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There Are Only Four Jobs in the World World - Are You in the Right One?

Posted By APSO, 04 June 2014
Updated: 16 May 2014

There Are Only Four Jobs in the Whole World – Are You in the Right One?
By: Lou Adler



For the past 30 years my company has been involved in creating over 2,500 different performance-based job descriptions that define the actual work a person needs to do to be considered successful. Based on preparing these performance-based job descriptions for jobs like camp counsellors at the YMCA, accountants and engineers, from staff to VPs, mid- and senior-level executives in industries ranging from automotive and aerospace to construction and consumer products, I can conclude that there are only four different jobs in the whole world.


Everything starts with an idea. This is the first of the four jobs – the Thinkers. Builders convert these ideas into reality. This the second job. Improvers make this reality better. This is the third job. Producers do the work over and over again, delivering quality goods and services to the company’s customers in a repeatable manner. This is the fourth job. And then the process begins again with new ideas and new ways of doing business being developed as the old ones become stale.


As a company grows and reaches maturity, more of the work gets done by the Producers and Improvers. However, without a culture of consistent improvement, the Producers soon take over and implementing change becomes slower and slower until it stops. Long before this the Thinkers and Builders have left for some new venture. Improvers soon follow to join their former co-workers and hire new Producers to add some order to the newly created chaos. The old Producers who aren’t continually evolving, learning new skills and processes, are left behind to fend for themselves. Maintaining balance across all four work types is a constant, but necessary, struggle for a company to continue to grow, adapt, and survive.

Every job has a mix of all four work types depending on the actual work involved, the scope and scale of the role, and the company’s growth rate. To ensure balance and flexibility, all four work types should be taken into account when preparing any new performance-based job description. Here’s how:


Producers: these people execute or maintain a repeatable process. This can range from simple things like working on an inbound help desk and handling some transactional process, to something more complex, like auditing the performance of a big system, writing code, or producing the monthly financial reports. Producers typically require training or advanced skills to be in a position to execute the process. To determine the appropriate Producer performance objectives, ask the hiring manager to define how any required skill is used on the job and how its success would be measured, e.g., “contact 15 new customers per week and have five agree to an onsite demonstration.“ This is a lot better than saying “the person must have 3-5 years of sales experience selling to sophisticated buyers of electro-mechanical control valves.”


Improvers: these people upgrade, change or make a repeatable process better. Managers are generally required to continually monitor and improve a process under their responsibility. Building, training and developing the team to implement a process is part of an Improver’s role. Improvers can be individual contributors or managers of teams and projects; the key is the focus on improving an existing system, business or process. A performance objective for an Improver could be “conduct a comprehensive process review of the wafer fabrication process to determine what it would take to improve end-to-end yield by 10%.”


Builders: these people take an idea from scratch and convert it into something tangible. This could be creating a new business, designing a complex new product, or developing a new process. Entrepreneurs, inventors, turn-around executives, those in R&D, and project managers are typical jobs that emphasise the Builder component. Ask the hiring manager what big changes, new developments, big problems or major projects the person in the new job would need to address to determine the Builder component. An example might be, “lead the implementation of the new SAP supply change system over every business unit including international.” This is a lot better than saying “must have five years international logistics background and strong expertise in SAP."


Thinkers: these people are the visionaries, strategists, intellects, and creators of the world, and every new idea starts with them. Their work covers new products, new business ideas, and different ways of doing everyday things. Ask hiring managers where the job requires thinking out-of-the-box or major problems to solve to develop the Thinker performance objectives. “Develop a totally new approach for reducing water usage by 50%,” is a lot better than saying “Must have 5-10 years of environmental engineering background including 3-5 years of wastewater management with a knack for creative solutions."

Recognise that every job requires some mix of each work type. As you select people for new roles it’s important to understand the full requirements of the position, who else is on the team, and the primary objective of the department, group or company. In the rush to get work done, it’s easy to lose sight of this bigger picture, emphasising skills and experience over performance. This is how Builders get hired instead of Improvers and Thinkers get hired when Producers are required. While there are only four work types, hiring the wrong one is often how the wrong work gets done.


