Adams & Garth Blog

When An Annoying Co-Worker Has it Out for You

April 15th, 2014

As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows work can be stressful enough without having a co-worker who seems to dislike you for no good reason. But the reality of the workplace is that sometimes you have to deal with difficult people. How do you go about it in a professional manner, while still standing your ground? Here are some tips:

Examine Yourself First 

When there’s an interpersonal conflict at work, people tend to look at others to blame initially. But you should first look at yourself. Is there a pattern of behavior here? In other words, are you experiencing difficulties with multiple people, or just one solitary co-worker? Look inward first to ensure you’re not over-reacting.

Talk to a Trusted Colleague

It can be shocking when a co-worker treats you poorly. And when you’re in the middle of the situation, it can be hard to remain objective. Talking to a trusted colleague at work can help. Ask them if they’ve noticed the behavior and whether they have any advice for dealing with it.

Be Direct

If you believe it is your co-worker causing the problem, then confront them. Your situation won’t get any better otherwise. When you do, be direct, but professional. Don’t attack, but do ask if there’s something you did to upset them. Oftentimes, people don’t know how their actions and words are impacting others.

By calling attention to their behavior, you’re letting them know you’re upset, but also willing to work on a solution. Worst-case scenario, they’ll deny their actions or try to explain them away.

Limit Your Contact

If problems continue and you can avoid being around your colleague, or working on projects with them, then do so. When you do have to collaborate together, stay on point and only talk about the task at hand. Don’t engage in polite conversation unless absolutely necessary. When you can, use email; just be sure to save a paper trail in case you need to verify any information.

Talk to Your Boss 

Going to your boss to complain should be your last resort. However, if you’ve tried every other tactic without success – and the issue is impacting your job satisfaction – then schedule a chat with your boss. Rather than pointing fingers at the person, focus on specific examples of how their behavior is impacting your ability to get work done.

If all else fails and you’re still miserable, consider looking for another job. While you didn’t do anything wrong, your job happiness is on the line. And this situation might be the jumpstart you need to explore better options elsewhere.

If you’re ready to start your search, call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, we partner with top employers throughout Central Virginia to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more or search our Charlottesville jobs now.

5 Things Not to Say in a Job Interview

April 1st, 2014

Job interviews are tense. As a result, candidates can sometimes blurt out things they never intended to say. While it may be accidental, the damage is done and the offer is typically lost.

If it’s happened to you, take heart. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows even the best candidate can blow an interview with one bad comment. To make sure it doesn’t occur again in the future, here are a few statements to avoid making at all costs:

1. “Why should I want to work for you?”

Many times, hiring managers will ask why they should hire you. That doesn’t mean you should turn the tables and ask the same question, unless you want to come off as pushy and rude. Instead, if you really want to know why you should work at a company, ask specific questions, like “what do you like most about working here?”

2. “I’m desperate. Please hire me.”

There are a lot of candidates out there in your shoes. But if you tell a hiring manager this, you can pretty much kiss that offer good-bye. No one wants to hire a desperate candidate. Employers want people who are positive, enthusiastic, and driven. Not those who want any job they can get.

3. “That’s a dumb question.” 

So the hiring manager asked you “if you were an animal, what kind would you be?” and you responded instinctively. Who can blame you? But when you’re in a job interview setting, it’s important to think before you speak. When you have an urge to say something sarcastic, just bite your tongue. If you’re going on a lot of interviews, you may get asked some silly questions. Just accept it and answer them to the best of your ability.

4. “I’m interviewing with your competitor.” 

You might think this makes you sound more in demand. But actually, telling the hiring manager who you’re interviewing with is a big turn off. Employers want you as the candidate focused on them and their opportunity. When you’re not, they’ll assume you’re not excited about the position and may offer it to a candidate who is.

5. “No, you’ve answered everything.” 

You nailed every aspect of the interview, until the hiring manager asked if you have any questions. Don’t respond with this! Always come armed with at least three or four thoughtful questions that go beyond the basics of what you already talked about during the interview.

Need more help with your job interview performance? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, we work with some of the top employers throughout Central Virginia and we can connect you with opportunities that are oftentimes not advertised.

