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How to ‘Manage’ Four Frustrating Types of Bosses

By Robert Half

No matter how much you love your job, your happiness is inextricably tied to your relationship with your manager. If you have a dream boss, you can stop reading right now. If not, here are a few tips on how to get along with various types of bosses that can prove to be more frustrating.

The Silent Type

Workers with chatty bosses might long for a silent leader. But often, this type seems to think you’re a mind reader. The Silent Type provides little to no direction on projects and then becomes frustrated when you don’t deliver to his expectations. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that a Robert Half survey found the most common mistake companies make in managing their teams is inadequate communication.

How to deal: Every boss has his preferred method of communication, whether it’s email, in-person check-ins, phone, IM or sticky notes. Figure out your boss’s favorite way to interact, and then use it — but sparingly. Peppering silent types with constant questions and messages will only increase their distance. But initiating a regular checking-in routine with a method you know is comfortable for your boss can encourage him to provide you with the feedback you need.

The Perfectionist

These managers are extremely driven and have high standards, both of which are admirable qualities. But among all types of bosses, Perfectionists are the least likely to delegate, constantly second-guessing your decisions and, frustratingly, micromanaging every step of the way.

How to deal: There’s no quick solution to this one. Until a Perfectionist trusts you, you won’t be able to convince her to give you more control. The key is to anticipate your boss’s concerns and questions, and have your answers and solutions ready. Focus on doing the best work you can, and offer updates without waiting for your manager to ask. In time, a Perfectionist is likely to cut you more slack when she realizes you’re capable of doing your job to high standards.

Mr. or Ms. Moody

Different types of bosses mean different personalities. Unfortunately, this one is rarely in a good mood. Maybe he is overworked and stressed, or just consistently gets up on the wrong side of the bed. Either way, Mr. or Ms. Moody’s bad temper means that you have to deal with passive-aggressive or outright rude behavior. This leaves you walking on eggshells and going out of your way to avoid your manager.

How to deal: Fight the urge to treat Mr. or Ms. Moody in kind. Responding to a jab or snub with an equally nasty or passive-aggressive move will only cause tempers to flare. Besides, your reputation as a professional is on the line. But the old adage “kill them with kindness” isn’t ideal in this situation either; your sugary-sweet attitude will likely irritate your boss even more. And suffering in silence isn’t good for your work relationships or mental health. Instead, be calm but blunt, and address any rudeness in a straightforward manner. Pointing out uncivil or unprofessional behavior while maintaining your composure may help defuse your boss’s ill temper and encourage more appropriate interactions. If that fails, you may have to seek help from the human resources department.

The Egoist

This is one of the most challenging types of bosses to handle. Egotistical managers create a toxic workplace. They take pleasure in keeping workers “in their place” and resent other people’s successes and achievements.

How to deal: It may be tempting to try and bring your boss’s ego down a notch, but that often works better in movies than in real life. Instead, treat your manager with respect and remember that how she treats you is not an indication of your worth as an employee or a person. Short of trying to grin and bear it, there may be little you can do to change an Egoist’s behavior. If you’ve reached your breaking point, your best bet may be to consider a different job. There are a million types of bosses out there. But regardless of your manager’s quirks, keep in mind that you are not alone. Find support and get advice from other team members or members of your professional network. Just don’t fall prey to badmouthing or other unprofessional behavior. Together, you can help create a supportive, friendly atmosphere with your fellow employees despite your silent, perfectionist, moody or egotistical boss.

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 400 staffing and consulting locations worldwide. For additional career advice, read our blog at blog.roberthalf.com or follow us on social media at roberthalf.com/follow-us.

www.careerbuilder.com


7 Deadly Sins of Resume Writing

By Steve P. Brady

Despite the fact that there are numerous how-to articles out there, resumes are not easy to write. They require time, talent and patience in order to craft them into targeted advertisements for your most precious commodity:  you.

You don’t want this document that you have been poring over for days to fall victim to the seven deadly sins of resume writing. Be vigilant and double check before you send your resume to any potential employers.

Deadly sin No. 1: Typos

This is a no-brainer, but it is still one of the most common mistakes on a job seeker’s resume. Double and triple check, and then have someone else proofread it for you. This is the easiest of the seven to fix as long as you read carefully.