Lou Adler (@LouA) is the Amazon best-selling author of Hire With Your Head (Wiley, 2007) and the award-winning Nightingale-Conant audio programme, Talent Rules! His latest book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired, is now available on Amazon

 

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  builder  four jobs  improver  job descriptions  jobs  producer  successful candidates  thinker 

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The Importance of Work Experience

Posted By APSO, 28 May 2014
Updated: 16 May 2014
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The 10 Ways to Know Whether Your Job Is Meaningful

Posted By APSO, 21 May 2014
Updated: 16 May 2014

THE 10 WAYS TO KNOW WHETHER YOUR JOB IS MEANINGFUL

 

Professor Lynda Gratton, first published on her blog "Future of Work” in Nov 2012



In my book The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here, I made the point that the formula for the traditional deal at work is as follows:

I work... to earn money... which I use... to consume stuff... which makes me happy.

I suggested that this deal is not a sufficient description of what work can and should be. Instead I put forward the following future-focused deal at work:

I work... to gain productive experiences... that are the basis... of my happiness.

But this begs the question – what exactly is a meaningful productive experience, and how do you know when your work is meaningful? So here are the 10 questions to ask yourself to establish whether your work is meaningful.

  1. Do you use the majority of the knowledge you have on a daily basis?
    ...because meaningful work provides an opportunity for you to keep your knowledge fresh by using it constantly.
  2. Do you feel intellectually stretched in your work?
    ...because meaningful work both uses the knowledge you have and pushes the boundaries of what you can become.
  3. Are you able to learn something new at least once a week?
    ...because meaningful work creates constant opportunity for learning.
  4. In your view are your colleagues at work knowledgeable and do you learn from them constantly?
    ...because meaningful work is also about the colleagues who come with it, and your learning and development comes primarily through learning from others: what I have called ‘The Posse’.
  5. Are the tasks you do at work interesting and complex?
    ...because at the heart of meaningful work are the day-to-day tasks that you do.
  6. Do you get lots of feedback about how you are doing?
    ...because meaningful work enables you to grow, and feedback from others is a crucial part of this.
  7. Do you think that the work you do has a positive impact on the business?
    ...because meaningful work enables you to make a clear link in your mind between the tasks you perform and the broader goals of the business.
  8. Do you think that the work you do has a positive impact on society?
    ...because meaningful work is made up of tasks that you believe do good and, as a consequence, make you feel good about yourself.
  9. In your daily work, do you have the opportunity to reach out to develop networks with people very different from yourself?
    ...because meaningful work creates opportunities for you to develop the ‘Big Ideas Crowd’ that is so crucial to developing your innovative and creative capacity.
  10. Does your work give you time to really develop deep regenerative relationships with people inside and outside of your organisation?
    ...because meaningful work creates time and space for you to develop emotionally.

So where are you on meaningful work?

Score 8-10
Through your active choices, or sheer luck, you are working in a meaningful way. Cherish the opportunities this provides and don’t compromise in the future.

Score 5-7
Some aspects of your work are meaningful. Take a closer look at those you have said no to and search for the underlying patterns. Is it possible to focus on developing these areas?

Score 1-4
Your job lacks meaning – you already know that! The question is – what are you going to do about it?

This is my take on meaning at work – are there any areas you would add?

 

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  creativity  development  feedback  grow  i love my job  innovation  intellectually stretched  knowledge  meaningful job  opportunity  opportunity to learn  positive impact 

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What Employers Want

Posted By APSO, 15 May 2014

What employers want.



Top 5 candidate personality traits

 

Recruiters are all too familiar with the intangible characteristics that employers seek and that are often difficult to quantify and ascertain during the recruitment process, especially as these rarely form part of the assignment brief.

 

A recent study, conducted by Swedish employer branding firm, Universum, has highlighted the top five traits sought by today's leading employers. The annual global survey draws on responses from more than 400 000 professionals and students as well as over 1200 employers in determining the latest trends.

