From 2016 Toastmasters Champ: Top Two Public Speaking Mistakes #publicspeaking #careeradvice

public-speakingAfter beating out more than 30,000 contestants across the globe, Darren Tay, a lawyer from Singapore won the 2016 Toastmasters International competition (Feloni, 2016). Tay identified two of the most common mistakes people make giving speeches so that hopefully you can follow in his footsteps.

  1. “They are too self-conscious of their gestures”.

Many people become preoccupied  with having the right hand gestures, posture and placement on stage. Tay says that “speech should guide gesture,” and not the other way around. Before speeches, Tay practices mindfulness meditation including deep-breathing and “power poses” to help him prep for a performance. He also says that people should make hand motions centered around their belly and not go “too close to their face, which suggests nervousness, or too, low which is distracting.”

(I’ve been hearing about this “mindfulness mediation” a lot these days so it might be time to check it out…)

2. “They impose a wall on their progress”.

Tay exclaims that many people think their speech giving abilities are innate in their DNA, when in fact it’s all about nurturing their skills. Extroverts don’t give better speeches than introverts. Instead, Tay recommends finding a mentor that can give you candid but supportive feedback to help hone your public-speaking skills. And then spend your time “practicing how to connect with an audience on an intimate level”.

There you go. Fake it till you make it. Have some confidence in yourself to develop, don’t get bogged down in the small stuff, and don’t let your insecurities get you–and then you can have your shot at becoming a World Champion in public speaking! (Or so we should hope.)

Happy speech making!

-Caitlin Stork

Reference List:

Feloni, R. (2016). The 2016 world champion of public speaking says beginners always make the same 2 mistakes. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/biggest-public-speaking-mistakes-beginners-make-2016-9

 

 

 

 

 

10 signs someone is lying to you #newblogpost

During an intense conversation with a coworker you seek a response about why the project went sideways; you’re standing firm that you want answers but you’re not getting any. The pressure turns up. Suddenly your coworker shields their mouth with their hands, freezes in their tracks, and spouts out a stream of mumbles. A feeling of uncertainty comes over you and then you realize they’re lying to you.

FBI expert and nonverbal communication expert, Dr. Lillian Glass, outlined 10 signs that someone is being dishonest with you, as published in a Business Insider article. Truth be told, reading this list shed light on a few characters I’ve met in my life…now I know they were lying!

  1. “They change their head position quickly.
  2. Their breathing changes.
  3. They stand very still.
  4. They repeat words.
  5. They touch or cover their mouth.
  6. They instinctively cover vulnerable body parts.
  7. They tend to point a lot.
  8. They provide too much information.
  9. It becomes difficult for them to speak.
  10. They stare at you without blinking much.”

If you witness any of these signs pay very close attention, especially if you work with them and their performance has bearing on your career. I’d recommend going to the full Business Insider article as it has very helpful picture demonstrations.

Happy careering!

Caitlin Stork

What to Do When You Can’t Find a Job After College

What to do 2

College graduation is one of the most exciting, rewarding and proud moments of many people’s lives filled with hope and dreams of the happiness that the future will bring, yet it can be incredibly nerve-racking, intimidating and downright scary. This may seem perplexing because many people attend college for the sole fact that it will be easier to showcase talents, education and skills, and thus gain employment upon graduation. In reality it may appear that a degree doesn’t necessarily help get your resume to the top of the stack.

If you feel like you’re stuck in limbo in between college and a career do not fret. There are strategies you can use to land you a career position.

For starters, many graduates target their job search around the major corporations in the largest city by them; near me many students flock to Microsoft, Amazon and Boeing, but fail to recognize that small companies offer tremendous career opportunities. So much so, that starting your career at a small company can open up broader experiences that you wouldn’t get a large company. With a small company you usually get to work more closely with the top executives, are tasked with higher-levels of responsibilities and detail, and you can learn from those around you. If you’re having a hard time landing a job with the Googles of the world than I suggest broadening your search.

As a person that’s worked for both large companies and small, boutiques, I can fairly say that working for a small company will open you up to a world of experience, skills and responsibly that will empower you to stay motivated in your career and development.

Here is an excellent article link with four quick tips on: What to Do When You Can’t Find a Job After College.

Please reach out to me if you ever have questions about what it’s like to work for a small company at cstork@altriva.com.

Happy job searching!

Caitlin Stork

 

You Said I have to Take a Test to Get Hired?!

Many people say that once you graduate from college (or high school) test taking doesn’t matter anymore. Think again. I work in the professional services industry and our company deeply values continual education, especially attaining technical certifications. Getting a certification is a great way to show—not tell—your expertise in a particular area. It’s commonplace in my office to have someone studying for a professional certification at any given moment, so you can definitely say studying and test taking are a part of our culture around here.