Deadly sin No. 2: Faulty formatting

Today’s word-processing software allows for just about anyone to become a publishing wizard. You can add shadings, graphics, artistic fonts and stylistic flourishes. Don’t.

Above all else, you want your resume to be readable. Keep the fancy formatting to a minimum and place a priority on scannablility. Email it to a friend to ensure that the formatting you do keep is not lost.

Deadly sin No. 3: Irrelevant job experience

Everyone is proud of their professional life, and rightfully so. However, there comes a time when you have to be ruthless with your past and cut out anything that strays from the branded image you are trying to create with your resume.

A general rule of thumb is to stick with the most recent 15 years of experience. For instance, if you are going for an upper level management position, you certainly do not need to include your time in the sales department 20 years ago when you first got out of college.

Deadly sin No. 4: Weak word choice

Banish words such as ‘helped,” “provided” and “worked” from your resume vocabulary. Only use strong, active verb phrases that point toward dynamic action. You want employers to view you as a problem solver, not as a “doer.”

Deadly sin No. 5: Boring bullets

Many times when a candidate sends in his resume, the work history reads as if it was taken from his job description. In fact, that is what a lot of inexperienced resume writers do. If you are one of them, don’t worry, it is a common mistake, but it needs to be fixed.

Instead of just listing what your job requires of you, focus on what you have been able to accomplish. Sales numbers, quotas reached, budgets balanced and clients signed are all items that will make you stand out rather than blend in. Remember the key is to sell yourself.

Deadly sin No. 6: Not including a branding statement

The resume objective is dead, but long live the branding statement. This is the first section of your resume after the heading where you can create a dynamic headline and description of your own personal area of expertise. This will frame the rest of the resume for the reader so that she sees your experience in light of your specialty.

Deadly sin No. 7: Length

There is a lot of conflicting advice as to how long a resume should be. Here is the standard. A resume should contain one page for every 10 years of experience in a given field. More often than not, this guideline works.

Steve P. Brady is an executive resume writer with over 10 years of industry experience who blogs on job-search strategies, resume writing and career development.

www.careerbuilder.ca


Sex, Violence, & Incompetence: How People Lose Jobs

By Elizabeth Bromstein

People get let go from jobs. Sometimes it’s their own fault, sometimes it’s not.

There are some obvious reasons for getting fired, though they would not qualify as the most common. Then there are the most common reasons.

Combine these and you’ve got the top reasons for getting fired. So, we suggest you avoid doing as many of these as possible, if you want to keep your job.

The most obvious reasons include:

Sexual harassment: If you sexually harass a co-worker, there’s a good chance you will get the sack for it. Don’t sexually harass people.

Violence: Getting into a physical altercation is a pretty good way to get yourself let go. I know someone who was in mid conversation with a co-worker when another coworker flew across the room and punched the first co-worker in the face. You should not do this. It will get you fired.

Stealing: If you steal things from work, like large amounts of money or industry secrets, you will likely be fired. Ditto for taking things from co-workers like wallets and jewelry. Obvious, right? You’d think so but someone took my brick of cheese out of the office fridge the other week. They should be fired (not really. I don’t think cheese stealing merits dismissal). You might not get fired for stealing things like staplers, but that’s not carte blanche to load up.

Dissing your company or the boss online: This keeps coming up in the news, like the woman who was famously fired after displaying a startling lack of awareness when she posted a nasty rant about her boss on Facebook, having forgotten that her was one of her Facebook friends. Still, I believe it remains relatively uncommon, as most people are perhaps not that stupid.

Being drunk or stoned at work: This is featured, along with a couple more of the reasons on this list, in this Business Insider article about the most common reasons for getting fired. Again, it’s probably not that “common” a reason, but rather just a “good” one. That being said, it likely depends on your boss. I once had an employee show up still drunk from the night before at 9:30 am. I sent her home to sleep it off, but did not fire her. I did fire her a few weeks later for other reasons, though.

Here, on the other hand, are the most common reasons people are let go.

Fit:  An HR professional tells us that “fit” is the number one reason people are let go at her company. Your manager and co-workers have to like working with you, or at the very least be able to tolerate working with you – especially your manager. So, if you complain, argue, and are generally difficult, you up your chances of getting sacked. But this doesn’t just mean getting along with people. It means having a symbiotic working relationship with your superior and shared visions of what you should be doing and the direction in which you’re headed. Often, a new manager will come in and things will change, and you won’t fit anymore. That’s when things start getting “restructured.”

