Posted on: February 6th, 2018 by
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When do you know it’s time to call it quits and find your next job? These 6 signs are a reliable indicator of a troubled career. If you don’t take action to make a change, your boss or the organization will. It’s just a matter of time.


The workplace environment is different from what you experienced in the past:

  • The rate of change and a shifting market makes for multiple short-term careers
  • Most people will change jobs between 8 and 14 times in a career
  • Changes of less than one year cause too many questions for you to answer
  • Sharpened job skills and experience have a short shelf life when not used.


Many times the job “fix” is relatively easy, while other times you’ll need dynamite. Take a look at these six indicators and compare them to your own situation:

  • You’ve stalled out with compensation – Staying flat in compensation means you aren’t keeping up with inflation, your performance doesn’t inspire more dollars or for some reason you not moving ahead. Sometimes the organization is shrinking, with you in it. If so, don’t be the last one out. Assess your position.
  • Others are moving ahead leaving you behind – You may be in a dead end job. Other times when the company doesn’t grow, there’s nowhere to move up. When that happens you aren’t learning new skills or developing to your full potential. Find out why. Ask your boss for new or higher level responsibilities.
  • The job is boring – When the job becomes repetitive your performance will sag. If you’re spending more time on the job and it’s still boring, the situation is even worse. It may mean your boss is taking advantage of you by piling up more of the same work. Your not growing and you have less available time.
  • You’re not in the right industry or job – If you take a job outside of your passion, don’t stay in it too long. It’s very difficult to jump back into the job you want. The longer you stay, the harder it is to move to another job or industry.
  • Your boss is an impediment – Who knows why some bosses get in the way. See if you can move to another position internally or talk to human resources. Too much of a bad boss can turn you into a bad performer or a bad employee.
  • Security is a double-edged sword – Being too comfortable leads to stalling when you know you need to move on. If you’re not learning, developing, advancing in skills, knowledge, ability or compensation, your treading water.


Your reality check is the question: “Are you content with your current situation and are you satisfied with where you are at this point in time?” An honest answer is your guide. If you’re not growing or expanding your skills and experiences, you’re falling behind.


For a FREE review of your resume send it to:   wkaufmann44@gmail.com


Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by
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I’ve been reading a lot recently about how unique the Millennials are in the workforce. Articles talk about how they’re different from the rest of us. I challenge that hypothesis. When I compare the list of so-called differences, I find it’s very consistent with the needs and desires of most people in the workforce, with a few exceptions. Here is a list of Millennial “differences”:


  • Their first job is unsatisfying or disappointing
  • Their full potential isn’t being utilized
  • Expanding experiences are the drivers, not money
  • Saving for retirement or creating a nest egg isn’t a high priority
  • They want to do something inspiring and feel passionate about their work
  • It’s important to have the freedom of action to contribute at a higher level
  • They want transparency and feedback on performance
  • Millennials say they need a clear vision for the future from upper management
  • They want strong leaders who can articulate direction and meaningful goals
  • They want to be empowered to attain results


These are the same comments I hear from employees all over the country at all ages looking to improve their careers or to contribute at a higher level. Nothing seems to be that different.


So what are the differences between Millennials and the rest of us? Here are a few that I see:


  • Millennials have a much larger debt load coming out of college: Loans of $30,000 or more
  • Due to their financial uncertainty, they tend to be risk averse. It’s hard to take a risk for another higher paying job when you’re not sure of the outcome, and still have loans due.
  • It’s easier and safer to stay with the job you have, where you’re known, with security, even if it doesn’t give you great satisfaction
  • This dichotomy of risk aversion versus a lack of satisfaction causes painful frustration
  • Some Millennials give up, feel like a victim and lean on mom and dad for extended support


Why don’t Millennials follow a career consistent with their college degree? Like most students:

  • High school seniors usually have no idea what career to follow, have an idealized view or can’t understand what reality is like:
  • Lawyers who want to “save the world” then find out how the world really works
  • Journalism majors who want to be another “Bernstein and Woodward” only to find out they’re writing obituaries with no chance of moving up.
  • Many graduates aren’t prepared for the technological revolution all around them
  • Millennials may not find the job of their choice at first, so they accept the job that is available. Then find it’s very hard to segue into the jobs they want.


It’s management’s job to create an environment to optimize the talent in their organizations. Those that don’t risk losing quality employees or diminish the results they might have had.


For a FREE review of your resume send to:   wkaufmann44@gmail.com


Posted on: January 31st, 2018 by
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Whether you’re a finalist candidate or waiting for a promotion, there’s one word that will determine your ability to get the job or move up in the organization. Assuming you’re competent, are a compatible fit in the organization and have the necessary skills and ability to do the job… the key word is: JUDGMENT.


Good judgment over time will accelerate your career goals. Poor judgment will hinder or prevent your career movement. Judgment usually is determined by the experiences you’ve had in the past. applied to the issues or decisions needed now or in the future. All the decisions you make, whether big or small, will determine your results because the judgments you make affect the results you achieve.


As you move further up the organization, judgment becomes a more and more important factor to your success. The judgments that are made by the president of an organization will greatly affect the success of an organization over time. The judgments you make in your current job will affect how you’re perceived and how your performance is judged.


So, how can you build the “judgment factor” into your interview so you have an edge? Simple. Build it into the response to questions you know will be asked. All interviews will ask the question, in one-way or another: “What did you do?”, “How did you do it?”, “What were the results?” Since the interviewer is working off of your resume, these questions will reflect past experiences. Here’s an example of a question and a potential answer:


Q – “How did you achieve the 10% increase in sales when you worked for the XYZ Company?”


