Stuff We're Reading
  • Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All
    Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All
    by Jim Collins, Morten T. Hansen
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
    Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
    by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics
    The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics
    by Michael Maslansky, Scott West, Gary DeMoss, David Saylor
  • The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
    The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
    by Gretchen Rubin
Monday
Oct202014

Wanted! Flexible Job Seekers Over 45....

 

People over the age of 45 assume they are no longer "hiring material." How do they reach this assumption? They read about it in the papers, see it on TV, and if they have lost their job at that age, they carry the resulting despair and anxiety with them to their next job interviews.

When interviews go sour (much due to the defeatism they projected), these individuals proclaim "See? I knew it", and the self-fulfilling prophecy verifies their strong belief in a notion that really was only partially valid.

In a survey conducted by Career Partners International – Israel among a pool of employers, 95% of the companies declared a willingness to hire people over 45, while 71% actually hired employees of that age group. This evidence refutes the strong-rooted assumption that employers don’t hire employees over the age of 45.

So what can a job seeker over the age of 45 do?

Source: http://pixabay.com/en/fear-town-sign-fearless-198933/Avoid fear

Fears that individuals over 45 feel when job hunting is unsubstantiated. Workers in this age group possess knowledge and wisdom from their past experiences.  The marketplace needs a larger workforce than is actually in supply. Therefore, rejecting suitable candidates due to age considerations is a luxury which is ceasing to exist. In certain European countries, national programs have been instated with the objective of rehiring retirees for part-time employment, in order to support economic growth.

Prepare Properly

It is Important to arrive at a job interview with a detailed list of achievements, which is usually longer with age and additional experience. It is beneficial to highlight special skills, areas of expertise, and the ability to handle challenges and conflicts in the workplace. Remember to properly prepare for interviews. Learn all there is to know about the company (from friends, the Internet, etc.).

Be flexible

One of the main concerns employers have when hiring older employees is that the individuals may not be flexible enough, or that they may find it difficult to learn new skills. They worry that older applicants are so set in their ways that they may not be willing to move toward new ways of doing things. It is highly recommended that applicants display a readiness to learn and to understand the organization’s culture. Refrain from insisting on one's (possibly old) way of doing things, or using inflexible/rigid phrases such as "This is how I’ve always done it," or "This is how I learned to do it." Show curiosity and interest in the way things are done in the new organization and project a willingness to adapt and evolve.

Source: http://pixabay.com/en/computer-technology-programming-339836/Befriend technology

Using technology is a significant part of today's daily tasks, especially in the workplace. Having a basic understanding of computers (though there’s no need to be a computer engineer), acquaintance with Microsoft Office, as well as Internet and email proficiency are essential in any workplace. There’s no need to return to college. Seek assistance from family members and friends, and spend time practicing these skills at home.


Demonstrate Value

Well paid in their previous jobs, individuals undoubtedly expect and often deserve similar compensation in their next positions. However, new employers may not fully grasp the depth of experience individuals over 45 possess and the value they can contribute to their organizations. Show how past knowledge and skills directly relate to the new position, and advance the organization more quickly than hiring a less experienced individual.  Don’t mistake a lower offer than previously held positions as an insult. It may be worthwhile to negotiate and possibly propose a trial period after which salary would be adjusted after the value is demonstrated.

Job seekers over the age of 45 bring valuable experiences and vast arrays of knowledge to organizations. The ability to translate these advantages so that employers see the benefits of hiring individuals of age is the foundation of a mutually beneficial employment relationship. 

Tuesday
Sep092014

Carswell Partners 2.0!

Since 1990, our focus has been on individual and organizational resilience.

[Resilience - noun \ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s\-an ability to recover from or adjust easily to change]. 

 

On January 1, 2013, we put ourselves to our own test, followed our own advice and prevailed in the face of very big change.

 

As someone who has journeyed with us, we invite you to a special evening to hear the Carswell story of resilience while connecting with new and old friends and colleagues.

 

The Carswell Partners Story - We put resilience to the test!