Incompetence:  Sometimes bosses make a mistake and hire someone incapable of doing the job. That person has to go. But, even if you didn’t embellish your abilities, and were able to do the job when you started, things can change. The same HR person tells us that sometimes the skills required to do your job evolve over time, and you suddenly find yourself unable to fill the position. The role might come to require knowledge of a different coding language or ability to use certain software. Again, that’s when you will be restructured out of the equation.

Inability to adapt to change:  Say you were allowed to work from home two days a week but the job requirements have changed so that you can no longer do that – hello Yahoo! – and you can’t make these changes. This is a common reason to let someone go, I’m told.

Lying:  People often lie to get the job. You need work so you “embellish” your skills, education, or work history to get it. I’m told one story about someone who claimed to have been a VP of marketing and it was later discovered that they were really an inside sales rep. But – surprise, surprise – if you lie in your application process and it comes out later, that will very probably get fired.

Genuine restructuring:  Sometimes the business really is restructuring and it has nothing particularly to do with you, other than that you no longer fit the plan. You haven’t, technically, done anything wrong, but businesses shift direction, plans change, employees lose their jobs. Alas, that’s the way it goes. You pick yourself up and move on.

That’s not always easy to do, but remember that career setbacks happen to everyone.

www.workopolis.ca


What to Do Right Now if You Just Lost Your Job

By Melissa Allen

With 51% of Canadian workers spending less than two years on the job, it seems that frequent job movement — whether through resignation, quitting, or being let go — is the new norm. Over the course of my career so far, I’ve noticed that certain people were able to quickly recover from career setbacks such as getting laid off or fired. They all have similar attitudes and approaches and all were able to find an even better position than the one they had before, in a relatively short amount of time. Here’s what I’ve noticed they’ve done:

1. Mourn
Deep down you know that you’ll find another position, and that the one you lost wasn’t a great a fit for you anyway. But in this moment, you’re allowed to be sad, angry and confused. This is where close and sympathetic friends, family and partners come in handy.

2. Stay positive
The fact is, no one wants to be around a Debbie or Danny Downer, let alone refer or hire one. No matter how bitter you are on the inside (and it won’t last, trust me), arm yourself with positivity. It’ll pay off.

3. Reflect
Being truthful about your strengths, what you can improve, and what you really want to do with your life will play a big role in how you decide to go forward.

4. Update your resume
Believe it or not, most open positions still require a resume. Update your resume, get feedback, then revise and polish. You never know who you’re going to meet or what amazing opportunity will become available, so it’s best to be prepared.

5. Say your goodbyes
Alright, you’ve recovered from the initial shock, you’ve mastered the outward air of optimism, and you accept that you, and you alone, are accountable for your future. Now that you’re more or less pulled together, it’s time to take back control of the situation by deciding when and how you want to say good-bye to colleagues you didn’t get a chance to before. You’ll help maintain your relationship with them, build your list of references, and who knows, one of them may have a lead or contact.

6. Rest
You’ve been working at least 40 hours a week for how many years now? Take a little break, and if you can afford it, a vacation. Many people I talk to regret not doing at least some travel between jobs.

7. Jump into the job search, fast
While you should reflect and rest, unless you’re fulfilling a lifelong dream by taking a year off to teach orphans in South America, start looking for a new job in the field you want. Now. Unfortunately, most employers do not look favorably on long gaps of unemployment. Plus, the longer you’re unemployed, the harder it becomes to find something. So jump in, and stay focused.

8. Reach out
Don’t become a hermit or isolate yourself. Now more than ever is the time to put yourself out there and meet people in your target industry. Go to events, conferences and reach out to people you admire on LinkedIn.

Today’s worker must have the resilience and adaptability to quickly bounce back from career trials and tribulations. We’ll all have them at some point in our careers. The key is what you do with this set-back to turn it into a success story.

www.workopolis.ca


The 25 Worst Excuses for Not Finding a Job

By Elizabeth Bromstein

Excuses, excuses. We’ve all got excuses for not looking for work. It’s that voice in your head, always bringing you down. That voice is annoying. But you don’t have to listen to it.

Here are 25 of the most popular excuses, and their counter arguments.

“There are no jobs.”
Yes, there are. There are plenty of jobs. We’ve got 30,000 of them right here on this site. There are jobs.

