Every time a generation rises into the workforce, there’s a negative stereotype that goes with them. Baby boomers, for example, were authority-questioning, free-loving hippies. The latchkey kids of Generation X, on the other hand, were a bunch of cynical loners.
Millennials (or Gen Y), the newest generation to enter the workforce, are no different. As “60 Minutes” once put it: “[Millennials] were raised by doting parents who told them they are special, played in little leagues with no winners or losers, or all winners. They are laden with trophies just for participating, and they think your business-as-usual ethic is for the birds. And if you persist in that belief, you can take your job and shove it.”
As a result of their “coddled” existence, when it comes to their careers, the common perception is that Millennials are needlessly impatient, demanding and fickle, and that they come to the workforce with a set of unrealistic expectations in terms of salary, advancement opportunity and flexibility.
Though generational stereotypes are typically exaggerated, they also don’t appear out of thin air. Given the following attitudes expressed by Millennials in various surveys, for example, it’s not hard to see where the perception of the Gen Y groupthink came from:
- According to a report by Johnson Controls, 34 percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job between one and two years. Fifty seven percent expect to stay between two and three years.
- The same study reported that 56 percent of Millennials prefer to work flexibly and choose when to work.
- According to a survey by Mr. Youth, Millennials cited the No. 1 reason for switching jobs as “I just needed a change.”
- Seventy-three percent say that a quality of a good workplace is one where managers give “continuous, ongoing and informal feedback,” according to a 2010 study by Career Edge.
While all of the above certainly emphasize the Millennial “it’s all about me” stereotype, there may soon be a shift in this way of thinking, since thus far the job market hasn’t really lived up to Gen Y’s rosy expectations.
According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 37 percent of Gen Y is currently unemployed, the largest percentage in this age group in more than thirty years; one-in-ten has recently lost a job; and, while 79 percent of Gen Y has completed at least some college to date, 41 percent are currently employed in jobs unrelated to their fields of study.
This recessionary reality check will certainly color the way Gen Y sees their respective career paths going forward, right?
According to a new study by DeVry University’s Career Advisory Board called “How the Recession Shaped Millennial and Hiring Manager Attitudes about Millennials’ Future Careers,” Millennials might think so, but managers don’t necessarily see a change. It seems there remains a discrepancy between Gen Y’s view and the way they’re viewed from the outside.
For example, while 71 percent of Millennials reported in the study that “meaningful work” was now one of the three most important factors in determining their career success, only 11 percent of managers said that they felt meaningful work was most important to Millennials. Managers overwhelmingly believed that Millennials were most concerned with money, followed by having a high level of responsibility.
The study also found that older managers tended to have the most skewed perception of Gen Y. For example, 32 percent of Millennials ranked “time spent at work” among their top three priorities when choosing a workplace. In comparison, 52 percent of managers over age 50 believed that “time spent at work” was most important to Millennials, but only 31 percent of managers under the age of 39 felt this way.
The one area where the generation gap didn’t exist? Pointing out Gen Y’s flaws. Both managers and Millennials felt that their top three weaknesses were “inability to receive criticism from leaders,” “ impatience with established processes,” and “ineffective communication.”
What do you think about Generation Y? Do they live up to stereotypes in the workplace? Has the recession changed their outlook?
On Monday night, we held our first Twitter chat for job seekers and recruiters under the hashtag #cbjobchat. Therefore, if you’re not already following @CareerBuilder, do it now so you don’t miss out on future chats. And if you joined in the fun, thanks for participating. It was so fun we’re still cleaning confetti out of our hair and finding balloons under our desks.
For those who missed out on it, you missed some great information. We posed five different questions about résumés to job seekers and recruiters, and then let everybody offer their own advice and thoughts. Job seekers got to see what recruiters think and the two interacted in a way that blogs or articles don’t allow.
We’ll have the transcript posted soon, but here’s a quick recap of what was asked and some of the excellent answers we received. (Believe me, there are many more than can fit here.)
We asked job seekers:
- Do you include an objective on your résumé or use a professional summary instead?
