Ask the Coach – Salary Negotiation (Part II)

 

Hey there!  Here we are again with (more) answers to your questions regarding salary negotiation.  Remember that you can also view the full recording of our presentation on this subject by visiting us here.

In considering the hiring process and the point where negotiations begin, is there a “norm” for the number of interviews in the hiring process?

Typically there are at least two interviews in the hiring process – a phone interview and a more formal in-person session.  Some employers utilize a three interview system, where you would do one phone screen, one in-person with a panel or committee, and then one as a one on one with the person who is actually making the final decision.  Of course, there may be some slight variations on this depending on the specific company – however, this is the usual course of action.

 

What if my current company pays me very well, above industry standard: will asking my future employer to at least match this be acceptable?

It is absolutely acceptable!  We never recommend that someone willingly take a pay cut, especially when they are going to be working in a similar or more advanced role.  Prior to asking, take some time to assemble your justification for why your current employer is paying you at the rate that they are, and why you should continue to receive this level of compensation with a new employer.  Remember that by the time you have reached the stage of negotiating salary, they have already chosen you as the person that they want.  This gives you leverage to ask for what you need from them.  Now, that’s not to say that you should be greedy and attempt to take the employer “to the cleaners,” but at the same time, you should feel empowered with this knowledge to ask for what you want and need from them in order to make this employment situation work for both of you.  Remember, the goal is to create a “win:win” situation for everyone involved.

 

How do you approach salary and/or higher status title when your positions moves to reporting to the President of the organization based on your accomplishments?

You would essentially approach it the same way that you would approach any other position change if you were leaving the job to pursue a career with a different company.  Find out what the comparable rates are for someone in your position with your reporting chain of command by doing informational interviews, and then set about building your case for why you deserve a pay increase based on both that information and on your personal background of accomplishments and contributions to the company that would justify the increase.

 

If certain benefits (like educational assistance for ongoing professional development) are not necessarily common within an organization, what strategies would you recommend for bringing up that possibility during the negotiation process?

My recommendation is to use the tiered approach that we spoke about in the presentation (making a list of first level, second level, and third level priorities) and determine in which tier those professional development opportunities belong for you.  Then, research the benefit of offering those to a company, as well as the cost of some specific opportunities that you are interested in and that you feel would be valuable for the role you are entering into.  Present this information as part of your case justification during the negotiation process, but be prepared for the possibility of having the give something up in order to get what you want on this front.

 

Could you negotiate a pay cut in order to work remotely instead of in the office? If so, how is this done? Is remote work is one of “package of benefits” that could be negotiated?

We never suggest negotiating a pay cut – even if you want a more flexible arrangement.  What we suggest instead is to be clear about your intention/desire to work remotely early on in the process (this way you know before either you or the employer invest too much time whether or not this is even a possibility), and then be prepared to negotiate with the understanding that remote work is higher on your priority list than salary.  You may be more amenable to accepting the initial salary that the company offers if it comes with the flexibility to work remotely, but don’t sell yourself short by negotiating down before they even throw something out there.

Also, remember that it is a bit of a long shot to obtain a position that allows for remote work, unless it is explicitly designed and advertised that way already.  You may be more successful taking the position in its traditional format, and then after a time in the position (at a minimum a year), requesting/negotiating a flexible work arrangement.  Typically, employers need to know you in order to have confidence in your ability to manage yourself properly in a remote situation – so, if they aren’t specifically looking at a remote opportunity from the start, you will likely have a challenging time negotiating the remote angle without first proving yourself trustworthy of such an opportunity.

 

Some companies ask up front what your expected salary range is – in this case, what should I do?

First, try to flip the question back onto them by asking what their intended rate of pay is for the position.  If they are unwilling to answer that question, or if they still press forward with an additional ask, give a broad range ($10-15k) that includes your desired rate of pay.  You should already have a good idea of what the rate for this type of position is from research and therefore should be able to give a range that keeps you in contention for the position.

Remember, when a company is asking for the salary range up front, what they are really doing is preparing a judgement on whether or not you are close enough to their intended rate of pay to merit further interviewing. The range that you give them is not necessarily what you will be offered – but you want to make sure that you’re not providing them with a wage rate that is lower than your walk-away point, in the event that they decide to hold you to the range that you gave them.

 

My work performance is better than several other employees at the same level. How do I leverage that without trying to make it sound like I think I’m better than someone else or throwing my colleagues under the bus?

You leverage it by showing your results and allowing them to stand on their own merit, instead of using them in a comparison strategy to show that you are performing better than someone else.  You want to provide justification for a pay increase by showing what you contribute to your team/organization, so let that be the focus of your case (rather than what someone else isn’t doing).

 

How do you handle when an employer says an offer is non-negotiable or they give a short time frame to sign and respond?

