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A Valentine from HR: Love the One You’re With

There are times as a consultant when I end up spending a good part of my day in a car driving to meetings. I’ve always enjoyed the radio on road trips and in recent years I seem to spend a lot of time listening to Sirius stations like 70s on 7, Classic Vinyl and The Bridge. Perhaps this dates me (although note that I listen to other “modern” stations too). I just like music.

Without question, I’m a sucker for a good turn of phrase in a lyric. I think that is why I like classic rock so much.

Recently I’ve heard the song Love the One You’re With by Stephen Stills a lot. It is one of those songs that goes in and out of high rotation. I have listened to this song many, many times throughout the years but I’m always looking for something to base a blog message on and this resonated, especially for Valentine’s Day.

Stills’s message in the song is about being happy.

We all have ideals about who the perfect person is for us.

Maybe there are circumstances that prevent that person from being with you. Perhaps you are separated by city, by job, by religion, by politics, by prison, by all sorts of reasons.

Stills suggests that you can still find good alternatives.  He sings,

 

“And if you can’t be with the one you love honey

Love the one you’re with”

 

 

So let me tap into my inner flower child today to give you this word of career advice. Love the one you’re with.

Many employers are spending a small fortune on brand image, expensive benefits and excitement creation to get the absolute best and brightest to work for them. It seems everyone wants to work for Google or Apple or . . . (insert latest name here).

The reality is that only a limited number of people will experience that kind of employer love.

A great many of us are surrounded by decent employers with normal benefits and normal policies and practices. They lack sizzle but have substance. They’re like the person who you know and like but wouldn’t think of entering into a romantic relationship with.

There’s an operative word in the job hunting world today and that is choose.  We’ve put the prospective employee, especially one with good prospects squarely in control to choose. We’ve allowed them to be ever so choosy, to the point of having an entire population of people choosing to be out of the job market waiting for the perfect employer to create the signal that they’ve been chosen.

Do we really need to soar in the clouds to be happy?  As the lyrics go,

“There’s a girl sitting next to you, and she’s just waiting for something to do”

My advice, let’s all stop focusing on the commodities of employment. There’s a lot of good employers out there. You’re probably at one or if you stopped and worked at it a little, have some ability to make it a good employer.  Stop feeling surly because you’re not working for the “it” company.

Essentially, love the one you’re with. It is up to you to make it better.

Fitbit is the new Facebook

I am kind of obsessed with New Year’s Resolutions.

I’ve been making them since I was about eight years old.

I’ve written many blog posts about the value and experience of them.

For Christmas this year, my husband gave me a Fitbit.

I didn’t really want a Fitbit, but my husband is great at convincing me to try new things. After all, my 2016 resolution involves walking the Bruce Trail end-to-end. Being able to track steps and speed is helpful.

But for a few days that Fitbit stayed in its box.

This might surprise you but I have this thing about sharing some personal information. Fitbit is not something you can wear and stay entirely private.

Sure, I can show you a dish from a favourite restaurant or the leaves falling from the trees on one of my walks. I run a Facebook page called The Daily Dude (http://facebook.com/marsthedailydude) and I post a picture of my dog there every day. I’m active in #nostalgiachat on Twitter.

But, I don’t want you to know my age, height, weight, location of scars or birthmarks, and most specifically health information.

So I didn’t think I wanted others to know how many steps I take or stairs I climb or my heart rate. Nor did I think anyone cared about these things.

But there it is. That Fitbit. It creates an environment that encourages you to share that staff. Cheering you on. Offering you badges. Letting you share your status with others. Giving you a way to cheer or taunt your friends. Giving you things to talk about.

I had been wearing it less than a day and had several connection requests.

Fitbit is the new Facebook.

But it is worse because there’s so much personal information that can be shared.

Or is it? Am I walking more? Yes. Am I comparing my steps to others? Yes. Am I understanding the differences in my own exercise behaviour as compared to others? Yes.

Last week, my cousin, a nurse, asked me to participate in a weekday walking challenge. Of course, she completes more steps than I do on a daily basis, because her occupation puts her in motion all day. I declined the challenge but now I am asking myself what I would need to do as a person in HR to be able to compete with a nurse. Do I need to seek out projects that involve trips to the back of client facilities? Do I need to walk farther at lunch?

Not so long ago I started focusing on Facebook over Twitter or LinkedIn. I’ve long said that you can’t live your life on social media and one of the ways to manage your time is to focus. Maybe Fitbit is just another fad but now I am thinking about its value in social media.

What do you think of that?

3 Great Ways to Market Yourself to Potential Employers

Today’s approach to the job search is changing. Having a resume is just the beginning of marketing yourself to potential employers. The job market is highly competitive and candidates need to know how to market themselves to potential employers.

Marketing to potential employers is about understanding the needs of specific companies and positioning yourself, your skills and experiences, to fit those specific requirements. It is important that candidates understand what makes you unique and how to communicate that to employers.

Here are 3 great ways to market yourself to potential employers:

  1. Know your target audience– Familiarize yourself with the companies you are applying to. Do as much research as possible to help identify the skills, personality traits and experiences they are looking for. Use the job description as a starting point to understand their needs and try to work out how you will fit into the organization.
  2. Network in your community– Start connecting with hiring managers and recruiters in your community and field of interest. Attend events and seminars and introduce yourself to key people at the organizations you are interested in. Building these connections will help you access the hidden job market and build relationships with business owners and hiring managers in your industry.
  3. Leverage Social Media- Social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter now give you direct, accessible channels of communication through which you can connect with hiring managers and recruiters and market yourself to prospective employers. Just be sure your personal brand is consistent and professional across all sites.

Marketing yourself is becoming more important in today’s competitive job market. To successfully market yourself, remember to understand the needs of companies you are interested in, and align your personal marketing brand with the demands of prospective employers.

Zahra Sherzay is a Recruitment Partner with Lucas Professional Search Group.