Just Doing Your Job is a Hazard to Your Career

August 21st, 2017

Here’s a piece of wisdom that most employers and career counselors won’t tell you outright as you step into your first entry level job: Doing that job—even doing it well—can actually be a hazard to your long term career prospects.

More specifically, the hazard lies in jumping up to do as you’re told and then checking out when your assigned duties are complete. If you fulfil your job description and faithfully execute the commands of your boss, and then go back to playing games online, your future may be in more trouble than you recognize. Here are a few reasons to keep yourself busy when you haven’t specifically been handed any tasks.

You’re still in school…sort of.

You won’t keep this job forever. This place, your desk, and your current boss will all be in your rearview mirror within about five years, and probably much sooner than that. But while you’re here, you have a unique opportunity to learn volumes of information about this business model and how your industry works. Take advantage of this golden moment to pack your head with information and pack your timeline with life experience; at this stage, questions of all kinds are encouraged, and mistakes are typically tolerated—but that may not be true ten years down the road. Ask for new projects, ask for feedback, and ask for exposure to other departments. Don’t do it as an obedient servant of the company; do it to give yourself a career advantage that can last for decades.

Impressing your boss can’t hurt.

You don’t need to stay late or complete work without getting paid (think twice before answering work emails at midnight). And apple polishing to impress your current boss may land you a nice letter of reference but not much more over the long run. So don’t go too far and don’t compromise your dignity… But do recognize the value of a friendly face in the industry and a positive relationship built on trust. A nod of approval from your current boss won’t transform the ladder of success into an escalator. But it certainly won’t hold you back.

Invest now, collect later.

A few extra miles, a few long nights, a few stressful peak seasons, and a few run-ins with utter burnout won’t cost as much now as they might later on. So face these challenges head-on while you’re young, ambitious, and able. If you have extra energy in your tank, dedicate it to your job. Years from now, other priorities may pull your attention away. But right now, if you can, do.

For more on how to make the most of your entry-level position and use it to launch your long-term career, turn to the Gastonia career management experts at PSU.

Overcome Roadblocks to Successful Hiring

August 7th, 2017

If you’re like most managers, you define “successful” hiring in a few key ways: a successful hire steps into the role, picks up the ropes quickly, takes ownership of tasks within a few weeks or months, and stays with the company for at least one calendar year. An unsuccessful hire steps in amid confusion, misunderstandings about the nature of the job, and a slow uptake of responsibility, and then completes a short tenure with the company. If you’re looking for ways to remove obstacles from the path to successful hiring and generate more of the first case and less of the second, keep a few key tips in mind.

Remove your roadblocks with a recruiter

Talk to a professional recruiter who can help you identify the specific challenges that may be holding you back. You’re deeply immersed in your business model, your team, and your company culture, and sometimes a little outside perspective can help you spot problems that might otherwise remain under your radar. If there’s one small misstep or unhealthy habit standing between you and success, recognize that habit and get it cleared away.

Meet reality halfway

Most employers begin a candidate search with sky-high expectations. They want nothing less than the best, which may mean finding a global expert in three or more overlapping skill areas—who just happens to live down the street. Since this isn’t realistic, you’ll win by finding a clear path between your ideal vision and your actual successful candidate. If you can’t find that path, the confusion, disappointment, and frustration that result can cloud the water on both sides of the relationship and make a rough start worse over time. Communication and common sense can help both parties succeed.

Know where to look

The right approach to candidate sourcing can mean the difference between choosing from a stellar pool of nearly-perfect applicants, and settling for the best of a mediocre crop. If you can identify your target audience and publish your job post within easy reach of that audience, you’ll raise your odds of finding the candidate you’re looking for.

Move quickly and you’ll cover more ground

The more laborious and bureaucratic your hiring process, the slower you’ll move. And the slower you move, the more likely you are to let great candidates slip away. Help from a recruiter, a streamlined administrative process, and a rapid-fire interview schedule can help you gather data and make your decision before critical opportunities pass you by.

For more on how to overcome the staffing obstacles that and between you and your goals, contact the Cleveland County staffing experts at PSU.

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