Friday, September 23, 2016

35 habits that make employees extremely valuable

Article originally published on Inc.

An employee doesn’t have to be a top salesperson to bring exponential value to a company. Amazing employees stand out from the crowd in many other ways. Simply put, their contribution far outweighs their cost, regardless of their expense.

Many employers today are willing to pay top dollar for the right people, but often they wouldn't recognize those “A” players, because they aren’t looking for the right traits or they are too self-absorbed to know a good thing when they have it. Well, here is a list of traits that can easily be observed for solid company ROI.

If you are an employee, strive to make each of these a habit. If you are an employer, appreciate and reward the behavior.

1. They don't wait to be asked.

Many employers are accustomed to just telling people what to do. Employees create value when they anticipate what is needed and get it done without any prompting.

2. They attack the disease, not the symptoms.

So much company time goes to firefighting on a reactive basis. Employees create value when they assess the root cause of the problems and make systemic change that eliminates the problems completely. 

3. They are the pressure release, not the pressure builder.

Stress is natural in the workplace, and uptight people can feed off each other. Employees create value when they help people decompress so they can improve productivity.

4. They plan the work and work the plan.

Haphazard thinking and action usually delivers mediocre results. Employees create value when they add effective structure and drive the team forward with efficiency.

5. They do their homework.

Idea generation is useful, but not every suggestion is beneficial or appropriate. The wrong proposal can cause distraction or even derail the team. Employees create value when they research ideas before implementation so that little effort is wasted on the unachievable.

6. They look to be smarter than the boss.

People are never infallible, and even leaders need to learn. Employees create value when they bring knowledge to the table that fills the boss's blind spots.

7. They view the path five steps ahead.

Many workers can barely see the tasks right in front of their face. Employees create value when they are looking out beyond step one and two. Often they will solve issues before they even come close to occurring.

8. They act with the big picture in mind.

People who only work in their own isolation often cause challenges for those in other parts of the company. Employees create value when they work to comprehend how their efforts impact the whole so they can adjust accordingly.

9. They build bridges, not bombs.

There are plenty of people looking to sabotage others while trying to get ahead. Employees create value when they encourage camaraderie and an environment where a rising tide lifts all boats.

10. They cross-train themselves and others.

A company with specified individualists is in constant danger of losing expertise or capability. Employees create value when they increase redundancy of process and talent. 

11. They create a circle of influence.

A growing company needs leaders. Employees create value when they can inspire others to make things happen both internally and externally.

12. They work ahead of the curve.

The future is always moving closer, and signs of what's to come are always present. Employees create value when they are future curious and consider what's to come in their actions and thinking.

13. They proactively and effectively communicate.

Being ambiguous or leaving people hanging contributes to a frustrating work environment. Employees create value when they instigate consistent and complete communication that keeps everyone informed.

14. They know when to lead and how to follow.

A leader can't lead all the time if others are going to grow. Employees create value when they encourage others to step up and support them as the enthusiastic second in command.

15. They fight for what's right and commit to the achievable.

People who push without basis can eat time and cause consternation. Employees create value when they stand up for their beliefs and take a pragmatic view before going all in. 

16. They make the office a great place to work.

People who are negative bring down morale and demotivate. Employees create value when they help create a positive environment that others can't wait to join.

17. They integrate time for learning and working on the company.

There is more to growth than just the daily grind. Employees create value when they grow themselves in ways that can help advance the company toward lofty objectives.

18. They motivate their co-workers and superiors.

People need encouragement, no matter their position. Employees create value when they make everyone feel good about what they do and why they do it.

19. They instigate admiration for the company.

One bad representative of the company reflects on the whole crew. Employees create value when they provide a positive image that reflects well on everyone else.

20. They make others look amazing.

A showoff can alienate the whole team, creating frustration and rancor. Employees create value when they share credit with others on the team, elevating everyone's happiness and confidence. 

21. They create pleasant surprises everyday.

Any work environment can become dull and unimaginative. Employees create value when they stimulate energy and creativity in the workplace.

22. They are problem solvers, not whiners.

Constant complaining runs rampant in the business world. Employees create value when they brush aside the complaints and help people focus on the resolution.

23. They clean up messes.

Even the most productive people can sometimes move so fast the details are left undone. Employees create value when they make sure the company is safe, compliant, and protected from carelessness. 

24. They maintain a happy home, at home.

Home life can easily intrude on the workplace, making others uncomfortable and creating distraction. Employees create value when they establish boundaries and set an example of work-life balance so others can learn from their best practices.

25. They turn troublemakers into rainmakers.

There will always be problem people in business. Employees create value when they can turn cynics into advocates and fear mongers into champions.

26. They resolve unhealthy conflict.

The workplace is stressful, and often people channel that stress onto others. Employees create value when they can diffuse tense situations and help people return to civility.

27. They engage in healthy conflict.

A company without strong debate is bound to head over a cliff or be passed by eventually. Employees create value when they bring important issues to the table, even when against the popular view.