Contact us today to learn more or search our Lynchburg jobs now.

The Friends & Family Plan: Be Careful When Working for Those You Know

March 25th, 2014

In theory, working for a family member or friend sounds great. After all, you know their personalities, what they do and what you’re getting yourself into – plus you have a shot at helping their business succeed. What could go wrong?

A lot. Before you accept a job in Central Virginia where you join the ranks of a company owned by someone you know well, keep a few things in mind:

Clearly defining roles and expectations is more important than ever.

When you work for someone you don’t know, you still need goals and expectations. However, when it comes to working for family and friends, this is even more important because there is so much at stake – namely your relationship.

But this can be hard because many times, small businesses are family owned and far more casual about job descriptions and responsibilities. So it might be up to you to insist on this aspect. When you do, your time at the company is far more likely to be productive and successful.

Use what you know.

You know your friend or family member’s personality. It’s unlikely they are going to be any different at work. So if they have a tendency to be sarcastic, a little too direct, let their tempers flare, or uncommunicative, then guess what? They’re probably going to be like that at work, as well.

The advantage for you though is that you already know this information going in and you can use it to help guide you when conflicts do arise.

Brace for conflict.

Speaking of conflict, expect it. Just because you know or are related to the person you are working for, doesn’t mean you are going to be given the VIP treatment or handled with kid gloves.

Don’t cross boundaries.

If your sister is the boss and out of the office, don’t act on her behalf when a decision needs to be made or fire put out, unless she told you directly to do so. If you do, you’ll not only undermine your relationship with her, but you’ll also make a bad impression on your colleagues. Know where the boundaries are and don’t cross them.

Put communication on your priority list.

Communication is important regardless of the work setting. But again, considering there are personal relationships involved, it becomes even more vital when you work for friends or family members.

So communicate when you have an opinion, or you’re upset about something. Don’t keep your mouth shut just because you’re afraid of offending a family member.

Whether you choose to accept a job with a family member or a friend is up to you. But if you do, follow the tips above to keep both your work and personal relationships in tact.

Looking for jobs in Central Virginia? Let Adams & Garth know. We partner with leading employers to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

Mistakes That Will Land You in the Wrong Career

March 4th, 2014

Ever feel like you’re getting by in your career, but not thriving? You like what you do…sort of…but don’t truly love it?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, we see people all the time who are in careers they either aren’t well suited for or they simply aren’t happy in. Engineers who should have been accountants. Administrative assistants who should be graphic designers, and the list goes on.

There are many reasons why people find themselves trapped in jobs and fields they want “out” from. If you’re one of them – and wondering where things went wrong – here are a few career mistakes that may have led you off course and how to rectify each:

Not following your instincts. 

Oftentimes, a job or career field can seem perfect on paper. The salary is great, the benefits look ideal, the work seems challenging. So rather than really thinking about whether it’s a good fit for you, you may have looked at all the practical aspects of the opportunity and ignored that nagging sensation that the opportunity just wasn’t the right one.

What to do about it: Your gut can offer you a pretty sophisticated warning system. Don’t ignore it! Even if the next job you’re offered sounds perfect, but it still feels wrong, politely decline and keep looking. You’ll thank yourself in the end.

Doing what other people want you to do.

Sometimes outside pressure – from parents, spouses, friends, and colleagues – can cause you to make decisions and accept positions that aren’t right for you. Or perhaps you earned a degree in a certain field and feel that you’re now committed to it. Bottom line? You’re not where you want to be.

What to do about it: Don’t continue to turn a deaf ear to that inner voice telling you something’s wrong. It’s ok to want other people’s approval. But is it really worth it at the expense of your own personal happiness?

It’s time to start listening to the one person who’s career satisfaction you are in charge of. So start thinking about what gifts and interests you have and how you can find a job that puts them to work.

Not changing course quickly. 

Most people out there have taken a job they wished they hadn’t or made missteps in their career track. However, the key to career success is recognizing a wrong move and rectifying it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you’ll stay miserably stuck in a career and job you don’t like.

What to do about it: Be honest with yourself. Admit your mistake and create a plan of action for moving forward. Why spend another moment in a job that makes you unhappy when there are plenty of opportunities out there that are better suited for you.

