The etymology of amateur comes from the French, meaning "to love". When you think of doing something you love, there is a joy of practicing, losing yourself in the activity. The rest of the world fades away. Think of what it's like to spend the day out on the golf course when your sinking a ball with ease or when you're drawing a picture and you the whole afternoon escapes. For some it may be preparing a meal for a friend and the whole afternoon quickly speeds away. For others playing chess with a friend for hours. The common element is the focus is on the process, not the outcome.
Want to prove you know something? Want to master something quick? Want to do good in the world? World peace? End starvation?
Okay, living the old adage that if you really want to learn something you teach it may not end with world peace, but it will certainly help you lock in what you know about a given subject. And you’ll also help someone else as well!
As Marci Segal points out, an angel’s advocate is someone who sees what’s good in an idea and supports it. We all know how to help out by playing the “devil’s advocate”: we generally sound out the shortcomings of an idea. The term is a euphemism for skeptics to critique. Don’t be fooled. The quickest way to kill an idea is playing the devil’s advocate.
One Sunday, I was golfing with my wife. She asked me, “If I died, would you get married again?”
I was surprised, and answered, “No, my love, I wouldn’t.”
But she persisted, “I’m sure you would.”
So I said, “Okay, I would.”
Then she asked me, “Would you let her sleep in our bed?”
At this, I replied, “Yes, I guess so.”
Then my wife asked, “Would you let her use my golf clubs?”
And I replied, “No, she’s left handed."
Recently an eager job seeker asked me the top 5 things I could recommend for finding a new job. She asked me what mistakes to avoid and what would help her succeed. Here is a brief outline of our discussion. I hope it helps you as well!
Miyamoto Musashi, the 16th century Japanese sword fighter said, “Never have a favorite weapon.” If you continually fall back on a specific method or skill-set over and over, you will grow predictable. You will be beaten.
“Collaboration” might seem like a fuzzy term to many leaders, but for Human Resources professionals, developing collaboration presents a constant challenge. And the costs of poor collaboration definitely makes for concrete impact. The business news frequently reminds us of this fact.
If you're looking for a new job, you need a personal brand. Not long ago, we would work for a company for life and didn't need a brand. We found a job after school and plugged away until retirement. Today, life is more complex. We have to switch jobs many times, and millions of us decide to work on our own as professionals, "solopreneurs" or entrepreneurs. Each individual must craft their own personal brand in order to stand out and succeed in a more chaotic, cluttered economy. And if you are searching for a new job, then you need to stand out against other applicants.
Anyone that has experienced an interview is asked, “do you have any questions?” Perhaps some answered, “No, I don’t.” But that is a big mistake. It differs by company, but there are three purposes an interviewer would ask such question.
1. To see if you are serious about this job.
2. To check your communicative skills and active thinking.
3. To resolve any questions and worries you might have before boarding the team.
Do you know your management style? Knowing your management style grows your skills as a manager. This article targets not only managers, but future leaders or those looking to change jobs and become a manager. You will probably find more management styles if you Google ‘management style’, but here I will introduce 7 different types of management.
What is your most precious asset as an executive?
Money and investments are certainly high on the list. However, you can earn back money that you have lost, and find new opportunities and investments.
Everyone once has searched “quality of wanted worker”, “good candidate”, “asset of a successful worker”, or something close to that. The results for these searches are successful, although what search engines will suggest to you are list of qualities and mindsets such as these:
A person who can think on their own and act upon it.
Someone who knows their strengths and use them.
Succeeded in hitting target.
High communication skills.
Able to speak a second/third language and/or understands foreign culture.
Good team player.
Aggressive in challenges.
According to the Society for Human Resources, 25 percent of the US population experiences a job transition every year. Unfortunately, many of these transitions are not successful. In fact, half of outside senior hires fail within 18 months.
People make the world go around. They teach you what is possible and that nothing is impossible. Be inspired; read biographies. If you can unlearn the "how to" of our society--getting that "right answer" out of a white paper, and replace it with the "who to" attitude, you'll open up creativity to help boost success. You can find out what is universal, what works throughout the ages. Start to meet these people, living and dead and learn from them.
As many of us know, recruiters (or headhunters) do mainly two things; one, provide companies with talented candidates, and two, introduce fitting jobs to those who look for one. They are a bridge between company and job seeker. With all the jobs and job seekers in the world, matching the two still is a challenge. That is why recruiters (consultants) work to make the best match.
Consultants, as their job is to do so, will still try to get the candidate in the company best paying them. Some people, maybe you, don’t like this ‘push,’ and try not to work with consultants when hunting a new job. But there are ways to make the consultant work for you rather than the company. Here are some tips on how to change a consultant from a sales person to a job-searching partner.
Only the well equipped, experienced talent acquisition team can hunt for the best talent and thrive in sourcing the best people. One of the key points that companies miss is the combination of technology with talented individuals who skillfully and thoughtfully implement a recruitment system. From the countless companies I speak to, a large majority of HR use Excel —if they track applicants at all. One company, on the Fortune 500, that had 8 in-house recruiters opted for Excel because they could use Japanese. Unfortunately, when tracking candidates on Excel, information often disappear. When an employee quits, the information disappears. When a search completes, often the search is forgotten as is all previous candidates. This results in companies paying duel recruitment fees, or worse yet, missing a chance to build a pool of candidates where the company skips the recruiter (and fees) all together. And to top it off, a lack of communication creates strain between a hiring manager struggling to know what HR is doing, and HR frustrated because management doesn’t understand that they are working, though the hard work and results remain lost, hidden on an Excel spreadsheet.
A sales person will drive an extra mile, make the extra cold call, spend longer on that RFP, do a bit more research on her client, read the client’s annual report before walking into the conference, work as many hours or persistent days just to get the job done. The best salespeople, like the best athletes, move beyond required action and into the exceptional, whether going through sales training, putting added information in the database, or making more sales calls—they take the one extra step others ignore, forget, or neglect. The great sales person knows that in the sales race, there is only first place or nothing; no medals are awarded for second best sales person—only unemployment checks.
Over the last few weeks I've seen many blogs and postings on how to craft a successful resume. But most of the advice is old and some even obsolete for the world of computers. From the hundreds of resumes I see in a month, here are some quick observations on how you can update your resume. I will mention that I know that I'm dating myself and many countries have now switched to video resumes, but that is an article for a different day.
Click here to read in Japanese. （日本語版はこちら）
One of the ways I always work to improve is to find tools to help make my job easier. Here are a few of my favorite Apps that I use daily. Please feel free to add yours!
One of the best ways to ace an interview is to make sure you know about the company before having the interview. In less than twenty minutes, you can learn a great deal about a company, what they do, and their short and long-term goals. In addition, public companies are easier to research than private companies as are international companies compared to local companies. For Japan specific, the information may be less accessible than the information for other countries. However, with the Internet, there is usually more than enough material for you to prepare yourself for an interview.
Click here to read in Japanese （日本語版はこちら）