Well what if you’re currently looking for a new job—did you know you might have to take a test before you get hired? In fact, many companies require candidates to take pre-employment assessments to ensure that their candidates’ cognitive abilities, personality, emotional intelligence and work skills are up to snuff (Forbes, 2011). One of the best predictors of a new hire’s success is not the interview—it’s the pre-employment assessment (SHRM, 2014). Yup. That’s right. Testing matters.

“An employer should be able to demonstrate that those who do well on the test do well in performing the job and those who score poorly on the test perform poorly on the job (Forbes).” So then it’s in your best interest to do well on the test so that you can get the job.

Linked here is a great article on the various types of pre-employment tests with test-taking strategies to help you land the job (Career Cloud, 2014).

I hope you found this information helpful.

Happy interviewing!

-Caitlin Stork

Reference List

McGuinn, S.(2015, February 24). How to Pass a Pre-Employment Assessment. Career Cloud. Retrieved from http://www.careercloud.com/news/2015/2/21/how-to-pass-a-pre-employment-assessment

Roberts, B. (2014, April 1). Make Better Hires with Behavioral Assessments. SHRM. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/publications/hrmagazine/editorialcontent/2014/0414/pages/0414-predictive-analytics-hiring.aspx

Quast, L. (2011, September 13). Pre-Employment Testing: A Helpful Way For Companies To Screen Applicants. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2011/09/13/pre-employment-testing-a-helpful-way-for-companies-to-screen-applicants/#6f2c1fd470b4

Spotting Psychopaths in the Workplace #newblogpost #careeradvice

Name tag 2.jpgAs a someone from the great state of Washington, I’m well aware of our area’s infamous psychopaths: the Green River Killer and Ted Bundy. But beyond these notorious killers there psychopaths lurking in the business world, especially at the higher rungs of the corporate ladder. They might not be serial killers but their damage can still be devastating, especially if they are your boss or a close colleague.

An article on EHSToday states that psychopaths lack human attachment or genuine human emotion, and tend to break rules and push the envelope of “acceptable behavior” (2013). They also tend to be charming, inhumanly calm, antisocial, and arrogant (2013).

Psychopaths are everywhere. According to a RecruitLoop article (2014) one out of 100 people in the general population have psychopathic tendencies. And in the corporate world, there is convincing evidence that one in 10 senior executives have psychopathic traits (2014). “It makes sense that people who are almost psychopathic can be found in the business world; psychopaths are attracted to power and money the way sharks are attracted to chum,” as stated in an Behavioral Health Evolution article. Apparently, the higher up the corporate chain the more potential for psychopaths.

As Seattle is home to many large, important organizations, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, I can’t help but think of how many psychos there are here alone.

So now that we know psychopaths exist, how can we spot them? RecruitLoop defined a list of 11 ways to spot a psychopath in the workplace.

11 Ways to Spot a Psychopath at Work (2014)

  1. Emotional manipulator: “While they are confident, outgoing and mentally resilient and rarely feel sorry for themselves, they are master manipulators are extremely proficient at eliciting pity and compassion.”
  2. Control freak: “If you feel like you are being micro-managed, you probably are!”
  3. Charming: “They know only too well the value of turning on the charm early in a relationship and then slowly turning it off to make you start doubting yourself and feeling less worthy.”
  4. Bloodsucker: “A Psychopath might ‘confide’ in you about some ordinary idea of his/her own in the hope you then offer one of your own that is better.”
  5. Liar Liar: “A tendency to misrepresent the facts while appearing plausible and reasonable, along with a lack of guilt or anxiety over telling lies is another hallmark of psychopathic behaviour.”
  6. Narcissistic: “Relationship patterns in both their personal and corporate lives are often stormy and short-lived and “Friendships” are often terminated without warning once you cease to be ‘useful.’”
  7. Teflon-coated: “Psychopaths never accept responsibility for their mistakes and poor behaviour.  Worse than that, they are brilliant at manufacturing evidence that makes someone else look guilty so the blame is quickly shifted.”
  8. Great acting skills: If you have a boss who is prone to extreme displays of emotion then quickly returns to normal as if nothing has happened, then you might question whether he or she really feels anything at all.”
  9. Risk taker: “Things to watch for are a package of risky investments, unwise alliances, inappropriate behaviour, and risqué comments.”
  10. Power-hungry: “Psychopaths need to control and manipulate others and so are attracted to positions where they can influence others.  In the corporate world, senior management roles are ideal places for psychopaths to function in.”
  11. Menacing ‘aura’: “There is the suggestion that psychopaths give out a certain ‘aura’ and comments like “he makes my skin crawl”, “he makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end”, and “he sends chills up my spine” are just some of the reactions people report.”

I can see why so many executives are psychopaths, with the exception of four and maybe five, this is basically a list of required skills on an executive-level job description. That’s perhaps a little troublesome.