 

We have moved……………………………………Come and check out our new location! 

We have a new team……………………………….Come and meet our new consultants!

We are using new technology…………………………….Come and see what we have!

We offer new products and services……Come and hear all about what we offer now!

 

Aside from hearing our story (and what it means to you), this is a great opportunity for you to network with other business professionals (hint: and help build your own resilience….yes, we will explain how).

Join us for a special night with Carswell Partners October 1st, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

 

Event Location 

310 – 700 Richmond Street   (Piccadilly and Richmond)

Evening Schedule

5:30 – 6:15……………………………………. Getting reacquainted

6:15 – 7:00 ……Carswell 2.0: How we got to where we are today

7:00 – 7:30 …………………………………..How can we help you?

7:30 – 8:00……………………………………………………Mingling

 

Appetizers and refreshments provided.

We would appreciate an RSVP to Lianne Gallie

lianne.gallie@carswellpartners.com

 

We don’t want you to miss out on important updates, articles and conversations!

 

Join our LinkedIn Carswell Group - Click here to join our group!

Tuesday
Sep022014

The Power of Multi-rater Assessments in Professional Development

Multi-rater assessments are commonly referred to as “360’s” because they typically survey an individual’s colleagues in the workplace who hold lower, lateral and higher levels of positions to generate a “360” perspective of an individual’s performance. These assessments provide powerful advantages as organizations seek to amplify the development experience for their leaders and other key individuals. They collect broad feedback from the individual’s work relationships as well as other constituents to provide comprehensive and anonymous development feedback to help an individual optimize his/her perceived strengths and gain insight into perceived areas for development and improvement.

Performance assessments can be biased when involving interviewsFrequently, the feedback will not align with the leader’s personal view, providing a new lens for self-awareness and growth. For example, a coaching client who recently received 360 feedback admitted the feedback completely surprised her and she had no idea how others perceived her. It was a true learning moment, demonstrating blind-spots she would not otherwise have seen. It provided a solid foundation for her coaching journey and professional development.

Although 360 feedback can be collected through structured interviews or through an online, quantitative method, there are several advantages to using the later:

  • The quantitative 360 process helps align the boss’ expectations with the leader’s understanding of those expectations, allowing the leader to concentrate on improving specific competencies that are a priority for his/her boss. 
  • Quantitative 360s compare the individuals to normative data over a large number of comparable leaders. This allows the individual to establish personal goals as well as see how they compare with other leaders, providing a broad context for the developmental needs.
  • Finally, if the organization is administering multiple, quantitative 360s to a group, group reports can be produced, providing the organization input for training needs as well as letting participants see how well they stack up against their peers.

Online assessments can be more effective due to a quantitative basis.An important feature of 360 feedback is anonymity and confidentiality for all raters -- other than the identified direct or indirect manager(s) of participants. In order to preserve anonymity, individual responses are always combined with responses from other people in the same assessor category (e.g., peer or direct report). The anonymous nature of the feedback creates a forum for honest feedback that individuals might otherwise be uncomfortable to give in person.  In addition to the quantitative responses, raters are able to provide free form feedback to the leader.

While some coaches prefer a structured interview 360 (also known as a “walk around” 360) to assess and gather perceptions about a leader’s workplace behavior, the quantitative, online method of gathering feedback has other very distinct advantages.  The results of feedback from a “walk around” 360 are seen through the eyes and ears of the interviewer.  This feedback could reflect a subjective, possibly skewed view of a leader’s workplace behavior.  Due to the extra time necessary for scheduling and conducting the individual feedback interviews, the “walk around” 360 is more time consuming and therefore more expensive.

When organizations choose to utilize a “walk around” 360 there is no objective way to measure a leader’s behavioral change except for anecdotal evidence fraught with common performance ratings errors.  On the other hand, quantitative 360’s have built in mechanisms for measuring and assessing future behavioral change that make them more reliable.

