careers

7 Tips For Navigating Negative Career Feedback

iStockphoto.com |  Feodora Chiosea

iStockphoto.com | Feodora Chiosea

Nobody rolls out of bed in the morning and thinks, “I hope I get some negative feedback at work today.”

No one enjoys criticism, especially professional criticism. When we receive feedback at work, the likely reaction is a (sometimes justified) fear that the feedback is a precursor to unemployment. However, feedback – positive and negative – plays an important role in the overall success of an organization, and the personal development of the employee. The good news is that you can learn how to process and utilize negative feedback to help your career instead of inhibit it.

Corporate culture has evolved into an interactive environment with a constant feedback loop. Annual/quarterly reviews have given way to an ongoing structure that is flexible and nimble enough to resolve issues, whether company-wide or individual, in real time. That means constant feedback.

Here are some tips to demystify negative feedback, help you and your career grow, and help create better work relationships.

  1. Be open to feedback. When you walk into your manager’s office and receive professional criticism, it is very easy to get defensive. Even though the feedback is work related, it feels personal, and may seem like an existential threat to your livelihood. Do your best to be calm, objective about your own performance, and to listen. Take notes.

  2. Remember, the conversation is probably documented. Whether part of a regular scheduled review, or an unexpected performance appraisal, the results will most likely go into your personnel file. It is in your best interests to maintain a professional demeanor throughout the process.

  3. Understand your manager’s position. Chances are your Manager doesn’t like to give negative feedback any more than you like receiving it. However, providing feedback is most likely a requirement of his or her job, and is necessary if he or she has an interest in your career development. Either way, your manager should be giving you feedback, and you should want it as it provides you the tools to move your career forward.

  4. Negative feedback is an opportunity. I know what you’re thinking: “I should want negative feedback? That’s crazy talk!” Negative feedback gives you an opportunity to self-correct and to develop personally and professionally. If you are not receiving regular, valuable feedback, then request it. You need to build that loop so you will control the conversation. It is in your best interests to have reviews that are more about development, and less about performance.

  5. Understand the real message. Managers may not be trained to give feedback in a clear or positive way. The true message, for example, may be buried under a mountain of operational issues, or missed sales goals. But what does the feedback have to do with you? Ask for clarification is necessary.

  6. Perception can be reality. If a perceived issue is surfaced that you believe is off the mark, you must change the perception. Speak up in a reasonable and sensible way. Defend yourself without being defensive (easy, right?).

  7. Compartmentalize the feedback. You’ve walked out your manager’s office. Even the most enlightened employee, who is wise enough to use all our excellent suggestions, is going to feel numb. No one enjoys criticism. To the best of your ability, decompress and detach yourself from the feedback. When ready, process it in as objective a way as possible, determine (to the best of your ability) how you can use it to improve your job performance and, more importantly, advance your personal career development.


Philip Roufail contributed to this article.

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, career coaching services, and outplacement services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercareerstrategies.com.

7 Essential Social Media Tips For Career-Minded Professionals

iStockphoto.com |  Gwengoat

iStockphoto.com | Gwengoat

In the beginning of the Oscar award winning film “Gladiator,” Maximus, played by Russell Crowe, gives his soldiers a rousing pre-battle speech and says this amazing line, “What we do in life echoes through eternity.” As goes for gladiators, goes for social media. Your online presence lasts pretty much forever.

Employers may look at your social media profiles when deciding whether to hire you; it’s not an unreasonable assumption. And even if you deleted everything on every one of your online profiles ten years ago, it’s could still be just one advanced Google search away. Sorry to say, but there truly is no escape from your digital past.

As of July 2019, here are the Top 10 Social Media Platforms worldwide according to Statista.com:

1.     Facebook

2.     YouTube

3.     WhatsApp

4.     Facebook Messenger

5.     WeChat

6.     Instagram

7.     QQ

8.     Q Zone

9.     Douyin / Tik Tok

10.  Weibo

 

You need to be aware of how you’re presented on each site. Here are seven tips to help you manage your Social Media presence so that you can become – and remain – gainfully employed. 

1.     Even though Social Media is still the age of a teenager, there is already an old axiom that applies: Don’t put anything on Social Media that you wouldn’t want your Mom to see.

2.     Social Media means never having to say goodbye. As long as the Internet is live, so is the picture of you chugging rum from a pineapple while wearing a bunny suit. Might have been fun times, but not so much fun great when a hiring manger finds it, much less notices that you posted it at 6 a.m. when you closed down the bar. Today. On Tuesday.

3.     Be conscious of where and how you present your political point of view online. We live in an emotionally charged and divisive political climate and you cannot control the snap judgments others will make about a seemingly innocuous post or comment. On business-oriented social media, such as LinkedIn, it might be advisable to steer clear of political topics.