“Personally I use a summary. For high schoolers, whom I’ve worked with in the past-I had them do really specific objectives.” – @srlaugtug
- Do you try to fit all of your expertise on 1 page or are you OK with it spilling into 2 pages?
“If e-mailing directly I do 2 pages. If ATS or online 1 page hitting keywords.” – @AshShute
- Is your résumé posted online? Why or why not?
“Yes my résumé is online because if I don’t post it then how do I expect recruiters/hiring managers to find me.” – @collegegraduate
- What does your résumé say about you? Or what do you hope it says about you?
“My résumé says what I want it to say to the employer Im applying to. Meaning, I tailor it to what they are looking for.” – @srlaugtug
- Do you include hobbies or other personal info on your résumé? Why or why not?
“Possibly include hobbies if related to the position you’re looking for, such as photography, painting, dancing.” – @miss_smiley10
We asked recruiters:
- What are your thoughts on objective vs. professional summary and which do you prefer?
“Objectives r usually a 2-3 line generic useless summary. Prof. Summary outlines strengths & career goals/interests. More useful” – @AshleyRecruits
- Does résumé length matter to you?
“Rules made to be broken. If content is relevant to employer needs, concise & interesting, then forget pg count-go for content” – @DawnBugni
- What are your biggest résumé turnoffs?
“Spacing & font should be consistent throughout. It shows lack of attention to detail if not.” – @justinhywood
- What are your thoughts about including hobbies and other personal info?
“Use common sense w hobbies, personal interests, volunteering > résumés. Relate to job? Include, making sure they point to specs.” – @AnneMessenger
If you missed out on the fun, fear not, we’ll be conducting these chats in the future. In fact, we’ll be talking about résumés again on Wednesday, March 30, at 12 p.m. Central.
In the meantime, make sure you’re following us on Twitter, and let us know what other topics you’d like to see us dovote a #cbjobchat to in the future.
People love social media … and what’s not to love? Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide an easy way to communicate, connect with long-lost friends and see what those exes are up to (you know you’ve peeked!).
With more than 500 million active users on Facebook (who, on average, create 90 pieces of content per month), 175 million people on Twitter (who send out 95 million tweets per day) and 100 million accounts on LinkedIn (and one million company pages), it’s safe to say that social networks have become a craze.
Unfortunately, though, employers don’t necessarily share this enthusiasm for social networking. A quick analysis of the volume of content produced on these platforms tells us that there’s a large probability some of it is produced during the workday — causing many employers to implement stricter social media policies.
According to a 2010 survey by Robert Half Technology, 38 percent of chief information officers reported that they tightened their social media rules last year, and a separate survey by the same group revealed that 55 percent of companies completely ban social networking on the job.
So what’s a Facebook-friendly employee to do? Instead of putting your job on the line by spending your days Tweeting from your phone, or watching your back hoping that you don’t get caught playing Mafia Wars, you might want to consider a job that practically forces you to be “LinkedIn” to social networks.
Check out the following jobs, all of which let you play on social media all day:
1. Social media strategist: Duh. This one is pretty obvious, but for that reason, we had to include it. Social media strategists work in-house for corporations, at public relations agencies, or as independent contractors to analyze and plan a company’s social media strategy. Tasks may include monitoring and increasing fan count and interaction, and creating content for various social media channels.
Average salary: Since the job is still relatively new, concrete salary information hasn’t exactly been nailed down. According to a report by Social Media Influence called “The State of Social Media Jobs,” social media strategists typically earn between $40,000 and $60,000 per year.
2. Recruiter: Social media is becoming a huge tool for recruiters, who often search LinkedIn and Facebook profiles in order to find suitable candidates for job openings. This practice is now so prevalent that a recent survey by OfficeTeam found that more than a third of HR managers feel that social media profiles will replace résumés in the future.
Average salary: According to CBsalary.com, recruiters earn an average annual salary of $61,343.
3. Game/application developer: Someone had to create Farmville. Product developers create and build the applications and games we love from the ground up.
Average salary: The SMI research reports that social media product developers earn an average annual salary of $75,000 – $100,000 per year.