Online assessments provide quantitative and unbiased analysis of leader behaviors.Most quantitative 360’s are also accompanied by a handbook for the leader that provides in-depth explanations of behaviors, examples of productive and ineffective behaviors, and a guide to improving that behavior.   

In addition to addressing the concern of subjectivity in the “walk-around” 360, we find that the online tool improves receptivity and acceptance of the feedback by participants.  The emphasis in the online approach is to present the 360 data and allow the leader to draw his/her own conclusions and insights, rather than providing insights and comments that could be perceived as judgments.  For example, Bob, a coaching client of mine, admitted to having many discussions with his boss about his poor listening skills, but he did not feel compelled to learn different listening strategies as a result of these discussions.  When presented with the specific findings of his quantitative 360, which found low ratings on “Listens attentively to concerns expressed by others” across all rating groups, Bob embraced the feedback and was open and willing to make a behavioral change.  A follow-up 360 a year later showed that his behavior had changed in a positive way, impacting his personal effectiveness, workplace relationships, and business results.

Leaders receiving quantitative 360 feedback gain insights into how others perceive them, creating an opportunity to adjust behaviors and develop skills that will enable them to excel in their work and improve how that work gets done.  If development is the goal, leaders and organizations should consider the objective, unbiased, normalized feedback an online, quantitative multi-rater 360 provides over the subjective and potentially biased feedback of structured interview 360s. Regardless of which methodology is chosen, the benefits provided by 360 assessments will help increase the effectiveness of organizational leaders and their development.

Monday
Aug252014

The Power of Self-Assessment in Career Transition: If Ever There Was A Time, It's Now

Go ahead; ask your career coach why it is a critical time to commit to formal self-assessment.

After all, you can quickly point out that you are reluctant to take the time because you need to get your resume done; because you know who you are, know how to communicate who you are and know how to link who you are with your next job… you know, because you expect your next job to be like your last job and the one before that! In short, you know where you fit in the world of work with which you are familiar. 

Aye…there’s the answer embedded within your own words.  This is NOT the world of work with which you are familiar.  This time, it’s different!


In this new and unusual world of work, you will be required to look at different ways to work beyond traditional jobs which last less than 4 years on average in the U.S..  This newly-developed shorter tenure is reason enough to take a serious time-out and look inward as you plan for a more disruptive future.

Stop and ask yourself: Is it time to learn to work as a free agent, as a temp, or independently in some other capacity?  Should you buy an established business or a franchise?  How about heading out as an entrepreneur or a ‘solopreneur?’  Do you desire to change the direction of your career?  Are you being forced into a change of direction because the job you once held no longer exists or because – simply stated – it is time to move on and reach for, a new challenge?

Which new or different direction should you choose?  Which direction suits your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses?  Which direction is aligned with your values and your interests? 

Think about this.  If you were running a business, you would take the time needed to make certain that you were prepared to set yourself on the best course for success.  


News Flash! You are running a business. Your career is your business.


Self-assessments, coupled with expert interpretation of results, ensure that you look at yourself in an unbiased, outcome-based way; a way that will help you to make good and prudent business decisions in alignment with what the job market demands.

Consider the valuable insights you can gain from an array of assessment instruments such as these:

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Beyond helping you to understand how to develop and maintain relationships in the workplace based on communication preferences, the MBTI provides information that helps you to understand the relationship between personality and careers.  Numerous books share the successful career paths selected by others based on their MBTI type.

Holland Self-Directed Search 

The Holland Self-Directed Search assessment identifies the activities that offer you the most personal satisfaction.  This helps you to identify jobs and career paths that can bring you joy in your work.

Strong Interest Inventory

This assessment compares your results with people like you who have already found interesting and satisfying new careers. 

SkillScan

SkillScan provides a fast, interactive and intuitive-based process for identifying skills that are transferable between industries and positions.  It integrates results with interests, values and personality inventories in order to provide a holistic picture of your career patterns.

Career Design Guide 

This assessment expands your horizons about work and life options thus improving your ability to make good career decisions.

Work/Values Inventory 

Defining work values by the qualities that you seek in your career, this assessment helps align your values with work.