Take the time that they offer (I would still recommend refraining from answering immediately on the phone) and use that time to deliberate on whether or not the offer meets your needs.  If salary is non-negotiable, there may be an opportunity to negotiate for other benefits instead (such as additional time off, educational assistance, etc.).  Also, if you’re feeling overly pressured, don’t be afraid to walk away from the offer.  If you aren’t comfortable providing an answer in the time frame given, then perhaps that is a sign that this company is not a good fit for you and you need to reevaluate.

 

Should it be expected to receive a pay cut when taking a job in a different geographic location? (ex: moving from the gulf coast to the Midwest) What about changing job industries? (ex: going from oil and gas to automotive or commercial goods)

Not necessarily – cost of living is definitely a factor when relocating to an area, but it does not necessarily mean that you should expect to have to take a pay cut.  With regard to industry, that’s also not necessarily a deal-breaker.  The key here (as in any instance of negotiation) is research – research the area you’re moving to, research the industry you’re considering, and then create a case for the salary that you would like to have based on that information.

 

At the time of online job application, sometimes it’s mandatory to provide my current salary. Is there any way to avoid that?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to outsmart the automated online application system.  Be sure when you’re filling in an application that this is a required field before giving that information (sometimes employers ask for that, but they don’t make it a mandatory field.  If not, then skip it.).  If it is mandatory, then be honest when providing your information, and be prepared to speak to what you believe you deserve for this role when you go into an interview.  If the role you’re interviewing for pays significantly more than what you currently make, don’t be discouraged – just be sure to have your facts and research on hand as you prepare to ask for your desired wage.

 

Can you further explain how to avoid telling the interviewer how much you currently make, especially if they push you to disclose even after you “put the question back on them” (aka ask their range)?

If you ask for their anticipated range, and they ask about your current salary, redirect again by staying something like, “I’d much rather talk about market value” and speak to the information that you’ve gathered through research that has helped you arrive at your preferred range.  This lets them know that you are savvy enough to have done research and won’t be easily swayed by a lackluster offer on their part simply because it is more than what you are currently making.

 

From the employer perspective, what are some of the factors that would cause them to agree to a higher salary that has been requested in their range?

Because they want you – remember that you are the person that they’ve chosen and they are not terribly interested in going back and starting the search over again.  They also want the situation to feel like a “win : win”.  In order to secure a higher offer, reiterate why you’re the best fit for their company, and show the value that you bring to the table.  Also, fall back on market value and, if necessary (and advantageous), you current salary as well.

 

Also, is it fairly common from your experience for them to come back and agree to some improvement?

Yes – remember that employers are expecting you to negotiate.  This means that rarely will they open with their highest offer.  They offer slightly lower to give themselves room to improve in order to meet what they feel is an inevitable ask on your part.

 

If I accept an offer from somewhere and later on fortunately get a better offer from a higher priority place, in that case, is it an option to decline the previous offer and accept the new one?

This is not really something that we recommend, because doing this will likely burn bridges which may come back to haunt you in your later professional life.  However, if you absolutely must do this, it is critical that you are open in communicating with the opportunity that you’re leaving, and that you do your best not to leave them in a lurch.  Try to give more than 2 weeks’ notice if possible, and if appropriate, assist them with finding a replacement.  This will go a long way toward establishing some good will on your part and help them to remain with a favorable impression of you despite your choice to leave.

 

Any recommendations for those who do not want to leave their current role, but may be in a situation where they know they are underpaid (more than 10-15K) compared to peers with similar roles, but their department will not be flexible with a salary raise despite acknowledging the significant discrepancy?

Unfortunately, you may need to consider looking into other opportunities in order to receive the pay that you want and deserve.  One strategy that you could use to motivate your current employer to provide additional compensation would be to pursue other opportunities and, when offered, use that as leverage to spark a counter offer from your current company.  The danger with that, as always, is that they may call your bluff and then you’ll need to make a decision about whether or not you want to pursue the other opportunity(ies).  The good thing about doing this type of exploration, though, is that you may find that you want to move on or that you’ve come upon a better opportunity for yourself.

Ask the Coach – Salary Negotiation (Part I)

 

Hello all!  Last week we had a great webinar on salary negotiation, presented by myself (Kioshana LaCount Burrell) and our director, Marilyn Bury Rice.  After that presentation, we were inundated with questions from you all about specifics surrounding the topic.  Here are the answers to some of the burning questions you all submitted to us after that presentation regarding your specific questions on the negotiation process:

 

When you are negotiating, should you counter with your “optimal” salary or counter with slightly above your optimal salary, assuming they will negotiate down?

When you are negotiating, remember that the idea is for both of you to compromise in order for everyone to feel like they won all around.  Therefore, if there is a specific number that you are looking to reach, I would suggest countering slightly higher.  That way, the employer has room to come down a bit if he or she cannot accommodate that number, and you will still likely obtain the rate that you wanted initially.

 

Can you share how large of a range you suggest sharing if pushed for expectations on that first HR call?

