Tory Johnson 2017-06-19 09:36:23
CAREER ADVICE GROUNDED IN REALITY Whether you are a new grad seeking your first job or an experienced worker looking at new opportunities, the following advice from career expert Tory Johnson can help you "go confidently" and realistically in the direction of your career dreams. WHAT ARE THE THREE MAIN QUALITIES YOU LOOK FOR IN A FUTURE EMPLOYEE? Confidence, curiosity, common sense – these qualities matter much more than where you went to school and your previous experience. HOW CAN AN INTERVIEWEE STAND OUT IN A POSITIVE WAY DURING AN INTERVIEW? Bring ideas and insights that reveal your preparation for THIS interview. Don't rehash your resume; we've already read it. Be ready to dive deep into why this job and why you. Use your research and preparation to show how you'd be able to add value on Day One. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS STILL SEARCHING FOR HER "DREAM" JOB? Get to work. Sometimes our "dream" job is a fantasy that doesn't exist. Sometimes we imagine something that doesn't mesh with reality. I feel like I'm in my dream job right now, but I could never have crafted this job description and searched for it. It evolved because I have surrounded myself with good people, and I've remained curious. Don't hold out for something for so long at the expense of a significant gap in work history. HOW CAN SOMEONE FILTER THROUGH VARIOUS OPPORTUNITIES TO FIND JOBS THAT MEET HER INTERESTS AND REQUIREMENTS? Sometimes we take a job for the money – and that's perfectly acceptable. Other times we are focused on career development and enhancement. Focus on making a list of the industries, functions, companies and places that appeal to you. Where can you add value and learn more at the same time? What will allow you to shine and be challenged? Is there a particular skill or experience that is missing on your path to something bigger? Use these filters as you dig into finding the right fit. IN WHAT WAYS HAS THE WORKPLACE CHANGED FOR WOMEN SINCE YOU FIRST BEGAN YOUR CAREER? We used to talk all about helping women feel empowered and about giving women permission to speak up. That now feels so antiquated. Women have enormous power – use it. Don't wait for permission; it's already been granted. Go do what you want! IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE WOMEN FACE IN THE WORKPLACE? Our own negative self-talk [is the greatest challenge]. We talk ourselves out of opportunities before we even go for them. We listen to that inner voice that says, "Ugh, you might sound stupid, so don't speak up." We fear "rocking the boat" so we don't ask for a raise or a promotion. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE ON HOW WOMEN CAN OVERCOME THIS CHALLENGE? Speak up. Use your voice. Show up. Have a voice at the table. Ask. Offer. Don't wait. It doesn't matter if it makes you nervous or feels uncomfortable. Do it anyway. Waiting for the oh-so-perfect moment means you'll always find excuses to get out of doing what it takes to succeed on your terms. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST LESSON AS AN EXECUTIVE? Hiring is hard. I've sometimes tried to change employees, assuming I could make them think or behave like I did at their age or like I wanted or needed them to. That was always a useless waste of time that ended badly. I made too many hiring mistakes. Now I invest more time in the interview process, and I see people as they are, not how I wish they might be. I can teach a zillion things – and I do so happily with my teams – but if there's nothing to indicate that someone is curious and confident, that won't change, and it's a deal breaker. HOW CAN WOMEN CREATE A SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR ONE ANOTHER INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE OFFICE? Have lunch and coffee with colleagues instead of sitting alone at your desk. Talk openly about your career with other professionals in your industry. Don't assume that support can only come from other women; men can be great advocates for you, too. And don't assume support can only come from one person who agrees to serve as your mentor. We often expect one person to be the end-all be-all for us, and it's an unrealistic expectation. WHAT ROLE DOES CONFIDENCE PLAY IN JOB SUCCESS? BIG, BIG, BIG: Nobody wants to hire an insecure person for a great job. HOW CAN WOMEN BUILD THEIR SELF-CON FI DENCE? Recognize and own your strengths. What are you really good at? Where have you excelled? Own these skills and accomplishments. Claim them and be willing to share them. Not just what you've done, but how well you've done it. WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL THE MOST CON FI DENT WHILE AT WORK? Knowing that I'm very good at what I do. I'm not faking it; I'm not phoning it in. I give my all, and the results I deliver are strong. HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS? To me, now in my 40s, professional success means being able to do exactly what I love every day, making a healthy income doing it, and being able to have a positive impact on other people through the work I do. I used to think it meant achieving a certain title or a certain salary. Now I know it's about the work, the money, the impact – all rolled up together. Personally, there's no greater success than raising twins who are spectacular people – Emma, a junior and Eta Phi Chapter member at Boston University, and Jake, a junior at Tufts University. As an entrepreneur, Tory Johnson has helped women take charge of their lives personally and professionally. In 1999, she launched Women for Hire and the first-ever career expos for women. Forbes cites WomenForHire.com as one of the top 100 websites for women, and eCollegeFinder named Tory's blog the Best Career Advice Blog in 2015. She appears every week on ABC's Good Morning America, where she leads the popular "Deals & Steals" segment. Tory also is the author of the New York Times bestseller THE SHIFT: How I Finally Lost Weight & Discovered a Happier Life. A frequent speaker to audiences nationwide on the issue of tackling difficult changes to get what you want, Tory spoke at KD's 2007 National Convention and became one of the Confidence Coalition's first partners. Connect with her at ToryJohnson.com or @ToryJohnson on Twitter.
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