Category Archives: Career

Yes, It’s Possible To “Network” Without Being A Jerk


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Your network, as they say, is your net worth. Connections, as we know, create value

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Great tips about networking in this article published in FastCompany

Working hard and smart won’t help you develop your career without connections.

It is in fact not that hard to build and maintain a valuable network of professional and personal connections. Just follow two fundamental rules:

  1. Be Genuine.
  2. Stay in touch.

Related articles : 

See on www.fastcompany.com

Finding Happiness as an Expat Wife


See on Scoop.itInternational Career

Are you struggling with life as an expat wife? InterNations shows you how to avert an identity crisis and how to find happiness as an expat wife.

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Maybe you took a break to raise your children or manage an expatriation or both, but now you feel it is time to find a job.

It is always better to know in advance what are the job market and regulation to get the right visa but if you got noticed of your new destination at the last-minute it is not always possible.

You can take this transition time as an opportunity to explore in-depth your skills and talent and find out what you really want to do.

Not all expat wives are happy with a “demotion” and want to have same or better career while living abroad and acquire intercultural competencies that international employees and global managers need nowadays.

Using a career and transition coach who lives in your place has numerous advantages especially for building your brand, helping you design resumes, supporting your networking efforts with local professionals and elaborating job search strategy that matches local job market.

See on www.internations.org

 

Age 5: Your First Career Mistake


See on Scoop.itInternational Career

Watch this video and learn why you need to go back to being a kid if you want to find real career happiness!

Anne Egros‘s insight:

What did you answer when you was a kid to this question : What do you want to be when your grow up ?

Most of the time your answer was to please and impress the adults that counted most in your life.

As adults, chances are high that we pursue a career to impress others. Not because we truly follow our passions.

Pause and think about it and be honest with yourself :  what do you want to say when someone ask the question : What do you do ?

Is this really what you love to do ?

Are you living someone else dream ?

Who do you want to impress or please as an adult ? Your boss, spouse, friends, etc?

Watch the video and think about what will be your life if you could do the job you truly  love ?

Are you ready for a career change ? Contact Us and find out.

How To Make Your Résumé For Applicant-Tracking Systems


Asian Woman

“Many job seekers have long suspected their online employment applications disappear into a black hole, never to be seen again. Their fears may not be far off the mark, as more companies rely on technology to winnow out less-qualified candidates.”  This quote is from the WSJ article: “Your Résumé vs. Oblivion”  where the author explains how recruiters and hiring managers deal with your resume when you send it via email or upload it on a job board, company’s career websites or Linkedin. In the age of electronics and downsized organizations, companies are overwhelmed by the number of resumes they receive from job applicants so they will first scan your document into a database and a software will screen the resume for specific key words.

Guidelines for making electronic resumes:

Scanned resumes are first translated in ASCII format, a very simplified way of looking at alphanumeric characters without formatting such as bolding, italics and underlines. If you’re submitting a paper resume to a company and you think the resume is going to be scanned into an electronic resume, then you need to make sure the scanning process understands what you’ve written. Remember, the database is going to convert the resume into a simple ASCII format.

Tips for writing your electronic resume:

Make sure your name is the only thing that appears on the first line of the document.

  • Remove any graphics or artwork on your resume including shading, vertical and horizontal lines.
  • Bulleted items can confuse scanners, so convert them to simple hyphens or asterisks.
  • Move all text to the left margin. Tabs, tables and centered text can sometimes confuse the scanning software.
  • Restrict your use of fonts to Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica.
  • Use only one font size, preferably between 10 and 14 points.
  • Remove all underlining, bolding and italics.
  • Use 8.5″ x 11″ paper that is white with black ink and print your resume only on one side of the paper. This will improve the contrast of your  text and help the scanner to read your resume.
  • If possible, do not fold or staple your resume. That means mailing the resume in 9″x 12″ envelope.

Please note that the above recommendations are for US standards. In many other countries, the format is metric and paper size is A4 . If you don’t know where your resume will be scanned, ask the recruiter who posted the job.

Keywords in Electronic Resumes 

If you want to make it through the screening and ranking process, then you need to make sure you have the right keywords or key phrases in the body of your electronic resume. Resume keywords are simply the nouns and adjectives that are relevant to the position to which you’re applying. That means the choosing of keywords for your resume requires a thoughtful process.