If you are absolutely being pushed for a range on the first call/phone screen, be as broad as possible.  Up to $15k in salary difference is fine – just be sure not to start way below what you actually want or need to move forward.  For example, if you are expecting/hoping for $75k, then I would say that my range is $70k – $80k, depending on the market rate for the job.  Don’t, however, start the range at $65k, because then the employer will have the impression that you are willing to accept $65k as a reasonable salary for the job that you actually want (and should be) paid $75k for.

 

On OSU website there are salary targets, does this mean this is out window to negotiate our offer?

Not at all!  Salary negotiations happen every day in hiring processes, even here at OSU.  The salary targets on the postings are there to give you an idea of what range you should be expecting for this type of job, but are not set in stone.  It may be difficult to negotiate a $20k raise from the posted target salary, but there is still room for wiggle within that range.

 

Next week will be my 1st year anniversary at my current company. My first year, my manager and I have never talked about raises. How do I talk about raise if supposedly they don’t give me a raise on my 1st year anniversary? FYI, I did not negotiate this job offer – due to excitement and I’m somewhat underpaid.

You anniversary is a great time to open the door to a discussion on salary increase, because this is usually the time of year where you are receiving an evaluation.  There will be an open dialogue between you and your employer about your work on the team over the last year, and you should use that as an opening to broach the conversation about obtaining a salary increase.  Be sure to speak to any positive contributions that you have made to your work environment and highlight any areas where you can show that you have added value to the team.

 

What is your take on relocation packages?  Do you think it’s worth negotiating for if it was told in the phone screening that it is not built into the level of this role? But it’s something you could discuss/negotiate with the hiring manager himself.

Relocation packages are a tricky thing – especially if you’ve already been told that the company does not offer them.  However, it does not hurt to ask once you’ve obtained an offer.  Remember, though, that negotiation should be completed in a tiered approach.  You should negotiate with the most important things to you first, understanding that you will likely not get everything on your list of wants.

 

Do you have any tips for negotiating a raise in your current position/company?

Generally speaking, this is something that is easiest to negotiate during an evaluation period.  This is because your manager has spent time looking at your work for the last period of time (quarter, 6 months, or year) and has therefore come up with a definitive opinion about the value that you add to the team.  However, even if you are not in an evaluation stage, you can negotiate a raise using the same tactics you would at the beginning of the job.

First, you’ll need to do some research and determine what a fair salary is for your role.  You’ll also need to outline the specific amount of increase that you want and be able to justify why you deserve that increase.  You do this by demonstrating ways that you have had a positive impact on the business – have you been able to save the company time or money by streamlining processes?  Have you seen an increase in sales based on something that you have chosen to do differently?  Do you consistently meet and exceed expectations, etc?  Use this information to build the case for your raise and then request a meeting with your supervisor to go over your pitch.  The key is to be clear and confident when talking to him or her, and to communicate your value in a way that leaves no room for rebuttal.

 

What do I do when the HR manager says “this offer is not negotiable” or “this is our highest offer/best we can do?”

Thank them for their time, and then ask for time to evaluate.  You need to determine whether or not the offer as it stands meets your needs, or if you need to walk away from that opportunity.  You can also ask if other things are negotiable (for example, perhaps salary is set, but you’re able to negotiate some additional benefits from the offer instead).  Evaluate the total offer, and figure out where it falls within your needs – and decide whether to accept or decline based on that.

 

Is it a bad sign if an employer needs an answer in 24 hours and is not flexible on that timeline?

It isn’t necessarily a bad sign, but it may be an indicator of whether or not this is a company that you want to work with.  This shows some inflexibility on the part of the employer – therefore, you need to be able to make a decision quickly.  If you cannot fully come to terms with accepting the offer within that period of time, then don’t feel bad about walking away.  Never allow yourself to feel overly pressured into a situation that you are unsure about because you don’t have adequate time to make a decision.  Remember that you are in control of the choices that you make regarding your employment – if you aren’t sure about the offer, then it is more than acceptable to decline and continue with your search for the right fit.

 

If an employer asks why I declined an offer and it is b/c the salary was too low, should I be honest about that?

It is fair, and even important, to let an employer know that you declined his or her offer because their salary did not meet your needs.  Be polite and courteous, but also frank when communicating this to them.  You might even be surprised at receiving a counter offer.

 

My current superior is stepping into a new role and therefore, his current position will be coming open in a few months. We have worked together for a year now in a company that has a more family-like, casual/relational approach than a rigid business approach, so we have become friends. As part of his new role, he will be making the deciding factor on who steps into his position coming open and salary for that person. I will apply and interview for this position. Any advice on how to navigate negotiation if offered the position?

Be all about business during the negotiation process – do not lean on the fact that you have a friendly relationship with this person.  Although you are friends, his job is to choose the best fit for the business as a whole.  Therefore, you should be able to showcase the value that you add to the company through the use of examples that speak to your track record as a strong employee and leader within your team.  Not only will this be a more effective route to take, it will also likely win you additional respect among your peers and supervisors.