28. They make most things seem easy, especially when they are not.

Work today is more involved then ever before. Employees create value when they manage tasks seamlessly, inspiring others to raise their performance as well. 

29. They don't just do, they teach.

Companies need people who can help others grow. Employees create value when they improve the work force and delegate, giving others the opportunity to gain proficiency and confidence.

30. They manage obstacles as if they were opportunities.

Bumps in the road are bound to happen. Employees create value when they take on those issues with positivity and excitement.

31. They expand everyone's network of influence.

A company doesn’t grow by accident, and the CEO can't be the only one to get the good word out. Employees create value when they promote the company as evangelists, generating opportunities at every turn.

32. They influence often, and manipulate when necessary.

Sitting in a corner and grinding out tasks is the minimum work for pay. Employees create value when they encourage people to reach their potential and help them overcome their internal demons.

33. They leave a trail of manageable process behind.

Often companies move so fast they are constantly reinventing the wheel. Employees create value when they document what works and encourage replication. 

34. They attract other valuable employees.

Valuable employees are hard to find, but they tend to know each other. Employees create value when they act as a beacon for others looking to be exemplary.

35. They embody the company's core values.

A company misaligned is a company adrift and unlikely to succeed long term. Employees create value when they demonstrate to others the behavior and attitudes that will lead everyone to success.

Have questions about your job search? We want to hear them! Comment below or contact one of our expert recruiters today! Find the closes CFS location to you here
Read the original article published on Inc. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

6 mistakes stopping you from landing the job

Article originally published on The Muse

Some people make the job search process harder than it needs to be. Obviously it’s not their intention to make an already difficult journey any longer. But sometimes job seekers (unwittingly) do things that work against them.
So, if your search has dragged on longer than you’d like, see if one of these reasons might be the culprit. Just know that before you start reading that all of these behaviors are totally fixable once you identify them. 

1. You Keep Your Search Between You and Your Laptop

Getting a job is a team sport, and savvy people build teams of advisors who work to help them succeed through support and advice. For example, some people are best at helping you identify strengths and weaknesses. They can review your resume, make introductions, and provide honest feedback.
Others will encourage you when you’re ready to throw in the towel. So, don’t let your computer be your only confidant. Reach out to your network for help and support. 

2. You Only Apply Through Traditional Means

Whether you’re targeting smaller firms or big brands, don’t forget that many companies pay a referral fee to employees who find the next hire—meaning there’s something in it for everyone when you get referred. And, it’s the best way to get hired.
So, don’t be afraid to ask friends, relatives, and contacts to refer you to open positions where they work. So long as you’ve done your due diligence beforehand and you’re considerate about it, they’ll likely help you out if they can.

3. You’re Only Going After Big Companies

If you cannot name five up-and-coming organizations in the industry you’re targeting, you don’t really know the sector as well as you think you might.
Lesser-known companies may not be as sought after as the Google’s and Microsoft’s of the world, but they may just have a culture where you’ll thrive and the opportunity you’re looking for. If you’re pursuing big-name firms because they’re all you know, you need to expand your search. 

4. You (Always) Communicate Assertively

Many people strive to project a sense of control and competency. That makes sense because in order for others to have confidence in you, you need to have confidence in yourself.
However, if you overdo it, you can turn people off. Allowing yourself to be honest—when networking, for example—can help others connect with you more easily.
Nobody wants to be sold anything, and most people are not impressed by bravado. Remember that being vulnerable from time to time may be one of the best things you can do for yourself as a job seeker.

5. You Doubt Yourself

Some people spend precious emotional energy assuring themselves that the hunt is taking as long as it is because they simply aren’t good enough. And when you stop believing in yourself, you’re in trouble. 
Don’t rush into a decision like taking a position you feel uneasy about or heading back to school simply out of fear. Instead remind yourself of all the reasons you might not be getting a call back that have nothing to do with you (like if you’ve been applying to roles you truly aren’t qualified for).

6. You Don’t Play to Your Strengths

The other day I worked with a student who had an unbelievable talent for numbers, yet the roles she had applied for only marginally allowed her to use her unique talent. So, while she had a skill that differentiated her from others, she wasn’t targeting jobs that allowed her to demonstrate what she did best. 
Ask yourself what it is that you excel at, and don’t be scared to use these attributes as a starting point. Target roles that would maximize your talents: You’re more likely to get a call back—and achieve greater job satisfaction and career success after you’re hired.

Are you a status quo job seeker—someone who’s afraid to be bold? The time may have come for you to create a plan that fits you. Be creative. Generate big breaks for yourself by going against the norm and trying what has not been done before. And above all, sidestep these common mistakes, which are only getting in your way.

Have questions about your job search? We want to hear them! Comment below or contact one of our expert recruiters today! Find the closes CFS location to you here

Read the original article published on The Muse.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

6 ways to make a great impression in every meeting

Article originally published on Forbes

Another meeting is coming up at work, and you’re dreading it.