Need more help finding a job – or a new career – that you’ll love? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, we will work to get to know you, your background, skills and personality – all so we can match you with job opportunities that are a terrific fit.

Search our Central Virginia jobs now or contact us today.

 

Help! My Boss Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing

February 25th, 2014

When you land a job and get a new boss, you have a few simple expectations. One of them is that your boss is going to be competent.

Sadly, as one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows this isn’t always the case. Many times, employees get promoted into positions where they’re managing other people – yet have no idea how to lead a team. This results in confusion, disengagement and a total lack of confidence in management.

Some signs your boss is incompetent?

  • They can’t make decisions, or make poorly planned decisions.
  • They set unrealistic expectations on a regular basis without understanding how it hurts morale.
  • They don’t seem to know how to get their own jobs done.
  • They don’t know how to motivate team members and keep them engaged.

What’s worse is that having a bad boss could reflect poorly on your career. For instance, if your department is under-performing, the rest of the company (higher ups included) may view it as the fault of the whole department, rather than just one bad manager.

So if you think your boss is incompetent, you clearly need to act. Here are some tips to help you deal with the situation in a professional manner:

Make sure you understand what’s going on.

You may jump to conclusions and think you have a bad boss because of a couple bad decisions. However, before you declare your boss to be useless, take a step back and try to understand the big picture. Your boss has many responsibilities and stressors that you are not fully aware of. And they are making decisions based on information you’re not necessarily privy to.

In addition, you may think your boss lacks information in a certain area that you’re strong in. But keep in mind, that’s probably why they want you on their team in the first place – to fill a certain knowledge gap.

Talk to a trusted peer.

Ask a trusted co-worker what their thoughts are. They may be thinking the same thing you are – or something else entirely. Explain the situation and your perspective and ask if they’re having similar issues. If they are, then you’ll know it’s not just you.

Talk to your boss.

Whether you like it or not, you and your boss are in this together…at least for now. So if there’s a particular area where you think your boss is really dropping the ball, let them know.

For instance, if their deadlines are always unreasonable, then say something like: “I want to do a good job, but I think these deadlines are nearly impossible to achieve because of X, Y, and Z. Is there any way we can rework them?” Don’t attack them. Be clear, specific, and present a plan of action.

Take charge.

Even if it’s your boss’s fault, it makes your whole team look bad when projects fail. So if you can step up in a certain area to lead and execute, then do it. You will paint yourself in a far more positive light when you’re a part of successful projects.

Be careful.

No matter how much you don’t like your boss, resist the urge to trash them or complain. If the situation is getting out of hand, then make a point to talk with HR or your boss’s boss. But tread lightly. People running organizations typically don’t look kindly on those they perceive as bad-mouthing another manager. Put simply: Proceed with caution.

Ready to move on from your bad boss? If you’d like to cut ties and head in a different career direction, call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, we’ll get to know your background, skills and personality….we’ll then get to work matching you with opportunities at some of the area’s top employers.

Contact us today to learn more.

What to Tell Your Lynchburg Recruiter After an Interview

February 4th, 2014

If you’re working with a recruiter in Lynchburg to help you in your job search, communication is key to a successful relationship – and a good end result. Part of that involves sharing information about each job interview after the fact. Even if one didn’t go so well, your recruiter wants to know! Here’s what to tell them – and why:

The Lowdown on the Interview

Your recruiter wants to know all about the interview – so don’t gloss over any details. Tell them about:

  • Whether you felt like you connected with the interviewer
  • Whether the job sounded like a good fit for you
  • Whether there were any blunders, issues or concerns (on your part or the part of the interviewer)
  • How well you think you performed during the interview
  • How you felt after you left

If You Want the Job 

Things could have gone well…but after learning about the position, you have a gut feeling that it’s not right for you. That’s fine. That is exactly what a job interview is for. Just be certain to communicate your thoughts and feelings to your recruiter.

All the better if you can give them a specific reason as to why you don’t think the job was a fit – e.g. the commute was too long, there was no room for advancement, the company doesn’t offer a flex schedule, etc. This information will help them find better fit opportunities for you in the future.