 

Is it appropriate to ask broadly what benefits are negotiable? Companies present benefits packages as being standardized across the company or certain roles

Once you’re in the space of negotiating salary, it is absolutely appropriate to also ask questions about benefits, and negotiate there as well.  There may be less room for wiggle with a benefits package, but it won’t hurt you to ask.  I’ve personally been able to negotiate things like an extra week of vacation and the ability to forego waiting a 90 day period for insurance benefits to start, having them start on day 1 of employment.   Ask – the worst they can do is say no.

 

When I accepted my current role I was told during my initial negotiations I would be eligible for a 9% increase after 6 months. That VP has since moved on from the company how should I address this with the new leadership?

I would contact HR about that – explain the situation and ask what the process is for getting the increase evaluated.   Even though you don’t have it in writing, you should be able to get an increase based on merit.

 

Can you negotiate with an offer if recently laid off/unemployed?

Absolutely!  Being laid off is almost never the person’s fault, and is something that most of us will experience at one time or another in our lives.  The key is to approach a new offer with confidence, which (again) comes from being able to communicate your value to a new employer.  Remember, just because your last company failed or chose to go in a different direction doesn’t mean that you have failed.  Even in a role that was eliminated, there are still opportunities for you to speak to what you have contributed as part of that team.  Use these points as a spring board to communicate to the offerer what you have to contribute to them as well.

 

Telling an employer you have another opportunity can also be interpreted negatively as an attempt to leverage or speed up the hiring process – how to negate this?

You’re absolutely right – telling an employer that you have other offers can sometimes be perceived as negative.  This is why we advise that you do not bring up another offer unless you are fully prepared to take the other offer if the employer you’re bargaining with will not meet you where you need to be (in other words – don’t just bluff!).  Also, be mindful of the way that you broach this subject – be sure to be polite, enthusiastic, and keep a positive attitude.  Having another offer in and of itself isn’t negative – being rude or off-putting when bringing it up, however, may very well be.

 

Don’t see your question up here?  No worries!  We’ll be following up this post with a second part later in the week that details even more questions submitted by you all, along with our expert answers!  In the meantime, if  you would like to schedule an appointment with a career consultant, remember that you can do so by calling our customer service line at 1.800.635.8944.

Networking Tips for Introverts

 

We’ve all been there – the dreaded “networking” meet and greet situation.  Some of us – the extroverts – often find these situations easy (or even exciting) to delve into.  Others of us (the not-so-extroverts) can find these situations challenging, however.  If you fall into the latter category, this post is for you.  The following tips, originally published on GetFive, are an excellent starting point for someone finding themselves (possibly uncomfortably) in a networking situation.

*****

The annual Chamber of Commerce dinner is being held after work tonight. Does the idea of attending fill you with anticipation or dread?

Extroverts love the opportunity to meet and greet, make connections, and chat with new people. It energizes them and revs them up. Introverts, not so much. Even the idea of a room full of people at a chamber dinner can cause the energy to drain out of them. Schmoozing and small talk — the lifeblood of networking — is painful and awkward.

But, like it or not, when it comes to business and career advancement, networking is a vital tool. It comes naturally to extroverts, but with a little planning, introverts can navigate those events like a pro, too.

Here are a few tips:

Do some research beforehand

If you know who might be there — other members of the chamber, say — jump on LinkedIn and look them up. See if you have any shared connections and look for other commonalities in their profiles. That way, they won’t feel like complete strangers.

Come armed with questions (and follow-ups)

One stifling problem introverts have with networking is the dreaded conversation starter. You’re waiting for a drink at the bar, standing next to someone. What do you say?

Offering a handshake and introducing yourself is a great go-to icebreaker. The other person will respond in kind. Now what? That’s when it’s useful to have a follow-up question ready. A safe bet is to say something about the event. “Have you been a chamber member long?” “Have you tried the hors d’oeuvres?” “What did you think of the speaker?”

Another way to go is to look at the name tag and ask about his or her profession. “Oh! I see you’re in HR. How did you get into that?”

Plant “hooks” in your responses

To keep the conversation going, don’t give one-word answers to questions. Instead, say something that will hook the other person.

“Where are you from?”

“Minneapolis. Yep, it’s as cold and snowy as people say it is. We don’t mess around with winter.”

Give yourself a time limit …

Don’t go into the event thinking you have to stay for the entire time. Give yourself 30 minutes or an hour. That way, it won’t seem so overwhelming when you walk in.

… and a goal

You don’t need to come away from the event with a stack of business cards and email addresses after having worked the room like a seasoned politician. Give yourself the goal of talking to three new people, and once that’s accomplished, call it a success.

Using these tips, networking will be easier. We’re not going to say you’ll learn to love it, but you can make it work for you. And that’s the whole point.

Alumni Spotlight – Meet Dr. Elisse Wright Barnes

It’s time to spotlight another of our distinguished alumni!  Today, we feature Dr. Elisse Wright Barnes, entrepreneur and workforce development instructor.  Read below to learn more about her journey, how she came to choose Ohio State, and how that has impacted her career trajectory.