Mailing Resumes: 

When submitting a resume by email or through mail it’s advisable to send two copies.  One copy can be the simple format the human resources department can efficiently and accurately scan into the electronic resume database. The second can be the elegantly designed resume that uses bolding and italics to highlight the job titles and keywords the writer wants to emphasize.

 Conclusion: While it is important to adapt your resume format to applicant-tracking software, the single best method of getting a job remains a referral from a company employee.

Related articles:  

 

References :

  • Guidelines for Preparing Electronic Resumes by UCLA 
  • Electronic Resumes by Money-Zine

 

Are “Transnationals” The New Global Executives ?


English: transnational global interconnectedness

English: transnational global interconnectedness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just read this interesting article about the impact of globalization on education and job market and the rise of the ‘transnationals”. 

With globalization, doing business across multiple countries simultaneously is the new normal for global executives who must have international experience gained through performing work with global responsibilities and cross-cultural exposure. Companies need managers and leaders who understand various markets and cultures and able to develop local talent by sharing corporate values and best practices across all levels of the organization. Living in one or more different countries is now  considered mandatory for executives working for transnational corporations.

In the past, emerging economies like China or India had massive exodus to Western countries but in the current economic climate, many of these expatriates are returning home.

The “transnational ” executives face different career and personal challenges than the traditional expatriates or those who remain in their home countries. The  new “global careerists” need new tools to manage their international careers and life abroad

Some definitions:

Expatriates lived in one or more country but they identify with their native nation. The word “expat” is often used to caricature people who have a certain social and economic status sent abroad by big global companies. They typically stays 3 to 5 years in the same country and have much more benefits and salaries than “locals”. I wrote in another article that this type of expats have a tendency to disappear for  the “new expat executive”, a kind of hybrid combining the low-cost local manager with advanced knowledge of cross-cultural issues and global leadership including technical expertise usually brought by a traditional expatriate executive.

The “Third Culture Adult” or TCA: David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken describe in their book “Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds”, children who grow up in a land that’s not their parents’ homeland. They become a part of a third culture that sets them apart from others without this experience. A global executive should be able to build a third culture among multiple cultures including corporate and local ones and develop competencies that bridge different social groups in terms of management style, cultural sensitivities and social networks.

Transnationals lived in two or more countries but  don’t consider being part of one nation in particular, borders don’t exist in their minds. Those cross-border migrants consider more than one place ‘home’. Transnational corporations operate in more than one country or nation at a time, so does a “transnational” executive. Transnationalism refers also to cross-border social networks, diaspora, political or religious groups and organisations. Transnationals may be able to plan their career abroad without the help of a company based “home”. Transnationals typically speak at least two or more different languages and are aware of cultural differences from various social groups.

The term “transnationals” is very seldom used compared to the term “expatriates” but I think the definition is becoming closer to the “new global executive” that multinational companies need today.

What do you think ?

How To Network Like A Pro!


What is the Definition of Networking ?

net·work·ing, noun”:

Definition:

  1. The exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business
  2. The establishment or use of a computer network

If you are mastering the art of networking the classical way, involving in person meetings, business cards  and phone calls,  then you know how to turn contacts into connections that will help you get your next job or win your next business deal. Right ?

WRONG !  

If you are a great connector and know how to make the most of your connections through traditional in person conversations, it is not enough anymore. If you don’t know how to use social media to engage people on a personal level by being part of online communities such as Linkedin, then you are simply out of the networking game. Since 2004, when the term social media was first used, people want to do business with people they trust and share similar interests beyond work but without necessarily being in some kind of physical contact via phone, video-conference or in person.

In the digital age, aka, the internet world, you cannot be a networking pro if you don’t know how to leverage your online presence to attract the right people who will help you reach your professional and business goals as well as your personal projects.

I think today, even the most stubborn executives admit they need some kind of presence online, they might no become social media artists,  but they know that personal branding is not a buzz word and actually it is a pretty old concept that first appeared in 1997 in an article published in Fast Company Magazine, from  management guru and author Tom Peters:

“We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” -Tom Peters

If you want to become a more confident and engaging person to establish effective relationships both online and off-line, start following those 3 steps:

Step #1: Create A Brand Called “ME”

What makes you unique ? In a global economy in crisis, every job seekers and businesses must differentiate themselves to stand out of the crowd. The only constant today is change and very fast change in our highly connected global world. To win the global war of talent you need to know who knows you and how you are perceived. What is your reputation online? Are you in control of what people find when they Google “your name” ? What is your unique value proposition ?  Do you know what your competitors have to offer ? What gives you a competitive edge ?

