Speak Up to Look Smarter Than You Are [Office Culture]

Speak Up to Look Smarter Than You Are [Office Culture]

Photo by tiarescott

Although you may have committed yourself to keeping your mouth shut unless you absolutely had something critical to add to a business meeting, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Frequent talkers are perceived as more intelligent and competent.

The trick won't work if you have no idea what's going on, of course. If you pipe up in the middle of a board meeting by yelling out "We should move all the cattle to the Indo-China region!" nobody is going to think you more competent for your interjection. At US News & World Report they offer this career advice:
No one is asking you to fake competence here. No one is asking you to pretend you know something you don't, or to spout nonsense, or to shout people down, or to fall in love with the sound of your own voice.
All you have to do is speak up more often. You don't need to know everything about everything to have an opinion or make an observation. Ask questions! Invite dialogue! Admit ignorance! Demonstrate that your objective is the success of your organization and that you want to help. Just the very act of contributing is enough to establish yourself as a key player.
Most people that work with groups—bosses, teachers, presenters—will tell you that it's no fun being at the front of the group and never getting any feedback from the group you're talking to. Speaking up offers you a chance to be visible among a crowd of bored and disengaged faces and gives your ideas or concerns a chance to be heard.

5 Leadership Traits from Jack Welch

From our experience, the first essential trait of leadership is positive energy — the capacity to go-go-go with healthy vigor and an upbeat attitude through good times and bad.
The second is the ability to energize others, releasing their positive energy, to take any hill.
The third trait is edge — the ability to make tough calls, to say yes or no, not maybe.
The fourth trait is the talent to execute — very simply, get things done.
Fifth and finally, leaders have passion. They care deeply. They sweat; they believe.

Smooth Advice for your Job Search

via How You Doin - Smooth Advice for your Job Search : Linkedin by Jaysa Toet

This got me thinking about some of the ties between relationships and recruitment. Neither is an exact science but fit is definitely critical. Now I’m no Miss Lonelyhearts, but here is how your dating smarts can help you remember some key tips for recruiting as a hiring manager or searching for work as a candidate:
  • How YOU Doin’? Whether you’re out on the town and some “smooth” talker lays a ridiculous pick-up line on you or you’re sitting on LinkedIn and a salesy recruiter sends a canned message, neither feels particularly excellent. You may be flattered for a second but the yuck factor quickly creeps in. Sincerity is key! A genuine compliment is much better received just like a sincere & personalized LinkedIn message with context.

4 Nosy Interview Questions You Should Ask

via 4 Nosy Interview Questions You Should Ask - The Muse:

1. Is This a New Position, or Are You Looking to Backfill the Role?
2. What Are the Expectations for This Role—and How Regularly Are Employees Evaluated?
3. What Opportunities Do Employees Have for Professional Growth?
4. What Made You Excited About Joining the Company?"

It may seem strange to interview them... but it is critical to make sure they fit into your personality.

If you are a social person and the office is full of people who sit, quietly and IM each other while in the same building... that culture will not match with you. Inevitabily it will end badly. Better to find out in the interview than after hating to go to work after the first week.

Minimize the ‘Hops’!

Minimize the ‘Hops’!: "
image I received an email from someone trying to figure out how to minimize any negative impressions his resume may make to potential employers because he had worked a number of contract and consulting projects. When he lists his entire job history, it looks like he’s been hopping jobs way too often when in fact it’s the nature of the project work he’s done. Some of his assignments were a matter of days and others for several months, but it makes a chronological resume look bad.
This is not an uncommon problem, and likely one that will continue to grow as a greater percentage of people take advantage of contract or consulting opportunities. The number of companies that use contract workers is increasing every year as well as the frequency and types of positions they use them for. When a company sees a need for additional help for a particular project that has a beginning and an end, it makes much more sense to use a contract worker for that period of time than to hire a new ‘permanent’ employee that they may have to lay-off when the project is done.
So, for someone like the person that sent me the email, who has been contracting for years but now would like to be considered for a permanent / full-time position, how do you create an honest resume that doesn’t scare a potential employer off?
Minimize what appears to be job-hopping through groupings!

When, as in the case of my emailer, you’ve been working contract or consulting positions exclusively for a period of time, treat that time period as one ‘job’ on your resume. For example, if you’ve worked on 12 projects over a 5 year period, you might show that on your resume like this:
Contract and Consulting Projects 2004 – 2009
Engaged on a number of assignments that have included:
- Network Administration - Desktop / PC Support
- Hardware Troubleshooting - LAN Installations
- Desktop Roll-Outs - Software Distribution
Technologies included: Windows XP/Vista; Windows Server 2003; Norton Ghost; SMS; Active Directory
Companies included: Target Corp; 3M; Cargill; Digital River; United Health Group; Peak Systems
- Completed several projects ahead of schedule
- Gained ability to adapt to multiple new environments and technologies quickly
- Gained broad range of understanding of multiple processes and procedures
Certainly more specific details, and accomplishments ought to be included, particularly as they are relevant to your actual experience. However, I believe this is a great way to display your related experience, not hide from the fact that you’ve had several assignments, yet not clutter your resume with too much detail.
Never embellish, and never be deceitful about your job history. However, it’s also not necessary to over-emphasize what might be perceived as negatives. Group multiple positions under a relevant heading with the appropriate date range and you can produce an effective document that will help your job hunting process rather than hinder it!