Corporate Culture 101: What You Need to Get Started: SERIES PART 2: People Skills

Corporate Culture 101

Today we have the second post in a two-part series from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find links to Part 1 and some of her earlier posts at the end of the article

Corporate Culture 101: What You Need to Get Started: SERIES PART 2: People Skills

In Part I of this series, the importance of self-management in the form of an accurate, reliable and engaging LinkedIn profile was emphasized as one of the most important and early tasks for a business management degree graduate to complete. Granted, a LinkedIn profile is never complete and should always be a work in progress, documenting an individual’s accomplishments, new skills or additional education. As a test of self-discipline, however, it serves to delineate the difference between a recent graduate and an experienced job searcher with the added advantage of having today’s most popular means of career promotion initially completed. Now, in Part 2 of this series, the topic turns to the so-called soft skills necessary to retain employment.

Emotional Intelligence

The term “soft skills” is public parlance for the psychological term emotional intelligence. It refers to “the ability of an individual to identify, assess and control the emotions of oneself, others and groups.” Like self-management skills, soft skills are expected to grow with an individual’s maturity level and social experiences. The unfortunately label of “soft” makes it sound as though these particular skills are optional in the workplace, easy to learn and practice and have more to do with “warm and fuzzy” than with the bottom line. Nothing could be further from the truth. Emotional intelligence is necessary to ensure communication, cooperation and collective goals—all absolutely imperative for a business to be successful and grow. Indeed, soft skills may be more difficult to learn, practice and perfect, as there are fewer functional workplace examples to serve as mentors.

Hard Facts About Soft Skills

An online article by Nick Shultz reported that the lack of soft communication skills was so great that many companies had difficulty just finding individuals capable of answering their telephones. A consulting firm cited that over 600,000 jobs in manufacturing went unfilled in 2011 due to a lack of skills. Further investigation as to what these highly technical skills must be, revealed them to be soft skills. “In Manpower’s annual Group “2012 Talent Shortage Survey, nearly 20% of employers cited a lack of soft skills as a key reason they couldn’t hire needed employees.” Among the soft skills specifically identified by Shultz as lacking are:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Motivation
  • Enthusiasm
  • Professionalism
  • Work Ethic
  • Reliability
  • Punctuality.

Why People Really Get Hired

We’ve all heard stories of a less qualified person being hired over someone with the exact experiences and education listed in the job ad. The truth is, interviewers and hiring managers sometimes offer jobs to applicants who they personally like and with whom they feel comfortable. An individual job seeker’s assessed ability to fit in with the corporate culture is also a strong indicator that a job might be tendered.

Finally, hiring managers look for specific traits demonstrated by LinkedIn profiles, employment history or the job seeker’s deportment. These traits include attitude, reliability, attitude, potential, know-how, past performance, work ethic, team skills, humility and lastly, tech ability.

“You’re Hired!”

It seems that a job seeker’s best chance of being offered a position with a particular company would be to fit into the overall company culture and demonstrate good old-fashioned work values. Lastly, they should be able to answer a telephone and turn on a computer.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac;

Career Development: Corporate Culture 101: What You Need to Get Started SERIES Part 1: Self-Management Skills

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 2—How Is It Demonstrated?

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 1—What It Is & Why It’s Critical

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

LinkedIn Profile for New Graduates

LinkedIn Profile for New Graduates

Today we have the first post in a two-part series from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find links to some of her earlier posts at the end of the article.

Career Development: Corporate Culture 101: What You Need to Get Started SERIES Part 1: Self-Management Skills

After Graduation

LinkedIn Profile – As the final strains of Pomp and Circumstance fade away and almost before the ink is dry on a graduate’s new business management degree, the smartest new graduate will seek to become the most appropriate new hire. Having studied business for the requisite amount of time to have earned the degree in business, the following recommendations should not come as a surprise. However, given the excitement of the occasion, it may be reasonable to repeat some of the basics of what should come next.

New graduates will need to update and perfect their LinkedIn profiles so that they have the best opportunity to connect with a job most appropriate to their education, skills and personalities. This is the most tangible of self-management skills that can collectively be considered exercises in self-discipline. Next, new graduates—preferably new employees at this time—need to learn and master the so-called “soft skills. The specifics of soft skills and how to learn, practice and implement them will be addressed in Part 2 of this series.

Crafting Your LinkedIn Profile

With the increasing reliance that corporate recruiters place on LinkedIn profiles, it is imperative that job seekers correctly and honestly identify their skills, abilities and personalities in order to have the best chance of obtaining a position that is the closest fit. Utilizing the correct adjectives can give a recruiter a better sense of a job seeker’s personality, her degree of self-awareness (or lack thereof), and how narrowly she has defined her appropriate field of employment. Keywords are important and can be very helpful for job seekers for the period of time they are accepted by recruiters. Curiously, however, they have a definite shelf life beyond which use of a particular term or keyword is considered an overused buzzword and becomes detrimental to the user.