In a previous post “Me Inc, Brand Yourself and Find your Ideal Job”I have listed the five steps to help you build your personal brand .

The materials to build your brand can be identified through the same process of strategic planning used to market products or services. Make a “SWOT” analysis starting by various assessments of your core personal  values, the principles that guide your life, your life purpose or mission, your vision, what are your strengths, weaknesses ? In which environment do you thrive ? What is the type of boss or ideal client you want to work with ?

It is important to be really YOU, authenticity is key, don’t try to be someone you are not but discover who you really are using tools that uncover hidden talent and what intrinsically motivates you.

For more in-depth understanding of personal branding  I recommend you to connect with Dan Schawbel recognized as a “personal branding guru” by The New York Times and author of the #1 international bestselling career book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.or how to build a powerful brand to achieve career success. Check his Personal Branding Blog too.

Step #2: Identify Who Is Your Audience

It is tempting to be everything for anybody and everybody but this doesn’t work. As the leader of your own brand you must inspire the people you want to attract. What is it about you that is appealing to people who want to buy from you or hire you ? You need to change shoes and imagine being in those of your potential customers/employers. This is very important because the way you package your experience in your resume or select social media platforms depends on how your audience is listening and communicating about their professional and personal  interests.

If you want to learn about your target audience, start LISTENING first : search  key words used by people interested by your expertise and thought leaders.  Invite those people to connect on LinkedIn and see what they talk about and how they interact in specific groups (you can be part of 50 groups on Linkedin). Use Q&A, start a Twitter account and read other people’s  Tweets.

The same way an HR person or a hiring manager will get information about you via Google, you can learn a lot about companies by connecting with the employees online. If you want to learn about a specific country before accepting an international assignment, contact expatriates and locals who live there. Once the contact is made online, try to follow-up by a phone call or Skype or meet in person to share about your needs and how you can also return the favor by helping those who helped you. Do not hesitate to contact people you don’t know. People online are much more open to connect and talk to you even if you are a perfect stranger. Read more about How to Connect With People You Don’t Know 

Step #3 Engage your Connections Through Meaningful Conversations

Once you have an idea of what your prospects’ interests are,  then you can start defining your goals and make a content marketing  strategy to help you connect with the right web audiences. You can use any kind of platforms such as blogs, videos on YouTube, Google + or images on “Pinterest to create and distribute relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience, Use online content curation tools such as Scoop.it to gather and disseminate knowledge in the topics your audience is interested.

You need to choose carefully your content strategy based on the specific goals you want to achieve. For example, If your goal is to increase you ranking in search engines like Google, then maybe it is a good idea to start a professional blog and comment in other experts’ blogs. Do you want to identify and invite new contacts ? then start a debate in a Linkedin group discussion. Maybe you want to demonstrate your capability to engage consumers online as a marketer ? then build a Facebook fan page and try to attract active followers on Twitter.

Whatever you need to do, be consistent about the image you want to project. For example do not use your personal Facebook  profile to broadcast your personal life. You may use your personal Facebook page to show a more casual image  of yourself but avoid venting your frustrations, be negative in general, don’t share your political or religious opinions and keep private things that are too personal.

Always assume that anybody can potentially see everything you post online and once out there it stays FOREVER !

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How To Increase Your Likability By Guy Kawasaki: Enchantment Infographic


Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions is Guy’s tenth book. In it, he explains how to influence what people will do while maintaining the highest standards of ethics. The book explains when and why enchantment is necessary and then the pillars of enchantment:  LikabilityTrustworthiness, Great Cause.

Enchantment - Increase Likability
If you want to change the world — or even part of the world, this book is for you. To interact with the Enchantment community, go to the Enchantment Facebook page

Source: http://www.guykawasaki.com/enchantment/

Invent Your Future Job: Be Unique, Be Social, Be Global


The fast-paced changes of our societies have affected all industries and is changing the nature of work for the next 10 to 15 years. There are three major challenges for the workforce of the future increasing pressures on organizations to become innovation centered, highly productive and a magnet for global talent :

1-Shifting demographic patterns: Over the next 10 years, the world population is expected to rise from the current 6.83 billion to approximately 7.7 billion, with most of the growth in emerging markets generating  high economic growth. We already see an aging and declining population in developed countries with slow economic growth.  U.S. and European businesses are dealing with the challenges of a multi-generational workforce with three distinct generations Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. Employers will need to develop highly individualized solutions to accommodate the career needs of each generation. We will not see long careers of 10 or more years in one company but maybe 6 years with either functional or geographic changes every 2 years. The youngest  generation  will probably have 15 to 20 jobs during their career and multiple jobs at the same time because that is what they want to do.