Next Steps 

Your recruiter will likely know about next steps. But in case the hiring manager didn’t communicate them – but shared them with you – tell your recruiter. Even if it’s simply to say a hiring decision will be made in two weeks.

Whether You Sent a Thank You Note

If you sent a thank you note after the interview, let your recruiter know, along with what you said in it. Your recruiter will want to ensure that you’re both communicating the same messages about your background to the hiring manager.

A final note: When you talk to your recruiter after an interview, also be prepared to receive some feedback. The hiring manager may have gotten back to them with some information about how the interview went and whether you’re still in the running for the job.

Even if the feedback is less than positive, look at it as a lesson learned. If you made a mistake during the job interview – and the hiring manager points it out  – your recruiter can give you some advice on how to avoid it, and other similar mistakes, in the future.

If you’re not currently working with a recruiter, but would like to be, call Adams & Garth. As leading recruiters in Lynchburg, we know finding a new job can be a hassle. But we’ve got the knowledge, experience, and proven processes in place to assist you.

When you’re looking for a new career opportunity, contact Adams & Garth. We can help.

 

Consider THIS Before Resigning

January 28th, 2014

Thinking about quitting your job? You’re certainly not alone. In fact, according to a recent poll by Right Management, 83% of workers surveyed said they will “actively seek a new position” in 2014.

If you’re one of them, finding a new job can be both exciting and scary. But before you quit your current position in search of greener pastures, consider the following:

If you resign, you won’t be able to get unemployment.

As Harrisonburg recruiters, Adams & Garth can tell you that unemployment is for those who have been fired or laid off. So if you voluntarily resign your position, then you will not qualify to receive a check from the government.

If you have another job lined up, then this isn’t an issue. But if you resign while you’re in the midst of your job search, then it could be a rough few months or even years, financially speaking.

Job searches are longer than ever.

Of course, this is a general statement. How long it takes you to find a job depends on a lot of factors, including: your field, your geographic location, whether you are willing to move, and how well you sell yourself to potential employers. That said, while job searches used to last a few short months, today it’s not unheard for a search to last more than a year.

You may wind up with a big employment gap. 

If you resign without a new job in place – and your search takes a lot longer than expected – then you may wind up with a large gap in your resume. It’s one thing if you were laid off or fired. You didn’t have any control over the decision making process there. But resigning is all you – and you’re taking a big risk with your career by moving on before having a set place to go.

Greener pastures might not be greener. 

Every job comes with its share of frustrations. So don’t think that by changing employers, you’re going to have problem-free workdays. It may wind up being a case of “same problems, different employer” or “different problems, different employer.”

So before you resign, make sure you’ve done all you can to make your current job work and that you’re quitting for the right reasons – i.e. you got a great new job offer – not simply because you’re frustrated at work.

One way to shorten your search for a new job is to work with employment experts. At Adams & Garth, our Harrisonburg recruiters can match you with employers and opportunities that are a fit for your background, skills and lifestyle.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

New Year, New Job? Start It Off Right

January 7th, 2014

Starting a new job in Lynchburg in the New Year? You’re probably feeling a lot of excitement and a little uncertainty. To help ensure you’re as successful as possible, follow these steps for a smooth transition:

Take Advantage of Every Opportunity to Learn

If your employer offers new hire orientation and training programs, participate in every one you can. If you have questions about company policy or procedure, this is your time to ask them.

Remember, asking lots of questions now can help you avoid mistakes in the future. Even if the information offered is standard or boilerplate, you’ll still be able to meet other new hires and connect with veteran employees, as well.

Get to Know Your Mentor

Your mentor is there to answer questions, help you solve problems, and serve as a guide during those first few weeks on the job. So take full advantage of their knowledge and insight.

Stay Positive 

It’s tempting to get in on the gossip in order to fit in, but avoid it. Doing so will put you on the wrong foot right off the bat. Keep in mind, you’re still trying to figure out company and team dynamics, so be careful what you say and whom you say it to.

Be a Team Player 

Make an effort to get to know everyone on your team. Touch base with all your new co-workers during those first few days and try to make small talk to get to know them. If someone needs help in a certain area that you know a lot about, then offer to help. You’ll build a lot of good will and positive energy in the process.