 

"88% of employers are looking for "cultural fit" in hiring their next employee, especially as they struggle to cope with high attrition rates associated with skills shortages and Gen Y attitudes to employment."

 

The survey asked employers what they are looking for in employees, and what they're struggling to find in the job market. The key insight was that employers are grappling to come to terms with hiring individuals who will be with the company long-term and finding a "fit" between the company's organisational culture and the inherent traits of the candidates is deemed paramount.

 

Professionalism, high energy and confidence are the top three traits employers say they are looking for in new hires. These are also the most crucial for candidates to be aware of as recruiters and hiring managers make an assessment of these traits within 30 seconds of meeting the individual.

 

"A manager can read you the moment you walk in the door," says Executive Search consultant Kathy Harris, "from the clothes you wear to the way you stand to the grip of your handshake, presenting yourself as a confident, energetic professional is about as basic as career advice gets." Despite this, even seasoned senior professionals get tripped up and its therefore unsurprising that the employers surveyed ranked confidence as the skill that most candidates are missing.

 

"We remind every candidate of the most granular advice," says Kathy. "The most successful applicant is the one who walks into the interview with his hand outstretched for a firm handshake, who has done his homework on the company and the role, and who is dressed to fit effortlessly into the culture of the workplace."

 

The other traits listed by employers in the survey are not so easily determined. Self-monitoring ranked highly and makes sense in a workplace environment where working effectively independently is as important as being a contributing team member. Assessment of this trait is best managed through behavioural interviewing techniques where candidates are asked to provide examples of their own self leadership.

 

The final trait, intellectual curiosity may on the face of it appear strange, but speaks to employers' desire for employees who are able to solve problems and who want to keep learning; an essential skill in today's rapidly changing environment.

 

Considering these traits, how does your candidate assessment process hold up? Can you ascertain how your candidates rank in terms of these five employment -critical skills, and can you clearly articulate this to your clients when presenting your shortlist?

 

Tags:  APSO  APSOgrame  confidence  cultural trait  culture  curiosity  employers want  energy  intellect  personality  professionalism  self-monitoring  traits  want 

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PROfusion Magazine - Complimentary copy of Feb/Mar 2014 edition

Posted By APSO, 20 February 2014

APSO is a proud partner of PROfusion and provides content for the job/work section of this bi-monthly digital magazine aimed at 18 - 30 year olds.
The jobs section appears on pages 26 - 30

Please click here  or on the magazine image below if you'd like to access your complimentary copy.

 

 

Tags:  culture  hobbies  jobs  lifestyle  news  socialising  sport  travel 

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CV errors that drive recruiters crazy!

Posted By APSO, 12 February 2014
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Dress for Success

Posted By APSO, 12 February 2014
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Finding a "job" is a job [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted By APSO, 03 February 2014
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Finding a job is a job. 10 steps to success

Posted By Natalie Singer, 06 June 2013


You’ve completed your schooling but aren’t able to enter tertiary education, either due to lack of suitable qualification or financial challenges. What do you do now?


For many South Africans who leave high school, the only option open to them is to go out and find a job. But, considering the very high unemployment statistics and the current recession, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Like most things in life, finding a job needs to be something that you take seriously, that you prepare for and work on diligently until you succeed.


Life doesn’t always work out perfectly but preparing yourself for the process of finding a job will definitely improve your chances of succeeding. Follow these 10 steps to success.


Step 1: Have the right attitude

Your attitude will play a big part in your quest to find a job. Remember that you need to stay focused and be positive. It’s said that positivity is the first step to success. You need to believe in yourself and ensure that you come across as motivated, positive and realistic when dealing with potential employers. We all have dreams and whilst we might all want to become the next Tokyo Sexwale, we need to remember that we have to start at the bottom and work our way up. We need to be realistic about our current abilities, skills and experience.