 

 

5 Ways to Kick Up Your Productivity This Week

Happy Wednesday!  Here we are again at the midpoint of another week, and I’m sure many of you are already thinking of all the things you still need to accomplish by Friday.  Instead of letting yourself get bogged down by the sheer volume of “stuff” that you’ve got to get done, however, let’s instead focus on ways to get the most out of your time this week.  Here are 8 tips to help you be more productive over the next few days (and beyond)!

  1. – Relocate your alarm clock

We’ve all heard the sage advice about revamping your morning routine.  Waking up earlier, drinking a glass of lemon water on an empty stomach, going for a walk or meditating in the wee hours just before dawn, etc.  Perhaps that works for some people, but for the rest of us?  Not so much.  Many of us are starting our mornings in a mad dash because we’ve hit the snooze button a few too many times, and now are rushing to get ready and get out the door on time.

The easiest way to avoid this?  Move your alarm clock or phone out of arms reach. If you have to get up to turn your alarm off each morning, you’re much less likely to hit snooze and go get back in bed… at least, more than once.  Getting up on time and trading those last 7 minutes (or 14 minutes, or 21 minutes…) for the ability to take your time and be purposeful about how you go about your morning routine sets a tone for your entire day.  Instead of being rushed and frazzled and manic as you rush out the door, you’ll be able to think clearly about how you go about this first part of your morning.  As a result, you’ll have better experiences all throughout the day, because you’ll be more focused and better prepared to handle whatever comes your way.

  1. – Organize your objectives for the week, grouping similar items together

We all have what seems like a never-ending to-do list on our plates each day.  However, in today’s world, we are always looking for ways to work smarter and not harder.  This list has several tips to do just that, and one of those is to spend a bit of time organizing the things that you’d like to get accomplished for the week in a way that groups similar items together.  For example – if you have to compose a web request for three separate events or projects at some point during the week, group them together and use block scheduling to get all three knocked out at once.  The idea is that you’re more focused and productive when doing like tasks over the course of time, as opposed to jumping around to different things that have been placed haphazardly on your list of to-dos.  Increase your productivity and get more done by taking a few minutes to organize yourself and do the things that flow together, together.

  1. – Pick one major goal for the week to use as your “Success Yardstick”

Let’s be honest for just a moment – how often do you get everything on your to-do list done each week?  For so many of us, the list is an ever growing and ever changing thing that, if not properly managed, can grow and become overwhelming, leading us to feel as though we aren’t making an progress at all.

Instead of holding yourself to the standard of checking off a dozen little boxes by Friday at 5 pm, how about instead focusing on one major goal for the week, and getting that done?  Perhaps it is revamping the content on your company website, or maybe your goal is to complete a proposal for a new project to give your boss for review.  Whatever it is, pick something and get to work on it.  Use your progress toward achieving this goal as the measurement by which you determine whether your week was successful.

  1. – Make a “Progress List”

Okay, so maybe you don’t live in a world where accomplishing one major goal per week is acceptable.  Perhaps that overwhelming to-do list of yours is chock full of stuff that actually has to get done this week.  The best way to keep yourself motivated and focused while you drudge through all of that?  Make a “Progress List” to sit next to your to-dos, and add to it as you accomplish things – big or small – throughout your week.  Seeing that you are actually making progress toward your goals will be extremely helpful in keeping you going through the hard parts of the week.  As an added bonus, these are also great success points to keep track of for performance reviews, weekly reports, and one on one meetings with your manager!

  1. – End your week on Thursday, plan next week on Friday

Go into your week with the intention of getting everything you need to accomplish squared away by Thursday, and anticipate that Friday will be a day of down time as a reward for your hard work.  This is helpful in two ways:  1. – It gives you the incentive to get your things done quickly throughout the week, with the understanding that you’ll have a reward for working hard and 2. – It gives you some cushion at the end of the week, which translates into more of what we all need:  TIME.  You’ll have more time to get your thoughts in order for the week ahead.  You’ll have extra time built in in the event that you weren’t able to get everything done by Thursday.  You’ll have additional time to breathe, and won’t feel completely burnt out going into your weekend.

Try incorporating one (or all) of these tips into the rest of your week, and see the difference you’ll feel for yourself.  You’ll be more productive, and less stressed – who wouldn’t want that?

Ask the Coach – Working with Difficult People

 

Last week, the Career Management staff conducted a webinar on “Working with Difficult People”.  We had some really great responses to the presentation, as well as some great questions from the audience.  Below are those questions, as well as answers from our expert career consultation staff.

Working with Difficult People Webinar Q&A – (from 6.29.18)

Q. – How do you handle a boss that is unprofessional. ie. She gossips about her subordinates to subordinates.  This makes me uncomfortable because she supervised both of us.  I can only imagine what she states about me to them.

