Last month I chatted through top tips for starting a business or finding a business, so this month the the gorgeous Danny Smith on Radio Verulam I thought I’d talk through jobs for those that I put off starting a business 😉 I know that with Christmas coming up there will be lots of job opportunities, and then afterwards, some lucky people will get the chance to stay, so I thought that tips put together from 13 years of working in IT, 15 years as a therapist and a year as an employer might help!
(Please do let me know if they help – I’d love to know!).
(You can listen again for a week here – I’m around 5.30)
To Get A Job
Obviously it’s not all about you – sometimes there will be so many people going for a job, that there is a little bit of luck involved. In that case I like to have the attitude that the ‘right job’ will come along, but help it by making sure I’ve done all I could.
1) CV – Adapt your CV for each interview. I get people sending CV’s that list EVERYTHING, and they are clearly applying for different jobs. I tend to ask people to send me a simple list of what they can do (or can’t is often easier) and where they worked and how long for.
2) Don’t Use Text Speak – Yes, I’ve had people using text speak in their emails or Facebook messages.
3) Don’t discuss your nights out – Yes, I’ve had someone discuss how wasted they were from the night before!
4) Clean up your Facebook – either make your Facebook private or clean it up – drunk pictures with a spliff don’t do you any good.
5) Be clean and appropriately dressed – an office job means a suit, a beauty job means great nails, hair and makeup.
6) Be on time – and set off with time to spare. Although, I actually employed a girl who was late, because she handled getting lost so well and didn’t cry!
7) Don’t lie – there is no point, it will come out later that you mislead your employer and they will be very unhappy.
8) Google the company – make sure that you’ve done some research. So many people apply for my Spa and don’t even know it’s in Radlett with free parking, but difficult to get to if you can’t drive.
During the show Danny and I had an interesting chat about wether people should ask about the pay early on. For myself with the pay structure being pretty similar across my industry, I’m looking for someone who is most interested in our Salon, but with a healthy interest in their compensation. So anyone who’s first question was about the pay in an email, I tended to ignore.
But Danny raised an important point: For some people if they are offered a job that will put them in a worse position than they are in currently (if on benefits), then they need to know earlier in the day if there is going to be a problem. In this situation I would explain to the company in question your requirements in as polite and professional a manner as you can – that the pay structure isn’t your primary concern, but because of your situation you need to be sure that the pay is over a certain minimum amount.
Also, it can be very frustrating when going for a job, where the company knows your current pay level, but then offers you less; we all automatically assume they will offer more. In which case, turn all the tips I’ve suggested above on their heads, and now you know how to NOT get offered a job!
To Keep Your Job
I’ve spent years as a manager, as has the big hairy northerner, and we have had many conversations about how crazy having staff can sometimes feel. I remember my husband saying ‘I just need them to be able to add up correctly’ – which considering they were qualified accountants, wasn’t unreasonable! Whatever kind of job you are doing, these rules will apply, from a shelf-stacker to a CEO.
1) Work Smart
Being busy, isn’t enough. What you need to do is ‘work smart’, i.e. do the job, don’t do stupid things. (Unless you work in one of those ridiculous firms that only care about the time you arrive and leave).
2) Do Your Job
If your job is at all complicated, then you won’t have the headspace to get involved in someone else’s job as well. So focus on getting yours right and don’t worry about the others – that’s your managers job. I had to sack a really lovely person for this, because she ended up making lots of mistakes in her own job, and I was gutted.
3) Give To Get
I heard this phrase last week and it really works in the workplace. Generally I would say that giving is just a great thing to do, without expecting anything in return. But this is more about the fact that if you would like something from your employer (e.g. promotion, training, pay rise), then you need to prove yourself to them. An attitude of ‘expectancy’ or ‘I deserve more than this’, tends to be very wrong – it often means you don’t understand what is going on in the business or what is generally available.
4) Be Professional
It doesn’t matter how much you work smart, do your job well and prove yourself to your company, but if you behave unprofessionally then it’s a deal breaker. There is NO industry (sorry Gordon Ramsay!) where it is OK to be sexist, racist, rude about disabled people, swear at people or steal stuff.
5) Understand The Brand
Learn about your company. There will always be a case of ‘if the face fits’, especially if there is a strong brand image. For instance there are some companies that have really strong brand images – some you might never be able to fit, but others might just take a little effort e.g. how smartly or fashionably dressed do they like you to be? How strong on customer service are they? What are their values – do you understand them? (Here is my vague excuse for putting Wolverine in – after all he wouldn’t be great in a job that required calm and measured responses!)
Let me know what you think and if these tips help you to get and keep a job this Christmas!
Keep at it!