it and give examples of making progress. Interviewers know that we all have weaknesses and suspect that we may try to hide those in the interview. As long as your weaknesses do not raise any red flags, being honest, open and genuine will help gain their trust and respect.

5. Don’t shy away from talking about conflict

For the question about your strengths, rather than only focusing on your qualifications or technical ability, talk about your ability to work well with others in a teamwork setting. Your ability to adapt to change or setbacks and work well with coworkers and customers is important to bring up. Instead of simply mentioning these things, be prepared to come up with examples of when you had to use those skills. Perhaps there was conflict within your unit or you had to deal with an irate customer. Talk about how you used your soft skills to effectively deal with these situations.

You can read the rest of this article on Fast Company.

6 Simple Ways to Prepare Your Career for Fall

Filed under: Career Advice, Goals, Professional Development, Strategy, Your Career

A long, relaxing summer can leave you feeling like you’re ready to hit the ground running this fall. Consider pausing for a moment and thinking about what you want for the rest of 2018, plus what you think it’ll take for you to make it happen.

Here’s how to make sure you’re in a good place professionally this fall and beyond.

1. Spruce up your workspace

While you can’t control what’s going on around you — especially in an open office — there’s nothing like being able to really focus because you aren’t bogged down by clutter where you work. This also applies to your home office — whether it’s a desk in a formal room or the dining room table.

Whether you’re a fan of Marie Kondo or the ancient art of feng shui, the concept that you can be influenced by your environment — for good or for bad — is nothing new.

“By organizing, you hone your sensitivity to joy and you also clarify your sense of value,” Kondo tells CNBC. “You can use that knowledge and ability to better enhance decision making skills to your own career, and really you’ll be able to better answer questions such as, ‘What am I looking for in my looking for in my career? What makes me comfortable?’ So in that way it creates real transformation in your career as well.”

So take some time to optimize your space in a way that makes you feel happy and efficient.

Schedule an Ikea run for convenient hanging files and bins, or pull a Lifehacker and go vertical — creating a wall full of shelves and storage. Make space on your computer for incoming files by moving things you don’t need immediate access to onto a hard drive, and delete things that aren’t of value.

Your workspace likely also includes your cellphone — so if you’re having storage problems, you might want to look into how much space photos and other items are taking up and then purge the ones you don’t need or back up the ones you love to the cloud, just in case!

2. Re-evaluate your goals for the year

What are the top three things you want to have done between now and the end of this  year? You may feel behind, but there are three full months left before December 31 yet, so you still have time!

It’s worth writing them down, making a vision board  and taking a good, hard look at what you’ll realistically have to do to get there.Set yourself manageable goals so you don’t feel disappointed if you can’t reach them.

3. Assess the value of this year’s achievements

Instituting a gratitude practice, no matter how small, can help you focus on what you’ve achieved with the right mindset and free you up to move on to the next accomplishment. Take a minute to reflect on how you felt when you got a positive response from your manager after submitting that huge project — or if you were recognized for your work at a company benefit.

Revisit these feelings by writing down what you’re most proud of having accomplished professionally this year, and let yourself absorb them for as long as you need.

4. Reconnect with your network and mentors

Most of the time, people only reach out to far-flung professional connections when they need a new job. By then, it may be awkward to honestly rekindle a stalled relationship. It’s even better to keep those connections fresh, periodically filling in your network on what’s been going on with your work and life.

Remember that networking is a two way street. Be generous with your help as well, and offer to help your connections if there’s something you have that they need.

If you belong to professional groups that took a summer recess, get excited about getting more involved again this fall. Clubs and affinity groups can be incredible sources of professional and personal inspiration.

Also don’t forget to chip away at your side hustle or passion projects. Block out time to make concrete plans, and make any necessary adjustments to your schedule to accommodate them.

You can continue reading this article on Ladders.

 

Lloyd Solomon Featured in Real Estate REality Check Podcast

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Company News, Insights, Interviews, Professional Development, Solomon Page, Success, Thought Leadership

Lloyd Solomon, Managing Director of Solomon Page, was recently interviewed by Larry Haber in his podcast Leasing REality: Real Estate REality Check.