 A. – When dealing with a situation like this, the best thing to do is to redirect the conversation with your supervisor.  Be sure to keep things as professional as possible, and not to delve too deeply into your own personal background.  It is possible that she is doing this as a way to make friends or to establish a rapport with you (and is just really bad at it).  However, if it continues or becomes even more uncomfortable for you, it may be worth it to speak with HR and get their advice on the situation.  Remember that your talks with HR are confidential unless you choose to file a formal complaint, so there is no worry of being retaliated against for simply seeking some advice.

Q. – What if the difficult person is your boss? What about when a supervisor is being inappropriate and difficult?

 A. – Well, the best answer for this depends on the relationship and level of comfort that you have with that person.  If he or she is difficult because of a situation like the one mentioned above, it may do you well to simply talk to them about it.  A conversation where you clearly outline your boundaries in a friendly but firm way may be helpful.

If, on the other hand, your boss is behaving maliciously toward you, then your best recourse would be to involve HR.  Full disclosure:  this may make things more tense/awkward in your workplace for a while.  However, involving HR would be the best way to begin documenting what is happening around you, and provides you some protection from retaliation in the event that things begin to escalate.

If it’s just that your personalities clash, perhaps you should try some tips on “Managing Up”.  We have an upcoming podcast on this subject, and in the meantime, a great book on the subject is “It’s Okay to Manage Your Boss” by Bruce Tulgan – this book contains some awesome strategies for creating a better relationship with a difficult boss.

Q. – How do you deal/respond to someone who doesn’t listen to your responses to their questions or what you are talking about?  They are already on the next question to ask you or thinking about something else.  I am constantly having to repeat what I had just told them or repeating what another person just said in a meeting.  It seems rude and that they are not listening.

 A. –  This may sound a bit brash, but the easiest way to deal with this is to simply stop answering their questions for them.  It is quite rude that they have chosen not to listen, but saying that outright probably won’t go over well.  However, enabling their bad behavior by not addressing it isn’t helpful to them and will only serve to continue to frustrate you.  Perhaps say to them that you are working on focusing more on meetings so that you can get the most out of them, and suggest that they take notes during the meetings.  You could even offer to go over the notes later on and discuss, if they feel that it necessary.

As far as them not listening to what you’re saying or moving on to new questions without giving you the opportunity to respond, the best approach would be to stop talking once they start.  When the person inevitably notices that you’ve stopped speaking, let them know in a kind, but firm way that   you’ll finish your thoughts/explanation when they’re ready to listen.  You don’t need to be condescending about it, but this is an important boundary for you to establish in order to maintain a strong working relationship with this person.

Q. – What happens when the organization and the people in the organization are stuck in the past with their methods and they don’t approve you trying new things?  This is very difficult and doesn’t change when I’ve tried to have one-on-one conversations.

 A. – If you have had conversations about improving methods in the past and they have not worked, you have two options here.  The first is that you can revisit the conversation(s) with a new approach – perhaps bring in some evidence that shows a correlation between trying new things and an improvement in processes or bottom line outcomes.  The second would be to analyze “fit” – meaning how well you fit into the organizational culture of the company.  If it has become a difficult place for you to work in, then perhaps you should begin exploring other options for employment.  Feel out the opportunities for different departments in your company, or explore options for other career paths.

Q. – As a manager, how do I address an employee who is extremely blunt with her co-workers?  Co-workers feel that she is abrasive and they don’t want to work with her but her work quality is extremely high.  I have discussed it with her several times but it doesn’t resolve.

 A. – Because you are her manager, you are in a unique position to influence these relationships.  Although you wouldn’t want to be seen as singling her out unfairly, it may be a good idea for you to suggest/assign some additional training for her along the lines of emotional intelligence.  Depending on the company that you work for there may be resources available through your human resources department, or you may look outside of the office for webinars, short classes, etc.  A few good books on the subject that you might use as a starting point are:  “Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Golman and “The EQ Edge” by Steven Stein and Howard Book.   

 

Job Search Tools You Can Use This Week – Part Two

Happy Monday all!  Here it a quick list of resources and tools to help you in your job search this week:

 

  1. – Versatile PhD

Versatile PhD is the oldest and largest online social community dedicated to assisting PhDs build careers outside of academia.  Specializing in PhDs with concentrations in humanities, social sciences, and STEM, the platform provides members with the opportunity to discover interesting career paths, network and consult with the larger PhD community, and see job listings appropriate for PhDs.

Why it’s great:  Versatile PhD focuses primarily on those PhDs who are not currently seeking work in academia – the focus is on non-academic, non-faculty careers.  There are more than 85,000 members that PhDs can connect and network with, even attending local meet-ups if they would like!  This is a great way to build community and find support as you take a non-traditional path toward a career outside of the academic world.

 Where you can get it:  For OSU alumni, visit the “Job Search Resources” page of the Career Management website here:  https://www.osu.edu/alumni/services/career-management/job-search-resources/  and log in with your OSU credentials to join the site!

