Small Talk is Important to Grow Big Career

I have always wondered about how this guy sitting in the next cubicle can continue working the whole day without sharing a word or two with any of our colleagues. While it becomes extremely difficult for me to concentrate in the last working hours of a week, he does it with the same enthusiasm.

Well, I guess many of you can relate yourself with my position and some definitely with the guy in the next cubicle. However, there is something that was bothering me for quite sometime. Do I really waste my time in these occasional chit chats?small talk in office

Perhaps, many of you must have been through these crossroad scenarios similar to mine. This thought comes most strongly when you are rushing to meet deadlines. Isn’t it?

Small talk for many of us is similar to life-saving oxygen. 24/7 routine work with no occasional breaks does not drive out the best in us. Rather, it works against our efficiency. However, there are many people who find it difficult to communicate with people around.

We, on the other side consider it as an advantage for them; as they are always a way ahead of time in accomplishing the assigned tasks. On the contrary, they talk in a completely different context. And according to them, this behavior works as a hindrance to their day to day work.

I say this with conviction as I heard it from the horse’s mouth. Yes, you call it my curiosity or anything, I had initiated a brief communication with the guy in the next cubicle, and then he had shared his story. While many of you may not agree to this, there are definitely various positive impacts of having small talk with colleagues and bosses. Believe it or not, these small talks work as a stimulant for accelerating career growth.

Do you want to know how small talk can have some positive impact on your career development? IF Yes, then you will be happy to know that the following section discusses various positive aspects of small talk on your career. So gear up to unveil these untold truths.

Know how small talk can affect career growth:

Add branches to your existing network:

Now you definitely know the importance of good networking in professional life. Don’t you? And how can you build this network without communicating.

Climbing high up on the corporate ladder does not only require expertise, it also requires the art of presenting your skills to people around. And this does not mean writing a perfect resume.good communicator

When you communicate and participate in informal discussions, people identify your interest. Do you enjoy humor, or are you someone interested in facts? Do you take time to listen to what others have to say, or you are only blabbering about yourself? People get to know you as a person and this is important.

If you can be the limelight of any discussion, if you can find your friends getting glued to your discussion, if you can really convince people around – you can call yourself a good orator. While your superiors can consider you suitable for some Human resource or sales position.

Again, being a good communicator attracts more people around. Some of them can bring you different opportunities as well. This is how you add branches to your network.

You can enlighten yourself with fresh ideas and knowledge:

Some things are better understood when heard, rather than reading the same somewhere. Yes, we have the internet to provide us answers to every question we have; there is a difference in communicating with a human and a machine. listening others

You can learn many things listening to the experiences of others, and you can also share yours. You may come across people with common interests and may start-up with new ventures. You may come across new job opportunities from people around .

An easy way to put things before your boss:

There was this thing that you wanted to communicate with your boss. However, you did not know how to go about it. It can be anything. Perhaps, a job role change in the same company or an extended leave that you need to take from regular work schedule. Simply anything.put things before your boss

If you cannot do it through a mail, you can definitely do it over a cup of coffee. Provided, you had built a good rapport with your boss by now.

Working out tiff with colleagues:

If you know this art of small talk, you can never have anyone hating you for a life time. We spend the major part of the day in our workplace. It is not unnatural that you may have some difference of opinion with your colleagues sometimes.Working out tiff with colleagues

However, how can you sort out this awkward situation? Maintaining cordial relation with colleagues at the workplace is an essential professional gesture. Your HR managers do notice these while forming your appraisals. Therefore, the earlier you end the cold war the better it is. Yes, just an occasional Hello with your colleague and then short conversation can definitely ease out these difficult situations.

References play a great role in recruitment:

This is not a secret that when you have someone influential to back your resume, you have better chances of selection. Employers conduct background checks before they confirm your selection. Therefore, if you have built good networks, and they do know your skills and expertise, they can refer you to potential employers.references

You can also learn about new job opportunities if you keep in touch with important and relevant personalities.

Now, these were a few of the reasons that support small talks at a workplace to enhance career prospects. If you are a person similar to me and convinced with these above-mentioned discussions, you can definitely continue with your occasional chit chats that do not hamper your work. For those who are similar to that guy in the next cubicle, you can work out ways of getting used to these required professional gestures, if you do not want to miss out some opportunities.

This was all about the positive impacts of small talks on your career growth. Hope you have found this article useful in your search.

Fighting Against ‘Overqualified’ Label: Must Read

How is to be a “No fit” applicant for any particular job listing? Hurting isn’t it?
No fit means not competent. No fit equals lack of skills. No fit implies a lack of experience and so on and so forth.

