Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Your Social Media Footprint

By Marian Li, Toppel Peer Advisor
Whether you like it or not, hirers are using social networks to screen job applicants. This means it’s important to carefully manage your image on these types of sites. Facebook and Twitter are being used a lot to screen job applicants. On Facebook and Twitter, we believe hirers are trying to get a more personal view of a candidate, rather than the resume-like view they will see on LinkedIn. Hirers are looking at social networking profiles of candidates very early in the process. This means that job seekers need to have their online act in order before they begin looking for a job.

Keep it Positive – Whether you’re looking for a job or just looking to keep the one you have, it’s important to remember that what you write matters. Your Facebook Status box is not your best friend, don’t use it to vent complaints about your personal life, the horrible traffic you sat through, or – worst of all- your current employer or co-workers. Someone who doesn’t know you or your personality can interpret something that may seem funny to you in a very different way.

Think Before You Selfie – While your friends or followers may be interested in seeing your duck face – emphasis on MAY BE, your potential employers do not. They want to know that in hiring you they’re not going to be inviting an egomaniac into the workplace, or someone who thinks of themselves first. Studies have shown that the selfie phenomenon may be damaging to real work relationships, including that excessive photo sharing and sharing photos of a certain type makes people less likeable. Putting such an emphasis on your own looks can make others feel self-conscious and judged about theirs in your presence, which is one of the last things you want to do.

Use Social Media for Good, Not Evil – Although most people won’t want to admit it, people use social media to paint an identity, that they have a life outside of just work or just school. So why not take it a step more professional and use your online presence as an opportunity to present the very best, most marketable, sides of yourself? Post about relevant issues within your industry or topics that relate to your interests, keeping up with those add depth to your character, a consistency potential employers look for.

The bottom line is that it is important for users, whether they are looking for a job or building up their professional reputation, to manage their online image across the different social networks they use.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The 3-D Approach to Management

By Kiernan King, Toppel Peer Advisor

Is your work environment not running as smoothly as you’d hope? If you’re trying to find the wrench in your office’s community building scheme, try applying the three dimensional approach to management and see if you can find the problem!

According to political science scholars, management can be broken down into a three-dimensional approach – structure, culture and craft. Structure is defined as the rules and policies that govern an organization. Culture is the ideas, attitudes, opinions and beliefs of a community. Craft can be viewed as the methods and strategies any leader such as a CEO can use to motivate employees and encourage hard work. All are interdependent, and a change or modification in one aspect can cause a change in the other. 

How Structure affects Culture:

Let’s say your supervisor makes a rule that only closed toed shoes can be worn in the office. The Culture in the office may be modified so that everyone hopefully believes that professional dress will help contribute to the professional work environment and not wear flip flops.

How Culture affects Craft:

Let’s say the office is overflowing with enthusiastic employees who are excited to be at work and eager to help others. A supervisor may establish a friendly competition among the staff where whoever advises the most students during walk-in hours receives a prize at the end of the month. This could help motivate their employees to continue working hard and not settling for anything less than his or her best.

How Craft affects Structure:

Let’s say your supervisor thinks productivity levels would increase if he allowed employees to go home early if all of their work was finished for the day. If he noticed that employees reacted positively to this idea, he could decide to make it a permanent rule within the office.

If you notice that the general attitude in the office is negative, as the supervisor try implementing new policies to change it. If you’re unhappy with how your supervisor is running things, perhaps suggest something in which his perspective on certain policies can change to ultimately better the workplace as a whole. Happy employees make clients happy!