Larry conducts an ongoing series of weekly conversations with business executives designed to empower emerging and seasoned professionals to reach their full business potential. Using rock ‘n roll, hip hop, and pop culture analogies as the basis for many of his questions, the overwhelming majority of responses from his guests are informative, entertaining, and most importantly, a conduit to help incentivize listeners to become masters of their career and/or business domains.

Lloyd speaks to his journey building his business over the past 28 years, including the highs and lows, and prevalent lessons learned. He gives advice to business owners on how to lead a successful company and satisfied staff, in addition to providing insight to candidates looking to excel in their career.

You can listen to the podcast here.

5 Things You Deserve From Your Job (No Matter Where You Work)

Filed under: company culture, Professional Development, Respect, Success, Work-Life Balance, Your Career

I have news for you: There’s no such thing as a perfect job. Even the careers that seem like they jumped straight from your dreams and into reality have their downsides—that’s why there’s a paycheck involved.

But, while you might never love every aspect of your job, there are a few things that you absolutely deserve to get from your career—aside from enough money to cover your bills.

Believe me, I get it. It’s easy to think that wanting and needing these things makes you picky, entitled, or high-maintenance. You’re getting paid to be there, so how much else do you really need?

Well, think about it this way: You’re going to invest a large chunk of your time, energy, and attention into your job. That means that a work environment that checks the following boxes isn’t something that you should consider to be meant for just the lucky few—it’s something you deserve just as much.

1. A Safe and Supportive Environment

Let’s start with the basics. You’re more than worthy of feeling safe and supported in your office. You should be able to bring your authentic self (your authentic professional self, of course) into work and not feel worried or threatened when doing so.

Rest assured that your expectations in regards to feeling secure in your surroundings aren’t unreasonable or out of line.

Nobody should have to head into the office day in and day out wondering who’s going to throw them under the bus or stab them in the back. You’re entitled to a basic sense of respect and a company culture that isn’t overflowing with toxicity.

2. A Boss Who’s Invested in Your Growth

When it comes to your career, your manager should be your greatest ally. They should be in the loop on your desires and plans for professional development and provide necessary support and guidance whenever they can.

If you feel like your supervisor is always undermining your accomplishments, offering criticisms that are in no way constructive, and is completely disinterested in your growth and advancement, know that you’re justified in wanting more.

3. An Understanding of Your Life Outside of Work

Work is a big part of your life—but it’s still only a part. It’s not the entirety of your existence, and you’re entitled to an employer who understands that fact.

Endless pings and emails when your team knows you’re away and unplugged. Major hurdles and complaints when you have a family emergency to deal with. Relentless guilt trips when you finally take a well-deserved vacation.

Those are things you shouldn’t have to deal with on a regular basis. You deserve a life outside of your job—and an employer who encourages you to live one.

You can continue reading this article on The Muse.

3 Times It Makes Sense to Take a Career Risk

Filed under: Career Advice, Decision Making, Goals, Job Search, Professional Development

In most situations, it makes sense to play it safe. Don’t cross the street without looking both ways, and never drive a car without wearing a seat belt. Both of those things make sense because there’s no upside to making the dangerous choice.

When it comes to your career, though, sometimes it does make sense to take risks. You shouldn’t be foolish or take risks just for the sake of it, but there are situations when the safe choice limits your upside.

If you take a risk and fail, you can always get another job. The prospect may seem scary, but if you take enough smart, well-considered risks, then hopefully some will work out for you.

When Your Integrity Is on the Line

Jason Hall: There are plenty of times when the best thing to do at work is “keep your head down” and focus on the work. Whether it’s avoiding office politics (or discussing real politics), gossip or correcting your boss when it would only cause you to catch their ire, these can be “high-risk, low return” situations that are best avoided. And there are other times it may go either way if there’s a real risk you could do permanent damage to your reputation if you have a plan or idea that fails.

However, there should be a red line when it comes to your integrity. This is because, in my experience, an employer or coworker who asks you to start letting “little” things slide will eventually expect you to start ignoring — or possibly even hiding — bigger things. And sometimes these can mean breaking the law and becoming an accomplice to a crime. Of course, it’s important to consider context here, but in general, it should be pretty obvious when you’re starting down a dangerous path.