2-Rapid technology changes: From nanotechnologies to neuroscience discoveries, many new technologies will be developed and globalization will continue to drive the utilization of advanced mobile technologies reshaping the workforce with increased telecommuting,  virtual  teams and overall more work flexibility.

3-Economic globalization  In our information overloaded global work environment, knowledge is not a competitive advantage anymore as it goes out of date extremely fast and anybody on earth with an internet connection has access to it in real-time. The critical skills to be successful in the new working environment are vision and  foresight.to anticipate or respond to change very quickly, make wise decisions and take action now to create a better future.

More than a year ago,  I had the chance to listen to Seth Godin “live” in a promotional event in Antwerp about the launch of his book “Linchpin”. I collected about 10 very interesting new ideas from his speech that I posted on a blog : “TOP 10 Seth Godin’s Quotes Made in Antwerp, Belgium. April 1, 2010”

Seth Godin is the bestselling author of more than seven books. He writes about marketing, the spread of ideas and managing both customers and employees with respect. His idea about our current economy is that the current recession is a “forever recession” because it’s the end of the industrial age, which also means The end of the average worker (Read more : article )

Nobody will ever be the only one on the market AND people have an infinite ways to access information. Humans evolved from Hunters, Farmers, Workers and now they have to be Artists-Seth Godin

HOW DO YOU BECOME UNIQUE  ?

1-You don’t need to become somebody you are not. Your uniqueness has to be authentic, you need to know who you really are, what is your dominant character, talent, personality, skills, strengths, what motivates you, what’s your passions in life ? How is your  business acumen and leadership style ? Can you summarize all those information in a compelling story for potential employers or clients?

2-You need to remove blocks that prevent you to excel at being truly you: fears, unmet needs, negative self-talk, lack of training and anything that is holding you back.

3-You need a vision, a purpose and a road map: No matter how old you are, how life has treated you in the past, how much money you have or how many debts, you need to give permission to yourself to have dreams, explore your possibilities and identify your options. We all have choices but we need to use our imagination to see them. You need to let your right brain expresses emotional intelligence and free the artist in you. Once you know where you want to be, then put your strategic thinking at work to identify your goals strategy and action plan to get you there.

BE SOCIAL, BE GLOBAL !

You can’t stop globalization even if you close borders and build walls made with bricks and mortars ! The internet, and social media make the world smaller and smaller everyday. Maybe your company is based in the U.S. but  vendors might be in India, and customers in more than 40 countries. That’s why multinational companies need employees able to think globally but communicate locally with cultural sensitivity. I like to use the term “glocalization” to instill the idea that global products and services need to be designed in the early stages of research and development with cultural sensitivity too.

You cannot claim to be a global leader if you have visited many countries as a tourist. It is like learning swimming in a book, you need to get into the water and get wet .

If you are still in college, learn key languages maybe Mandarin, Spanish, Brazilian or Russian will be a good choice in today’s economy. Find an internship or a job abroad for minimum one year.

If you are already a manager employed in a multinational companies, become the first on the list to be picked-up for an international assignment by participating in global projects and working with multicultural teams.

Learning a new language should not depends on age, you don’t need to be fluent but it is important to understand how a language is structured to get some clues about cultural values and unspoken social rules or business etiquette. You can learn about the fundamental cultural dimensions from colleagues or local intercultural clubs and of course online through many specific forums and social media.

Continued learning in a large variety of topics every day will become mandatory.

Where do you see careers heading in 2012 and beyond ?

 Have you invented your future yet ?

Related articles:

Is You Accent Ruining Your Career ?


An accent is a way of pronouncing a language in a certain group of people.. It is therefore impossible to speak without an accent. The influence of your accent on your career is not as important as it used to be before the era of globalization and internet where billions of people speak English as a non-native language. But do accents still matter? Absolutely, especially if it is interfering with you capability to communicate well with customers, peers or your boss.  Even a subtle accent can misrepresent you, and possibly even hurt your chances of getting hired.

