Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Real Reason New College Grads Can't Get Hired

In our current economy more education is important for getting hired.  But, there are skills that you can develop that will improve your chances of getting hired.  They have to do with things such as "soft skills" according to Martha White in an article on the"The Real Reason New College Grads Can't Get Hired" for Time Magazine.

"A survey by the Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College finds that more than 60% of employers say applicants lack “communication and interpersonal skills” — a jump of about 10 percentage points in just two years. A wide margin of managers also say today’s applicants can’t think critically and creatively, solve problems or write well."

White went on saying, "As much as academics go on about the lack of math and science skills, bosses are more concerned with organizational and interpersonal proficiency. The National Association of Colleges and Employers surveyed more than 200 employers about their top 10 priorities in new hires. Overwhelmingly, they want candidates who are team players, problem solvers and can plan, organize and prioritize their work. Technical and computer-related know-how placed much further down the list."

Even if you have graduated, don't stop learning about how to integrate yourself into the business you are working for or hope to work for.  Working in groups and being part of effective teams is very important to business owners and they are looking for employees that can use those "soft skills" to increase the effectiveness of their business. I'm not suggesting that you ignore learning other skills for which you have great interest and ability.  Rather I'm suggesting that you pick up "soft skills" along the way to increase the probability of your success.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Stage Fright and What You Can Do About It

To some degree stage fright is probably in all of us when we attempt to stand up, speak and make sense. The larger the audience often the greater the fright.  But, there are things that we can do to survive stage fright and thrive.  Mikael Cho has discussed this problem clearly and effectively.  It is worth your time.  The article is entitled "How to cure stage fright: the science behind public speaking."

That  sounds really unlikely to any of us who have fought with stage fright.  But, the approach will be useful when put into practice.  The article is great for those thinking of taking or currently enrolled in a public address class.  More importantly, we never stop learning and we are always facing situations that we wish had never come along.  For example, your boss wants you to bring everyone up to date on what the company is doing in your area. This article will greatly aid you to overcome the problem.  So you will have stage fright, but instead of dying on stage, you will survive and eventually thrive.

Cho point out what most of us already think: "Genetics play a huge role in how strong your feelings of anxiety are in social situations. For instance, even though John Lennon performed on stage thousands of times, he was known for throwing up before going on stage for his live performances.

"Some people are simply genetically wired to feel more scared when performing or speaking in public."  But, even that can be taken into account and leave you free to communicate when you need/want to.

Don't stop improving.  There's a great deal you can do and it really is important to you since success often expects us to do things that at the moment we can't do.

Brains Are Important . . .Take Care of It

We are first of all brains.  Without them we are of little value to ourselves or anyone else.  It only makes sense that we would seek to maintain our brains and the body that houses it.  When we are well and fit our brains can run, walk, lift and feel and otherwise gather tons of data with which to think. 

This article makes it fairly clear that there are things we can do to improve our lives.  The article online at lifehacker is an excellent review of things we can do to maintain a physical life that is powerful and balanced.  The article is entitled "Top 10 Reasons to Exercise Regularly (Besides Losing Weight) and is worth the time it takes to read it.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

For Argument's Sake

Unfortunately, arguing has acquired a negative position in many minds.  And with some reason after all, there is a winner and a loser. When you have an argument, the mind set is often more of offense and defense than "here's an opportunity to learn something."

Daniel H. Cohan has clearly thought about this problem for some time and in this TED Talk makes good sense on what our opportunities might/should be when arguing. The whole process will take less than 10 minutes.