Lindsay Olson

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What Are Your Job Goals for the Year?


I’m just a bit late on this post now that it’s almost March. Getting the business organized before the arrival of Baby #2 in just few short weeks has kept me on the go. All the preparation has kept me thinking about my career goals as Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs continues to grow. After so many years in this business, I fear boredom and the feeling of career stagnation. To conquer these fears, I need to be continuously improving myself and seeking new ways of doing my work the best I can. Goal-setting and  goal tracking is a big part of how I stay motivated.

What Do You Want to Improve?
I think everyone can agree we all have areas we can improve our skills. You shouldn’t depend on your employer for all of your professional development opportunities. Plenty of resources exist to help you gain new skills that come in handy on and off the job.

Here are a few ideas on areas to explore to get your wheels churning:

  • Learn new technology applications. Study up on SEO, accounting/personal finance software and project management systems. You can surely find a way to apply them at some point in your life.
  • Ramp up on social media knowledge and personal branding activities
  • Hone those writing skills
  • Expand your general knowledge in a variety of subject areas
  • Become a better networker
  • Learn the ins and outs of business and explore areas outside of your specialty

Where to Learn Online
An overwhelming amount of information can be found online – from blogs and tutorials (that’s how I learned to sew!) to online courses via video, text, and audio.  You can be as formal or informal as you want in your learning.

The open course movement has gained traction in the past several years with universities such as MIT, Yale, Stanford, Harvard, among others offering free online courses

If you want something with less of a university feel, but still structured, check out these online learning platforms:

  • Khan Academy: more than 2,800 videos and exercises in math, business and humanities
  • Udemy: free and paid courses on a variety of topics
  • Udacity: technical and computer courses

As an avid reader, I try to read one to two business books a quarter and not just in my area of expertise. Try some of the suggestions from Josh Kaufman, author of the Personal MBA, Master the Art of Business lists the 99 Best Business Books to get started.

What to Do With Your Newfound Knowledge

At your next performance review, let your employer know you’ve taken the initiative to learn new skills that help you perform your role better. Hopefully your boss will have already noticed. Your goal is to let your employer know you’re serious about your job and you’re commitment to your professional development.

And at the very least, your new interests and knowledge will keep you sharp and ready to chime in during those off-topic business dinner conversations.

Photo credit: Mark Brannan

5 tips on hiring extraordinary talent

Number 10

Seth Godin posted the 90/10 rule of marketing a job today on his blog. It goes like this:

"It only takes 10% as much effort to hire someone in the bottom 90% of the class.

And it takes the other 90% to find and cajole and retain the top 10%." - Seth Godin

This is very true. I posted yesterday about the ridiculously lazy job posting. Lazy efforts in filling a key position will find you the same type of candidate.

To find the top 10% of the talent means you need to be doing more than posting a job out there and waiting for resumes to start piling in. Sure, you will find good or good enough. You might even find a rock star, but don't expect to strike gold twice. It's going to take a lot more than sitting around and waiting for them to come to you to staff a company of extraordinary talent.

Here are some suggestions on recruiting and retaining extraordinary talent:

  • Know and be able to articulate what sets your company apart. I am surprised at how many hiring managers can not do this. Not only hiring managers, but every person in your company should be able to have this conversation. This is hiring extraordinary talent 101.
  • Don't just talk. Sell and deliver. Companies must deliver on the promises they make in the interview process. This is the main reason I find people leave their new position within the first few months on the job.
  • Network, network, network.

    Hang out where the rockstars hang out. More than likely they aren't even seeing your job postings.

  • Partner with a recruiter (not 20 recruiters) to find the talent. Ok, we all know I'm a recruiter, but this isn't a plug for me. It's a worthy investment if you are serious about filling a position and marketing the company.  Just make sure you partner with a specialist in your industry or discipline and freely give the information he or she needs to sell the opportunity. Keep in contact, give feedback and remember the recruiter is working with the candidate directly too and is positioned to smooth out negotiations and the offer process.
  • When you hire a rockstar, develop him or her. Rockstars require and seek out opportunities for continuous professional development. Don't be scared they will run off someone else by over-training or giving too many opportunities. They won't stay with you forever anyways. But they will definitely be a short-term hire if you aren't giving them opportunities or investing in their professional development.

Not paying dues for Generation Y


In this video, Penelope Trunk talks about the "not paying dues" mentality of the new generations entering the workforce.


download Ball in the House

Penelope's points:

People want to do meaningful work - not just the new generation entering the workforce, but everybody. Don't tell Gen Y's a crappy job is a good job, just be upfront with them and make some compromises like giving them mentoring for some of the grunt work they'll have to do (what other generations consider is paying dues).

Flexibility. Don't expect them to work from 9-5. Manage by results.

Productivity. Time management is a subject they are very well versed in and many operate in a mode of productivity that other generations don't get. Penelope talks about the most read blogs by Gen Y are those about personal productivity. It's all about David Allen and his book "Getting Things Done." Just because they can listen to their Ipod and instant message at work doesn't mean they're not productive.

Do you agree? What is your company doing to make a Gen Y friendly workplace?


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