But if you always make a point to be honest in your dealings with your employer, peers and clients, you can avoid a slippery slope that can ruin careers and lives. The bottom line is, no job is more important than your integrity. If you have to break rules or lie or commit crimes to stay employed, you’re risking a lot more by trying to stay with that company.

When You’ve Saved for It

Maurie Backman: I’m the first person to encourage others to pursue their dream careers, because having done so myself, I know how rewarding it can be. I worked at a hedge fund for almost five years after college, all the while wanting to move over to something more creative. When I finally took the leap, I knew it would involve a major pay cut, and I was OK with that. The reason? I had savings to back myself up.

We spend so much time at work that we deserve to be doing things we love. At the same time, we can’t neglect our bills. If you know you want to switch careers, or take a similar risk that might result in a drop in income, go for it — but save some money first. When I went from collecting a steady paycheck to freelancing, I knew it would take time to build up a client base, and so I saved enough to ensure that even if I didn’t earn a dime during my first six months of independent work, I’d be OK.

It’s brave to take a career risk, but it’s unwise to compromise your near-term and long-term financial security in the process. So don’t. Save money to buy yourself the option to take that risk. This way, you can approach your new venture head on without having the stress of getting evicted or running up credit card debt holding you back.

When You’re Stuck in a Dead-End Position

Daniel B. KlineA few years ago I was working as the editor of two small — some would say dying — local newspapers. My boss was a nice enough guy but we had differing philosophies on local news. I believed in cramming as many local stories in the paper as possible. He believed in spending as little money as he could.

It wasn’t a bad job, but it was dead-end. If I stayed I was never going to get a meaningful raise, a promotion (there was nothing to promote me to) and it was unlikely my boss would come around to my thinking as to how we could get back to growth.

I wanted to leave and could have left for better newspaper jobs. That, however, would have likely been trading the headache I knew for a different one. Instead, I joined a friend of mine and started a business.

You can read the rest of the article on Glassdoor.

7 Tips to Rebrand Yourself for an Industry Switch

Filed under: Branding, Career Advice, Confidence, Goals, Job Market, Job Search, Professional Development, Your Career

Ready for a career change, but worried you don’t have the experience or skills to land a job in your desired field? Filling your resume with your previous work experience that has no similarity to the job you’re applying for is likely to land your resume in the trash can. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck in a career you hate forever.

Dawn Graham, PhD, career coach, psychologist, and author of the book Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Career–and Seize Success, says rebranding your professional experience is key to a successful career switch. “When you’re making a switch, you need to be a good fit for the role, and while some of your skills and experiences may be transferrable, many may not be,” she says. Here’s how you can prove that you’re worthy of the title, even when your resume shows no previous experience in the field.

1. Change your social presence

Use social media to your advantage to rebrand yourself in your new career area. Follow thought leaders in your target industry and comment on their posts. Connect with relevant industry groups and associations, share relevant and interesting articles within your online network, comment on posts, attend the biggest industry conferences, and develop a network of contacts in the industry. “Technology makes it easier than ever to market yourself in a way that appeals to the audience you choose,” says Graham. The more you can demonstrate that you’re serious and invested in your new target industry, the more credible you will seem.

2. Find your transferrable skills

Rebranding yourself takes time and introspection. Everyone has transferrable skills, even if you think you don’t. Graham gives the example of a recruiter who wants to move into social media marketing. “You can show off your customer research, analytics, and technical savvy skills,” she says. Demonstrating how you can reach new customers using the same skill set you used to uncover qualified candidates is a way to prove that your experience is relevant.

To determine your skills, Graham recommends breaking down achievements. “If you contributed to saving a large client, consider the steps that got you to that result–perhaps problem solving, diplomacy, creativity, and influencing.” Do the same with other accomplishments and you’ll soon notice a pattern of core strengths. Try going through this exercise with a colleague or manager who may be able to see strengths that you are overlooking.

3. Do your research

In order to find out what skills and experiences are most relevant to your new career choice, spend time learning as much as you can about your target position. Speak with professionals in your target industry, look for volunteer positions in the industry, take courses, and attend professional events to learn what experiences and skill sets are most valuable in the new industry.

