In this issue:
- Featured Article
- View From Someone Else's Boots
- Most Active Job Posters
- Most Discussed Forum Topics
- Career Advice
Social Intelligence: A Skill Every Jobseeker Needs
By Jim Hasse
Employers sometimes call it "good interpersonal skills." They say they want a "good communicator." They want someone who is "authentic" or an applicant who demonstrates "emotional intelligence."
What they really seek in a job candidate is "social intelligence," according to Cynthia Kivland, MCC, co-founder and president of Workplace Coach Institute and president of Smart2Smarter, a coaching and career service firm. See www.Smart2Smarter.com.
Social intelligence is more than learning how to live with delayed gratification (the most common definition we often hear for the term, "emotional intelligence"), says Kivland.
She claims social intelligence is not a single skill but a combination of these skills:
- Knowing how to draw upon your self-confidence
- Mastering your emotions and actions
- Attracting other people to you
- Being adaptable and resilient
- Showing tolerance and acceptance
- Evolving and improving emotionally, psychologically and spiritually
- Being able to teach and be taught, lead and be led and receive and give
During my years in business, I've struggled with each one of
these attributes. I remember blowing up at a staff meeting and
later having to apologize to a fellow vice president, at the urging
of our CEO.
I remember uttering, "That's not my problem," four deadly words that should never be heard when you're trying to work together on a business project.
And, I remember verbally challenging a colleague in public about a problem we had in common -- a situation which needed to be discussed in private.
But, I also remember demonstrating these same seven skills to more than 30 people (professionals and college interns) I trained as a hiring manager over a 28-year stint on the job within a Fortune 500 company.
And, I remember helping the company draft an employee evaluation system based on a variety of then-contemporary theories of motivation (all of which emphasized recognition of positive results). Maybe that's why a couple of people later told me, "You've been my best boss."
Such a compliment reminds me of what Mike, who, as a person with a disability, is fully integrated into the mainstream job market, told me some time ago.
He observed, "We are judged by our abilities, but, often, we are also judged because of those who preceded us. The experiences employers have had with disabled folks have a direct bearing on how they perceive other disabled people, rightly or wrongly."
The View from Someone Else’s Boots
The Unique Challenges Facing Reservists Serving in OIF and OEF
By Ed Crenshaw
The Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) wars have created unprecedented challenges for all participating military personnel, their families and other stakeholders. These challenges include participating in the longest wars in US history, addressing the dangerous and lethal threats of terrorism within an asymmetrical warfare environment and everyday exposure to deadly improvised explosive devices (IED's). Military personnel are facing multiple combat tours for prolonged intervals, many have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI), and many others are experiencing residual health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and challenges from various occurrences of military sexual trauma (MST). These conditions can ultimately lead to family and social dysfunction, workplace disruptions, high attrition rates, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicide. While many of these combat-related challenges can significantly impact our military as a whole, our military reservists can find themselves facing a wide variety of personal, social and professional challenges that rival that of their active duty counterparts.
For many individuals that join the US Army Reserve and the National Guard, the reserves promise a great opportunity to serve their country almost as a part-time job. The military reservist program has been in existence since the 19th century and inactive reserves (IRR) status has traditionally offered individuals the opportunity to meet their service obligations while serving as weekend warriors, participating in weekend drills once a month. Reservists also have two full weeks of active duty engagement with an assigned unit during the course of a year. For some with a civilian job and/or actively participating in college, this has been an ideal way to enjoy the best of both worlds - earning money and/or achieving a college degree while serving their country and enjoying the benefits within the military. The inactive reserve designation is simply a way for the military to maintain readiness by keeping trained personnel available in the event of a need or national emergency. While in the reserves, one can also be called back to their active duty status within a moments notice. Generally speaking, a minimum enlistment can consist of three years obligation of active duty service with five years of reserve service.
There is somewhat of an unspoken cultural divide between active duty military and reservists. For active duty military, waking up early and reporting for duty is an everyday part of the job. Consistently wearing the uniform and performing the daily task of the military (along with all of the conformity of military culture, rules and regulations) comes with the territory and active duty military, unless deployed, can usually look forward to weekends off and 30 days of paid vacation.
For reservists , it is more of a challenge to transition and balance work, family, school and other social and civilian endeavors with their military obligations. For some reservists, various issues such as passing rigorous physical training (PT) test can be a lot more difficult than it is for active duty personnel. While all reservists are expected to be 'battle ready' and proficient at their military centric jobs, it is clear that active duty personnel are more adept at executing intricate military tasks and transitioning to challenging warfare environments. In certain circumstances, it is easy to understand how some active duty personnel may have less regard for reservists. It is also easy to understand the challenges faced by reservists dealing with constant paradigm shifts and adjustments from their accustomed civilian lifestyle to the extreme demands of military culture (particularly during times of war.) The unprecedented rigors and resources needed to successfully fight in the OIF and OEF wars have changed the nature of service obligations for reservists. Opposed to the traditional one weekend per month and two weeks of active duty service, many reservists are now experiencing significant amounts of time (as much as a year or more) in active duty roles.
How to Prepare for a Phone Interview
By Christy Eichelberger
There are many occasions when a company may need to conduct phone interviews prior to or instead of in-person interviews. Phone interviews are often used if the company is interviewing candidates who live outside of driving distance or if they have received a large number of applicants and they want to rule some out before arranging in-person interviews.
Conducting phone interviews can save companies a lot of money as well as time. Instead of flying a candidate in from another state, for example, a company may choose to first interview him/her over the phone to make sure they are someone they would consider hiring. Once a candidate passes the phone interview, they will typically be asked to come in for an in-person interview before receiving a formal job offer.
Unless you are applying for a position in another state or country, you may not expect to be asked to interview by phone. However, since you never know if a company will choose to go this route, it's important to be prepared for and comfortable with the idea of having a phone interview just in case.
Preparing for a phone interview is much the same as preparing for an in-person interview. You should have a copy of your cover letter and resume with you to refer back to during the interview. You should also be prepared to answer common interview questions and practice your responses ahead of time with a friend or family member.
There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for a phone interview that you might not think about for an in-person interview. While you don't have to worry about dressing up for a phone interview, you do have to be more careful with how you are speaking. It is more difficult to understand someone over the phone without being able to use physical cues or without the aid of seeing expressions and even lip reading. This makes it more important to speak more slowly and more clearly. Also, make sure when you are arranging the interview that there will be no distractions or interruptions. Being interrupted by a barking dog or loud kids will not leave a good impression with interviewers.
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