“There are no jobs I want.”
Then take a job you don’t want. From there, it’s a lot easier to find a job you do want. You’ll be in a better position since employers like employed candidates. Take any job.

“But that job is beneath me.”
No it’s not. Nothing is beneath you. Do you know how many immigrants with post-secondary degrees are driving cabs in this country to make ends meet? Take a job flipping burgers or waiting tables or packing boxes, then you can find a better job.

“I don’t know where to start.”
Start with online resources and read books. Read 30 Days to a Good Job by Hal Gieseking and Paul Plawin. It’s old but it’s a really a gem. It worked for me. Create a resume. Start networking.

“I don’t know how to write a cover letter/resume.”
Ugh. It’s true. Writing about yourself sometimes feels like an impossible task. Lucky for you, we’ve got a vast repository of articles on how to do these things. You can also get help from friends and family who are good at this sort of thing. I think you’ll find that people are usually willing to help.

“Nobody will hire me, I’m too punk rock/rock and roll/much of a rebel.”
Then find a job with a company that hires people like you. Or grow up and comb your hair, buy or borrow some nice clothes and learn how to get along with normals. You might find they’re more interesting than you are.

“I don’t want to work for the man and be a corporate sellout. I only work for one person, man, and that’s ME.”
You’re always working for someone else. Artists and rock stars work for other people too, at least they do if they want to make a living. They work for managers, customers, corporate clients, galleries… Anyway, there are no rock stars anymore.

“I’m going to make it in the music business.”
You’re probably not. But even if you do, you might not make as much money as you think you will. Nobody buys albums anymore and pop stars have to tour until they’re half dead or land major endorsement deals to get rich. Do you know how much you’d make with 100,000 Spotify plays? About $80. You should have something to fall back on.

“I’m going to make it as an actor.”
Here’s a stat: SAG and AFTRA represent over 240,000 actors in the U.S. Their average annual income is below $5,000, and fewer than 100 of them are “stars.” (source: The documentary, That Guy…Who Was in That Thing). It’s a longshot.

“I’m going to make it as a writer/novelist.”
See above. I know many people who have published books, and they all still have to work day jobs. Also, you can get a job as a writer for a company.

“…dancer.”
More than half of Canadian dancers make less than $15,000 a year. Pursue your dream, but be ready to do something else to pay the bills (just in case).

“Poet?”
No.

“I’m underqualified.”
Find something for which you’re qualified and do that. Then, get qualified on the job. Or get qualified for what you want to do in your off time. You’re not underqualified, you are exactly qualified for whatever it is you’re qualified to do.

“I’m overqualified.”
Dumb your resume down if you have to, get the job, then swoop in and fly up the ladder before they know what hit them.

“I don’t have any skills.”
You do. You just think you don’t. Have you created funny YouTube videos? You’ve got media and production skills. Have you ever organized a student event, or promoted your own live music? Event organization and promotions. Have you organized a baseball tournament? You’re good a bringing people together and team building. You figure out what you can do and how you can make it sound good.

“I’m too old.”
You’re not. Forty is the new 20. While young people might look like they’re outshining everyone, plenty of employers know the value of experience. Are you 60? You might live to be 120. You’re going to need a job.

“I keep getting rejected. I’m tired of never hearing back.”
I know, it’s horrible and frustrating and it hurts. Here’s a suggestion, rethink your approach. Try another way of doing things. Rewrite your resume, look at different jobs. Reach out to people in your network. And don’t give up. If you keep trying you will find something.

“I don’t have a degree.”
 Find a job for which you don’t need one. There are many. They range from trades you can learn in certificate courses to jobs in sales, or in tech, or in admin. Figure out what your skills are and go from there.

“I don’t have time. I’m too busy.”
Doing what? You don’t have a job. No, seriously, I get that, if you have children it can be very difficult to find the time to find work – particularly if you’re a single parent. But it can be done. Turn to your network of friends and family for help with childcare when you need to go for interviews. Get help with your resume and cover letter. Also, there are increasing numbers of work-from-home jobs on offer these days, as well as part-time work and companies offering flexible schedules.

“I’m sick.”
OK, maybe you are too sick to work. That’s fair. But, others might be making excuses out of fear or laziness. Again, maybe you can find something you can do from home or part time.