If you suspect your boss or another colleague which you closely work with is a psychopath—it might be time to dust of the ol’ resum and find a new job.

Reference List

Cable, J. (2013, Oct 7). NSC 2013: How to Spot a Psychopath in Your Workplace. EHSToday. Retrieved from http://ehstoday.com/safety/nsc-2013-how-spot-psychopath-your-workplace

Eichner, B. (2014, Jun 10). 11 Ways to Spot a Psychopath at Work. RecruitLoop. Retrieved from http://recruitloop.com/blog/11-ways-to-spot-a-psychopath-at-work/

Schouten, R., & Silver, J. Hazelden. (2012). Almost a Psychopath. Behavioral Health Evolution. Retrieved from http://www.bhevolution.org/public/almost_psychopath.page

10 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job Interview #newblogpost #careeradvice #careercoach

Have you ever been on a job interview where your internal code-red alert was blasting with giant, red flags but you ignored them? Perhaps you had been unemployed for long period or desperately wanted to get out of your current job so you ignored the signs and stuck it out. Chances are if you ended up receiving and accepting an offer the job was sufficient for a while but went nowhere fast. This has happened to me. Trust me, it doesn’t get better.

Andrew LaCivita created a handy list of 10 red flags that candidates should never ignore during job interviews. If the potential employer seems unprepared, lacks transparency or even is unlikeable–you should reconsider the job opportunity. Good employers and bosses always come prepared to meetings. And if you don’t like your boss during the interview you definitely won’t like them when your onboard in your new role.

 The 10 Signs (edited):

  1. The interviewer is late.
  2. The interviewer informed you she just found out she needed to interview you and hasn’t reviewed your resume.
  3. The interviewer asks what position you are interviewing for.
  4. The interviewer will not share why the position is open.
  5. They won’t let you interview with your immediate supervisor.
  6. You don’t like your immediate boss during the interview process.
  7. The company isn’t smart enough to know which questions to ask you so instead wastes time discussing ridiculous, never-to-exist scenarios.
  8. The interviewer cannot clearly articulate “successful performance” for the position.
  9. The interviewer’s description of the company sounds nothing like you.
  10. As you walk through the halls, you notice no one is smiling.

 

 

 

 

While I don’t believe you should end the interview then and there–you should exercise caution about proceeding with the interviewing cycle. Perhaps it’s better to spend your time interviewing with companies, positions or potential managers that better align with your career goals.

No matter how desperate you may be to find a job it’s better to listen to your gut. Finding the right job take less time than finding a job and then having to find another one when the original job doesn’t work out.

To see the full article click here.

Happy careering!

-Caitlin Stork

bad_interview_pic

Reference

LaCivita, A. (2015, August 31). 10 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job Interview. MileWalk. Retrieved from http://milewalk.com/mwblog/10-signs-its-time-to-quit-your-job-interview/

Photo Source

http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID8616/images/bad_interview_pic.jpg

Defing Job Burnout #newblogpost #jobburnout

Have you been feeling extra stressed out about work to the point where you are now unmotivated or unable to concentrate? Have you felt extra cynical or negative about your work? This could be job burnout which is a very serious state that can affect your entire life and health, and not just your job.

Let’s define job burnout. According to Mayo Clinic, “job burnout is a special type of job stress — a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.” Job burnout can cause very serious negative career and health consequences.

Job burnout is caused by a variety of factors including:

  • Lack of control
  • Unclear job expectations
  • Dysfunctional workplace dynamics
  • Mismatch in values
  • Poor job fit
  • Extremes of activity
  • Lack of social support
  • Work-life imbalance

Source: Mayo Clinic

You might be more likely to experience job burnout if:

  • You identify so strongly with work that you lack a reasonable balance between your work life and your personal life
  • You try to be everything to everyone
  • You work in a helping profession, such as health care, counseling or teaching
  • You feel you have little or no control over your work
  • Your job is monotonous

Source: Mayo Clinic

As mentioned earlier, job burnout causes serious implications including: “excessive stress, fatigue, insomnia, a negative spillover into personal relationships or home life, depression, anxiety, alcohol or substance abuse, heart disease, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes (especially in women), stroke, obesity, vulnerability to illnesses,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

So that now your know what job burnout is, what causes it, and what it can do for you—it’s time to learn how to manage it. Here’s a helpful Lifehacker infographic with six ways to avoid burnout.

Keep in mind that burnout can also come from things besides work. Oftentimes, people are overcommitted to many other areas of their life such as family, friends, church, volunteerism, sports or other extra-circular activities.

burnout

Remember that everybody needs some downtime and personal time.

Happy careering!

-Caitlin Stork

Sources of information:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/burnout/art-20046642?pg=2

http://lifehacker.com/5907273/use-this-infographic-to-identify-and-avoid-the-signs-of-burnout