Part 2: The Great Resignation
Take this job and shove it I ain't workin' here no more
Well that foreman, he's a regular dog The line boss, he's a fool
I remember the song so clearly from years ago. Johnny Paycheck’s great homage to work expressed in the song “Take This Job and Shove it” circa 1977. It resonated with people then as a blue-collar worker expressed his frustration and is experiencing a renaissance now with people using it as a banner song. While the original song was about dissatisfaction for long work with little reward, we’ve become a lot more focused on what we will and won’t tolerate now.
Here’s Part Two on the topic Packing Your Bag for the Great Resignation. In Part One during November, I covered the first things to pack - Solid Reasons, Clarity, an Outstanding Resume and an Updated and Upgraded LinkedIn Profile. That’s some good stuff and here’s more.
I’ve purposefully presented the items in a sequential order. Those first four are where you’d want to start. Now, it’s time to continue to pack the bag. Here are your final additions.
1. Polished Interview Skills.
I spend a lot of time helping clients with their interview skills. Interview practice with commonly used or job specific interview questions can be the difference in you getting a job or not. Here’s one thing to consider that’s always struck me throughout my years of being in Human Resources.
Some people interview very well. They are smooth. Now this doesn’t mean they are the best choice. It just means they interview well. They can use this skill to get a job. It works.
Other people don’t interview well at all. They have a harder time getting a job because they can’t ace that all important interview. Yet, they may not be the best performer in the job. If you have the skills needed to get a job, you owe it to yourself to polish your interview skills.
Job interviews are intimidating. Period. Even those people who don’t appear to be sweating it are. Experience doesn’t help a lot as each interview is so different. Nobody feels perfectly calm before the questions start. Having the reassurance that this is completely normal helps.
Here are some great tips for you for interview prep.
Study the company itself. The key word here is study. A cursory look just won’t suffice. Pay particular attention to the About Us and Press pages of the website. Check out the pictures on the site and the verbiage they’ve chosen to describe themselves. Even the colors of their pages and logo tell a tale. If you look deeply enough, and you should, clues to the companies’ culture will emerge. Here’s a key fact. If the culture doesn’t resonate with you, it will never be a good match for either side and it’s best to figure that out ahead of time. For example, some people thrive in a corporate culture with a lot of training, tools, and support. Along with that there can be a lot of red tape and meetings. Others like a more casual environment with less hierarchy and being closer to the action. Those companies can also be more volatile. Each company is different just like each of us. Know what your culture preferences are. You won’t be changing what’s in place at a company unless you are going into the C Suite so make sure you feel good about what you see.
Check out the individuals you are interviewing with. If you are working through an internal or external Recruiter, make sure you get the names and titles. It’s quite fine to ask. Use LinkedIn and Google extensively to understand their professional background, education, and any organizations, sports teams, or interests they have. Finding common ground in any one of these areas is gold. Being able to address their background shows that you are a detailed person who does their homework.
Who do you know? See what LinkedIn connections you have and reach out to them for insight around the organization, current initiatives, and what it’s like to work there. Don’t hesitate to do this. I have clients that feel like they are being bothersome or intrusive to make this ask. Many people are happy to give you ten minutes for an overview and find it flattering. Consider reaching out to people at the company who are closely linked like a second-degree connection on LinkedIn to someone you know and link in with them. If they accept, it’s fine to ask them for time to gain understanding of the organization. Note that the more people that are touchpoints for you at a company, the better.
Practice interview questions with someone. A professional is a better choice as they have access to a series of great questions and their fingers on the pulse of what companies are focusing on now with their interview methods.
2. Job Negotiation Tips.
This is an item that some people don’t consider deeply until the time to do it is on them. Right on them. You know, when they get an opportunity and they have to negotiate without preparation. It’s not a good spot to be in. Let’s get you ready before then so the stress is low, and the preparation is spot on. Job negotiation goes beyond salary negotiations, as if that weren’t sticky enough. It’s also critically important as it sets the stage for your future with this company with impacts that are far ranging for you. You matter.
Depending on the statistics I read, 35-45% of people negotiate salaries and benefits. Women are the ones in the lower range and if you are a female, don’t be part of that low statistic. A huge 70-85% of companies expect you to negotiate! Please don’t let them down. If you don’t negotiate, a full 100% of people will regret it. That’s just my opinion.
Here are the top items to negotiate.
Don’t fixate on the compensation package alone. Think about the entire deal on the table: job flexibility whether in hours, working from home or a hybrid schedule. Think about continued education and training. This is a top item clients mention to me now. Opportunities for growth and promotion. Look at what the company can offer long term for your career far beyond today. Benefits and perks. Travel. Job Title.