4. Marketing/public relations manager: For companies that don’t have dedicated social media specialists, the job of representing a company in these areas usually falls on the shoulders of marketing and public relations teams.
Average salary: Marketing managers earn an average of $108,580 per year, according to the BLS. Public relations managers, $89,430.
5. Customer service rep: Social media gives customers direct and immediate access to brands. Thus, consumers often post complaints, questions or compliments about a brand directly to its social media pages. Customer service reps must be on hand to swiftly respond to customer queries.
Average salary: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average hourly salary for customer service reps is $14.36.
Does your company allow you to Facebook at work? Would you be interested in a social media-friendly job? Let us know in the comments section, below.
How you answer probably depends on your gender. And the accuracy of that answer also depends on your gender.
In a recent CareerBuilder survey, employers asked workers if they thought their colleagues of the opposite sex earned more or less than them and how they viewed their opportunities for advancement.
From the women’s perspective:
-38 percent feel they earn less than their male counterparts
-39 percent believe men have more opportunities to advance their career
-36 percent believe men receive more recognition for accomplishments
-35 percent believe their decision not to rub elbows with upper management (while the men are doing it) is the reason for the pay and advancement disparity
-22 percent cited favoritism toward men as the reason for the income and advancement differences
From the men’s perspective:
-84 percent believe males and females with the same qualifications are paid the same
-72 percent believe opportunities for advancement are the same for both genders
-6 percent believe they are paid less than their female counterparts
-17 percent believe women have more opportunities for advancement
-18 percent say women receive more kudos for accomplishment
You might look at those survey results and think it’s a case of the grass being greener on the other side, but in this case that’s not so. If you’re a female in the workplace, the paycheck is significantly greener on the other side of the cubicle wall. The survey finds that income disparity between the genders is a very real issue:
Of surveyed female workers:
-40 percent earn $35,000 or less
-25 percent earn $50,000 or more
-3 percent earn $100,000 or more
-21 percent hold a management position
-49 percent hold a clinical or administrative position
Of surveyed male workers:
-24 percent earn $35,000 or less
-45 percent earn $50,000 or more
-10 percent earn $100,000 or more
-20 percent hold a management position
-25 percent are in a clinical or administrative role
President Obama released a statement on Women’s History Month, celebrated throughout March, in which he explained the many ways gender inequality needs to be addressed. And the professional disparity is complicated and can’t be fixed in one quick action.
For example, in a recent post on interview questions, many women — far more than we could include in the story — experienced hiring managers illegally asking about their children or plans to have children. The typical reason is that some employers are hesitant to hire a women who could take maternity leave or who need to take the occasional day off to handle family issues. It’s not hard to see that this is one way women can be held back professionally. And yet, in another article, working mothers explained that, even if they are part of a household with two working parents, they are expected to handle the child-care duties. Some explained that their husbands earn more, and that’s why they are the ones to miss work more often. Again, this move could hinder their professional advancement, and yet it could be one of the very reasons their husbands earn more. So it’s a circular issue, and only one of many that women face in the workplace, including old-fashioned favoritism.
Tell us if this news surprises you or if it’s exactly what you’d expect. Are you sitting there thinking, “Sounds about right?” Are you one of the 84 percent of men who don’t think there’s a disparity?
Tuesday also means it’s time for our weekly list of companies hiring. We won’t bore you with a long intro because we know you’re not here for conversation, you’re here for jobs. So let’s get to it:
Tata Consultancy Services
Sample job titles: Oracle ERP developer
Aarons Sales and Lease
Industry: Transportation and delivery
Sample job titles: Sales manager
Industry: Customer service
Sample job titles: Director of risk management
Industry: Health care
Sample job titles: Procurement operations associate
Nigel Frank International
Sample job titles: Microsfot Dynamics AX trainer
Furniture Row Companies
Industry: Furniture retail
Sample job titles: Retail salesperson
Industry: Data and research
Sample job titles: Tele account executive
Sample job titles: Mail/supply clerk, sales representative
Industry: Accounting, finance
Sample job titles: Bookkeeper
Sample job titles: Pharmacy order entry technician
Increasingly, internally cured concrete is being used in the construction of bridge decks, pavements, parking structures, water tanks, and railway yards, according to a review* of the current status of the new (or old) concrete technology just published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
I recently came across Zack O’Malley Greenburg’s book “Empire State of Mind: How Jay-Z Went from Street Corner to Corner Office.” I have to admit that I didn’t know if a hip-hop icon had much to teach me (aka a regular worker) about succeeding in our respective fields. But seeing as career books often begin to sound alike when you read the summaries on the flap, I couldn’t pass up this interesting angle. Plus, he’s just a good artist.
