Personality and Career

Personality preferences do impact how we go about our daily business.  One of the most used personality assessments is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® or MBTI®.  Personality type does not limit what a person can do as any type can do any job.  It can only show where your comfort level may be and what activities you may enjoy more than others.  For this reason, it cannot be used as a recruitment tool.

With the Myers-Briggs® your assessment will show a four-letter type.  The certified person administering the assessment will debrief the results with you to determine the validity.  Your four-letter type will show you to be;

Extraversion (E)                or           Introversion (I)

Sensing (S)                         or           Intuitive (N)

Thinking (T)                       or           Feeling (F)

Judging (J)                          or           Perceiving (P)

In looking for a career, these are some general guidelines.

If you are an Extravert;

  • Look for work with a lot of interaction and people contact; Sales, marketing, personal services, public relations, hospitality, entertainment.

If you are an Introvert;

  • Look for work where ideas are important; Teaching, accounting, computers, engineering, scientific fields, medicine, research and development.

If you are Sensing;

  • Look for work where details and procedures are important; Administration, building and trades, law enforcement, navigation, nursing, public service.

If you are Intuitive;

  • Look for work where communication or theory are involved; Counselling, journalism, teaching, writing, religion, research or law, or where long-range planning, business or policy development are involved.

If you are Thinking;

  • Look for work where logic and problem-solving is important; Skilled trades and crafts, science and technology, computer science, engineering, management, law, police and criminal justice work.

If you are Feeling;

  • Look for work in fields where people and values are important; Teaching, health care, office and clerical work, personal and human services, communication, artistic fields, health services, counselling and the ministry.

If you are Judging;

  • Look for work in settings where plans and systems are involved; Management, finance, building and trades, order and deadlines are important and where they can assume responsibility.

If you are Perceiving;

  • Look for work where there is change, not routine; Artistic fields, counselling, entertainment, psychology, journalism, child care, research.

As I mentioned, these are generalities and show where comfort levels may be.  It does not define who you are as an individual but is one more tool for the tool-box when you are looking for a career fit.

While comfort is important, we must remember that growth only occurs when one is outside of their comfort zone!

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Starting Off on the Right Foot

I guess there is such a thing as falling into a business, after all, people do fall into jobs.  It does get a little more complicated when it is a business.  If one wants the business to succeed there are steps that need to be taken and work to be done.

First of all, one has to have knowledge of the product or service they are proposing.  It is difficult to market to your customers if they do not have the confidence that you know what you are doing!  You also must do your due diligence and research your target market and ensure there are enough potential customers or clients in your market area.

Once you have an idea of the number of potential clients, you need to determine how many competitors there are.  This will establish your market share.  Your research into your potential customers or clients should tell you why they buy the product, how often they buy the product, where they get it now, and why they might change and come to you.

Knowing the regulations pertaining to the proposed business is essential as you need to ensure that you can do your business legally whether you are home-based, have a store-front, or are manufacturing.  Regulations for some businesses might also be health and environment.

What are your start-up costs?  What are the costs to open the door?  You may have licensing, permits, renovation costs, supplies.  How much money will I need for the business?  The three things to consider are; what is needed to start the business, what is required each month to maintain the business, and what do I personally need each month from the business?  Do you need financing, if so where is the money coming from?  Most businesses do not break even for some months so you should not count on taking owner draws on the business for the first few months, sometimes longer.

Producing a monthly cash flow worksheet for the business will keep you on track and show where you need to concentrate your efforts.  It will show your projected sales and expenses for a year and I guarantee it will not turn out as projected.  It is a living document that will keep you on track and can be altered.  This is extremely important as you can be asset rich, but if you have no cash flow, you will not be in business for long.

Falling into business is not easy, or wise.  You need careful planning and research to be successful.  There is lots of help out there for you at your local Community Futures Office and good resources online.  Do it right and have fun!  Done right it can be very rewarding!

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Labour Shortage

We have no excuse, we were warned in 1996 by David Foot in his best selling book, “Boom, Bust & Echo that this was coming.  Twenty-three years later some employers are just waking up to the fact that there is a shortage of labour across a wide spectrum of jobs.

This is creating challenges for many as it affects production, transport, customer service.  I know of businesses that have had to curtail their hours as they did not have the staff.  There are help wanted signs in every other store window where we live, some are multiple positions.

We are seeing it in the professions as we see more and more postings for accountants, engineers, nurses, doctors, and many others.  Because of the demographics, this situation is not changing for a few years.

There is a labour pool with many skills and abilities that for the most part is overlooked.  In British Columbia, there are roughly 350,000 persons with a disability.  The unemployment rate for them is around 25%.

There are many myths out there about hiring a worker with a disability.  It is thought that they will have to take too much time off, will not be as productive, will be a safety risk, or will cost too much to accommodate in the workplace.  These are totally unfounded.  In fact, most require no accommodations at all and they are five times as likely to remain in the position.  Some think they can’t be disciplined or fired when in reality they fall under the same laws as everyone else.

These workers are out there.  Give them your consideration when hiring and look at the ability, not the disability.  By all means hire the best person for the job, but the outcome may surprise you.

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The Network – Part Two

After seeing last weeks post, I know you’re wondering if this old guy has heard of Social Media?  Yes, in today’s world it is an important part of networking.  But, bar none, there is nothing that can match face-to-face, personal contact for networking.