What do you do when your resume earns a “No- fit” tag?…..You feel your Career goals are shattered. You are horrified by the thought of starting it from the scratch again. You feel disheartened.overqualified labeljob_rejection_overqualified

All said and done, you need to believe that this is still a better situation to be in. You at least have scopes for improvement. You work hard, and you are there. It’s that simple.

You may be taken aback by surprise to know that shortcomings are just one side of this no fit story. There are people who earn this tag, simply because they lack imperfections. Yes, you read it right. People do get rejected after interviews because they know more than they need to.

Disqualified for being overqualified – an ouch situation. It’s like you are asked to jump into a well, because others were not able to climb up the wall. It’s like you are asked to stop breathing, as you could smell those pungent tomatoes while others were suffering from clogged nose.

You know more than others. So, what’s the harm? You worked hard to learn more, and now you cannot just shift + delete it from your memory. While it is so very frustrating to get eliminated from the competition, just because others were not up to that level; recruiters have their own set of reasons to label and reject overqualified candidates.

Recruiters do not hire “overqualified” professionals – Let’s know why?

Even though recruiting may appear to be a relaxing task performed by HR professionals, it is not so. The process involves a considerable amount of time, company resources and money – most not hire overqualified

Therefore, if we say that hiring an inefficient candidate brings huge loss to the company; then, retaining employees for a very short duration of time is an equal setback. And this is one of the major reasons for rejecting overqualified professionals.

Apart from this, here are other varied reasons that work against hiring overqualified professionals:

  • Your recruiter may feel that you will leave the very moment you come across something better
  • You may be a little unhappy about the situation and will not work efficiently
  • You may not be able to take up orders from superiors who are, in fact, inferior to you in terms of academics or experience
  • You may get a little disinterested in handling less significant job roles
  • Paying your salary is like having an elephant as a pet at home
  • You may behave a little arrogant and will not accept your mistakes easily

These were a few of the reasons recruiters give when they advocate against hiring professionals who have skills much more than required.

Now, no matter what and how the reasons are, getting a solution is your prime concern.

Rejected for being overqualified – This is what you can do:

Once you can see that suspicion in your recruiter’s eyes, and you know it is for your superior levels of qualifications; this is how you can work it out:

Tell them that they are getting some extra cheese with the same price:talking to recruiter

When you know that you are more than capable of handling this particular job role, you also need to know that this will bring lesser monetary benefits than what you deserve.

If you are absolutely fine with this situation, make sure you inform the same to your recruiters. Convince them that money is not the only concern for you, and you have other reasons for choosing their job listing. Also mention that you will be happy to be paid according to company norms and do not want any extra privilege for your extensive skills or knowledge. In addition, you may use your competence to add greater value to their organization.

You don’t need a mentor – you could be one:

Any fresh employee needs to undergo some specific period of training to get accustomed to the company work culture. However, since you have greater qualifications, you may perhaps need to spend a lesser period in training rooms. Thereby, saving time and money up to a great could be oneAgain, if your employer is smart enough, your extensive knowledge could be used to train other professionals working in different setups that you are familiar with.

However, this is very tricky, as many of you may sound a little egocentric while putting this point before recruiters. If your recruiters somehow smell your sense of pride in accomplishments, your game ends there and then.

Therefore, be polite and say that you will be happy to learn from them as quickly as possible. In addition, you would love to share your knowledge beyond your job tasks whenever required.

Showcase your loyalties and commitments:

Tell your employer that you value commitments more than anything else. Ascertain that you are not in favor of job hopping and consider it to be a bad professional etiquette.loyalties and commitmentsSince you have a vast professional experience, you can take examples of work histories, where you have spent a considerable amount of time. This can convince your probable employers that you will not run away as soon as you get a better opportunity.

Depict the real story – Do not manipulate:

While everyone is trying hard to climb up the corporate ladder, your descending is mysterious. However, you may have your own reasons to do so and there is no harm in it.real storyYour current employer may offer you an advanced position with salary hikes that may affect your work-life balance. Therefore, think before accepting the offer. Hence, you may be happy to handle lower job roles to retain other priorities in life. This may be the reason, that you have appeared for this interview.

Make sure that you tell the truth to your recruiter. Do not try to make up cock and bull stories as they do not serve to convince and rather hinder the process.

These were a few tips to fight against being overqualified. Hope you have found the post useful and relevant to your search.

