Employer Expectations

January 26, 2015 @ 9:40 am posted by Ummu Bradley Thomas

Learning to put YOU in your potential employer’s shoes is a key to success. Once you are able to place yourself in your potential employer’s shoes, you can then ask yourself:

1) If I had an employee like me, would I give myself a raise or fire me?

2) If I had an employee like me, would I depend on him or her to get the job done? Handle deadlines? Follow through? Be professional? Speak with the customer?

3) If I had an employee like me, would I ask him or her to dress more professionally? Gossip less? Come in on time?

Once you are able to answer the above honestly, you will be able to gain a reflection on how you appear to your future employer. Keep in mind if you get the job or while you are still interviewing the following:

• No one owes you anything!

• Your personal success is not guaranteed…without your involvement.

• Nothing happens until you start!

• You have the solution…now what?

• That you must fulfill both your own as well as your employer’s expectations through consistent and diligent effort.

• You must feel comfortable enough to ask questions about assignments that you do not understand.

• That taking notes and following up with tasks are key.

• That by providing updates will successfully open and continue a line of communication. If you keep people in the light, you will never be left in the dark.

• That accuracy is important. Never fudge assignments, numbers, achievements, or accomplishments.

Cheers,

Ummu Bradley Thomas

How to Tap Into Resources

January 12, 2015 @ 9:24 am posted by Ummu Bradley Thomas

The ability to tap into resources is truly a special gift. This is not to say that you run around aimlessly finding help for every little item. This is to say that you search for guidance on how to move forward.

Not just any guidance. A good mentor. You may find that you need more than one mentor and that is totally fine. You could have a financial mentor, a career mentor, a spiritual mentor, a health and fitness mentor and the list goes on and on.

The first major purpose of a mentor is to help us to become accountable for our goals, roadblocks and actions. If we tell someone what we set out to do, the mentor will remind us of our plan and help us to stay on track. The second purpose of the mentor is to help provided us with information and advice that is not readily available to us. Some people knowingly make the mistake of getting marital advice from someone who has been divorced twice. If a person has been divorced twice, you do not want marital advice from them. You want to know how to get a divorce from them and then pitfalls to avoid in the process.

Others get money advice from a person who may have filed bankruptcy. You do not want financial advice from them, however, if you were filing bankruptcy, you may consult them about the process, etc. The same is true with looking for mentors while on the job or searching for employment. Do you look for the person who has failed and ask them what made them go the wrong way? Absolutely not! Find someone who is succeeding and ask them how they succeeded, so that you can do the same thing.

Do you have any mentors? Do you trust anyone enough in your inner circle to get advice? If so, that’s great! If not, you may want to look at your inner circle. Birds of the feather truly flock together and if you want to arise above the madness of it all, start looking for other positive goal-oriented folks who are both looking to do and have already done what you are looking to do and most important… successfully.

Cheers,

Ummu Bradley Thomas

The Importance of Sending Well Written Emails and Cover Letters

December 29, 2014 @ 4:40 pm posted by Ummu Bradley Thomas

Don’t do rush jobs on your emails and cover letters. Take time to proof read them. Do not add jokes, don’t show that you are nervous, don’t act desperate, don’t reveal too much, and show your best assets. If you have difficulty writing and are not as well versed, ask someone to review your writing for you. Write and rewrite it with reviews until you can put your meanings into words professionally. Take a writing class at a community college program if you need to, especially if your job will require writing. Try your best to get your very best points across. Let others know that you are the logical choice.

Note things to avoid:

1) Politics – Any discussions involving Democrats vs. Republicans, heavy spending vs. financial responsibility, and donkeys vs. elephants, do not belong in the workplace.

2) Conversations Involving Shagging – Avoid conversations involving who is and who is not hot in the office, conversations on those you are dating and what you are doing intimately.

3) Comments on Sexual Orientation – Do not ask another any questions about his or her sexual orientation. Be a professional and remember to respect others for both their differences and similarities.

4) References to Religion – Avoid making judgments on the religion of others, passing judgment on those that do not practice the religion of others and passing judgment on those that worship differently.