Monday
Aug182014

Personal Branding and Social Media

 

Many people think that personal branding is just for so-called celebrities or stars – or even for those that have too high an opinion of themselves! Yet, each and every one of us has a “brand” and is a “brand.”

Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market or position ourselves to others. From the corporate brand to the product brand and down to the personal brand, branding is a critical component to a customer’s purchase decisions.

That customer may be someone looking to buy a new car, or, in the case of an organization, the Recruitment Manager, HR Director, or Recruitment Agency tasked to find a suitable person to fill a role.

Outplacement ServicesYou only need to ask someone’s colleagues to get a sense of their brand - how the person is perceived in the work-place (e.g. hard working, intelligent, a gossip, lazy, etc.). These “attributes” will then reflect that person’s “brand.” Fundamentally, your brand needs to reflect your credibility, your value proposition and what differentiates you from other people and candidates for a position. It needs to focus on the value or benefits of the brand, of you, as opposed to the features (previous roles, education, etc.).

As a brand then, we should be leveraging the same strategies that make well-known “gurus” or corporate brands appeal to others. We can build brand equity, just as they do, through both our actions and our words. This is true whether you are a mid-level manager wanting to take that next step up the ladder or a very experienced non-executive director looking to add more board roles to existing directorships – or even that elusive first, paid directorship.

New Role IntegrationHowever, the key difference between today and August 1997, when the concept of personal branding was first raised by Tom Peters, is the rise of social media. This has leveled the playing field and made branding not only more personal, but key to achieving one’s professional objectives.

You need to carefully consider the role that social media, in particular Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, might play in building and reflecting your personal brand.

  • Make sure your digital footprint is fully integrated. For example, your Twitter and LinkedIn persona should reflect each other, and be consistent with your “physical” presence by being reflected in your resume and profile. While you may choose to use Facebook for personal connections, you still need to ensure there is nothing that could damage your professional brand on your profile that is publicly visible.
  • Use sites like LinkedIn to stay in touch with colleagues, alumni, suppliers and other contacts, but avoid requesting or accepting contacts with people you don’t know. In such cases, a personal introduction from a shared contact (which you can find on LinkedIn) is better. You can also ask connections to provide a “recommendation” for you on your profile reflecting the experience they had working with you. Your connections can both reflect and support your brand.
  • Include your career summary (something short and sweet) in all of your online bios.
  • Keep your online profiles up-to-date. This includes job moves, but you can also share content, such as interesting articles and links, to keep your online profile fresh and dynamic. These “shared” pieces of content should reflect your fields of interest and expertise while helping build a picture of your brand.
  • You may not be ready to start blogging yourself, but you can still add comments and feedback to other commentators in your field of interest. This is the first step in understanding and engaging with your (target) audience and exposing them to your brand.
  • Blogs, posts and tweets should be professional, interesting and add value to the reader. Don’t use social media to simply advertise your business or yourself. For longer posts, ensure someone else proofs your work. Otherwise poor expression or choice of words could make it counterproductive.
  • If you are employed by an organization, ensure you are familiar with its social media policy and follow it. If it doesn’t have one, it’s something you should suggest as a risk-management tool. 
  • Remember, once something is online it’s often there forever. So be sensible about your personal information. Monitor your privacy settings and use common sense about what you do and don’t post. If in doubt, don’t post it!

Certified Career ConsultantEngaging a professional career strategist who also understands social media will pay huge dividends in assisting you through the process of understanding your personal brand (who am I?), considering possible outcomes (where am I going?) and then devising an appropriate strategy to achieve those desired outcomes (how am I going to get there?).

Much of this post has been about the importance of brand, your personal brand, and how you can use social media to reflect and promote that brand. However, your brand, whether as an individual or an organization, is only part of the equation.

Are you doing enough to build both your personal reputation and that of your organization by ensuring the brand promise, the delivery performance and the audience’s expectations are all in positive alignment? Is it time to engage a professional career strategist? As a famous brand says – Just do it!