Like so many professionals–probably many more than you realize—it’s not a comfortable environment for you. Maybe you’re shy, introverted or you genuinely enjoy listening to others’ ideas. Perhaps it’s important to you to show respect by deferring to the leaders at the table.

Situational factors can play a part too. Certain co-workers may dominate the discussion, not allowing you to get a word in edgewise.

Whatever the case, sitting frozen through yet another meeting can be a terrible feeling. By now you might even take it for granted that feeling self-conscious in meetings is part of the job. You may wonder if it’s really worth all of the effort to speak up, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you.

Elevating your visibility at work is essential if you want your career to evolve and grow. You work hard and have great ideas to contribute—you should be making an impact and getting the recognition you deserve. 
If you want to get ahead, then it’s important that your voice is heard. It’s within your power to take control and ditch a habit of staying silent in favor of speaking up.
Here are some very simple strategies you can confidently implement at your very next meeting. With a little practice, you’ll finally feel like the integral team member you’ve always been.

1. Banish Pre-Meeting Jitters.
Your hands are shaky. Your stomach is doing somersaults. You suddenly start second guessing if you spelled the client’s name correctly on the agenda. These are common pre-meeting anxieties. It’s normal to experience anticipatory stress when you feel as if your intelligence or contributions are being evaluated. 

Instead of impugning your jitters as a sign that you’re inadequate or otherwise not up to the task at hand, Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal suggests befriending your stress response, reframing it as a sign you’re ready for action and prepared to bring your best to the (conference) table.

2. Ease Into It.  
It may be tempting to arrive right before a meeting starts to appear prompt or avoid awkward small talk. But if you feel rushed or short on time, this will only exacerbate the existing stress you already feel during meetings.

Instead, build in a buffer and plan to settle in before things get underway. Give yourself the opportunity to ease into the physical meeting space. If it’s a virtual teleconference, get comfortable with the webinar controls, your mic and webcam ahead of time. 

As colleagues arrive, focus on making conversation with one or two people at a time, which can feel both socially fulfilling and less overwhelming. You’ll also already have an “in” of sorts as the meeting begins and conversation turns towards agenda items. This can help ease anxiety and make speaking up for the duration of the session seamless.

3. Commit To Speaking Early.
Have you ever come to a meeting with ideas and plan for what you want to say, then left realizing you said nothing the entire time? While you’re not alone, staying quiet is doing yourself a disservice. It typically gets more difficult to enter the conversation as a meeting progressesThe longer you wait, the more your anxiety will build.

Growth often comes from discomfort, so push yourself to speak up early. Set a simple strategy to say something in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the session–whether it’s to welcome attendees, present your main argument, ask a question or offer an opinion on a new business proposal. It’s a surefire way to ensure you contribute.

4. Use Your Strengths When Speaking Up 
You don’t have to be the loudest in the room. Even the soft-spoken can still make an impact by backing up a coworker’s comment with a simple, “Great idea! I can see that working really well.”

You can also focus on asking powerful questions. Especially if you consider yourself an introvert, you’re likely very observant, which gives you an edge when it comes to posing the kind of thought-provoking questions that haven’t crossed your colleagues’ minds quite yet.

Another way powerful way to increase your impact and visibility even after the meeting wraps is by following up with an email to your boss summarizing key points raised, or better yet, providing a proposal for a new project sparked by the conversation. You’ll build up a reputation as someone who makes useful contributions and you’ll come to everyone’s mind more quickly when promotion time comes around. More importantly, you’ll gain confidence in yourself.

5Be The One To Take Action on “Next Steps”.
Did something come up in the meeting that could use more research? Commit to taking on something for the next meeting. It shows you have initiative and that you’re interested and invested in your organization.  

This is a great example of employing a pre-commitment device, a habit formation technique you can use to nudge yourself towards behaviors you desire. You’ve committed yourself—now you’ll be more motivated and likely to follow through.

6. Challenge Your Beliefs About Contributing.
Many people’s leadership instincts may not have been nurtured to their full potential in childhood, and subconscious insecurities can seep into our behavior to this day when it comes to speaking up. So how do you overcome old, outdated scripts holding you back from feeling confident about speaking up? It requires a deep-dive into your presumptions about self-worth and speaking up.

Growing up, what were you told about standing out? Were you given the message by your parents, teachers, and community that you could be whatever you wanted, or did you internalize concepts like, “People won’t like you if you try to stand out”? If you find yourself easily devastated by real or imagined negative feedback should you express your ideas, consider that you may be reverting back to an immature identity when your self-esteem was more contingent on others’ (especially that of authority figures’) opinions.

When you have a point to make yet find undermining thoughts creeping in, thank your inner critic for trying to do it’s job by keeping you protected. Fear can signal you’re saying something of significance. Seize the moment. Stop playing small. Remember, you’re part of your organization because you’re qualified, you’re effective, and you matter.

You’ve got a lot to offer—now it’s time to let everyone know it.

Are you looking for your next dream job? Contact one of our expert recruiters today! Find the closes CFS location to you here

Read the original article published on Business Insider.

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