This blog is a continuation of Rebuilding Your “Core”: Part One.
As a continuation from Rebuilding Your “Core” Part I, we’re bringing… Part II! To all new and current alumni, don’t forget your core competencies. We’re sure you have plenty of experiences, and stories of your own to reflect on as you search for jobs. Take a look at these examples!
As our Summer Tuesday Tips series wraps up, we wish you all a wonderful fall of good networking, professional branding, and moving onward in your careers.
Ralph had heard several times about getting objective feedback from people that he trusted. Each time he tried desperately not to give his signature eye roll, especially from his friends who were always obnoxious cheerleaders and trying to keep him pumped for something new. He was already so busy though, and juggling so much, this was just one other thing on his plate that seemed overwhelming. It wasn’t until he learned about a few openings in his company that he was starting to wonder if he needed some insights from friends and former colleagues about his strengths. He loved to work, get his hands dirty, and just be in the moment. But talk about it? He felt lost. The following week he emailed a few buddies, two fellow interns from when he was in college, and three from his last job, and decided to get serious and ask a few questions. He asked:
- What am I like to work with?
- What would you say I’m good at?
- What areas do you think I should improve on?
- If you were going to hire me for a job, what would it be?
The answers surprised him. Aside from getting a better sense of how others viewed him, it gave him a good nudge in the right direction after reading things like:
- “Rough around the edges, but always direct and supportive.”
- “I could always go to you to help solve problems”
- “Annoyingly five minutes early to every meeting. Kept me on my toes.”
- “You’re honest. It’s not always easy to hear, but you give great feedback and strive to make the work better.”
- “You appreciate other people. I liked being on your team.”
It was through the helpful feedback that Ralph had a good sense (and would continue!) of his professionalism and work style.
This meeting wasn’t going anywhere. Kay, being pretty introverted for the most part, was torn between speaking up or just keeping to herself. It was of course easier to stay quiet, but after months of getting ready to brainstorm for a fundraising event with her team, the silence was unbearable. She knew folks had had a long day, but her colleague Rachel was so good at coming up with ideas, while Craig was incredible with visuals. She opened up her laptop and said to the group “I know we’re tired, but hey, we’re a great team and I know we can come up with something. I’m going to start typing out a few things, and just shout to me any idea you have, no matter how stupid it sounds. We got this!” At first she felt weird saying it but she knew it was true, and she felt the most comfortable writing anyway. It took a few minutes, but she was so eager (and if she was being honest, really excited about raising money for kids to get access to college) that it seemed to be rubbing off on a few people. It made her feel good, and realize that she didn’t have to be walking around telling people what to do all day to take the lead on something.
Keith noticed how swamped Diane was. It was almost painful to watch, considering he had a fairly light workload and knew that while a few others in the office were busy, Diane was overwhelmed with paperwork and way too many customer emails. He decided to pull a few people aside, based on who was best with written communication, and of course, their organizational queen, and their other team member, Scott, who could just look at what needed the most attention. Needless to say, Diane was incredibly grateful for the help and at the risk of sounding corny, everyone in the office started shouting “Teamwork makes the dreamwork!!” Yeah, they were being silly but it was true.
Being in the same room with a student was what she knew. As a new speech pathologist, this was how she had learned. Then Covid-19 hit. Within just a few weeks, what was starting off as a great year turned into Renee having to learn how to provide services online through video. Never could she have imagined that she would be talking with friends and fellow graduate interns about everything from Zoom to telehealth platforms, while preparing for a future clinical fellowship. Ultimately, all stress and uncertainty aside, Renee had a helluva lot more technical skills to add to her resume, and felt prepared to learn whatever new skills were required for the future.