Year 2015: Changing Face of USA Jobs

Year 2015 has been bringing good news for the U.S. job market. The job market is back on track. This market has faced several challenges since 2001, two recessions being a major setback to the country’s economy. Again, since that time there have been many economic and demographic changes. These changes have influenced the workforce in many ways. Major national surveys show numerous changes in job composition by race, gender and age.Changing Face of USA Jobs

Thankfully, time has changed in 2014.  This year has been the country’s best year for job growth and opportunities since 1999. 2015 seems to carry forward the trend. According to the February 2015 Employment Situation Report presented by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate decreased to 5.5% and 295,000 jobs were included, thus making the job market flourish. The unemployment rate remains unchanged in March. Total nonfarm payroll employment has seen a good increase of 126,000 jobs in this month. The top trending sectors are health care, retail trade, professional and business services.

Before discussing the nature of U.S. job market in 2015, let’s have a look at the recent past. Various studies focussing on this job market from 2001-2014 reveal certain demographic changes in terms of gender, age and race:

  • In 2001, women had a share of 48% of jobs and the number increased to 49% in 2014. This means, 4.9 million more female employees have joined the workforce since 2001.
  • Even if there is a considerable growth in the number of working women over the past 13 years, however the number of women in high-paid jobs or doing different roles has not increased. Their counterparts are doing pretty good jobs in a variety of sectors. Men have occupied 72% share of all occupations.
  • In 2014, the number of teenage workers has reduced by 33% than 2001; whereas the number of older population aged 55 or above has increased by 40% than 2001.
  • The number of job opportunities for individuals aged between 22 and 34 increased by 4% and for age group 35-54, it shrunk by 1%.
  • The key findings in terms of race indicate: Asian workers have 5% of jobs in 2014 as compared to 4% in 2001; Latinos have 13% of jobs as compared to 11% in 2001; white workers have lost 2% of jobs as they enjoyed a share of 71% in 2001 and the number reduced to 69% in 2014.

So what is the changing face of USA jobs in the current year? Based on the report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic in March 2015, we present some important categories and points that characterise the prevailing job market.

Data based on Establishment Survey

1. From March, 2014 to March, 2015 growth in employment had averaged 269,000 every month.

2. Job opportunities in mining sector have shrunk. Although this industry has added 41,000 jobs in 2014, it has lost 30,000 jobs till now in the current year.

3. There is some good news for those working in engineering and architectural services, management and technical consulting services, computer systems design and related service as job scopes have widened.

4. More than 22,000 jobs were added in the healthcare industry. In the past one year, 363,000 jobs were added. Although jobs in nursing care facilities declined, considerable number of jobs were added in hospitals and ambulatory health care services.

5. Job opportunities continue to be trending in the retail trade industry. In March 11,000 jobs were added only by the general merchandise stores.

6. Growth of job opportunities per month in food services and drinking places remained same in the first quarter of 2015 as was in 2014, per month. Again employment in this sector saw huge growth in February which was more than 66,000 and in March the number declined to +9000.

7. According to this report, the average workweek for all workers on private nonfarm payrolls declined to 34.5 hours. While the duration of work hours decreased, the average hourly earnings for all workers on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 7 cents. It reached to$24.86.

Data based on Household Survey

1. In March, 2015 total number of unemployed persons was 8.6 million. From March 2014 to March 2015, the rate of unemployment decreased by 1.1 percentage points.

2. In March, the number of unemployed new entrants, that is persons who did not work earlier decreased by 157,000.

3. There are long-term unemployed persons also, who have no job for 27 weeks or more. The number of such persons was 2.6 million in March. Not only this, the number of long-term unemployed individuals has reduced by 1.1 million throughout the last one year.

4. The household survey also focussed on the civilian labor force participation rate. Since last year April, the rate was somewhere between 62.7% and 62.9%. In March, 2015 the rate did not change as it touched 62.7%.

5. Research about part-time employees also formed a part of this survey. Here part-time employees means people who are working part-time as they are not able to get a full-time job or their job hours were reduced for some reason or other. Otherwise, these people would have chosen full-time opportunities. The rate of such persons remained 6.7 million in March, 2015.

6. Over the year there was no change in the number of persons who were marginally attached to the labor force. The number remained 2.1 million.

7. The number of discouraged workers among the marginally attached remained 738,000 in March, 2015. This scenario is not much different from that in 2014. These are the individuals who are not searching for any job presently, as they believe in the unavailability of jobs for them. The remaining 1.3 million individuals who are marginally attached to the labor force as mentioned earlier, had not looked for any job for different reasons like family issues or school attendance.

In 2015 the face of U.S. jobs is changing surely. And the seeds of this change were sown in the past 4-5 years. The workforce composition is greatly affected by diverse and changing population, which is a good sign of progress for the job market. Because studies say that companies with diverse employees can lay their foundation on innovation and inclusiveness, thereby increasing their profit margins.

