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  • feedwordpress 16:30:36 on 2018/06/12 Permalink
    Tags: , Assertive, , , ,   

    Overqualified and Interviewing 

    Overqualified but applied anyway – NOT a desperate move

    I have applied for positions I was overqualified for and thankful for what I learned from them. There are a few reasons someone might be overqualified but apply anyway. Rarely, if ever, are any of those reasons a desperate move or because one simply desires contentment or lacks professional development desire.

    Some reasons include:

    • Job loss and/or need for employment
    • Returning after a career gap due to health, caregiving, education, etc.
    • Relocating and seeking employment in a new state or even a new country
    • Changing career field
    • Seeking better benefits; health, retirement, education assistance or flexible schedule

    My reason was a combination of a few listed above. Those reasons, although unseen at first, worked out perfectly and led me to my current employer, where I have been happily employed for almost five years. Without my ‘overqualified’ opportunities, throughout my career, I would not be career happy today!

    Several years ago, I found myself in a position at a company that was facing budget cuts. My hours were reduced and benefits lost. I started my search for a new position and one of my own main requirements was benefits. I needed health insurance and retirement opportunities and wanted to stay within the industry I had most of my career experience in. When I started my search, I realized there were only a few local positions available with my requirements. One required a degree I did not have (and included a pay cut) another was a bigger pay cut; 20% less than my average income and I was overqualified.

    The latter offered great benefits though with paid tuition, 100% paid health insurance premiums and above average retirement matching. I knew with my experience and overqualifications the interview committee would want to know why I would be willing to take a pay cut and less work responsibilities. So, I did some research and prepared some answers to possible questions.

    Preparation tips include:

    • Research the company, the mission statement and core values also, research new projects and programs they are offering. When you can add comments during the interview that show you have knowledge of a mission statement or current project it indicates your interest and you’d be invested in the position/company even if you are overqualified

     

    • Be familiar with names of those interviewing you and department heads you’d work with

     

    • Be prepared to highlight skills and experience related to the specific position’s requirements. Connecting with the job description focuses on the skills you will bring and how they uniquely relate to the position. This can be a time-consuming task, but by breaking down each required skill with those that you have helps you not only prepare for the interview, but also creates a better vision of what the position most likely will be like and how you match to it…you might even decide that the position is not one you want to apply for.

     

    • Prepare answers for anticipated questions the committee might ask. For example, prepare a statement about why you are willing to accept a position that pays less than your past career opportunities. You could comment that the benefits and education assistance are key points that allow you take a decrease in pay. If asked why you are interested in the position, have a specific answer in mind. Connect at least one of your skills and one job requirement that is of most interest to you.

     

    • Ask questions during the interview. I know this is sometimes difficult, but by studying the company and the position details you are ready to show your knowledge and ask specific questions. For example, I noticed on your website that some board members are out of state, will I help coordinate their travel needs for board meetings? Questions specific to the company and position helps the interviewer see your professionalism and value you would bring to the company (which helps diminish the ‘what if they get bored’ thoughts, since you are obviously already somewhat invested in the position/company and not afraid to take initiative and ask questions). You almost say ‘I won’t allow myself to get bored here, because I will always be one step ahead, focused on timelines and researching the most efficient ways to complete tasks’.

     

    • BUT – Prepare an answer if asked about possible boredom. A possible response could be – I will utilize any downtime researching professional development opportunities such as free or low-cost webinars, training, conferences, etc. I will also develop a desk manual and evaluate best practices for policies and adjust as necessary. I will also look into opportunities to be active in company committees, keeping myself and the department updated on any company-wide changes.

     

    Creating educational opportunities in any position you accept benefits your future and the company’s. It allows you to make the position adapt to you and all you have to offer, not adapting to a position that you may not thrive in otherwise. Possible boredom is alleviated when you continue learning and create better procedures; your workday becomes the most productive it can be. Being prepared and highlighting the skills and experience you have developed, learned and made unique to you is a skill in itself, it shows your professionalism, demeanor, creativity and more…all traits employers seek.

    Even though that position with the great benefits that I accepted failed to work out due to circumstances out of my control, I refused to not learn from it. I learned interviewing skills, tips from a brief training period and one coworker in particular who shared her years of knowledge and experience with me during several lunches we had. I asked her a lot of questions and I’m grateful for the answers she shared. I learned additional confidence and to speak up when the position’s duties radically changed within days of being hired. And as a bonus, the day I left that position I applied for my current job and within one month was hired! True story; happy next chapter!

    I don’t regret the position, cut in pay or even the negative quick change it took. All career and even personal interests are learning experiences if you choose to accept them that way. Constant learning with gratitude is a state of mind. If that company had not reduced my hours, if the option that encouraged me to leave that position had not had a negative outcome…I would never have traveled my journey to my current position which has offered me so many personal and professional development opportunities, continued skill learning and so many chances to work with an amazing team and managers!