A – “We were experiencing flat revenues over the past 3 years in 80% of our product lines within our major markets. After analyzing the markets, products, customers and competition, I made the judgment call to market the higher volume, higher priced products with a special campaign in the major markets that were lagging. I also had a contingency plan to make up for any shortfall.”


This response does three things:


  1. It shows an understanding and practical approach to a problem that was preventing results
  2. It demonstrates a business approach to a problem based on facts and analysis. A good approach in the mind of a hiring manager.
  3. It not only displays sound judgment, but also shows an alternative contingency, just in case the initial judgment doesn’t work out… which is a judgment in and of itself.


Having good sound judgment is one of the key ingredients to a successful interview and career. Understanding how to communicate and demonstrate that judgment will differentiate you from all other candidates. Go and do good things.


For a FREE review of your resume send it to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com


Posted on: January 16th, 2018 by
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There are four fundamental hurdles to move you through each step of the hiring process:


  1. Your resume has to be one of the top 10 selected out of 100 or more applicants
  2. You’re one of the top 2 or 3 candidates out of 10 with your telephone/Skype interview
  3. You must be the top candidate after your personal interviews with the decision makers
  4. You must have a mutually satisfactory offer and acceptance


If you don’t move to the next step in the hiring process, ask “Why?”. The answer is usually a generic “The fit wasn’t right, but we’ll keep you on file in case the right job comes up”. Don’t hold your breath! Remember: There’s only one winner, and everyone else falls short.


Here are some reasons why you didn’t make the cut. Most of them are beyond your control.


  1. There were shifting priorities or needs that moved the bar or changed the requirements
  2. The interviewer wasn’t skilled or competent enough to ask you the right questions
  3. You made the hiring manager nervous with your talent and experience
  4. The hiring manager was forced to make a different decision by someone higher


  1. You’re under/over qualified, under/over educated or don’t have the technical skills
  2. You blew the interview. Oh well, there’s always next time!


Here are some of the things to make “next time” successful:


  1. Most resumes describe the activities or responsibilities of the individual, while hiring managers want to hear about your results, how you got them and how you can help with short and long-term issues.
  2. There are a number of skills you need to have in a telephone or Skype interview in order to be more successful than your competitors. The differences will make you more effective. Learn and apply them.
  3. There are 4 basic styles of interviewing that hiring managers use, which if you’re not prepared to handle, can put you at a disadvantage. Learn how to succeed in an interview with each one so you’re more prepared than others.
  4. There are about 50 questions that have a high probability of being asked in an interview. Develop and practice highly successful answers beforehand so you can have targeted solutions, rather than stumbling or mumbling responses.
  5. Most answers to interview questions should be answered effectively in 30 seconds.   Learn how to focus on the issue, action and result that will make you the best candidate.
  6. Responding to an offer is an art and science. Understand what can and cannot be achieved, why, and how to weave the best opportunity for you and the company.


Becoming a skilled candidate in the steps of the hiring process increases your chances of accelerating your career. Understand what’s important to the hiring organizations first and then design your strategy around the skills that will help you achieve your goal.


For a FREE review of your resume send to:   wkaufmann44@gmail.com


Posted on: January 9th, 2018 by
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Have you ever interviewed for a job knowing that you have the potential to do a great job, but for some reason you didn’t get an offer? Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Would you be more likely to hire an employee to fill an important position who has the potential to do the job, or someone who has successfully done a similar job somewhere else? Who is most at risk?


Part of the answer is driven by the needs of the hiring manager. If the position is critical to the success of the organization, then a candidate who has demonstrated similar results would have a higher potential for success. If, however, the hiring manager wants to train someone in a certain way and immediate results aren’t imperative, then a candidate with potential could work.


A candidate who has had success in the same role within a smaller organization or a similar role in a comparable function has greater transferable skills and experiences than others. Since a hiring manager wants to optimize the success level with the new hire, the closer a candidate comes to meeting the requirements and expectations of the position description, the greater their chances of becoming a top candidate for interviewing. There are exceptions, of course.


The fact is, the further away a candidate’s skills and experiences are from the job that needs to be done, the greater the risk the hiring manager is taking. If the decision to hire is the wrong one and the new employee falls short of the performance needed, it’s the hiring manager who pays the price. He falls further behind, the job remains open and his boss is not happy.


On the other hand, the employee who falls short pays a steeper price: He has a short term exposure, a lack of success, time and effort lost, and a career mistake that can take a long time to recover, if at all.


The point is, if you’re hired for a job you can’t do, everyone loses. Other thoughts:


  • Check out the top 5 items on the position description. They are the most important skills or experiences that are needed to fill the job. Other items are less so.
  • When you review the position description, if your experiences are less than 75% of the requirements, tread carefully as you don’t want to fall short when you find out the job is much more extensive and complex than you first thought.
  • When interviewing, find out what the key issues are to be solved, the expected time-line for solutions, the resources, budget and other critical factors for success.
  • If your experiences are less than 50%, beware. With an offer, you’re taking a very big risk.


Lastly, for the very ambitious, be careful you don’t outpace your competencies or experiences and market yourself beyond your capabilities. Change isn’t kind to the unprepared.


For a FREE review of your resume send to:   wkaufmann44@gmail.com