Don’t turn down a job because you don’t think it meets your ambitions. Some of the most successful people in the world started their careers in entry-level jobs. Richard Branson worked in a record store because he never finished his schooling but he never believed them when they said that "he’d never amount to anything”.


Don’t discount the value of volunteer work. Whilst you might not be earning any money, you will be earning experience and this will definitely assist you in securing a paying job later. I studied to be a journalist and because I didn’t go to a technikon, I was at a disadvantage when it came to working experience. I decided to approach Independent Newspapers for a job. They told me that they weren’t hiring but when I explained that I just wanted to work there and didn’t expect to be paid, they took me on straight away – which business wouldn’t want an extra pair of hands, especially if it doesn’t cost them anything? Within a few months I was able to apply for a position as a sub-editor at a magazine and I only got this paying job because of my experience at the newspaper.


Step 2: Prepare your CV


Your CV is your marketing tool and is often the only thing a potential employer will see before considering you for a job. It is very important that your CV is an accurate reflection of your qualification and experience and that it is free from errors. Your CV should include all important information about you including Personal Details, Qualification, Experience and a Reference. If you don’t have a work reference available, ask your Headmaster, Pastor or someone else of importance within your community. Remember that they need to be able to give a character reference and so need to know you well.


Your CV should always be typed. You may need to ask someone for assistance – visit your local Internet café or even your library where you will be able to make use of a computer. Things to consider when creating your CV:

  • Make sure that you’ve done a spell check and that there are no spelling mistakes
  • Make sure that the CV is neatly laid out and that all information is included in the correct place
  • Make sure that your contact numbers are very clear on the CV so that a potential employer can quickly get hold of you if they’re interested in calling you in for an interview
  • Try and keep the CV as short and sweet as possible – 2 pages maximum
  • Make sure that your CV is up-to-date. Correct info including contact details and add any work experience as you get it.
  • Because many companies require you to email your CV to them, as opposed to faxing it, you should set up an email address. There are many free email addresses to choose from – hotmail, Gmail and others.

Step 3: Get your CV in as many places as possible


Looking for a job is hard work and will require that you spend time researching vacancies and opportunities. I suggest that you get your CV on the many job portals that exist because this means that your CV will be accessible to many hundreds of recruitment companies and potential employers. These websites are free and you can simply upload your CV onto the sites – most of them have simple templates where you capture your information. Visit your local Internet café, Department of Labour Centre or library with Internet access. Go to any of the following job sites:

You should also keep an eye out for the job sections of your local newspaper where jobs will be advertised by recruitment agencies or potential employers. Remember that whilst you are trying to get your CV in as many places as possible, you should only apply for jobs for which you are suitably qualified or experienced.


Visit your local Department of Labour Centre where you can register as a work seeker. They will be able to keep you informed of any job opportunities, temporary or permanent, in your area. Some of the Labour Centre’s also offer job counseling and career guidance so make sure you register for these workshops if they’re available in your area.


Step 4: Dress for the job you want, not the one you have (or don’t have)


It is very important that you behave appropriately throughout your job search process. This means that you need to ensure that not only during interviews, but all the time, you act the way you would if you were around your potential boss. This doesn’t just mean the clothes that you wear but also how you engage with people on the phone.


Remember that when you’re looking for a job you should ensure that you always answer your phone professionally and not how you’d speak to your friends or family. Also make sure that you have voicemail facilities set up on your phone and that the message is professional. The message should clearly identify your name and surname so that a potential employer can be sure they’re dealing with you and can leave a message for you to contact them back. Remove any ringtones, voicemails or other cell functions that could be offensive or put off a potential employer from contacting you again.


First impressions last so be sure to give a good one at all times! If you are invited to attend an interview, make sure that you’re dressed appropriately. You must ensure that your clothes are suitable for the job you’re applying for. Rather opt for conservative clothing – trousers and a collared shirt for men and trousers/skirt and a nice blouse for women. Don’t wear anything that could be seen to be too revealing or in poor condition. You and your clothes should be clean and neat. Make sure that you fix any hems, buttons or other problems if there are any.