    What have you experienced lately that seemed potentially negative at first, but led to a positive impact on your career?

     

    dana_buchanan

    Dana Buchanan is a 20 plus year professional assistant with a passion for writing and offers a unique and professional perspective to projects and brainstorming sessions! She enjoys helping others discover key steps toward their career focus, job search, or self-employment exploration by creating or editing resumes, researching a particular type of job search, discovering business ideas and the action needed to succeed and loves sharing interviewing tips! Dana is also available to speak to small groups.

    www.danabuchanan.com

     

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  • feedwordpress 17:18:41 on 2018/06/10 Permalink
    Tags: Assertive, , , , , , ,   

    7 Powerful Habits That Make You More Assertive 

    Everyone wants to be more confident, but not everyone knows how to be assertive. Assertive falls right between passive and aggressive. If you’re passive about voicing your opinion, you may come across as submissive. And if you are aggressive with your viewpoint, you may come across as a hostile or, even worse, a bully.

    But if you learn to be assertive, you can express yourself without being passive or aggressive, and you will have a better chance of getting what you want.

    Here are seven simple ways to help yourself become more assertive.

    1. Understand assertiveness.

    Assertiveness is an interpersonal skill in which you demonstrate the healthy confidence to stand up for yourself while still respecting the rights of others. When you are assertive, you are neither passive nor aggressive, but direct and honest. You don’t expect other people to know what you want, so you speak up to ask for what you need calmly and with confidence.

    2. Keep your communication style in line.

    When it comes to being assertive, communication style is critical, and the key is to be respectful of those with whom you are trying to communicate. Pay attention to your body language as well as the words you say, and make sure you’re congruent in your words, body language, and tone. Never expect people to read your mind; if you want something, say so, and if something bothers you, speak up. Look confident when making a request or stating a preference. Stand up straight, lean in a bit, smile or keep a neutral facial expression, and look the person in the eye.

    3. Understand and accept differences.

    Assertiveness doesn’t mean being dismissive of other people’s points of view. Just as you state your own opinion, you work to understand other points of view. Don’t allow differences to upset you or make you angry; remember that differences don’t necessarily mean you are right and the other person is wrong. Try to understand their point of view. Listen respectfully and don’t interrupt when they are speaking.

    4. Speak simply and directly.

    When you’re practicing assertiveness, it’s important to speak in a way that doesn’t imply accusations or make the other person feel guilty. Speaking your truth with candor shouldn’t mean making others feel wrong. Be simple, direct, and concise, and state what you know to be true for you. When asserting yourself, remember, less is more. Keep your requests free of meandering or long-winded explanations.

    5. Exercise the power of “I.”

    To be assertive without coming across as hostile, use “I” statements. Make it a habit to say things like “I think … ” or “I feel …. ” Never use aggressive language or phrases like “You never… ” or “You always…. ” These statements trigger other people, leaving them frustrated, and they shut down conversation. “I” statements allow you to be confident and assertive without alienating and eliminating other people.

    6. Stay calm.

    Being assertive might make you feel excited, but excitement can sometimes come across as aggression. Learn to stay cool and calm when expressing yourself; it will make you more confident and allow the other person to relax. Remember to breathe normally and be mindful of body language and eye contact. Be present with each other. Calm mind, calm speech, calm action–it not only gives you confidence, but allows the other person to remain composed as well.

    7. Set boundaries.

    Boundaries are the rules and limits you create for yourself that help you decide what you will and won’t allow. You don’t want people to walk all over you, but you don’t want people to think you are a bully, either. Setting boundaries will empower you to know when you need to say yes and when you want to say no.

    Assertiveness is like any other skill–it takes practice and time to get it right. Keep working through each of these techniques and soon you will feel more confident.

     


    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 7 Powerful Habits That Make You More Assertive appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:42:18 on 2018/06/08 Permalink
    Tags: Assertive, , , , , ,   

    When is it too soon—or too late—to thwart bullying? 

    admin_advice

    Each month we feature a question from our friends at Business Management Daily’s Admin Pro Forum. Please enjoy engaging in a conversation about this month’s question.

    Question: “I’ve told myself that if my boss takes a very bullying tone to me again, I’ll speak up about it. But in the heat of the moment, I tend to weaken and not defend myself from it. If I confront him directly, should I come back to his office sometime after it’s over and we’ve both settled down, or deal with the issue right away and risk an escalating argument? Should I report his actions to someone immediately after it happens, or should I wait till I cool down so I get a better perspective and have notes? It’s not so much a question of if I try to put an end to what I think is bullying; it’s when.” – Anonymous Admin

    Feel free to leave your response below!