I didn’t doubt Jay-Z was a prime example of success. His picture might as well be next to the Wikipedia entry on “living the dream.” Whether or not you’re a fan of his music — and between “Empire State of Mind” and “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” you have to like at least one of his tracks — you can’t deny that the man has been able to achieve and exceed his goals. Jay-Z (née Shawn Corey Carter) has countless hits, co-founded Rocawear clothing, co-owns a basketball team, and was an executive of two different record labels. Oh, and Oprah picked his book to be one of her favorite things, which is about as coveted an endorsement as you can hope for.
But after reading Greenburg’s book, I have to admit I understand why he makes a superb guide for your career, even if you are looking to be an investment banker or grocery store manager instead of a hip hop legend. If you look at what Jay-Z has done with his career, you might realize that what made him successful is what makes many great leaders successful.
Below are five lessons that I think we can all learn from Jay-Z’s career:
1. Find something your passionate about and make it part of your life
What Jay Z did: Jay-Z is a sports enthusiast. He’s a proud Yankees fan and he’s been a courtside fixture at NBA games for years for The Cavaliers, Knicks and Lakers. Not content with just being a fan, Jay-Z assembled a team (that included Lebron James) in 2003 to play in Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC) and then became a co-owner of the New Jersey Nets.
What you can do: Many of us are sports fans, but few of us have the bank account and business savvy to own an NBA team. However, we can find a way to make one of our passions part of our everyday life, even if your interest doesn’t fit within your current job. For example, if you are obsessed with politics but you work at a clothing store, you should leave your opinion of Congress at home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start your own political blog or become a contributor to another one. That way you can immerse yourself in a subject you love and still improve your analytical and writing skills. You never know what will become of your side venture — maybe a new business opportunity. Maybe nothing will happen beyond gaining readership, but at least you’ll have space where you can indulge your passions.
2. Market yourself
What Jay-Z did: One of the other reasons Jay-Z decided to assemble that basketball team in the EBC? He knew it was great marketing. He branded a bus with the image of a sneaker he designed for Reebok, had the team tour in it, all while his music blared. And then they’d celebrate at the club he owned in New York. It was his project from top to bottom and he wasn’t afraid to promote it.
What you can do: The odds are slim that somebody will walk up to you and say, “Wow, all that great work you do? Unbelievable! Let me offer you this high-paying job that is perfect for you.” Instead, make sure you let your boss know when you perform well. Don’t brag, but forward any positive feedback you get from clients or colleagues
If you’re looking for a job, piece together an impressive portfolio or résumé. Think about the awards you’ve won, leadership positions you’ve held, and references who will speak glowingly about you. Don’t play meek when it comes to finding a new job because employers don’t have time to beg you to talk about yourself. Impress them from the beginning. (And if you can afford to plaster your face on the side of a bus, go ahead.)
3. Know when to move on
What Jay-Z did: In 2003, at the peak of his career (up to that point), he decided to retire. Barely 34, Jay-Z felt he couldn’t top himself, so he decided to walk away. (That said, he un-retired a few years later, which is something we have criticized before, too. So don’t cry “wolf” either.”)
What you can do: Jay-Z retired, but most of us don’t have that luxury right now. However, if you’re just going through the motions and the excitement and passion you once had are lacking, then don’t be afraid to look around. Maybe you need to talk to your boss, find a new job or get into a new industry. Whatever is right for you, make that move. If you’re spending 40 hours each week doing a job that bores you, then you’re wasting a lot of your life. You’ll be so much happier and more productive if you’re interested in what you do.