Shower, wash your hair, brush your teeth and put on deodorant before going to the interview. You need to look your best to impress. Looking good also helps you to feel more confident and this is always a plus when you go into an interview.


Step 5: Manage your time and always be punctual


Potential employers will be looking at everything about you during the recruitment process. They will specifically look to see if you’re reliable and able to manage your time efficiently. This means that you must ensure that you arrive for the interview on time. If you’re not sure where you’re going or how to get there rather be very early than late. If you arrive more than 15 minutes before your appointment time, rather go and get a cold drink, take a walk or wait somewhere else. Being too early can be just as bad as being late.


If the potential employer asks you to send them extra information or call them after the interview, be sure to do this before the agreed time. The potential employer will be checking to see if you’re trustworthy and able to follow instructions and meet deadlines.
Step 6: Preparing for the interview


You should always prepare for a job interview. It’s normal to feel nervous about the interview but you need to try and manage your nerves. You can feel more confident, and therefore less nervous, if you are prepared and know what to expect during the interview. Ask the potential employer or recruiter what format the interview will take, whether there will be any skills assessments and who you will be meeting.


If possible, try and find out more about the potential employer before the interview by looking out for articles about them in the newspaper, visiting their website or asking friends or family if they know about them.


Remember that you will be asked questions about your qualifications and experience. Always be truthful – you will be caught out if you lie and this will seriously jeopardise your chances of finding employment. Understand how you’d answer questions like:

  • What kind of job would you like to be doing?
  • Do you have any plans in terms of where you’d like your career to be in 3 or 5 years time?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?

Think about how you could use examples from your school life, sporting achievements and other aspects of your life to show that you’d make a good employee. Have you held leadership roles at school, in Church or on the sports field? Do you display discipline through your sports practice regimes?


Step 7: Interview "rules of engagement”


There is a definite set of rules that apply during a job interview. You should always behave professionally and with respect. Refer to people you engage with during the interview as "Mr” or "Mrs” so-and-so. Remember to be polite and always use "please” and "thank you”.


Don’t be afraid to ask an interviewer to repeat the question if you’re unsure what they’re asking. Never be afraid to admit that you don’t know the answer – tell them that you’re not sure but attempt to provide an answer as you understand the question. You should show interest in the job you’re applying for and ask questions of the interviewer. These questions could involve asking about career development opportunities, training opportunities etc but should never be about money, holiday and sick leave or other aspects that seem to show that you’re only interested in the job for "what’s in it for me”.


Step 8: Watch your body language


80% of communication is non-verbal and this means that the way that you’re dressed, your facial expressions and your body language all provide feedback to your interviewer. Be sure to consciously manage these non-verbal forms of communication during your interview. Whilst there are differences culturally when it comes to body language, you need to pay careful attention to the following during an interview:

  • Sit up straight in the chair – no slouching
  • Don’t fidget. If you’re nervous, fold your hands in your lap rather
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer – if you don’t look at them they’ll either think you’re too shy or trying to hide something
  • Shake hands firmly with the interviewer
  • Don’t cross your arms – this comes across as being a defensive gesture
  • Talk slowing and clearly


Step 9: Remember to smile


Smiling releases endorphins, the body’s natural antidote to stress, and these help to fight the nerves brought on by stress. Stand up straight, think positive thoughts and smile – you will feel and look much more confident! Remember to smile when you talk on the phone too, the person on the other side will be able to "hear” that you’re smiling and will immediately feel more positively about you.


Step 10: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again

It’s highly unlikely that you will get the first job you apply for. Remember that every time you attend an interview you are gaining experience that will hopefully assist you in better managing your nerves and improving your chances of getting the next job.
It’s easy to become despondent during the job search process but remember that potential employers are more likely to consider a candidate who is positive, upbeat and confident. Rather than get yourself down on what you’d consider "failed interviews” focus on the positive lessons you can learn from the experience.

