March 31, 2014
No matter how many water bottles you’ve thrown away or lights you’ve left turned on, it’s never too late to live with eco-enthusiasm, starting with your career. Since you’ve already outfitted your home with eco-friendly solutions like solar thermal systems and panels, why not go green with your full-time job? Now you can live and work with eco-enthusiasm. The following guide can help galvanize your eco-conscious career.
Eco-friendly Job Searching Tips
Eco-friendly awareness and making simple, smart choices while job searching can support your green efforts. Here’s how.
Search for free job applications on job search sites, attach resumes as a PDF, submit online applications, and use LinkedIn tools. Even Skype interviews can reduce the carbon footprint of job searching by lowering gas usage.
Create a website as an online portfolio to showcase work samples.
Share it with an employer during an interview on your own tablet. You can even include a QR code on a business card, resume or cover letter to direct an HR manager to your Google+ page, for example.
Reduce the harmful environmental effects of PC consumption.
When you’re not job searching or networking on your computer, make sure it resorts to automatic sleep mode. Keep your monitor’s brightness low, and use a laptop over a desktop. Laptops are more energy-efficient because of the slim design and light weight.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines green jobs as “jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources,” as well as “jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.” Green jobs include green goods and services, technologies and practices.
If you’re searching for a new and more environmentally impactful profession, check out the following eco-friendly professions. Salary.com highlights these in-demand jobs that can green your future career path.
Demand for organically produced goods steadily inclines; industry experts estimate that in 2012, U.S. organic food sales reached $28 billion, according to the United States Department of Agriculture by the Economic Research Service. Organic produce and dairy led organic sales by 43 and 15 percent of total organic sales, respectively, in 2012. Meet market demand by providing your community with healthy foods free of pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Make over green lawns with eco-friendly landscaping techniques that help reduce excess water and pesticides. As a professional landscaper, you can apply money-saving and energy-conserving landscaping methods, including shading, windbreaks, green materials, snow control and solar polar.
Renewable Energy Engineer
If you have a background in electrical, mechanical or chemical engineering, you can use your expert training to improve the use of natural energy sources and create a more sustainable energy future. Renewable energy engineers will make an environmental difference while meeting demands for cleaner wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal and hydropower resources.
Other green opportunities include energy-efficient builders and architects, “ecopreneurship,” green investment adviser, alternative energy sales, and urban planner, identifies Salary.com. You can also increase your sustainability efforts by working for an ecocentric company. Greenbiz.com ranks the best global green brands, and The Globe And Mail highlights the greenest Canadian employers in 2013.
About the author:
Charlene is an environmental lawyer, runner, book lover.
March 24, 2014
Visions of corporate leadership and more zeros on a paycheck can help an entry-level employee survive the workdays. It’s the “paying your dues” and “work hard” mentality that keeps employees on the lower rungs of the corporate ladder motivated for more. For someone who dreams of being CEO, how can you sprint to the top rungs of the ladder, rather than climb?
Justin Hutchens moved from being a resident assistant at an intermediate care facility at age 19 to CEO of National Health Investors at age 36. Hutchens shares with Forbes.com that his father’s advice helped him fast forward up the proverbial corporate ladder. Always do your best, despite the level of your responsibilities, and take the undesirable assignments others wouldn’t want. Broadening your skills, willingness to relocate, and flexibility are also top traits that can boost a person’s marketability, says Hutchens.
Even if you’re not making a steady vertical ascent up the ladder, lateral moves and positions offering growth opportunities can support career expansion, development and advancement. Here are more adjustments you can make in your profession to help charge ahead in your career.
Continuing your education broadens your skill set and professional training. Complement you marketing background and entrepreneurial spirit with formal management as well as financial and organizational training. Especially since you’ve already experienced the workforce, you can return to school with clearer goals and sharper focus. Returning to school doesn’t have to be a full-time endeavor like your four-year, on-campus undergrad experience with high tuition costs. There are online college options you can research. Penn Foster, for example, equips students with a business management associate degree with up to 76 percent less costs than and traditional and online academic alternatives.