Why to Approach a Staffing Firm while Searching for a Job

Hunting for right jobs is indeed a herculean task, especially in this world characterised by rat-race and tough competition. Being a right candidate with brilliant academic background and skill sets does not entitle you for the right job. To land the best job, you have to know and apply the best job search techniques. Otherwise you will be a part of the crowd, not being able to stand out. If you take the beaten path, you cannot expect any good or extraordinary result. While searching for your dream job, try to incorporate all possible methods- asking your friends and acquaintances, going through various online job portals, researching individual organizations, discussing vacancies with people during seminars and conferences, attending job fairs and of course approaching a staffing firm.Staffing firm

Approaching a staffing firm or human capital management firm is a useful job searching method. In this candidate-driven marketplace, companies look for the fittest candidates so that they get good returns for what they are paying for. So they hire employment agencies or staffing firms, which will alleviate the hiring process and make it hassle-free. Before knowing about how a candidate may benefit from a staffing firm, let us take a look at how these firms work.

What is a staffing firm and how does it work?

A staffing firm help candidates in landing fulfilling jobs. In other words, these firms help companies or employers in finding the right candidates. They are instrumental in bridging the gap between employers and employees. Today, any job opening attracts a huge number of candidates. So it becomes difficult for the employers to choose the right candidate; interviewing so many applicants becomes both time and money-consuming. Again, a candidate may think that they are not getting the right job even after spending valuable time on searching jobs and appearing for interviews. Here comes the need of staffing firms, which help both businesses and job seekers by making the hiring process faster, easier and profitable.

If a company requires a particular candidate for a particular type of job, they will get into a contract with a personnel placement services firm, which will make the perfect match. Again, if a business needs candidates for higher-level management positions, it may contact any executive search firm which will work under the business’ retainer contract. The third type of employment agency is known as staffing firms which finds employees willing to work temporarily or on contractual basis. Examples may be vacation fill-in posts. Many times companies may also ask staffing firms to find candidates for ‘temp to perm’ posts; this mean that the posts are temporary, but may be extended to permanent positions if both the employer and the candidate are willing to work with each other.

Although the terms used may be different for the purposes these serve, all these agencies do the basic work of connecting a good candidate to a prospective employer.

Why to approach staffing firms?

There are certain valid reasons for contacting a staffing firm when you are hunting for a job.

  • Knowledgeable access to a wider number of jobs: You may get to know about jobs through job portals, advertisements and references, friends and colleagues etc.  But these sources may give you information regarding 10%-15% of the available jobs. Wouldn’t you like to research the rest 85%-90% jobs? Thus to widen the scope of your job hunt process, a staffing firm can be of great help.
  • Providing negotiation assistance: A staffing firm is just like an agent. It will not only help you in landing a good job. If you are finding difficulty in negotiating your salary, benefits or commissions, it will help you. It will make sure both the employee and the employer are satisfied.
  • Providing coaching: Such a firm will work in making you a perfect candidate. If your resume is not impressive, the agency will make sure it fits into the job profile, the employers are interested in. Looking into the resume style, formats and designs also comes under its purview. It will provide you training on some special skill sets, if required. Not only this, you will get invaluable career advice, interview tips and personality development tricks that will help you in achieving great heights in your career.
  • Finding a ‘temp to perm’ post: If you are opting for a ‘temp to perm’ post as discussed above, you must go to a staffing firm. There are many client companies who will like to gauge your performance before hiring you for a permanent post. If you become the right-fit for the company’s position and the company’s work culture impresses you, it will be a win-win situation for both ends.
  • Extending the job-search scope: As these firms are working with a number of different companies, both big and small, they develop strong bonds with those. So you need not know about each and every company and the job opportunities they are providing. You enjoy a process of hunt that is less burdened. You can actually opt for better jobs through their established network.
  • You gain even if you pay: This means that even if you have to pay for enjoying the services of staffing firms, in the long run you are the gainer. Yes, there are many firms that charge both employers and the employees. They may ask you to sign a contract mentioning you have to pay a certain amount of your salary if you get a placement. Don’t cringe at this idea. Think seriously. These companies do spend a lot in training you and placing you in the right position. Many of their staff are themselves specially trained in some skill sets or fields like finance, risk management etc. So they need money to run their business and they get this from job candidates and employers. If you are unwilling to pay, you may ask your employer to negotiate with the staffing firm.

Thus to explore your job search options you must go to a staffing firm. Try to use the presence of staffing firms on social media and attend real time networking events to get the best result.