Negotiate all the items you want to ask for at the same time. Don’t ask the HR Director about salary and when they come back with a good answer there, turn around and say, “Now about the vacation time…” Organize your needs, wants, and requests simultaneously.
View negotiations as a collaborative process instead of an adversarial one. The wise saying “Begin with the end in mind” is a good one for job negotiation. Don’t negotiate for the sake of negotiation. Negotiate when something is important to you. Don’t haggle over little things. Don’t be combative. Be a professional collaborator and show that you are also considering the needs of the company you are talking to as well as your own. Be positive. Someone who likes you is going to fight for you much harder than someone who thinks you are unreasonable or greedy. Picture yourself standing side by side with that person with both of you ultimately wanting the same thing – for you to come on board.
Accept that constraints can exist for hiring professionals. Many companies legitimately do have salary caps and vacation bands they must stay in without a lot of wiggle room. It’s up to you to listen closely to see if they genuinely have immovable constraints. In these cases, they can possibly offer you something different like a signing bonus in lieu of a larger base salary to start. Genuinely understand where they are coming from and ask for clarity if you need to.
Be prepared. Practice the verbiage you’ll use. Know the exact salary, benefits and perks you want. Don’t lowball any of those items. Confidently discuss them. Know the market by doing research on what current comp and benefits are. It changes and it has changed. Know that you deserve top pay for the work you do. You have a lot of value. Bring it. Consider having a one-sheet document that highlights your accomplishments. This can be used to bolster your confidence as well as sharing with a hiring manager in addition to your resume.
3. Business Presence
Your Own Brand of Business Presence. How you want to be seen in your work environment… no matter what that is. There are a number of components that could be included here. These are the top five that I see mentioned repeatedly.
Competence. You have to be able to deliver and know your stuff or nothing else you’ve packed in your bag matters. Clients and teammates count on you to get the job done well. Having the knowledge and going the extra step to keep up to date on your profession through classes or certifications and seminars adds to your competence quotient. Be seen as one of the experts with your knowledge, diligence, follow up, and responsiveness.
Self-Confidence . Self-confidence is a game changer in life. It’s the number one online searched request in the self-help genre for a reason. Everyone wants it. Most people struggle with getting it. You know people who radiate this trait and how life flows much easier for them. Think about someone in your life who has outstanding self-confidence. That can be you. The best news is that self-confidence can be learned! I’ve assembled the best tools I can find for people to have and use again and again on the subject of self-confidence. The request for it is so on-going that I recorded a webinar called Transform Your Life with Massive Self-Confidence. If you need this magic elixir, here’s the link. https://brendaholleyllc.vipmembervault.com/products/courses/view/2. It’s four modules and eight life-changing exercises that you can use forever. It’s also only $59.00.
Body Language. There have been a number of studies on the complex topic of nonverbal communication with varying results. However, experts agree that 70 to 93 percent of all communication is nonverbal. That’s too much of an impact to leave your body language to chance. I call positive body language Power Poses and here are the ones you need to know about.
Open up your body at the chest with your shoulders down and back. Lift your chin up. If you are standing, keep your feet hip width apart. You can put your hands on your hips if appropriate. Think of Wonder Woman. It’s her signature pose.
If you are seated, sit up straight. Shoulders back and down. Your chest should be open. Lean in. Hands on the table or in your lap. No fidgeting. Look at everyone in any setting equally. Eye contact is important. Don't look down excessively.
Don't fold your arms. Ever. This screams insecurity and says, "I'm closed off."
Keep your feet flat on the floor. A jiggling foot or leg is always a sign of nervousness, so make sure yours are still.
Appearance The expectations for appearance have been shifting in corporate jobs heavily to a more casual presence for 20 years and it continues to lean that way. Relaxed doesn’t mean sloppy and it doesn’t mean sweats. Your work attire depends on your job and on the industry and company culture. You need to look neat and put together regardless of what you do. I have an Image Consultant that I highly recommend if you want to up your game in this area. Reach out and ask me about her. By the way, Image Consultants aren’t just for women.
Poise Staying calm and in control is a skill that all of us need to hone throughout our career. An individual with business presence maintains their cool even when things are challenging or difficult. Emotional Intelligence figures deeply into poise and people with presence tend to have good Emotional Intelligence. If you haven’t checked into the subject of Emotional Intelligence, pick up the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.
How do you feel about your bag of tools for the Great Resignation? These three items are the final ones. I can go a lot deeper into those tools with you one-on-one if it’s go time for you. If you are ready to take this job and shove it, do it with intelligence. I offer a free 30-minute consultation on your next career steps. I’ve helped thousands of people find jobs at hundreds of companies and I can help you. Reach out to me at email@example.com.