Terms to Utilize in Your LinkedIn Profile

The ultimate goal of a new graduate’s LinkedIn profile is to garner a position that is appropriate to her skills, education, abilities and personality. This is best accomplished by creating an “engaging, informative, effective LinkedIn profile.” The career office of the graduate’s alma mater and the Internet is full of excellent resources, some providing step-by-step instructions as to how best create a most flattering profile. Job seekers must keep in mind, however, that a misleading but extremely flattering profile might just lead them to jobs that aren’t a match for their personalities and preferences. New graduates are therefore advised to spend some time on the profile sites of accomplished individuals whose successes they would prefer to emulate. Specific words that the new graduate can apply to himself can be culled from the many possibilities.

Terms to Avoid in Your LinkedIn Profile

As noted earlier, some terms become fashionable buzzwords only to later fall out of favor because of their overuse. Currently, these words include:

  • Creative
  • Organizational
  • Effective
  • Motivated
  • Extensive experience
  • Track record
  • Innovative
  • Responsible
  • Analytical
  • Problem solving.

New words to avoid will develop in the future and your LinkedIn profile should periodically be purged of the new unwanted buzzwords.

Self-Management Tools to Soft Skills

Having reviewed one of the more tangible of the self-management skills necessary for adulthood and successful employment, Part 2 of our series will focus on the necessary people and communication skills for successful employment.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac;

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 2—How Is It Demonstrated?

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 1—What It Is & Why It’s Critical

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

Career Development: Corporate Culture 101: What You Need to Get Started SERIES Part 1: Self-Management Skills

Today we have the first post in a two-part series from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find links to some of her earlier posts at the end of the article

Image via CrunchBase

Career Development: Corporate Culture 101: What You Need to Get Started SERIES Part 1: Self-Management Skills

After Graduation

As the final strains of Pomp and Circumstance fade away and almost before the ink is dry on a graduate’s new business management degree, the smartest new graduate will seek to become the most appropriate new hire. Having studied business for the requisite amount of time to have earned the degree in business, the following recommendations should not come as a surprise. However, given the excitement of the occasion, it may be reasonable to repeat some of the basics of what should come next.

New graduates will need to update and perfect their LinkedIn profiles so that they have the best opportunity to connect with a job most appropriate to their education, skills and personalities. This is the most tangible of self-management skills that can collectively be considered exercises in self-discipline. Next, new graduates—preferably new employees at this time—need to learn and master the so-called “soft skills. The specifics of soft skills and how to learn, practice and implement them will be addressed in Part 2 of this series.

Crafting Your LinkedIn Profile

With the increasing reliance that corporate recruiters place on LinkedIn profiles, it is imperative that job seekers correctly and honestly identify their skills, abilities and personalities in order to have the best chance of obtaining a position that is the closest fit. Utilizing the correct adjectives can give a recruiter a better sense of a job seeker’s personality, her degree of self-awareness (or lack thereof), and how narrowly she has defined her appropriate field of employment. Keywords are important and can be very helpful for job seekers for the period of time they are accepted by recruiters. Curiously, however, they have a definite shelf life beyond which use of a particular term or keyword is considered an overused buzzword and becomes detrimental to the user.

Terms to Utilize in Your LinkedIn Profile

The ultimate goal of a new graduate’s LinkedIn profile is to garner a position that is appropriate to her skills, education, abilities and personality. This is best accomplished by creating an “engaging, informative, effective LinkedIn profile.” The career office of the graduate’s alma mater and the Internet is full of excellent resources, some providing step-by-step instructions as to how best create a most flattering profile. Job seekers must keep in mind, however, that a misleading but extremely flattering profile might just lead them to jobs that aren’t a match for their personalities and preferences. New graduates are therefore advised to spend some time on the profile sites of accomplished individuals whose successes they would prefer to emulate. Specific words that the new graduate can apply to himself can be culled from the many possibilities.

Terms to Avoid in Your LinkedIn Profile

As noted earlier, some terms become fashionable buzzwords only to later fall out of favor because of their overuse. Currently, these words include:

  • Creative
  • Organizational
  • Effective
  • Motivated
  • Extensive experience
  • Track record
  • Innovative
  • Responsible
  • Analytical
  • Problem solving.

New words to avoid will develop in the future and your LinkedIn profile should periodically be purged of the new unwanted buzzwords.

Self-Management Tools to Soft Skills

Having reviewed one of the more tangible of the self-management skills necessary for adulthood and successful employment, Part 2 of our series will focus on the necessary people and communication skills for successful employment.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac;

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 2—How Is It Demonstrated?

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 1—What It Is & Why It’s Critical

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

Prepare for work

Prepare for work

Prepare for work – today we have a guest post from Maria Rainier who is a freelance blogger and writer for www.onlinedegrees.org. This is Maria’s helpful advice to young graduates who are about to take on their first full-time role after leaving college.