4. Don’t lead with your title

While most of us use our job title when introducing ourselves, this can be an error when you’re switching careers. Many companies use language that doesn’t translate outside the industry. A title can cause confusion for someone in another industry, and biases their opinion toward your application. They may think right away that you’re not a good fit without reading further into your experiences. Instead of focusing on your title, place the emphasis on your value–the skills you developed in that position.

5. Know your audience

In order to highlight your value and position yourself as a good fit for the job, you need to know the challenges the hiring manager is trying to solve. “Many job seekers have incredible accomplishments, but without knowing what is important to your audience, you risk leading off with accomplishments that, while impressive, lead the hirer to think you’re not a fit for the role,” says Graham.

When in a job interview, make one of your first questions about the challenges the company or department is facing at this time. Once you find out the hiring company’s pain points, you can select the achievements from your background that best align with what the hiring manager is looking for in the role.

6. Cherry-pick experiences

Some of your best accomplishments and achievements may not be impressive to the hiring manager if they have no relation to the job you’re applying for. To be most effective in rebranding yourself professionally, select the parts of your experience that align most closely with your target role. To make your application in this new field stronger, highlight these experiences in your LinkedIn profile.

If hiring managers are reviewing your resume and then jump over to LinkedIn and see a whole different type of experience highlighted, they may be confused and cause them to put aside your resume. Rebranding your professional experience may mean dropping what you think are some of your best accomplishments, but by focusing on “fit” first, you will have a better chance of a recruiter recognizing you as a potential candidate for the position.

7. Justify the switch

“Every hiring manager wants to know why this job at this company at this time,” says Graham. Your answer to this question will be especially important if you’re a career switcher.

The Power of Culture in the Workplace

Filed under: company culture, Job Market, Job Statistics, Professional Development, Work-Life Balance

Corporate culture is a concept at the forefront of the employment marketplace—professionals want to feel valued as individuals, not just for their professional contributions.

In order to ensure a fulfilled and productive workforce, employers should build a strong culture to enhance employee morale; this translates to defining the organization’s mission and core values, as well as creating a sense of community amongst employees through professional and personal development.

Our 2018 Market Insights Report shows the impact culture has on professionals from the moment they consider a position through the lifecycle of employment.

1. The Offer: Our study shows that following compensation, corporate culture and work-life balance are the most important factors to consider in a job offer. And while respondents agree that salary is the most significant determinant in accepting an offer, nearly half (40%) of jobseekers would take a position that did not meet their financial expectations but with a company that promotes culture and professional development.

2. Engagement: In this candidate-driven market—the U.S. unemployment rate is below 4%, the lowest in 18 years—hiring quality professionals is only the beginning. In addition to attracting talent, companies must keep their workforce engaged. Our study shows that while people value the financial and tangible aspects of employment—compensation, insurance, 401(k)—they equally value professional growth and fulfillment.

3. Job Satisfaction: We can assume that, to jobseekers and tenured employees alike, culture may not be regarded as the most important aspect of a job, but it is certainly an unequivocal determinant. 93% of all respondents agree that it is important to have a sense of belonging and shared values with their organization. Our results show there is strong correlation between culture and job satisfaction:

    • of the professionals who claimed they fit in ‘very well’ with their culture, 77% were satisfied at their job;
    • of the respondents who fit in ‘somewhat,’ 62% were satisfied;
    • and of the people who didn’t fit in, only 33% were happy in their roles.

4. Retention: As challenging as it is to attract talented professionals, retention is equally as essential. In today’s competitive marketplace companies must invest in retaining top talent, as turnover is not only costly but impacts morale and employee engagement. Culture is a key factor in employee retention—of the people we surveyed who were planning a job change within the next year, only half (50%) noted a positive company culture, compared to the professionals who weren’t planning a job change, of which 90% reported alignment with company culture.

Our study concludes that positive company culture vastly benefits both employers and employees—your external brand is only as strong as your internal culture. In order to perform well employees need to feel appreciated, engaged, and aligned with their company’s mission and core values.

It’s crucial for companies to build and enhance culture for the well-being and productivity of their workforce, as clients will never love a company until the employees love it first. Ultimately, business improves along with employee morale: low turnover, as well as increased motivation, translates to positive results.

 

Stay tuned for more insights where we will reveal steps employers can take to successfully implement a positive company culture and productive work environment.