TV , the internet and movies create stereotypes for both foreign and regional accents. There are many American accents, each with its own distinct stereotypes. Certain American accents carry the stereotypes of being “uneducated” or not suitable for a customer services or sales job. Some studies have shown that a south-east accent is the best one to get ahead in finance for example. Most people have negative attitudes toward Individuals with non-standard accents. Researchers consistently show that people with nonnative or foreign accents are judged as less intelligent, less competent and less educated.

In almost any business, it is an advantage to be a clear communicator, it doesn’t mean that you have to change your accent as long as people can listen to you effortlessly. Some result of experiments published in the “Scientific American” Journal demonstrated that accent might reduce the credibility of non-native job seekers, court eyewitnesses, or college instructors for reasons that have nothing to do with xenophobia per se but instead related to “cognitive fluency” that means the brain preference for easy way to process information.

For people working in England for example:

Top 5 accents most likely to help your career:
1. Cambridge
2. Essex
3. Irish
4. London
5. Newcastle

Top 5 accents most likely to hinder your career
1. Glasgow
2. Birmingham
3. Manchester
4. Middlesbrough
5. London

For Foreigners living in North America certain accents are more “sexy” than others. In a new research study conducted jointly by the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Psychology at Stanford University, three thousand American men and women ranging in age from 18 to 54 were monitored to detect the attractiveness of different foreign accents. Here the results:

FOR MEN

  1. Italian
  2. French
  3. Spanish
  4. Southern
  5. Greek

FOR WOMEN

  1. Italian
  2. Spanish
  3. French
  4. Greek
  5. Irish

The impact of an accent is subjective, it depends on the context but you must be careful to express empathy with the person you talk to. For a job interview, you have to pay extra attention to your pronunciation the same way you should do about your body language and your clothes. In a previous article I spoke about the different meanings of colors in different cultures .The Power of Color In Doing Business Across Cultures, In another one I give some example of Facial Expressions Of Emotion Across Cultures  on how mimicking facial expressions helps you better communicate.

If people ask you too often to repeat what you are saying it might be a good idea to try to acquire the local pronunciation to be better understood. However accent is only one aspect of intercultural communication and its negative impact can be compensated by learning cultural traits and non-verbal gestures,

Here some tips for foreign people living in America to improve their communication skills in English without spending a fortune in accent reduction programs:

  1.  Self-training by listening to recorded materials or podcasts
  2. Listen to local radio and watch local news on TV
  3. Join your local toastmaster group (usually the meetings are free) http://www.toastmasters.org/
  4. Find networking groups with people sharing you interests (you can check Meetup groups for example)

Related resources:


What Skills To Look For Hiring Global Executives ?


The most difficult challenge for an expat executive like a country general manager is to be able to find congruence between various opposite interests in a highly complex environment (see picture above).

The expat executive must be able to deal with local issues such  as specific regulations and laws then explain clearly the specificity of local markets and “sell” his decisions vertically and horizontally. Be able to dismantle silos in a matrix-type organization, managing up with board members, making internal alliances with peers and encouraging bottom up initiatives from multicultural cross-functional teams.

As an expat and multicultural team leader who lived and worked for 20 years in more than 10 countries for various industries and different management functions, I have seen many successful expat executives sharing same characteristics that for me are key skills to look for when considering sending people to international assignments or hiring locals at senior management level :

1- Attitude: Look for people who are leading by influence, able to federate people across cultures, able to lead trans-functional and virtual teams worldwide. Suitable personalities have high EQ and are pragmatic, open, curious, learners, risk-takers, negotiators, diplomats.

2-Cultural Intelligence: Knowledge about local customs,cultural traits,norms,social and business etiquette. Basic “survival” language skill is enough in most cases as business is often conducted in English. Don’t make the mistake to hire a local manager because he can speak English, check his leadership and technical skills.

3-Mentoring and Coaching Skills Usually an expat is sent from the HQs to share some technical knowledge or implement global processes such as performance evaluation. In each case make sure the person is  able to “glocalize”  or adapt locally  the company’s global vision, mission, values and principles, One very good example of “glocalization” of corporate culture is Starbucks

The challenge for global companies is to be able to have the right process to assess people globally both for internal succession planning, talent management or hiring new managers. Three components should be considered:

  1. Technical skills: operations, finance, markets, regulations, innovation, HR etc.
  2.  Leadership style: Top-down, bottom-up, influence, networking, lobbying, foster creativity
  3. Cultural intelligence: Group or individualistic cultures, knowledge of cultural dimensions, able to create a third culture team
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