Secretary Spread, Office Politics and Other Things Young Professionals Should Prepare Themselves For

You finally made it. You passed your exams—some with flying colors, others not so much—you walked across the stage, and are now ready to start the next phase of your life as a working professional. While you might be ready for the professional challenges thrown your way, there are various aspects of working life you’ll undoubtedly have to get used to.

It’s a very different world than the college campus you’ve grown accustomed to the last these last four years or so. So, to help make the transition period a little easier, I’ve outlined a few things to look out for below. These aren’t exactly issues stressed within your average college lecture, but they are things you need to know. Read on to learn more.

Secretary Spread

This first one might sound a bit odd, but believe me it’s a real problem. I’m sure you all remember being warned about the “freshman 15” when you started college, well think of this as the same thing, but for people in the working world. I personally had never heard the term until it happened to me.

Unlike many of my friends, I LOST weight in college—my first year alone I dropped 25 pounds and was in the best shape of my life. As the semesters rolled by, my weight fluctuated very little and I maintained my fit physique. However, that all changed the instant I graduated. Suddenly, the pencil skirts I had so easily squeezed in and out of were no busting at the seams.

I didn’t get it. What had changed? Then it dawned on me—my body was dormantly stuck behind a desk for the majority of my waking hours. Before I would sit for an hour or hour and a half, take a few notes then make my trek across campus for the next one. I can’t even tell you how many miles I likely walked. On top of that I was working out regularly, which, unfortunately I became horrible about doing once I started working professionally. Then there were the company lunches and dinners.

Between retirement parties, client meetings and quarterly feasts for whatever project we were currently working on, I was surrounded by lavish food I personally never sought out myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining that I worked for a company that actually endorsed this sort of activity, it’s just that my waistline couldn’t handle the extra calories. I was eating way more than I had in college and my body was noticing. After my first year, I had gained a shameless 10 pounds. One day my own mother was like “uh-oh, guess you fell victim to secretary spread!”

Luckily, I found the error in my ways and corrected it, but many never even notice until they’e packed on 20, 30, or even 40 pounds. So, to keep this from happening to you simply keep up with your fitness routine (or start one if you haven’t) and eat like you’re metabolism has already caught up with you. If you don’t, it will before you know it, so might as well be proactive about it.

Office Politics

Now, onto more serious topics—not that health and fitness isn’t important, but they are very manageable—whereas this is completely beyond your control. Now, some of you may have already dealt with this in previous jobs or internships, but in your first full-time job, they are a completely different animal. Sure, you may have been frustrated at your last gig, but there was likely a light at the end of the tunnel because you knew you weren’t going to be wherever you were forever.

You had plans to graduate, move, and start your career. Well, now here you are—starting your career—and you’re faced with some not nice situations. People making you look bad in front of your boss, coworkers stealing credit that should have been yours, colleagues getting promotions they simply aren’t qualified for…and why? All because they knew the right people, or the boss likes them best.

Sure, it’s not the least bit fair, but it is something that happens quite frequently—and this time there’s no quick escape route. I’m not saying you’ll be in that same position with that same company forever, but you will likely be there for more than a “semester or two” as you were with your previous jobs. You want to stay, learn what you can, then move on—and that usually takes 2 years minimum, so you could be looking at quite the marathon here.

If you feel you’re in the middle of some particularly nasty office politics, all you can do is smile, put your best professional foot forward and kill them with kindness. You might not think so, but your competency will pay off in the end. It will be a test in maturity and professionalism, but you can do it.

Extremely Limited Availability

A final thing to look out for as you immerse yourself in the working world is your extremely limited schedule that is sure to hit you like a brick. At least that’s what happened to me and many of my friends. We went into our jobs thinking, “You mean I only have to be here from 8-5 five days a week? Piece of cake, I can handle that.” We had all successfully juggled jobs, internships, school and extracurriculars while in college, so why would we not be able to make a simple 40-ish hour work week work for us? Well, we quickly learned that it was a lot more strenuous than we first thought.

Unlike school, work is set around SOMEONE ELSE’S schedule. Meetings can’t be “pushed back” because you have a huge midterm. Classes can’t be skipped because you stayed out too late. Work and life goes on—day in and day out. Even when you’re sleeping, people across the globe are keeping things going. You don’t get a week off just because, you have to earn that time. And you can’t “drop a class” because you’re going through a rough time. Everything is what it is and you can’t change it.

I found myself slowly becoming less and less social. I could no longer make it to every happy hour. Outings had to be skipped—I was a grown up with grown-up responsibilities that would not wait. So, if you’re planning to have “one more beer with the guys,” double check your schedule first to make sure you don’t have anything ready and waiting for you tomorrow morning.

This post was not meant to scare you about the impending responsibilities waiting for you, but rather PREPARE you for them. Whether you want to admit it or not, they’re there, unavoidably waiting for you. If someone had given me a heads up about these, I may have taken a bit more advantage of my last few months in college.

Maria Rainier is a freelance blogger and writer for www.onlinedegrees.org. Maria believes that online degrees and online universities are the future of higher learning. She is interested in all things concerned with higher education and is particularly passionate about life after college. Please share your comments with her.