4. Be willing to shake things up
What Jay-Z did: When Jay-Z took over Def Jam records in 2005, he couldn’t believe that the business model hadn’t changed for decades, and employees had no incentive to work hard. He wanted to see people trying new things — taking risks and competing to be more innovative than the other. So he held a retreat with the employees, told them what he wanted, and then began to transform the organization. Greenburg notes how people were intrigued by the fact that Jay-Z wanted to learn as much as he could about the business.
What you can do: When you’re not the boss, you can’t revamp the organization. But workers can get the attention of the boss and other leadership by coming forward with new ideas. If you’re the person interacting with customers every day, you know when the process can be improved and what would make your job more efficient and maybe bring the company more money. Always be respectful, but don’t be afraid to be bold once in a while. It can be the only way you stand out sometimes.
5. Manage your private life
What Jay-Z did: Jay-Z and Beyoncé are basically music royalty, and when they began quietly dating, everybody wanted to know about it. Yet, they wouldn’t comment on their romance, and even to this day the married couple is tight-lipped about any personal information. Therefore you hear more about his and her music than about their personal lives, unlike some famous people.
What you can do: You don’t need to keep your marriage a secret from your manager, unless you want to, but your weekend partying or marital bickering don’t belong at work. Often, professionals decide to post Facebook photos of their drunken adventures or get into a big fight with a spouse over the phone so that the entire office hears. Suddenly your personal drama overshadows your hard work. Remember that your professional reputation is a significant factor in promotions, raises and even layoffs. Don’t let a killer keg stand undo your years of hard work.
Of course, there are a lot of other things Jay-Z’s done right in his career, so I suggest checking out “Empire State of Mind.” It’s especially refreshing if you’re a music fan and/or someone who’s not keen on the typical career guides.
Do you have any other surprising career role models that inspire you? Let us know.
I’ve seen my share of holiday office parties and happy hours, where everybody has had a few cocktails, and suddenly the entire department is hugging and singing “Sweet Caroline.” For those few hours everybody thinks they’re friends with everybody else, and the normal facade of professionalism drops. And people are more honest than usual. Perhaps more honest than they should be. (“I never liked Glen from technology, but I really like you, Felicia. I really, really do.”) And then the next day everybody goes back to being their buttoned-up selves.
Now, the one good thing about those kinds of gatherings are that people are saying things that they’ve been holding back. You get a better sense of people and see that they have their own opinions about the company and its policies. It’s a breath of fresh air! But experiencing that type of honesty isn’t always easy or common. For the sake of your career, we’ve got a guest blogger today who is that honest. Author Hank Gilman calls himself an accidental manager, meaning that he’s someone who rose through the ranks of his profession without setting out to be the boss. That’s why he knows the mindset of everyday workers like us and also understands the quandaries new mangers find themselves in. Fortunately, he’s answering the questions many workers have but can’t ask.
So skip the appletinis at the next happy hour and listen to Gilman’s advice instead.
I’ve been a boss in the media business for more than two decades now. It’s kind of simple job in the sense that there are only a few basics involved in doing it well. (Other than not being a sociopath.) You give feedback. You hire. You fire. You dole out raises — or you don’t. It’s a great gig, really. The pay is good and your troops pretend, for the most part, that they like you. Unfortunately, employees don’t have it so easy. They have no clue, much of the time, what makes their supervisors tick. And, as a result, they worry too much about what the heck their bosses want from them. I recently wrote a book called “You Can’t Fire Everyone: And Other Lessons from an Accidental Manager.” The few people that read an early version—the ones that report to me anyway — said pretty much the same thing about various parts of the book. That is: “I didn’t know you thought THAT!” I had no idea I was so mysterious. But, in that spirit, here are some questions, and answers, from me that will help you tap the inner-mind of your boss and, hopefully, manage your career a little better as a result.
Feedback: Should I ask my boss for more?
Yes. But proceed with caution. Just between us, I’m not the biggest hand-holding guy on earth. I guess that’s because, back in the day, I never liked spending much time with my bosses. I figured the less I was around, the lower the odds were they’d stick me with projects I wasn’t keen on. (It’s the out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing.) Here’s the way I looked at it: I came up with ideas, did the research, and wrote the stories. If they were published and I got raises, that was enough feedback for me — thank you very much. That said, there are a few things you should know.