An indecisive career path and aimless job hopping can be a time-waster. If you’re bouncing around in your career like a pinball in an arcade game, you’re doing it wrong. Career coach Ford Myers emphasizes that you need a roadmap or blueprint to achieve your full potential, according to “How To Fast-Track Your Way Up The Corporate Ladder,” by Forbes.com. Create short-term goals along with a long-term vision. Think about the greater picture beyond your limitations. Determine the pinnacle of your career, and then establish the steps that will get you there. Keep in mind, performing like someone in a higher position can attract the potential for a promotion and showcase your abilities to take the next step. Don’t lose sight of your current role, but think and act a level higher, recommends business consultant Lynette Lewis.
Positive Work Behavior
Attitude and personality traits are just as pivotal as education and a plan. An extroverted CEO-in-the-making will possess the following qualities:
- Communicates effectively; makes deals and decisions
- Garners respect
- Sees a cohesive vision and can create a strategy
- Acts with self-confidence and self-knowledge
- Adapts and accommodates to unforeseen changes
- Works well independently and as a team
- Listens and responds
- Energizes, innovates and excites
- Expresses appreciation and gratitude
Manager & Company Objectives
Understand the values and priorities of your boss and company. Do your efforts align with their goals and objectives? Completing your responsibilities and meeting (exceeding) expectations while taking initiative reflects exemplary leadership qualities. Don’t be afraid to step beyond your role to learn about the high-priority funded projects. Create visibility for yourself by having a hand in projects that greatly influence the business of your company. Not only should you execute, you should initiate as well. Over time, you’ll gain valuable experience that will teach you about risk, opportunity and how to move into not only a managerial position, but eventually a chief executive role.
About the Author:
Ruth Harris is a long HR consultant, service manager, and mother of three.
December 16, 2013
How to Dress the Part of the Next CEO
Dressing Right for the Interview
Looks can be deceiving, but there is one area where this rule may not apply – the job interview. What a person wears and how they look can instantly convey their appropriateness for a company, whether done consciously or subconsciously.
Establishing rapport and sharing past accomplishments are important, especially when applying for leadership positions. Often, higher-level positions require multiple interviews with different parts of an organization. But this also creates increased pressure for candidates to dress appropriately.
Know the culture
Companies may have different dress-codes for employees and managers. Where employees can wear polo shirts or dress shirts, higher-ups should be a little more formal. Some companies throw the style playbook out entirely. The Fiscal Times reports business casual company Urban Planet Mobile has a pro-jeans philosophy, and candidates showing up in full suits are told to relax.
Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes
Monster.com’s Career Advice suggests looking at yourself in the mirror the night before and imagining how you could be judged on appearance. Even if you may think a wrinkly shirt tells the world you’re too important to iron, your interviewer may conclude you don’t care. If you decide to wear a tie, practice tying it the night before. ToTieatie.com suggests larger, symmetrical knots and dark colors are winning interview combos.
Skip the sexy
While women might think showing cleavage or lots of leg can add sex appeal, it could be distracting or seen as unprofessional to interviewers. Likewise, while men may consider an unshaven look mysterious and alluring, it may also show interviewers you don’t care enough to look your best.
Look the part
Columbus Technical College’s Career site suggests that you dress like you would for a typical day in that position, so imagine that you’re already the CEO deciding what to wear. This can give you a boost in confidence to feel like you not only belong but are prepared to get things done.
Don’t be remembered by what you wear
Instead, wow them with what you have to say. Interviewers suggest initially avoiding anything to draw attention to your appearance, even if it shows a little flair. Cover up tattoos, bring the subtle handbag instead of the bright purse, and don’t wear a favorite perfume. Instead, as Deborah Sweeney, a CEO and contributor for Forbes, suggests, candidates should focus on learning about the company and sharing how they can deliver results.
Pay attention to accessories
Are your earrings discreet or big and jangly? (Discreet is better). Do you have multiple necklaces and bracelets or only a small chain? (Discreet, remember) Did you pick stylish, yet conservative shoes? (Skip the sexy, strappy pumps.)