Cheers,

Ummu Bradley Thomas

How to network with family, friends, acquaintances, and previous employers

December 19, 2014 @ 4:44 pm posted by Ummu Bradley Thomas

When searching for jobs, your first leg of strategy should be networking with friends, family, acquaintances and previous employers. After all, the people you know more than likely have your best interest at heart. This is why it is important for you to be professional, have integrity, be dependable, and treat people respectfully both on and off of the job. You do not want them to wonder whether you will prove to be a huge embarrassment to them if they referred you. Have you ever referred a person to someone else and gotten disappointment? I have. For that reason, I no longer try to set people up on blind dates. It just does not work. You should be able to indicate to people:

1) What your skills are

2) Why you are unemployed

3) What jobs you are interested in pursuing

4) Ensure them that they will not be disappointed for referring you for a position.

You must set the person that you are attempting to network with at ease. While you are unemployed or searching for a new position, you want to continue to keep the image of a person who is successful and professional. Your image is an outward reflection of who you are as a person. You want to always have a resume handy for them to review, consider, and pass on for you.

Your Self-Image

December 12, 2014 @ 2:59 pm posted by Ummu Bradley Thomas

Self-image and self-esteem go hand-in-hand. People who feel unworthy of a great opportunity, a certain job title, promotion, reward, or even as if somehow they are naturally vulnerable to failure expose their vulnerability through:

1. How they behave

2. In their outward appearance

3. Their demeanor

This behavior often causes the individual to feel too incompetent to deal with any challenges, obstacles, or even giving it a go for an opportunity. My view of personal refinement training differs from the traditional in that I am totally unwilling to accept the assumption that competitive sports, activities, or even beauty pageants are necessarily appropriate or suitable for individuals who desire to improve their self-image or self-esteem.

Self-image can be improved in many ways through a program of discipline and the acquisition of body skills. In my experience, those who benefit to the highest degree in personal refinement are those who are least likely to have any interest at all. Those individuals ironically do better and gain more from non competitive activities such as speaking before a small audience, meeting new people, acting confident during a job interview and gaining a comfort level for their outer appearance.

You can learn to measure your progress from your own starting point. Just by being mindful of holding your head up, keeping your shoulders back, sitting upright, smiling, and just simply enjoying the fact that you are you. A proud presentation can make a dramatic make-over of your appearance, which will change your self-image once you begin to receive responses from others around you and convince yourself that you are worthy to be appreciated!

 

Cheers,

Ummu Bradley Thomas

Are You Referable?

December 5, 2014 @ 10:17 am posted by Ummu Bradley Thomas

Most jobs require at least 3 references. When you’re fresh out of school those references can include:

1) College professors

2) Member of your clergy

3) And perhaps a neighbor

However, it is quite suspicious if a professional with 10 plus years in the workforce has a difficult time scraping together 3 references. The old excuse “I don’t want my current boss to know I may be leaving soon.” Can fly somewhat but at the end of the day it leaves the prospective employer questioning your integrity, communication skills, positive work relationships and your ability to network. Making lasting professional relationships matter as much as making lasting family and friendship relationships.

If you’re having a difficult time seeing eye to eye with those on the job to the point where you are afraid of what they may say about you, consider volunteering for Boards, joining professional organizations, and giving your professional personality a makeover.  Nowadays, whether you refer a person or not the simple fact that you are on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, people already know your reference pool in common and often get unofficial references on you.

 

Cheers,

Ummu Bradley Thomas

The Art of a Successful Team Player

December 1, 2014 @ 9:30 am posted by Ummu Bradley Thomas

Someone once asked if I would prefer to work alone or with a team and without a second thought, I said “Either is fine.”.

For me, I am able to work alone independently and have total autonomy over a project or I can work well with others as a team. I have never fought with co-workers, given them the silent treatment or refused to work with them. This has happened for me because I developed the a​c​t of a successful team player which is:

  • The Ability to Communicate Effectively
  • The Ability to Learn Team Members’ Strengths
  • The Ability to Understand Team Members’ Limitations
  • The Ability to Handle Competition in a Positive Manner
  • The Ability to Interact with Strong Personalities
  • Knowing How to Use Professionalism
  • Avoiding Negative Responses
  • Enhancing Listening Skills
  • Improving Skills Through Training
  • Becoming Passionate About Your Job
  • Learning to Share Information
As an employee , you are there to work first. Friendships on the job are ideal, but not 100% necessary. Oftentimes, friendships that started off in a positive manner on the job can later turn into bitter clicks and often disruptive coups on the job.
It is imperative to avoid allowing yourself to become labeled with any one person or group. Oftentimes you witness employees who hang together…​leave together during periods of downturn.  To avoid this you should consider the following clique deflectors:

1) Attend lunch with different people often

2) Never get too involved on the job with listening to personal information

3) Avoid gripe sessions

4) Avoid the gossipers

5) Avoid the chronic complainers

6) Do not get involved in excessively long lunches

7) Do not get involved with unprofessional co-workers

8) Always dress as if you are coming to work. If you have to guess if an outfit is appropriate, it means that it probably is not.