4.     Likewise, it’s generally advisable to keep personal matters on socially oriented platforms (i.e., Facebook) rather than professional platforms (i.e., LinkedIn). And while we’re on the topic ­– it’s not a bad idea to check your Facebook/Instagram/etc. privacy settings so that only your friends and family have access to your photos and conversations.

5.     Many social media platforms (LinkedIn included) have “comment” sections, which are a breeding ground for internet trolls and flame wars. Comments are just as public as official posts, so if you’re active on platforms or forums with comment sections, you may want to consider any potential professional ramifications before you tell @area51conspiracy he or she is the “world’s biggest moron,” and that you hope they, “die in a hail of bullets.” That “moron” could be in a position to make a hiring decision on your candidacy.

6.     Be conscious of your tone, too. Social media is just that – social. You may have written posts or comments to family or friends that had an intentionally snarky tone deliberately chosen for effect. While you and your friends who share a collective sense of humor may find your repartee hilarious, others might be turned off or offended. It’s not fair, but people observe how you interact with others and form a perception of you based on that, right or wrong, fair or not. If someone believes you are condescending online, they might believe you will be condescending to them in the workplace.

7.     This list has been filled with negativity (sorry), but here’s a good one. Make sure to explore the job portals on the various social media platforms! Naturally, LinkedIn has a robust job postings section, but companies are starting to wake up to the idea that the social social media platforms are where all the people are hanging out! As time progresses, you’ll continue to see more and more companies building job portals Facebook and other sites to reach key users. Don’t miss out!


Philip Roufail contributed to this article.

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, career coaching services, and outplacement services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercareerstrategies.com.

Tips & Tricks For Finding Your Next Role By Using Job Boards

iStockphoto.com |  Deagreez

iStockphoto.com | Deagreez

The ways in which technology have transformed the modern job market is a double-edged sword. Online job boards are a perfect example. Employers now have unprecedented access to a worldwide database of job applicants, and, in turn, job seekers have an expansive landscape in which to operate, from global job listings to professional social networks.

The tradeoff is a seemingly impenetrable and impersonal wall that exists between those hiring and those looking for a job. But if you know how to use them, the job boards can be an integral tool in your job-hunting toolbox. Here’s a quick run-down of the five most prevalent online job boards:

Monster and CareerBuilder

Pro: Historically, these are two of the largest job boards for entry/mid-level job openings and many employers “mine” resumes from its database.

Con: They’re not as dominant as they once were, so employers have reallocated their recruitment spending in other job other places.

Glassdoor

Pro: Traditionally known aa site featuring company information and job reviews from former employees and candidates, Glassdoor also features a resume and job portal. Many companies have migrated to the site to manage both their job postings and online reputation.

Con: Employers may still view Glass Door as a company/job-rating site, so the reach is still not as great as some other online job boards.

 

Indeed

Pro: Indeed.com is flush with job postings, probably the most of any online job board. It also has pretty advanced integration with employer Automatic Tracking Systems (employer resume and job posting systems); this makes it very easy for employers to post jobs on Indeed with the click of a button, and pretty inclined to do so.

Con: With more jobs, there’s usually more candidates applying. That means more competition to get noticed.

LinkedIn

Pro: Without a doubt, LinkedIn is the most influential professional networking social media platform and portal for higher-level job openings, and is mined by employers for talent.

Con: Like any social media platform, LinkedIn’s main currency is its user profiles, which include work history, so it’s important to have both a great resume and user profile if applying for open positions on the site.

 

Tips & Tricks for Succeeding on the Job Boards

1.     There are many smaller, more specialized online job sites out there. Seek out boards that focus on particular business or technical disciplines, as employers may be using them as well.

2.     The wider you cast your net, the greater the chance you will catch your dream job. Therefore, it makes sense to comb a variety of job boards in order to reach the broadest potential employer base.

3.     If you are not employed and are actively searching, make sure that you are also posting your resume on every available job board.

4.     If you are gainfully employed, and do not want your current employer to know you are searching, be wary of uploading your resume to a job site, as your company’s HR department may stumble across it if it’s designated as searchable.

5.     Many job boards to which you upload your resume have a “private” designation, where it’s there for you to apply to jobs but not readily searchable in the database. If you want your resume to be seen by recruiters when you upload it to an online job site, be sure to enable make it searchable.

6.     While it can be beneficial to upload a resume to the online job boards because recruiters can mine it, please bear in mind there’s no substitute for being proactive in your search. And as you apply to specific roles, tailor your cover letter and resume unique to the individual positions for which you are submitting your candidacy.

Philip Roufail contributed to this article.


Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, career coaching services, and outplacement services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercareerstrategies.com.