Social media can present your profile and can be exceptionally effective in finding and connecting with contacts in your profession or industry.  LinkedIn can connect you with your industry groups, Facebook, for some businesses, can link you to those who have need for your product or service.  Instagram can be an amazing outlet for your product or service where a picture is worth a thousand words.  It is what you do with Social media before and after the connection has been made that counts and will build the relationship.

I knew someone who work for a sawmill.  They were the exclusive supplier to clientele in Japan.  Twice a year this person’s task was to go to Japan and meet personally with the clients to see how they used the product and what might be done differently to improve the product.  In addition, each client had pictures of the workers who produced the product so there was a connection to it.  At home in the mill, there were pictures of the clients so the workers could see a destination for what they produced.

This is the ultimate networking.  This completes the connection of sales, production, and utilization.  Does Social Media play a role?  Of course, but it is not in itself, the complete process.  Face-to-face with its body English and human nuances still makes for real networking.

Get out, connect, and have fun!

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The Network

Whether you are in business, starting a business, or looking for employment, you need a network.

If you are in business, you need a network that will tell you what competitors have emerged from the woodwork and what they are offering to the market, so that you can adjust if necessary and retain your market share.  You need to know what the economy is doing, especially if what you do is discretionary. What are the implications if it is a downturn or good news?  How will I react?  Your main network is you existing customers or clients.  Your constant communication with them over their wants and needs will guide your decisions.  Other networks include your local Chamber of Commerce, BNI groups, Community Futures, Service Clubs, and other volunteer opportunities.

For those contemplating starting a business, networking is essential to collect data on number of potential clients, competition, shopping preferences, and actual, potential customer information.  What are the demographics?  How many potential clients are there in the geographic area?  Who are the competitors?  What will the competition likely do when I start my business?  What is the economic forecast for your geographic market?  Your networks might include your local Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, Local Library, Municipal or Regional District Office, Provincial or Federal offices for small business information and regulations.

If you are unemployed and searching for employment, your first stop is your local WorkBC Employment Centre.  There you will find assistance with all of your job search needs.  You may qualify for some of the programs such as training, wage subsidy, or self-employment.  If networking is not your strong suit, assistance is available.  Building the network with your targeted employers is essential in finding a position in your desired field.  Networking is not just a one-time connection but building a relationship with the individual or organization and maintaining it.  Your network could include volunteering, which with some organizations puts you in front of employers in the local community.

Your network makes the difference in achieving your goals.  Target it, build it, and maintain it.  No-one arrives at success alone!

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Posted in Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Chamber of Commerce, Clients, Coaching, Community Futures, Customers, Economy, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Entrepreneurs, Life coaching, Marketing, Networking, self-employment, Service Clubs, Social Media, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resumes – Truth or Fiction?

The resume has been around forever, a dossier of skills, aptitudes, and experience.  It has changed little although it now is presented in videos, on CD’s as well as the ever-popular buff, 24-pound paper. But what is the relevance?

For the employer, especially an inexperienced one, they may place too much value on the resume.  The resume may not even have been done by the potential employee.  It could have been done by a resume service or employment office.  The fancy presentation may not reflect the talents of the applicant!

For sure, the resume is the first step in deciding who you will interview.  There are usually three piles; interview, maybe, and discard. My advice is to have ‘real work’ activities.  Have them perform a task that is work related.  If you need particular computer skills, get them to demonstrate the skills.  If there is a task that calls for handwriting, can you read it?  Cursive writing is becoming a thing of the past.

I heard of one interviewer who only asked one question, “What have you done from the time you were born until now that makes think you can excel in this position?  What are their accomplishments relative to what you are needing them to do?

To verify the resume, it is always necessary to check the references, making sure that the references were actually persons who supervised the individual and not just a friend.  Many are reluctant to say much about the individual or they will give a glowing report because they are anxious for the person to leave their organization.  A question for clarity might be, “If you had an available position would you hire this person back?”

Be cautious, what you see on paper may not be what you get in person!  Perform due diligence, ask the right questions, and see how they perform.

Bottom line, if your gut says don’t hire this person, pay attention!

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.

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It’s Just a Matter of Time

We all have it.  Many of us waste it.  But each day, we all have the same amount of it.  I hear people complain that they don’t have time to do something, but in reality, we have to make choices as to what we are doing with our time.  We have the same amount of time as did Albert Einstein, Madame Curie, Albert Schweitzer, Picasso, and all the great minds.  They just prioritized the available time to accomplish what was important to them.

In our work we have deadlines.  We need to prioritize the task and fit it into our workday.  I remember being very busy at work on a project and my supervisor came to me and added another task on my workload and I said, “No”.  He questioned why I responded that way and I told him that he would have to make a choice between the two projects as I could only fit one into the time available.  He thanked me for pointing it out and found someone else to do the second task.

Our personal life is no different.  If time with our children is important, we make it a priority and find the time.  If golf is important, we know we can make time for it.  One of the main ones that people say they don’t have time for is exercise.  They just haven’t raised it high enough on the priority list and we all know it should be there, but it isn’t exciting.

If you started each day with $10 for every minute of the day you would have $14,400.  If you lost $10 for each minute you would likely be a little wiser in how you spent your time and make the best use of the money.   No matter what you do you should be aware of what is important and how it fits into your day.  Sometimes sitting in the sun relaxing is the best use, and sometimes it is not.

“How did it get so late so soon?”  Dr Seuss

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