First, many bosses are spineless and actively avoid confrontation. Nor do they like to deliver bad news. It’s human nature. Basically, your supervisor won’t feel compelled to give you feedback unless you’ve done a terrific job or totally choked. (The later because they really have to.) Unfortunately, it’s the stuff in the middle that you need help with. So, you’re going to have to ask. Nothing wrong with finding out how you could have done a better job on a specific project. Tossing around ideas is always great fun. The caveat? Don’t be whiny and needy on a frequent basis. Many years back, I had a writer who felt compelled, every other day it felt like, to walk into my office and ask why he wasn’t getting enough feedback on his work. I think I finally cracked and said something like, “Ok, here’s some feedback. You don’t come up with many good ideas. And when you do the stories aren’t good enough to publish.” Well…he asked.
Can you be friends with your boss?
Maybe. In an old episode of the TV show, “The Office,” Steve Carell’s character, Michael, said to a new employee, and I paraphrase, “My number one job is being your friend.” If only. Sure, people who spend a lot of time working together become friends, even if it’s a boss-employee thing. That’s the way it is. But there’s a silent code of conduct: You should not expect a raise because of the friendship; you should never take advantage of that friendship for better assignments or a promotion (or expect either); you shouldn’t anticipate employment in perpetuity. If you follow the code, you’ll be OK.
For you corporate ladder-climbers out there, the bigger problem is when you become the boss and have to supervise your friends. Back in the 80s, when rock bands like Huey Lewis and the News ruled the airwaves for some reason, I was named the business editor of the Sunday Boston Globe. My pals in the newsroom seemed like they were ready to throw a party. Come to work late? Check. Longer lunches? Check. Softer deadlines — or any deadlines? Check. Well, I’m exaggerating a little, but not much. Some of them actually thought those things. I was tested immediately. A close friend turned in a poorly-written story that she must have wrote on the subway on the way to work. I figured out pretty quickly that if I didn’t fix it, it was my job that would be on the line. So, I re-wrote the story and she bitterly complained to my boss. I think she said, among other nasty things, that I was an idiot. But as far as my boss was concerned, I passed my first test.
(Note to future bosses: It’s either you or them, and it might as well be you.) There’s kind of a happy ending to all this, by the way. We remained kind-of-friendly. She invited me to her wedding. I think I ended up at the “cousins” table, though. As Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton once said, “Loneliness is the Penalty for Leadership.” Yup. He was right.
Do bosses get angry when you ask for a raise and resent you forever?
No. Not the good ones anyway. This is one of the great myths of the boss-employee relationship. Now, I’ll confess, I never asked for a raise in my 35-year work-life. Partly because I was always afraid of getting fired– and partly because I always felt lucky to be paid to write about people who were actually doing more important things than I was doing. But that’s just me. No one is going to think badly of you or have you escorted from the building. You’ll get the raise because you deserve one and your boss wants to keep you happy; or your boss might tell you that money is tight and be patient, which is often true. Or, in an act of ultimate feedback, she’ll just say “no,” wave you off and quickly take a phone call. (Even when the phone’s not ringing.) Then you’ll know it’s not a raise you should be worried about.
If you get a job offer– and tell your boss you’re considering it– should you polish up your Linked-In profile?
No. That’s another myth. It’s certainly a pain in the rear when one of your employees comes in with a job offer in hand. But it’s a little flattering in a way. (I know a few of our competitors that nobody will recruit from.) It also lets us, the bosses, figure out how much we really want you. And it helps you figure out how much you really want us. Just don’t do it on a serial basis if you really do like where you work. Because if it is an “I can get a raise out of this” trick, it works only a few times. And only if you’re a bona fide star. And, before I forget, don’t ever tell your boss about a job offer and not be prepared to [accept] it. There’s a good chance you might not like the response. Like: “What a great opportunity! Keep in touch.” They might not view you as an “A” player or may not like you or both. Or they had their eye on someone on the outside and you just helped them, as they say in the National Football League, clear out some cap space. Just pointing that out.
Hank Gilman is the deputy managing editor of Fortune. This blog is inspired by his book, “You Can’t Fire Everyone: and Other Lessons From an Accidental Manager.” (Portfolio / Penguin) On sale now.
Chances are, if you got offered a promotion to a management position, you’d enthusiastically accept. But along with the glory of being the boss comes a lot of responsibility … responsibility that not everyone is ready for when they take on a leadership role.
According to a new CareerBuilder survey, one-in-four managers reported that they weren’t actually ready to become a leader when they started supervising others – a figure that’s not entirely surprising.
“Any supervisory job is dramatically different from a non-supervisory role,” says Dennis Kravetz, author of “Measuring Human Capital: Converting Workplace Behavior into Dollars.” “For example, non-supervisory engineers need to have a variety of technical engineering competencies, accountants need technical accounting skills, etc. Employees are trained for this at the college level and their performance at a non-supervisory level is based on how technically competent they are in their field.”
In a management role, however, Kravetz says the necessary skills for success are entirely different. “Supervisors primarily need people competencies (developing others, handling conflict, scheduling work, etc.). Engineers and accountants had zero college courses in areas like this and no on-the-job training either. The net result is that these people are often lost in the job of new supervisor,” he says.
Indeed, it seems that the areas most managers struggle with are primarily those that are people-centric. According to the survey, managers reported having the most trouble with the following:
- Dealing with issues between co-workers on my team – 25 percent
- Motivating team members – 22 percent
- Performance reviews – 15 percent
- Finding the resources needed to support the team – 15 percent
- Creating career paths for my team – 12 percent
A successful transition into a supervisory position can be made, though, even if you don’t have any leadership experience. Here’s how to prepare yourself for leadership, and what not to do once you get there.
According to Kravetz, doing the following will increase your potential for management success:
- Take available classes targeted for new supervisors. If these are not offered by your employer, find them through professional management associations, college continuing education classes and other vendors.
- Identify effective supervisors where you work. Model yourself after them. Ask them if they could mentor you on how to be a good supervisor.
- Seek out team leadership and project leadership roles even when you are not assigned to this role. Learn from the experience.
- Seek out your current supervisor for an informal assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as a potential supervisor and work on your weaknesses.
- Read practical, how-to books on being a supervisor. (Kravetz wrote two such books “The Directory for Building Competencies” and “The Competence Builder” that help people build competencies in any area.)
On the other hand, once you’re ready for a management role, make sure to steer clear of any of the below behaviors, which, according to the CareerBuilder survey, are the top concerns workers have with their bosses:
- Playing favorites – 23 percent
- Not following through on promises – 21 percent
- Not listening to concerns – 21 percent
- Failing to provide regular feedback – 20 percent
- Not keeping employees motivated – 17 percent
- Not facilitating employee development – 17 percent
- Only providing negative feedback – 14 percent
Are you a manager? How did you learn to be successful? What important lessons have you learned about leadership? Tell us in the comments section, below.
Want to know more about leadership roles? Check out:
If you’re superstitious, you’re probably bewaring the Ides of March today. As a result, you’re likely trapped inside your home today, not answering calls from your pals who just want to take out you for a nice dinner.
So, while you have time to spare, why not spend the day job hunting? We’ve made it simple for you. Here are 10 companies hiring this week:
Sample job titles: .Net (C# / SQL Server) senior distributed developer, senior database developer
2.American Senior Communities
Sample job titles: Assistant director of nursing, certified nursing assistant
3.Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
Sample job titles: Merchandiser, account manager
4. EarthLink Business
Sample job titles: Technical support analyst, warehouse technician
Sample job titles: Courier, transportation coordinator
Sample job titles: Pharmacy technician, consultant pharmacist
Sample job titles: eCommerce product analyst, sales associate
Sample job titles: Operations supervisor, machine operator
9. Guaranty Bank
Sample job titles: Branch manager, personal banker
Sample job titles: Corporate manager of digital media, manager of international digital media and strategy