  1. – AlumniFire

AlumniFire is Ohio State’s exclusive online professional networking site, where members can work with one another to support each other’s professional development and growth.  As a member, you’ll have the ability to search Buckeyes based on any number of variables, including industry, location, class year, college, and more.  You can seek them out for support based on what they are “offering”, and you have the ability to offer professional development support to others as well.  AlumniFire is what I often refer to as “LinkedIn Lite” – it allows for many of the same benefits of LinkedIn, including job listings, a bulletin board for announcements, and networking opportunities.  However, it is a much smaller, more contained online platform that is exclusive to Ohio State alumni, faculty/staff, and current students.  It also has a feature that LinkedIn doesn’t – offerings

Why it’s great:  Every person who is a member of the site is required to “offer” something to the general community – general career advice, networking assistance, resume reviews, etc.  This takes some of the pressure off when reaching out to someone to obtain their assistance, because they have already “raised their hand” to help you!

Where you can get it:  http://osu.alumnifire.com

  1. – Alumni Career Connection

By virtue of being an alumnus of this great institution, you are eligible for a number of benefits through the Office of Alumni Career Management.  One of those resources is Alumni Career Connection, our alumni-exclusive job board.  With as many as 20 companies per day posting opportunities specifically seeking to hire our graduates, there are many chances to explore and obtain work, regardless of your field or point in your career transition.  There are entry-level positions available, as well as professional-level opportunities for more seasoned workers.  This is a great benefit for any of our alumni who are currently seeking.

Why it’s great:  Job opportunities exclusive to OSU alumni?  What more do I need to say?  J

Where you can get ithttps://www.osu.edu/alumni/services/career-management/alumni-career-connection.html

  1. – Career Management Webinar Library

Another addition to the wealth of resources that we have available to you through this office is our webinar library.  Here you will find more than 25 webinars hosted by either our career consultants or select distinguished alumni, on topics ranging from doing well in an interview to networking in different ways.  There are also informative sessions that cater to specific areas of interest, such as women returning to work, or defining success on your own terms.

Why it’s great:  Lots and lots of career advice, for people at any stage in their career development.

Where you can get ithttps://www.osu.edu/alumni/services/career-management/webinars.html

 

I hope that these resources are valuable to you as you work your way through your job search – whatever stage you may be at currently.  Don’t forget that you can always reach out to our office for additional assistance, by calling 1.800.635.8944 as well.

Make it a great week!

Job Search Tools You Can Use This Week – Part 1

Happy Monday all!  Here it a quick list of resources and tools to help you in your job search this week:

  1. – JobScan

JobScan.co is one of the top resources currently being used to help jobseekers here in the Office of Alumni Career Management.  JobScan is a versatile and intuitive software program that reviews your resume and compares it against the job description of your choice, reading it like an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Why it’s great:  Because most companies use an ATS in their hiring processes now, JobScan gives you an edge over other applicants by letting you see what an HR person will see when they review your resume.  This means that you can (and should) tailor it specifically to meet the needs of a given position – and JobScan walks you through exactly how to do that step-by-step.

Where you can get it:  Visit JobScan.co and create a free account to try it out today!

  1. – Canva

Canva is an easy to use and intuitive tool that allows you to create your own personalized graphics for use on social media and/or business cards.  This is an easy way to establish and maintain your personal brand, which is a huge asset whether you’re currently in the job search or simply looking to further develop yourself and your presence online.  Having graphics that are custom to you allows you to make an impression on those who interact with you online, and support a cohesive (and beautifully professional) brand image.

Why it’s great:  You can create beautiful graphics for social media and other personal marketing materials.  Plus, it is fast, free, and user-friendly, making it easy to use regardless of your level of skill.

Where you can get it:  Canva.com

  1. – My Next Move Interest Profiler

For those of you who have reached a point in your career where you are unsure about the direction that you want your career to go in, career exploration assessments are always a great option.  Most career consultant offices generally offer the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator and Strong Interest Inventory as options to assist you in this exploration – at a cost.  Before you commit to the price of an assessment package, however, I suggest that jobseekers check out the MyNextMove Interest Profiler provided by Onet Online (a service of the US Department of Labor).  MyNextMove offers an assessment that is similar to the Strong Interest Inventory (I generally refer to it as “Strong – Lite”), and provides an interactive way to explore the career paths that are suggested by the assessment results.

Why it’s great:  It’s a free career assessment that allows you to do some in-depth exploration and get some ideas on potential paths that you might like to pursue without investing $100+ in paid testing through a career consultant.  It also connects to Onet Online, which provides you with the tools to not only explore the context of the many different career paths that are available to you, but also lets you look into salary expectations, job outlook for the next 5 years, type of education needed, and more.

Where you can get it:  https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip

Bonus:  https://www.onetonline.org/

 

Get started on putting these tools to work for you today, and be on the lookout later this week for Part Two of this series, where I will highlight even more great resources for your use!

