Listening: A Crucial Job Search SkillWritten by Scott Brown
It’s important that job seekers possess basic interpersonal skills, but some are more valuable than others. The United States Department of Labor Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) has identified five proficiencies and three foundation skills that are crucial for job seekers. Listening skills were among those on foundation list. Having good listening skills are essential for landing job you want.
How you can improve
We should understand first that there is a difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a physical ability, but listening is a skill that must be learned. To help improve your listening skills right away, try out some of these tactics:
*When someone is speaking to you, lean in towards them slightly. This will not only allow you to hear better, but it also shows them that you’re interested in what they have to say. *Sit or stand as still as possible as this will help you focus solely on person in front of you. *Use non-verbal body language to communicate that you’re paying attention. For example, maintain comfortable eye contact and nod when appropriate. *After someone has communicated important information, paraphrase or summarize what they have said in your own words. This helps you solidify your own understanding and demonstrates your understanding to them. Plus it gives them an opportunity to correct you if you misunderstood anything important.
Does Your Career Change Itch -- or Burn?Written by Patricia Soldati
Two weeks ago, I received a newsy email from a former client. Dan gave me scoop on his life and new love, and ended by saying that while work had improved, he was feeling itch again to go after career change. He would soon give me a call for some personal coaching sessions. I replied nicely to all his news, and on itch, I said: “Call me when it’s a burn.” Why this tough love response? I meet scores of professionals who are unhappy with their work. In almost seven years, I’ve never seen an individual make a significant shift unless there is a burning desire to change. You must have a clear articulation of personal gain you see for yourself at end of career-change rainbow – and this personal gain must be greater than pain of staying in place. I didn’t want Dan to waste his time, energy, or for that matter, money. So, how do you know if you’re feeling an itch or a burn? Itches are usually situational. A confrontation with a fellow worker…a poor performance review…a disagreement with your boss…environmental stress. Itches create lots of smoke, like “I can’t wait to get out of here.” or “This is it. I’m leaving.” But no focused action towards change. And these “reaction” moments are often followed by patches where work is really okay – an interesting project in works, shared good feelings. In other words, motivation to change is externally driven. It waxes and wanes based on what is happening in one’s environment. All of us have career itches at one time or another. Burns go much deeper. They are itches that don’t go away…they’ve been around for a long time (a year or more)…and they have wrenched your value system to point that: