The newest season of Bravo’s hit TV show “Top Chef” is well underway. But fans of the show and aspiring cooks aren’t the only ones who may want to tune in: Job seekers might want to watch as well. The “Top Chef” contestants can teach professionals a lot about the job hunt.
Here are some things the most successful competitors rely on and how they can help you cook up success when searching for your next job:
Some chefs rely on printed recipe cards; others keep the ingredients and instructions for creating a certain dish in their heads. Some follow the recipe exactly; others use it as a guide. But no matter their preference, almost every chef consults a recipe before starting to cook.
A recipe is nothing more than a plan of action, and that’s exactly what you need when setting out to find a new job. Before launching your job search, ask yourself:
- What would my ideal job look like? Am I qualified for that role?
- What are my long-term career goals?
- What type of company would I like to work for?
- How important are factors such as pay, benefits, professional development opportunities and work/life balance
Let the answers marinate. They’ll help focus your efforts on positions that most closely align with your professional priorities and personal preferences.
Nothing plays a bigger role in the success or failure of a dish than the quality of the ingredients used. As any chef will tell you, the fresher, the better.
The same is true during your job search. It’s hard to whet an employer’s appetite with a résumé and cover letter that are past their expiration date. Your roster of skills, experiences and accomplishments changes constantly, even if you do not currently have a job. Work you’ve performed for a nonprofit organization or during a temporary assignment, for example, could add nice garnish to your résumé.
Always evaluate your application materials before hitting send to make sure they truly capture your current qualifications.
A trusted sous chef
The sous chef is second in command in the kitchen, functioning more or less as the head chef’s main helper and assistant.
When on the hunt for a new position, having another person to rely on can be immensely helpful. Members of your professional network may be able to provide referrals or whisk promising opportunities your way. Friends and family members can help you trim the fat on your résumé and hone your technique before a big interview.
Also consider enlisting the help of an experienced recruiter. These professionals can effectively double your efforts. As you look for employment, they’ll do the same, identifying openings that match your qualifications, mentioning your name to hiring managers and submitting applications on your behalf.
Impeccable presentation skills
On “Top Chef,” the difference between a winning and losing dish often comes down to how the food looks on the plate.
Presentation matters in the job search, too. Make sure your application materials are spotless by reviewing them several times for typos and grammatical errors. Don’t rely solely on your computer’s spell-check tool, which can miss common mistakes. One good tip is to print out your document and read it backward — errors have a tendency to bubble up when using this seemingly strange approach.
Also, make sure you look good whenever you meet with a potential employer. Dress up not only for interviews but also for networking events and job fairs. Too many job candidates forget the importance of a professional appearance. You’ll automatically stand out with your polished, put-together look.
Openness to feedback
Perhaps the most important lesson “Top Chef” contestants learn is the importance of embracing feedback. Those who receive constructive criticism from the judges and fail to act on it find themselves packing their knives and heading home.
Although it can be tough to hear, ask members of your professional network for feedback on your résumé. Is it laid out clearly and concisely? Do they feel it does an appropriate job of selling your strengths? Don’t stop asking until you consistently get four-star reviews. You can also ask them for insight whenever your mood is as low as a deflated soufflé.
In some cases, you might even request feedback from employers themselves. If you interviewed for a position and didn’t receive a job offer, consider asking what steps you can take to be a stronger candidate next time. Not everyone will provide feedback, but some just might. And nothing’s more valuable than hearing from the customers you’re hoping to impress.
Robert Half International is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 350 offices worldwide. For more information about our professional services, visit www.roberthalf.com. For additional career advice, view our career bloopers video series at www.roberthalf.com/dont-let-this-happen-to-you or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/roberthalf.
This year was certainly jam-packed with news. While I’m sure all of us are still dealing with the fallout of the disastrous Kardashian wedding or disappointed that Herman Cain has pulled out of the race for president, there are some stories that did impact job seekers – both those who are currently unemployed and those looking to change their current occupation.
Obama has continued to push his jobs bill, and despite the quarreling over the package back in October, headway was made for unemployed veterans and small business, showing signs that both parties could come together to help put more Americans back to work in 2012 and beyond. CareerBuilder made a contribution to the Clinton Global Initiative this year to help job seekers identify which professions are in high-demand among employers across the country.
Occupy Wall Street movement
Another huge story this year was the Occupy Wall Street movement with many wondering what the whole kerfuffle was about. Many identified with the issue of economic disparity in our country, but many were still unsure about what the call-to-action was for implementing change.
LifeHacker put out an interesting story that interviewed Brightcove’s Ed Godin, the chief people officer, to discuss how those currently employed can support demonstrations like Occupy Wall Street without getting in trouble. His biggest tip: Consult the employee handbook and talk to someone in HR you trust to get more information. And it’s important to understand, because Caitlin Curran shares how she actually lost her job as a result of participating in the movement.
For sport aficionados, the biggest story was the NBA lockout. However, some people may not have realized that the dispute between the league and players affected many more workers. An estimated 400 NBA jobs were eliminated since the lockout began July 1, according to The Sports Business Journal. The report estimated that 200 jobs had been shed by the league office, including jobs overseas, and that another 200 had been lost among the 30 franchises. Then there were those impacted by the lockout who worked during the games, in roles with concessions or parking or at local restaurants and small businesses.
Another unfortunate story to hit the news had to do with Jerry Sandusky’s scandal and the effect it had on Penn State. While the entire institution could have used better judgment in handling the situation, it was interesting to hear that their career services department sent out an email to their students encouraging them in their job search by giving them advice on how to answer tough questions during an interview.
Social media in the workplace was still a hot topic this year. After workers were fired for comments made about their workplace on Facebook, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that their company had to re-hire them and said, as part of the ruling, that employees “must be permitted to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment with co-workers and others.”
The skills gap was a huge point of discussion, including how workers will need to learn new skills in order to fill jobs that are in demand (like cloud developers, computer engineers, registered nurses, etc.). We even saw a story about a woman with a law degree who couldn’t get hired as a lawyer, so she had to take on a more risqué line of work in order to pay her bills. While that’s not necessarily the kind of re-skilling of America we were anticipating, it goes to show that despite the positive job growth in the last few months, we still have a long way to go before we can consider ourselves completely out of the woods.
But there was still good news to report:
- One-in-Five Employers to Hire U.S. Veterans Over the Next 12 Months
- Nearly One in Four Companies Expects to Hire for Executive Level Positions Over Next Six Months
- CareerBuilder Partners with BranchOut to Bring More Social Connections to Job Search
- Top 10 Employment Trends of 2011
In getting America back to work, the bottom line has been and will continue to be slow and steady growth. Recovery has been gradual since mid-2009, and it will persist in this way over the course of the next year.
But that doesn’t mean 2012 won’t be positive for the job market.
Each year, CareerBuilder asks employers about their hiring plans for the next 12 months. This year, we polled more than 3,000 hiring managers. Of those polled, 23 percent plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2012, while 16 percent plan to cut back staff levels. While these numbers are about even with employers’ 2011 predictions, they’re a marked improvement from recent years past. For example, at the end of 2008, just 14 percent of employers planned to hire new employees in 2009, while 16 percent planned to cut staff levels.
There’s also a good chance that actual hiring in 2012 will be better than employers’ initial predictions.
Historically, companies have been reserved in anticipating future hiring needs. Follow-up surveys done by CareerBuilder throughout the year typically find that employers hire more and downsize less than initially foreseen.
Small business shows promise
Additional hope for the 2012 job market comes from an uptick in the number of small businesses that plan to hire next year. Sixteen percent of companies with 50 or fewer employees plan to bring on additional full-time staff next year, a 2 percent jump over 2011. Better still, 20 percent of companies with fewer than 250 employees and 21 percent of companies with fewer than 500 employees also reported plans to add staff next year. Both are increases over 2011 forecasts.
Small businesses provide about half of the private sector jobs in the U.S. and have accounted for about 65 percent of the total job creation in the past two decades, so much of the hope for the job market rests in the hands of these companies.
Job market trends for 2012
A number of trends emerged from the survey data that will impact the labor market throughout 2012. Among them:
1. Workers will seek new opportunities: As the economy improves, workers will begin looking for better job opportunities. Thirty-four percent of employers surveyed said that voluntary turnover was higher at their organizations in 2011 than in 2010, and 43 percent are concerned that it will continue to rise in 2012.
2. Employers will ramp up efforts to keep their current employees and attract new ones: Perhaps sparked by higher turnover in the last year, companies are willing to spend more money in 2012 to keep their staff — 62 percent of employers reported plans to increase employee compensation next year. The payouts will also be extended to new hires: 32 percent of companies plan to increase starting salary offers to new workers.
Not surprisingly, the jobs that are most likely to command a raise next year are those that impact the bottom line. The functional areas in which employers said they’d most likely offer raises include sales, information technology, engineering and business development, in that order.
3. Multi-speed recovery will continue: Certain industries, job functions and geographic areas will recover faster than others. For example, employers are in need of highly skilled workers, so jobs in engineering and IT will be plentiful in the coming year. Similarly, more employers in the West reported plans to hire in 2012 than did employers in the Northeast, Midwest and South.
4. Employers will try to close the skills gap: The skills gap — a hot topic in recruiting in 2011– will continue to be an issue in 2012. In order to meet their growing need for employees in high-skills functional areas, 38 percent of employers will provide workers and new hires with on-the-job training.
5. Employers will place greater emphasis on diversity: Employers will continue to make a concerted effort to recruit Hispanic, African-American, bilingual and female employees. Twenty-nine percent of employers said they’d focus on hiring diverse workers in 2012. One-in-five said they’d be recruiting African-American and Hispanic workers, while the same number reported plans to recruit women. Forty-four percent plan to concentrate on hiring more bilingual employees.
Matt Ferguson is the CEO of CareerBuilder.
And we’re back. Although it seems like the world shut down for the last week with everyone out for Christmas or trying to use up vacation days, we’re slowly getting back to the normal routine. Many of you are probably still in holiday mode, with cookie icing stuck to your face and a DVR full of TV shows you want to catch up on.
Whether you’re at home in your PJs or angrily the only person at work today, if you’re looking for a new gig, check out this list of companies hiring this week.
1. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
Industry: Finance, banking
Sample job titles: Financial advisers/business development
2. New York Life Insurance
Sample job titles: Sales, management
Industry: Residential and commercial service
Sample job titles: Sales representative, teammate
4. State Farm
Sample job titles: Insurance sales representative, bilingual sales
5. PNC Bank
Industry: Banking, mortgage lending, securities
Sample job titles: Loan support analyst, senior government program manager
Sample job titles: Workforce administration business analyst, accounting associate
7. Fresenius Medical Care North America
Industry: Health care
Sample job titles: Home therapies RN, clinical manager
8. Harbor Freight Tools
Sample job titles: Senior manager of store communications, data integration, manager
Our readers have been fantastic this year, especially since I joined the team in late August. We’ve enjoyed hosting a forum where job seekers can support each other and share their successes and words of encouragement. And if I’ve learned anything about our fans, it’s that they sure do tell it like it is.
We’ve had some great comments on our posts throughout the year, so let’s recap some of our 2011 favorites.
Advice and inspiration
“About 11 years ago I went to [an] interview and thought I did well. I was hired. Then a week later my boss had me look for some paperwork on his desk. I see a letter to the big boss stating he cannot work with unqualified people who apply because the pay is low. It seems that only three of us interviewed and the first two turned down the job. I was not his best choice and he needed someone right away. I copied that letter and kept it in my desk to motivate me and show him I was not a mistake. Five years and many co-workers later, I would be promoted by him and run my department. I am still in charge, and he wants me to continue my education and take his position one day with his recommendation. I never told him about the letter. I just give 100 percent to my employer and good things happen. God wanted me here for a reason.” — Richard, commenting on Job seekers’ most common and unusual interview mistakes
The lesson: Always do your best, and always find ways to provide value to your team.
“I did a phone interview with a woman for a position involving the use of a relatively new technology. She had no experience with the technology (it’s new, so it wasn’t a requirement), but she did have experience with other similar technologies. I brought her in for an in-person interview a couple days later. I asked her if she had researched the new technology at all, and she said she hadn’t. Two days is plenty of time (especially when you’re unemployed) to find ten minutes to visit a Wikipedia page. This showed lack of motivation, and she was not hired.” – Nick, commenting on How not to get hired: bring your cockatoo to work
The lesson: Do your homework before an interview. Winging it is not something you should be proud of, much less share with your interviewer.
Excuses for being late to work
“I once opened my car door while parked in the parking structure at work and swallowed a bug that flew in exactly at that moment. By the time I recovered from vomiting the bug and cleaning up in the ladies room, I was 20 minutes late. My boss thought it was a fake excuse because it was so hard to believe.” – Christina, commenting on Nuttiest excuses for being late
“One morning [when] I was getting ready for work, I accidentally dropped something under my bed…when I went to get up, I knocked my head on my night stand and knocked myself unconscious. When I got up, I saw that I was running late, but my head was killing me, so I decided to call in sick and take myself to the hospital, where it was confirmed I had a concussion!” – Dee, also commenting on Nuttiest excuses for being late
The lesson: You should always try to be on time. If you’re going to be late, let your boss know ahead of time instead of strolling in hours late and using a suspicious or weird excuse.
On mid-life career changes
“I too am in the fab 50 club and went back for my masters in marriage family counseling at 51. It has been a long process, but I graduate in November. By the time I am able to take my state exams for licensing, I will probably be about 55. I am cool with that because through this process, I have learned so much about myself and feel great about beginning a new career in this stage of life, especially a career that I feel can really make a difference in someone else’s life. Because of the economy and the many people that are educated now, it probably will be difficult to find work initially (I hear that about my career choice), but where there is a desire, the universe will make a way for it. Stay on your path and don’t allow negative words and circumstances to knock you off course.” – Toni, commenting on Dos and Dont’s for a mid-life career change
The lesson: Perseverance is key, and so is harnessing your existing skills and applying them to a new career. Remember to sell your experience and not focus on just your age.
“CareerBuilder helped me choose a career path. When I was laid off from a technology company due to the economy I was not sure what I would do next. I had CareerBuilder job alerts setup and posted a résumé. I noticed ‘Medical Office’ had high demand. I already had extensive office experience, so this sounded like the perfect new direction. I went to Pierce College to check out their Certificate of Medical Office Assistant program. I enrolled and graduated one year later. After a one-month internship, I was hired (the day after I finished school) by a local and reputable medical clinic for exactly what I went to school for. And I love my job! Thanks CareerBuilder for letting me know what was hot in the job market.” – Lynnette M., commenting on Getting lucky on your job search
You can check out other favorite comments from our social media pages, where job seekers like Lynnette share their success stories with us daily!
And finally, pure moments of clarity
“I don’t think it’s necessary to list your email address in your signature. Can’t they just look at the top of the email they received and see what address it came from or just hit reply?” – Meg, commenting on What makes good and bad e-mail signatures
“Read any success manual, and it will tell you that a postive attitude will preceed a positive outcome.” – Jermaine, commenting on Why whiners don’t win at work
“On another note, as far as résumé writing goes, I have viewed other career counselor’s resumes only to find that they are too wordy, not visually pleasing, and provide information irrelevant to the job they are applying for. Like you Anthony, I too, would recommend job seekers to have someone else read the work before submitting it; it is always good to have a different perspective…Definitely make sure to have the interviewer’s name spelled correctly when you write letters or emails; if you don’t know the correct spelling, look the person up on LinkedIn or Google-information at your fingertips!” – Sarah, commenting on You won’t hear ‘you’re hired’ if you spell it ‘your Hired’
The lesson: job search can be tough but you’ve got to keep your spirits high and stay on top of your game. Ask friends to help you interview or review your résumé.
What stories did you find most helpful this year? What other types of content or stories would you love to see more of on this blog?
The holidays have finally arrived! Tonight marks the beginning of Hanukkah, with the lighting of the menorah for the first of eight nights. And those that observe Christmas and Kwanzaa have less than a week to go before their celebrations officially begin.
Over the next week or so, many a gift will be exchanged — from store-bought wares to handmade knick-knacks to homemade goodies. For those that are hoping for the gift of a job this holiday season, here’s a list of 10 companies hiring this week.
Sample job titles: Producers (P&C), benefits (H&W) consultants, reinsurance analysts, IT, finance
2. Cablevision Systems Corporation
Sample job titles: Residential account executive, customer service representative
Samples job titles: Call center team leader, customer service sales representative, tech support
4. Fresenius Medical Care North America
Industry: Health care
Sample job titles: Clinical managers, acute-care registered nurses
Sample job titles: Sales manager, retail cosmetic sales, sales supervisor
6. New York Life Insurance
Sample job titles: Sales, management
7. Panera Bread Company
Sample job titles: Restaurant manager, catering coordinator, helpdesk, regional facilities manager
8. Tango Transport
Sample job titles: Truck drivers
9. Wells Fargo
Sample job titles: Tellers, personal bankers, customer service representatives, underwriters
Sample job titles: Loss mitigation underwriter, escrow assistant, sales manager
As the year draws to a close, it’s not the promise of a new year that brings us the most joy. No, it’s the chance to reflect on the past year’s most memorable work stories that gives us the most delight. This year’s selection of workplace tales ranges from ingenious to inspiring to just plain weird, but they all left their own special mark on pop culture.
So without further ado, we present you with our roundup of the weirdest and most notable work stories of 2011.
1. His “winning” remarks caused him to lose his job
Over the past several years, actor Charlie Sheen has made headlines for his destructive behavior, short-lived marriages and alleged substance abuse. Yet despite the steady drum of rumors and allegations, he continued to show up and dutifully film his TV show, “Two and a Half Men.” That is until he had his meltdown. While the seedlings of chaos began to sprout at the end of 2010, things took a turn for the worse in early January, when he was rushed to the hospital for “stomach pains.” From there, Sheen became the center of media attention, making news for his bizarre behavior, crazy rants and admittedly addictive catch phrases. There was constant speculation over whether the show would drop him, and he was eventually fired after blasting the show’s creator. While Sheen has since cleaned up his act, those few months of insanity are ones we won’t soon forget. [Source: People]
2. Rubik’s cube expert, prom king and other ways to stand out in your cover letter
There’s no shortage of advice on how to develop an effective cover letter, but job seeker Roanald took some of that advice to the extreme. Yes, a cover letter should be attention-grabbing, but using profanity and listing one of his qualities as honorable because he is “the son of a librarian and a Capricorn” may be pushing it. Needless to say it’s an entertaining read, and it impressed the cover letter’s recipients (Chicago bar The Aviary) enough to get him a job. [Source: The Huffington Post]
3. The homeless man with that “golden voice”
What started as a videotaped interview of a homeless man by Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch videographer Doral Chenoweth soon turned into a widespread Internet sensation. The man in the video, Ted Williams, had a voice any radio or TV announcer would kill for. In fact, earlier in his life, before falling on hard times, he’d attended school for voice acting and did some work in radio. After the video went viral, Williams began receiving job offers and even appeared on NBC’s “Today.” Yet the sudden media attention was too much for him to bear, and he reverted to drinking and other destructive behavior. While the hoopla has since died down, the homeless man with the silky smooth voice won’t soon be forgotten. [Source: The Columbus Dispatch]
4. Playing around on the Internet really can get you a job
Sure, you’ve been told to “follow your dreams” and “do something you love,” but it’s never really that easy, right? For one Philadelphia native, it was. The Philadelphia 76ers launched a voting contest to name the team’s new mascot but didn’t use social media to promote it. So self-described “social media sponge” Jerry Rizzo took it upon himself to create Twitter handles for the three mascot finalists. At first, the team shied away from the extra social media help, asking Rizzo to hand over the Twitter handles and back away from Twitter. But the CEO soon realized there was a real opportunity to grow the team’s social media presence, and ultimately offered Rizzo a social media position with the team. He gladly accepted. [Source: Mashable]
5. A cop who didn’t want to be late
Miami police officer Fausto Lopez led other officers on a high-speed chase, all in the name of getting to work on time. While Lopez’s dedication to punctuality is appreciated, one can only assume his employer would have preferred he arrive 20 minutes late over getting arrested. [Source: The Huffington Post]
6. Oops i(Phone) did it again
In last year’s roundup of notable workplace stories, we included the tale of the iPhone 4 prototype that went missing after its owner left it at a bar. Clearly no lessons were learned from that gaffe, because another Apple employee made the same mistake with the iPhone 5 prototype, losing it at a Mexican restaurant. And at least the iPhone 4 was sold for the worthy amount of $5,000. Allegedly the iPhone 5 archetype raked in a measly $200 on Craigslist. Hopefully the next iPhone iteration will be kept under lock and key. [Source: CNET]
7. Gossiping about your co-workers? Use personal email
We’ve all had those days when we’ve needed to vent to a fellow co-worker. But doing so continuously, and over company email, may not be the best move. Three Iowa employees learned that lesson the hard way after their boss discovered thousands of their gossipy interoffice emails. Within these emails, the employees in question trashed their co-workers and expressed their general disgust for their jobs. After the disparaging emails were exposed, the employees were fired for “excessive use of the commission’s computer system for emails of a personal nature.” So the next time you need to let off steam about your workplace, stick to doing so via your personal email account. [Source: MoxieBird]
8. The wrong way to engage employees
Finding fun and creative ways to engage employees is a good thing, right? Not if that includes hosting a contest to guess the next employee to get the boot. The owner of a chain of Iowa convenience stores did just that, encouraging employees to predict the next cashier to be fired for a chance to win a whopping $10 in cash. Do you think any of the employees guessed themselves as the next victim? [Source: On Deadline]
There you have it — your 2011 workplace year in review. Here’s to hoping 2012 brings even more crazy workplace tales. I have a feeling we won’t be disappointed.
I’m sure we missed some noteworthy workplace stories, so tell us what we missed. Or let us know about your own interesting workplace story that didn’t make the news.
If you’ve been on a bus, train or beach in the past few years, you’ve probably seen people preoccupied with a bright green novel clutched in their hands. Stieg Larsson’s blockbuster novels “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” already had a huge following in his native Sweden when they were translated into English. But once they hit North American shores, even more readers became obsessed with the dark mysteries that Lisbeth Salander (the novel’s namesake) finds herself mired in and the phenomenon took on a whole other life.
Although Swedish filmmakers produced three highly lauded films based on the series, Hollywood wanted to have its own shot at the saga of Lisbeth Salander. This winter the American film adaptation of the franchise begins with “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” and a new batch of fans is sure to follow. (Though, after selling 31 million copies of the books, you have to wonder who hasn’t read it yet.)
We figured, if the books can go from Swedish to English, and movie studios can recast the story with American (and some non-American) actors, we can imagine what these characters work lives would be like in the U.S. So we’ve put together a list of the characters, what their job titles are, and how much they’d make if the stories were set on this side of the pond.
Spoiler warning: Although we don’t give away any major plot points of the trilogy, there are some bits of information from all three novels below, so don’t read on if you’re afraid of getting spoiled.
Job title: Journalist
The job in the book: In “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Mikael Blomkvist is hired to research and write about the Vanger family, because he gained notoriety as a bold journalist and publisher of a headline-grabbing exposé. It’s a suspense novel, so he gets pulled into a web of deceit and gunshots.
The job in real life: In real life, few journalists gain the kind of fame that Blomkvist does. In fact, unless you get caught plagiarizing for a big-name newspaper or you’re Woodward and Bernstein, you spend a lot of your time researching and interviewing without ever making headlines. But we wouldn’t have much to read without their hard work.
Job title: Information security analyst
Job in the book: Lisbeth Salander performs freelance surveillance, but much of what she does falls under the category of hacking into computers. She’s capable of logging into someone’s computer even if it’s behind the strongest firewall.
Job in real life: Many organizations employ information security analysts and risk managers to assess how vulnerable their information technology is. Analysts spend their days ensuring a company’s information is secure and incapable of being accessed by unauthorized users. In real life, few information security analysts have a series of books written about them.
Job title: Attorney
Job in the book: Annika Gianinni was once a lawyer with a focus on women’s cases, and she eventually represents a high-profile murder case. She doesn’t have much experience in the way of murder trials, but in Stieg Larsson’s world, that doesn’t matter.
Job in real life: Of course the biggest, most controversial murder trials involve attorneys, but usually you need to be qualified and have specialized, relevant experience.
Job title: Editor-in-chief
Job in the book: As editor-in-chief, Erika Berger has the authority to decide what does and does not run in her magazine and what the tone of the publication should be. Her job is far less exciting than the rest of the supporting characters, but it’s not that off from the real-life role.
Job in real life: The job itself isn’t that different from the novel’s, except she spends a little too much time having lunch and smoking cigarettes at cafés for someone who’s trying to make a deadline.
Job title: Security expert
Job in the book: Dragan Armansky not only has a cool name, but he also knows some pretty interesting people. He managed to find Lisbeth Salander and recognize how incredible her investigative skills are and not care that she seems to work at her own pace and do as she pleases.
Job in real life: A security expert can have a job as exciting and dangerous as Armansky’s, but he’s also extremely careful about who he hires and their background. His lax approach to screening his freelance workers’ backgrounds wouldn’t please most security clients in real life.
Job title: Police officer
Job in the book: In the novel, Bublanski is tasked with tracking down Salander and also carrying on a special investigation that could put him in jeopardy—both physically and professionally. By the end of the story, he’s taken more risks in a short period of time than most police officers are faced with in a career.
Job in real life: Police officers have dangerous jobs as it is, and they deal with bureaucratic red tape on a regular basis. The extra layer of conspiracy and danger that entangles Bublanksi could conceivably happen, but officers have enough to worry about on a daily basis. The complicated, high-profile conspiracy that law enforcement deals with in the novels is not inconceivable, but it’s hardly the case for most officers.
The global market for NDT inspection services is forecast to grow steadily, driven primarily by major infrastructure undertakings in the Asia-Pacific region, specifically India and China.
One day you come into work merrily sipping your coffee, mentally preparing to make the best of the day ahead of you. You’d heard rumors that a new person is starting, and you’re excited for a new addition to your team. It means your workload will be lessened, and you’ll be able to focus on accomplishing more important tasks. But when your boss stops by to introduce you to your new counterpart, your stomach drops.
As if ripped from the pages of a soap opera script (or perhaps your favorite telenovela), you’re standing face-to-face with a workplace arch nemesis from a previous job. Two thoughts cross your mind: ”Oh @@##” and, “Okay, try to make the best of this awkward situation.”
The likelihood of this happening may be slim, but it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. It’s common to leave a job to escape a bad work environment or mean-spirited co-workers. But what do you do if, when you left, you made your not-so-loving feelings clear to your unfriendly co-workers, only to face them once again in your new job?
“Eat crow” as they say.
As much as you can sit at your desk and claim that work is work, and you’re not there to make friends, it’s not that easy. You’ll have to either mend the relationship or put on your game face and make the best of an awkward situation.
“You might start this new relationship by offering the benefit of the doubt: Perhaps both of you have grown in your maturity since you last worked together and can shift to have a productive, collaborative relationship this time,” Klemp says. “The best place to start is by ensuring that you stay out of drama: Take responsibility, practice creativity and collaboration, empower others and enforce your own boundaries. Hopefully this other person will follow your lead.”
Great advice. This is the moment in your career when you have to make the conscious choice to take the high road. It’s your chance to get beyond any past issues you’ve had with this person and commit to starting fresh. But even in your best attempt to start anew, what if the other person wants to continue the war?
Klemp says that you have to stay true to yourself and your other new colleagues.
“Strive to remain understanding and compassionate toward your drama-prone ‘frenemy’ without feeling obligated to rescue them,” Klemp adds. It’s true; when you are able to take the high road and put your differences into perspective and come to the realization that you’re all working together toward a common goal, you can make your life at work that much easier.
Do you have workplace drama? Take one of Klemp and Warner’s assessments for tips on how to resolve issues in the workplace.
Have you ever worked with a former frenemy? If so, how did you work through the awkwardness and focus on moving forward?
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