Do your homework
Redfish Technology, nationwide high tech recruiters, suggests you should ask the interviewer or recruiter about dress code, style and culture before you show up. Whether you’re interviewing to be the next CEO, part of the C-Suite, or any other position, consider this part of your research.
About the Author: Randy Reed
Randy is a former HR director for a large, multinational corporation. These days he blogs and gardens to keep himself busy.
November 4, 2013
Navigating a Sea of Business Degrees
from Brown Mackie College
Among the multitude of business degrees and similar-sounding job positions, it can be difficult to navigate your way to where you want to be. Focusing your skill set into a job where you can utilize it is the key to successfully growing your career and reaching your goals.
Any combination of interests, skills and strengths can take you on a promising career path if you know how to use them. This infographic easily breaks down entry-level job opportunities with color codes and a map of relatable skills.
If you enjoyed this infographic by Brown Mackie, please feel free to share or repost.
October 21, 2013
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How to Survive as a New Manager
By Dave Clemens
You just got promoted. Now you’re a manager and finally on the career path you always dreamed about. But does it feel different to be in a leadership role? You still get up every day and take a shower, have breakfast and drive to work. Your spouse, your children, your friends – they all see you the same. So not much has really changed, right?
Wrong. At work, everything has changed. Why? Because your boss, the most important person in your professional life, needs you to play a completely different role.
You probably got singled out for promotion because you were a strong performer, a producer who achieved excellent results. Now you’re in charge of a team, and your job is to get OTHER people to be strong performers. That’s what management is about. It’s the art of getting results through people. It’s so difficult that most people want nothing to do with it. Of those who take the challenge, many underestimate the complexities of management, and fail. But knowing what to expect when you take on that new position can help you succeed.
First, you need to truly understand what your new position means. It might be tempting to show up for work acting as though nothing’s changed. But that’s simply not true.
You can’t behave around rank-and-file employees the way you did before. In the eyes of those employees, you ARE the organization now. You weren’t promoted only because you were a good performer. The higher-ups recognized that your values were aligned with those of the organization and that you had assimilated its culture. So they made you, in effect, a representative of that culture.
As a new manager, it’s easy to overlook the fact that because you represent the organization, you’re constantly “on stage.” Everyone is watching and listening. Everything you say and do is amplified. If you propagate the organization’s core values and culture through your example, you’ll be on your way to success in your new role.
But if you contradict those values and culture, you’ll create confusion. And if you do it consistently, you’ll erode your credibility and effectiveness as a manager.
There’s another major test to pass. Top executives must be 100% confident that a new manager can be trusted. As a member of the management team, you’ll be privy to sensitive information.
We’re not talking about anything nefarious or illegal. It could be competitive info. Imagine a new product is doing exceedingly well and you want to keep that quiet for a while to slow down your rivals. Or it could be the CEO’s decision to step down, which could cause chaos with investors and other stakeholders if it weren’t announced in a well-planned communications campaign. New managers, like other managers, must hold knowledge like this close to their vests. Remember, indiscretion isn’t a minor error. It’s the ultimate blunder for an aspiring manager.
Many mistakes you’ll make as a manager can be overcome. But a lapse of discretion can be terminal. The consequences are often extremely damaging. Also, it’s a breach of trust, and trust is very difficult, if not impossible, to restore.
Stepping into a managerial role may sound daunting. But it need not be. Knowing where most managers fail and what your boss hopes to achieve from promoting you are the first steps to succeeding as a new manager.
About the author:
Dave Clemens has spent years consulting with HR professionals, researching developing trends, tracking employment case law and reporting on what it all means to human resource professionals. His HR Café blog is read by 14,000+ subscribers three times each week and he is a senior writer for the Compliance & Management Rapid Learning Center online training site. His work has also appeared in the World Press Review, The Associated Press, and in several nationally recognized human resources, employment law and business newsletters. Connect with David via Twitter @TheHRCafe