Defensiveness + Unaccountability = UNEMPLOYMENT

A big complaint that I have heard repeatedly from clients regarding both temporary and full time employees is that employees are being defensive and/or not taking responsibility for their actions. I often hear clients say that someone is “combative” and does not respond well to criticism or feedback. The other thing I have been hearing is that employees are full of excuses as to why it won’t or cannot work or why they cannot do it.

This sort of “negative nancy” attitude where employees are constantly refusing to do work, questioning the work they are asked to do, and/or complaining about the work they are given is setting them up for failure and/or termination.

So how do you prevent from becoming one of the people who an employer is considering letting go or terminating? 
A few things that you can work on to avoid being let go because of a bad attitude include:
-Look at any potential insecurities you might have in a particular area and figure out a way to enhance that area. Example, you don’t have strong Word skills, go out and get training to enhance your skills.
-Don’t give excuses when asked why something was not done. Just apologize and figure out a way to DO IT.
-If you have a question or something you don’t understand, be in communication immediately about any questions you may have regarding a particular task or duty.
-When being given criticism or feedback regarding your performance, be accountable. Take responsibility for your actions without complaining, deflecting or being defensive. 

It is never too late…

Last night I went out to dinner with an old friend who I had not seen in over a year. I was shocked and amazed when I walked in the door to the restaurant and saw that my friend had lost close to 100 pounds! She was literally half the woman she used to be and was simply glowing. Over dinner, I was so inspired by her new look that I asked her to share her story with me about how she did it and what had sparked such a big change in her.

She said that she had been over 200 pounds for most of her adult life. She explained that she would avoid a few doctor’s appointments because she knew that when she went in to see the doctor he would give her a hard time about her obesity and make her feel humiliated. 
Finally, one day late in 2011, she was walking past a mirror in her bedroom and was awestruck by how much she actually weighed. The cost and impact of her obesity finally hit her like a ton of bricks. That night she made a conscious decision to create being disciplined and to start eating more healthy foods. She began by researching healthy recipes on the internet. She did not go for a quick fix like the lap band or the latest diet pill like so many of us that are looking for immediate gratification. Instead, over the course of many months, she began cooking unique healthy recipes and even bringing them in for others in her office. The first time she went to her doctor’s office after she started eating healthier foods her doctor was amazed that she had lost 20 pounds! He said he was impressed, but not to get her hopes up because most people often gain the weight back within a short time.
Her whole life she had told herself, it is too late…I am too old…I am never going to lose this weight. It just took one honest look at herself in the mirror to see that she needed to make a change. Now, fourteen months later and 96 pounds lighter, she is a bright new human being with a new lease on life. After years of having been put down by her doctors throughout her life, she recalled with tears in her eyes the first time her doctor told her how proud he was of her and that not only had she lost 96 pounds, but she had added at least 10 or more years to her life. Additionally, she had been on numerous medications for her health and is now off of every single one.
She says there are still hard days where she does crave sugar and will allow herself a cupcake when she wants one (we passed on dessert last night), but she no longer beats herself up when she has a little sugar. She has realized that everything in moderation is just right and she now appreciates everything she eats! 
So why am I sharing this story with you on my blog about having your dream job? My friend’s story is not just about losing weight, it is about overcoming obstacles and naysayers and negativity in your life and realizing that it is never too late to start living the life you have always wanted.
This is especially true when it comes to your career. I have seen too many people come to my office and complain about how they are too old or too fat or too this or too that to get the job of their dreams. I think that my friend’s story is an inspiring one that should be shared and used to motivate others to do what they have been putting off doing for most of their lives.
If my friend can look at herself in the mirror and realize that she doesn’t like what she sees and begin to make small changes that lead to a big difference in her life, then so can you.
There is no time for any more excuses about why you are going to put off having the life you have dreamed of. The time is now and the choice is yours to start living the life that you have been dreaming of!

Top 10 Simplest Reasons people have been Fired

Having been a recruiter for close to ten years now, I have come across every reason in the book for which people have been fired. In many cases, being fired is warranted, but in some unfortunate cases such as forwarding an inappropriate joke or email, the employee can be caught off guard. 
Below is my top 10 list of silly things people have done to get fired:
  1. Manipulating an online timesheet to change their time and/or falsifying their time by taking long lunches without putting the right hours down on their timesheet.
  2. Watching porn-this should go without saying but I have seen people get fired for this and be surprised.
  3. Foul body odor-enough said.
  4. Posting negative comments about an employer on social media site without consensus from others who work there. Ex: You post “I hate my office” on Facebook and there are no comments or likes from others in your office who agree with you.
  5. Forwarding inappropriate jokes or emails.
  6. Making offhanded racial comments or jokes such as “You are such a cheap Jew…”
  7. Expressing political or personal views that are not in line with the company and making them public to people in the office.
  8. Taking a vacation without letting your supervisor know that you will be out of town or asking permission in advance.
  9. Saying “No” to your employer can count as insubordination if it is work related and/or refusing to do duties that are required of your job.
  10. Having a bad attitude in general will definitely lead to termination.

Top 10 Silliest Reasons people have been Fired

Having been a recruiter for close to ten years now, I have come across every reason in the book for which people have been fired. In many cases, being fired is warranted, but in some unfortunate cases such as forwarding an inappropriate joke or email, the employee can be caught off guard. 
Below is my top 10 list of silly things people have done to get fired:
  1. Manipulating an online timesheet to change their time and/or falsifying their time by taking long lunches without putting the right hours down on their timesheet.
  2. Watching porn-this should go without saying but I have seen people get fired for this and be surprised.
  3. Foul body odor-enough said.
  4. Posting negative comments about an employer on social media site without consensus from others who work there. Ex: You post “I hate my office” on Facebook and there are no comments or likes from others in your office who agree with you.
  5. Forwarding inappropriate jokes or emails.
  6. Making offhanded racial comments or jokes such as “You are such a cheap Jew…”
  7. Expressing political or personal views that are not in line with the company and making them public to people in the office.
  8. Taking a vacation without letting your supervisor know that you will be out of town or asking permission in advance.
  9. Saying “No” to your employer can count as insubordination if it is work related and/or refusing to do duties that are required of your job.
  10. Having a bad attitude in general will definitely lead to termination.

A Linkedin Picture is worth a Thousand Words

Many people do not put much thought into their photo on Linkedin. Some people choose not to post a picture, period. I highly recommend having a picture on your Linkedin profile as it can have people feel more related to you, however, if the picture is inappropriate, it can have the opposite effect.

The top five mistakes that I see when it comes to posting pictures on your Linkedin profile include the following:
1) Too sexy
2) Not professional (you don’t have to be in a suit, but you should still stay away from overly casual clothes in your profile picture)
3) Distracting hair/makeup/jewelry-anything too over-the-top can take away from your presence
4) Blurred pictures 
5) Unfriendly face
Any one of the top five mistakes can lead an employer not to call your or pass on you altogether. When in doubt, phone a friend! Have several friends look at your profile picture and ask them if they would want to work with you based on that picture. If you keep your photo simple, clear and warm, you will be good to go!