 

Some people never quite figure out behaviors that are appropriate for work and behaviors that are appropriate for home. While on the job, your behavior should resemble that of a successful professional employee with confidence and excellent communication skills.

 

Cheers,

Ummu Bradley Thomas

Train like a Manager

November 21, 2014 @ 3:54 pm posted by Ummu Bradley Thomas

Just think, the best subordinate is a well-trained subordinate. Not one that has been trained outside of your office or division, but one that has been trained to suit your requirements and needs. Various managers require tasks to be done in a certain way. Others just prefer for their phones to be answered in a certain way. Be certain to establish your own standards and protocol for how you want things to be managed. Make it clear how you:

1) Want your phones to be answered

2) The type of paper you like for the person to use

3) How you like your schedules created

4) How you like to communicate best whether it’s:

a. In person

b. Over the phone

c. On a conference call

d. By E-mail

e. By text

f. By cell phone

Your subordinate should understand how you like things done. Please consider:

1. Do you like things done in an informal manner or formal manner?

2. Do you wish to be called “Naomia” or “Mrs. Bradley-Vasquez?”

3. Do you prefer to not be interrupted on Monday mornings and have things scheduled only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays?

4. Do you want your mail opened or place on your desk?

5. Do you require a full status report with charts, citations, and references or do you require a follow-up orally?

6. Do you want the subordinate to talk to you in brief statements with the bottom line in mind?

7. Or do you want a point by point review of the facts that lead up to the end result?

 

There is no right or wrong way to do things, just make it clear how you want things to be done. Some managers want his or her subordinates to not be too familiar and others want their subordinates to be a large family. Whatever environment works best for your organization, just make sure it is one of structure and clarity.

Cheers,

Ummu Bradley Thomas

 

Telling is Not Teaching

November 14, 2014 @ 4:55 pm posted by Ummu Bradley Thomas

Telling a subordinate to do a task is not the same as teaching them how to do a task. While offering a step-by-step guide is not necessarily recommended for all fields, you must be able to do the following when teaching or coaching a subordinate on a job:

1) Require that they take notes so they can refer to your lesson after they have left you to perform on their own.

2) Ask them to repeat what they have learned.

3) Ask them to ask questions about points of the lesson that they did not understand.

4) Allow them to do an example while you are present.

5) Require that they show you their progress when they are 15-20 minutes into the task.

6) Follow up with compliments or complaints as a way of offering feedback after the assignment is done.

The final step allows them to learn if they have done a job to your company’s standard or not. If not, indicate which parts were or were not satisfactory. Always encourage your subordinate to ask questions and to continue to be diligent about their work. Be positive not negative. Be encouraging and not discouraging. Be a good teacher and a good listener. If the subordinate is having difficulty understanding, then consider adjusting your teaching methods.

 

Cheers,

Ummu Bradley Thomas

Voice and Speech – Communication is the key to success!

November 7, 2014 @ 2:46 pm posted by Ummu Bradley Thomas

Whether you are on the telephone or speaking to someone in person, the way you talk and the words you use gives a person a view of who you truly are. The way in which you speak can tell others if you are cultured, intelligent, sensitive, kind and cheerful. It describes your education, upbringing, morals, interest and family background. The manner in which you speak is one of the most important parts of your personality. It can make you appear exciting, boring, annoying, or interesting.

When speaking, it’s important to figure out how you sound to others.  Record yourself. If you do not have a recorder, take the time to call yourself and leave a message. How do you sound? Professional or unprofessional; young or old; educated or uneducated; personable or detached? Do you speak too high where people are always cutting you off? Or too low and the listened responds with the wrong answer because they are attempting to interpret the movement of your lips. re you too loud and people are always telling you to quiet down? Do you speak too softly and the listener is always asking you to repeat yourself? Do you speak too slowly and people’s eyes tend to glaze over in boredom waiting for you to get to your point?

How you communicate with other people can have a positive or negative affect on your relationship with them. Paying special attention to your voice and speech can make the difference between getting the job and not getting the job, landing an important account or botching it it up.

Cheers,

Ummu Bradley Thomas

 

The Polish That Pays – Workforce Preparation Edition

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