Three Tips for Rocking an Out of State Job Search

So, you’ve decided that you’re ready to spread your wings and relocate to another state for your next career move.  If so, you’re not alone.  A recent survey from MSN shows that 1 in 4 jobseekers are willing and ready to relocate in order to facilitate a career change.  With those statistics, you might think that employers are open to candidates from varying locales, but ask any number of job seekers who have been in the hunt for a job outside of their current area, and you will likely find that securing a position in another state is a bit more challenging than you’d expect.  Oftentimes employers do not offer relocation packages, and they may look poorly on candidates from different areas because of the time and effort that it would take to have them move to the job location.  Sometimes employers just don’t want the bother.

So, what can you do about it?  Below are three tips to help you move your interstate job search forward.

  1. – Remove location markers from your resume

Most recruiters agree that when they see a resume with an out of state address, it comes off as something of a red flag.  They anticipate that employers will give pushback on those candidates, and therefore they are moved to the bottom of the “priority list”.  One of the easiest things that you can do to make yourself more competitive in the out-of-state job market is to remove your address from the document altogether.

Also, keep in mind that an address is no longer an important element of the resume – in fact, it is pretty erroneous information at this point.  You would be better served to use the area traditionally reserved for your address to instead showcase a link to your Linkedin profile or a headline introducing yourself to the employer.

You can also take it a bit farther and remove the locations of previous jobs that you have held as well (since this is also not pertinent information) and use the Google voice app to create a local phone number.  These two strategies are less common, but still considered acceptable according to most recruiters.

  1. – Talk about it and BE HONEST

Once you’ve been called for an interview, it is best to address the topic upfront.  When talking with a potential employer, you should use affirmative language and reference a time-frame for your move.  For example, you might ask for a Skype or phone interview for the first round.  At that point, you would let the company know that you are planning to relocate by saying something along the lines of, “Yes, I currently live in Ohio – however, I anticipate moving to Boston within the next 8 weeks.”  You should also include that you are prepared to move at your own cost, as many companies rule out candidates for whom they feel they will have to make a substantial investment in up front (such as a relocation package).

Also take care not to lie or lead an employer on.  I’ve often seen candidates use a local address on an application in order to avoid getting red flagged for being a non-local applicant.  This is fine – however, be sure that you explain clearly to an employer that this is the address you anticipate staying at once you arrive in the area, and not your current address.  Telling an employer you currently reside in LA with a current employer in Colorado is a sure fire way to get those red flags raised again, and, what’s worse, now you look like a liar to the hiring manager.  Don’t do it – this is never a good idea.

  1. – NETWORK!

Aside from the above two tips, you should treat your out of state job search largely the way that you would a local search – with the exception of needing to cast a much wider net.  Network with as many people as you can from your target area – Linkedin is a great tool for this.  You should be making connections with people in your industry and preferred area – be diligent about this, and make sure any meetings/informational interviews/etc. are as fruitful and meaningful as possible.

You should also be prepared to make a few trips to your target area as well.  Doing this will allow you to meet with your connections in real time, as well as become familiar with the area itself.  Depending on your familial situation, you may also need to research housing, schools, etc.  All of this will be much easier to do in person.

The ACM Staff is Out and About!

 

Believe it or not, occasionally we here in the Office of Alumni Career Management step outside of our hallowed halls and enjoy a little sunshine!  When we are not busy coaching clients on how to build a career that they love, we enjoy doing professional development and partnering with our fellow Alumni Association and University colleagues to further promote our mission.

In the last week, we have been doing a lot of that.  Here is a quick catch-up on some of the things that we have been up to lately:

 

GradFest!

Our illustrious university graduated more than 11,000 students last week, and we appreciated the opportunity to help welcome them into the alumni family!  On Friday, May 4, the ACM staff participated in GradFest – an event hosted by our friends in charge of connecting with Young Alumni.  At this event, we were able to talk to hundreds of new grads as they told us about why they chose their majors, what their plans were after undergrad, and some of them even let me in on a few tidbits about “what I wish I’d known” going into their degree programs.

Each department in the Alumni Experiences unit was represented at GradFest, and we all sought out special ways to connect with the new grads to make them feel welcome, and assure them that as Buckeyes, they always have a home here in Columbus, no matter where their journeys take them next.

 

National Conference on Diversity, Race, and Learning

OSU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is holding it’s 24th annual conference on Diversity, Race, and Learning this week, and the ACM staff had the wonderful opportunity to attend the pre-conference diversity training.  With topics ranging from “Improving Educational Outcomes for Underserved Students in Postsecondary Education” to “Creating and Flourishing with Diversity and Inclusion in a New Era,” my colleagues and I were privy to some great training that opened our minds to new ways of looking at diversity and inclusion, and how we can apply those principles in our everyday work lives to better serve our clients.

The larger conference is being held today, with Twitter’s own Candi Singleton as the keynote speaker – this should prove to be an excellent experience all around!

 

Also coming up soon, our staff will be attending a retreat with the University Career Services Council, which will feature training on working with clients with intellectual disabilities.  We are also planning some excellent professional development events for you all as well – be on the lookout for more information in the coming weeks!