“Nobody’s hiring in summer. I’ll start looking in fall.”
Companies are always hiring, even over the Christmas holidays (though, yes, they are hiring less over the holidays, I landed this job over the holidays last year). People quit and need to be replaced all year round.

“My Employment Insurance doesn’t run out for another six weeks. I’ll start looking then.”
That’s a terrible idea. It takes an average of 16 weeks to find a job! You need to start looking now.

“I’m planning to start a family/go back to school.”
Great. But you’re actually going to need money to do those things. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

“I’m going to win the lottery.”
Good luck with that.

“Nobody is going to hire me.”
Well, you’re right. Not with an attitude like that they’re not. I felt this way not too long ago. It took everything I had in me to pick myself up and turn it around. But I did it. You can do it too. I have faith in you.

www.workopolis.ca


How that Minimum Wage Job can Lead to Future Wealth

By Peter Harris

If you’re not working this summer, and you can land a job flipping burgers or manning the drive-thru window, take it. People sometimes look down on minimum wage jobs as beneath them, or dead-end. Employers often have trouble actually filling those positions.

Just last month Statistics Canada reported that there were fewer people in Alberta working in part-jobs in June, with the declines largely in the hospitality sector. However, online job ads for opportunities in this field are actually up by over 40% year-over-year. This leads us to believe that the jobs actually exist, but employers aren’t able to find the people they need to fill them.

Well, it turns out that fast food and other service industry jobs can actually be the jumping off point for future career success, and people who work them end up earning higher wages later than people who didn’t.

A study out of the University of British Columbia shows how young people who work in the fast-food industry and hold down part-time jobs while studying end up being more successful in their careers than their peers who didn’t work.

For this study, “Beneficial ‘Child Labour’: The impact of adolescent work on future professional outcomes,” the researchers used data from Statistics Canada’s Youth in Transition Survey that followed the work history of nearly 250,000 young Canadians over a 10-year period from age 15 to 25.

This research showed that teens who held down part-time jobs achieve much greater career success because their earlier work experience allowed them to hone their job searching abilities and develop on-the-job soft skills. It also made getting hired for subsequent jobs easier by giving them professional references and kick-starting their broader career networks. Those young people who worked also developed a better sense of where they wanted their careers to take them long term, and made more focused decisions.

“Parents may think that their kids could do better than a job at the local fast food joint,” said study co-author, Dr. Marc-David L. Seidel. “But our study shows even flipping burgers has value – particularly if it leads to part-time work later during school term.”

Having to juggle work and school further helps young people to develop their time management skills and learn to effectively budget their time and energy.

One of the biggest lessons that people need to learn on the job is that we are all in customer service. Whether you are in a directly public-facing role or not, if you are paid to do a job, then someone is expecting results from you, and that person is your customer.

Being successful in a customer-facing role can be the secret to career success. The valuable skills practiced in that role are essential to managing working relationships, leading teams and acing job interviews.

Five transferable skills from customer service training that lead to career success:

  1. Remembering to smile and keep interactions positive. Act like you’re happy to help out with whatever is asked of you. An up-beat attitude and good work ethic go along way with employers.
     
  2. Maintaining eye-contact and effective non-verbal communications. Both in job interviews and on the job, being a pleasant and polished communicator are vital for success.
     
  3. Practicing active listening and conveying empathy. The ability to really listen to another person is an often overlooked skill in this busy era where everyone is rushing to weigh-in with their opinion. Listen and understand what the other person is saying, rather than thinking up what you’d like to say next while they’re talking.
     
  4. Speaking from a prepared script without sounding robotic or rehearsed. Telling your accomplishments in a job interview, or making your ‘elevator pitch’ in a meeting should all sound friendly and conversational, but you should still practice and prepare them in advance.
     
  5. Being able to think on your feet and problem-solve in unpredictable situations. When your job is dealing with the public, you’re going to meet all sorts of people in a variety of (often-challenging) scenarios. While some of these will be unpleasant at the time, the ability you hone to deal with the unexpected and resolve customer issues on-the-fly will benefit you throughout your career.

So don’t look down at that minimum wage job. If that’s the only role available right now, take it and do it well. All career growth comes from showing up, making positive impressions, learning on-the-job and building your network.

And kids, get a job now. You’ll end up making more money over the course of your career if you start early than your friends whose parents just give them spending money.

www.workopolis.ca