     

    training_program_for_administrative_assistants

    “Of all the programs offered by other training companies that I’ve attended, World Class Assistant™ was much more comprehensive and intense. This program is head and shoulders above the rest!” – Jennie

    The post When is it too soon—or too late—to thwart bullying? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:30:49 on 2018/04/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , Assertive, , , , , , , , ,   

    5 Ways to Be a Value-Added Employee 

     

    team_adding_value

    I’m not sure if you know that 80% of my work is onsite training for administrative office professionals so I do a lot of traveling, in fact, 100% of my clients are out of state. From this point forward, I will be traveling extensively through September.

    While traveling gets old after a while and is tiring, I love what I learn when I go on site into an organization. I see employees in action in their environments. I meet executives and have great discussions. Observing administrative professionals at work is one of my greatest moments. When I’m facilitating a full-day workshop for assistant or executives about maximizing their assistant’s time, I experience several aha moments. I’ve been doing this for 28 years and I never grow weary of learning, experiencing, and coming home feeling rewarded!

    One thing I can tell you from working with top-notch organizations nationwide is that the bar is being raised for all employees across the board. Organizations are communicating that it is time to “step up your game” or you may not be in the game in months to come. I know this is hard on those of you who already contribute a great deal and truly are committed. Then we all know there are the slackers appearing to be doing work. But don’t lose hope. As spring brings everything into bloom, this is your time to bloom. This spring, let your brightest colors show through (meaning all your talents) and be in full bloom.

     

    Be a ‘value added’ employee

    How much value would you say your work adds to the organization? Have you ever thought about it? Now more than ever, not only is every employee expected to pull his or her own weight, each person’s work must add value to the organization. There are a number of ways to be what I call a “value-added” partner. Here are a few that can help you earn the rewards and recognition you deserve:

     

    1. Boost productivity. If you can think of ways to streamline your job (or the work processes in a department, for example), it’ll improve overall productivity. That means more can be accomplished in less time – and management is sure to appreciate that.

     

    1. Make money. Is there a profitable opportunity that your employer is not currently taking advantage of? Whether you are a manager or an assistant, if you are familiar with your business, you can often see ways to make money—perhaps by paying attention to competitors or watching trends. Speak up, or prepare a brief summary describing your idea. Profit-generating ideas are a sure-fire way to promote your value.

     

    1. Save money. “A penny saved is a penny earned” applies to the workplace, as well. In what ways could you help save your employer money? Propose them.

     

    1. Be proactive. Ultimately, the best way to demonstrate your value is to show you don’t have to be asked to do something. You do it because it makes sense – because it helps the business and your co-workers!

     

    1. Go the extra mile. You will be noticed. Anyone can do what is expected, but not everyone can go the extra mile. Think of ways you can take that one extra step or add that one extra special touch.

     

    Star Tip: Document your value-added efforts to ensure you reap the rewards over time. Share results with your leader as they occur, and then again at performance review time. Even if your organization has a salary freeze this year, keep doing your best. Trust me, it’ll pay off!

     

    joan_burge_signature

    Joan Burge
    Founder and CEO

     

    wca_washington_chicago

    The post 5 Ways to Be a Value-Added Employee appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 21:07:37 on 2018/04/16 Permalink
    Tags: , Assertive, , ,   

    Personal Tune-Up 

    tune_up_MMA Personal Tune-up for Peak Career Performance

    If you’re feeling more energized than usual these days, that’s because it’s Spring. As humans, we’re hard-wired to feel the boost that comes with warmer temperatures and fresh, new beginnings everywhere! Even in the cities, there are blooming flowers and baby birds. Life bustles – and we can’t avoid responding.

    To me, Spring is a wonderful reminder that I am not just a “mind” that thinks and focuses on work. I am also a body – of which my mind is a part. Humans are, in a way, a marvelous machine. You can feed your mind with all kinds of great information to benefit your career. But if you don’t feed your body with food (fuel) and exercise (tune-ups), then the machine begins to gum up or break down.

    To remain a star at work, here are some “personal tune-up” tips to put into practice daily for peak career performance:

     

    • Eat breakfast. You’ve heard it’s the most important meal of the day – and that’s right. Without fuel, you’ll crash, no matter how many cups of coffee you drink.

     

    • Walk once a day. Walking is the no-cost, easy way to keep your energy up and lose weight at the same time. Best of all, you don’t have to break a sweat or go to the gym! Just put on your tennis shoes at break time and go.

     

    • Take short breaks throughout the day. Even if you’re busy, step away for a few moments. You’ll return to your work refreshed and better able to focus.

     

    • Get plenty of sleep. Recent studies show that women, especially, are sleep deprived – which, over time, will reduce your effectiveness and career potential.

     

    • Tackle stress. What causes you to worry? What’s weighing you down? Write a list, and try tackling the items one at a time.

     

    Have a great week!

    joan_burge_signature

    The post Personal Tune-Up appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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