Practice your interview skills and improve your presentation and you’ll be one step closer to getting your first job.

Tags:  attitude  body language  CV  dress code  honesty  interview  job portal  job search  practice  punctuality  recruiter  skills  volunteering 

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Finding your passion is the key to career success

Posted By Natalie Singer, 06 June 2013

People who are successful and happy usually work at something they love. We rarely achieve great happiness and success doing something we dislike. For most people, if we love what we’re doing, we do it very well and in turn we love it more because we’re successful at it and people compliment us.

Sadly, many people accept jobs that they don’t really enjoy simply because they have no choice. But, whenever possible, we should choose to work in an environment and in a role that we are passionate about so that we can enjoy what we do and in turn enjoy success. This may even involve volunteering your time outside of your "day job” to get experience and exposure to an environment that ignites our passion and makes us feel alive and valued.

The circle of success

Following your passion can only lead to bigger and better things. The "circle of success” is driven by our passion and dedication to our interest as follows:

 

 

Being good at something enables high quality results to be produced. When we excel and work hard at something we inevitably become better at it. We begin to develop expertise and become innovative and creative driving constant improvements all the while making it even easier to enjoy and love what we do.       

Building a career or business around your personal passion

If you build your career or business around your personal passion, or an interest that you love, you tend to automatically harness several vital elements for success:

  1. You will work very hard and be determined and persistent
  2. You will constantly improve your skills and knowledge and this improves your performance
  3. You will have a smile on your face and your enthusiasm will be transferred to your colleagues, your managers and your customers
  4. You will quickly build a strong reputation especially for reliability and quality
  5. You will treat mistakes and failures as lessons and challenges to be overcome, rather than as obstacles and problems
  6. You will keep up to date with all the latest trends and will increase your business
  7. Your efficiency will mean that it’ll be easier to make money
  8. You will be so happy in work that you’ll more easily remain stress free and sustain success through life-balance 

Turn your passion into profit!

Making money doing something you love is the ultimate. Why not use the tool below to work out how your passion might make you money, either in the form of a salary (for a traditional job) or profit (from your own business)?

Follow this formula to get your creative juices flowing and to consider the possibilities open to you.

 

 

For the purposes of this exercise "passions” are the things you love & enjoy, and typically that you are naturally good at too.

"Strengths” are your working and thinking styles – for example whether you are good with people or not; whether you are good with numbers or mechanical things etc.

Experiences, knowledge, skills and attitude can feature in, and for many people contribute, to both passions and strengths, but for the purpose of this exercise these are best considered under strengths. For example: You might be stuck in a job you hate but you have a passion for cooking.

You enjoy gardening and find pleasure in creating delicious meals with the vegetables that grow in your garden. Why not consider using these passions to create a small business offering delicious home cooked meals with fresh ingredients, from your garden, to busy working moms who don’t have time to make food when they get home from work?

Using the template to turn your passion to profit

In order to understand where your passions lie and how these might be utilized in an income-generating environment, follow these steps.

 

 

"See it, to believe it”

Visualisation is a very powerful tool. All the best sportsmen will tell you that they visualize themselves scoring goals, throwing record-breaking javelins or winning gold medals. If you understand what you want and how you’re going to achieve it, getting there is easy. The planning tool above will assist you in keeping on track, visualizing the steps to success and ultimately achieving your goals.

  • Believe it and commit to making it happen.
  • Refine it constantly as it (and you) develops.
  • Give it time and space to grow.
  • Enjoy building your plan.
  • Start small – you have to learn to crawl before you walk and to walk before you run.
  • Start now!

Summary

Whether you want to start your own business, become self-employed, freelance or prefer to be employed in a new field, the principles of the above process still apply. Think of yourself as a company; whether you work for yourself or for someone else. Be your own boss – give yourself opportunities, aims, a vision and plan the steps to achieve what you want.

For many people, profit and making money are the natural results of working hard doing something they love. Go on, find your passion and turn it into profit!

Tags:  career  passion  planning  profit  volunteering 

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