Watch Star Employees 

Keep your eyes on the experts on your team or in your company and watch how they handle certain situations or projects. By emulating star employees, you’ll have a greater chance at achieving success at your new company.

Befriend Those Above and Below You 

Try to connect with higher ups, as well as those in support roles. Don’t think that just because you hold a position above someone, you are better than them. You never know when you might need their expertise or assistance.

Be Patient

Not thrilled with your new job right off the bat? Give it some time. It typically takes a few months to feel completely comfortable and confident in a new role. So don’t second guess your decision to take the job. Give yourself time to adapt to the change.

Need help finding a new job in the New Year?

Call Adams & Garth. As a leading employment agency, we can help you prepare for interviews, so you know how to sell yourself and make the best impression. We also know where to look to find the top jobs in Lynchburg.

If you’re ready to get started, contact us today.

How to Overcome an Unstable Work History

December 24th, 2013

Six different jobs held over the course of eight years.

If this sounds familiar, then it’s no wonder you’re having a hard time finding a new opportunity. However, in today’s unstable economy, many employees are amassing unstable work histories as a result. So as one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, Adams & Garth can tell you that you’re certainly not alone.

That said, when a hiring manager sees many job titles held at different companies over the course of just a few short years, it certainly raises some red flags – which is why it’s so important for you to position your background right.

To help you, here are a few tips to follow:

Delete Jobs With Extremely Short Tenures

If you had a job for a few weeks or a couple months only and were laid off, or realized it wasn’t for you, then omit it altogether.

Include Volunteer Work

Remember, your resume isn’t just a listing of paying gigs. If you’ve been volunteering at a homeless shelter for the past five years, then be sure to account for this on your resume.

Combine Contract or Temporary Jobs

If you worked five different contract or temporary jobs over the course of one year, then don’t list them out separately. Instead, group them together under one position and combine the dates for the work.

You can even create your own business name under which to put these jobs. For instance, if you’re a graphic designer who’s had several contract jobs over a short period of time, then group them under “Your Name Graphic Designs.”

Explain Why You Were Laid Off

If you were cut from a company that went out of business, then note that on your resume next to the name of the employer – e.g. no longer in business. This makes it clear that you weren’t job hopping; the company went under.

Network Your Way to a New Job

Whether you have a great resume or one that needs some work, networking is vital to the success of any job search. It’s even more important if you have a bumpy job history. But when you network regularly, you’ll increase your odds of connecting with people who make hiring decisions. And if you’re able to convince them why you’re a great hire, then your resume will really be an afterthought.

Unfortunately, short-term employment has become the norm during this economy, rather than an exception. Hiring managers are aware of this and will hopefully be willing to give your resume – complete with all its short-term jobs – another look.

If you need more help with your job search process, give Adams & Garth a call. As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, we’ll get to know your background, skills and personality….we’ll then get to work matching you with opportunities at some of the area’s top employers.

Contact us today to learn more.

4 Types of Job Interviews…And How to Handle Each One

December 3rd, 2013

As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth understands that interviews are always a stressful proposition. However, some situations are certainly more nerve-wracking than others.

For instance, imagine walking into a job interview expecting a face-to-face with one person and it’s actually a panel interview.

To ensure you do a great job – regardless of the type of interview – here are a few tips to help you prepare:

1. The Phone Screen 

The purpose of this type of interview is simple: It gives a hiring manager a chance to assess you without having to invest a lot of time.

When you’re facing a phone screen, there are a few things you can do to prepare:

  • Make sure you have access to a quiet room in which you’ll be undisturbed.
  • Research the company and prepare a list of questions just as if it were a face-to-face interview.
  • Be ready to promote your strengths. The great thing about phone interviews is that the hiring manager can’t see you. So, if you need to, jot down a few key thoughts you want to get across so you don’t forget them.

2. The Job Fair Interview

Like the phone screen, a job fair interview is typically a mini-interview that helps an employer decide whether or not they want to learn more about you as a candidate.

For job fair interviews, be sure to:

  • Always dress appropriately and present yourself in a professional manner. Too many job candidates see job fairs in a more casual light. By looking sharp, you’ll set yourself apart.
  • Find out the companies who are attending the job fair ahead of time (most organizers post lists online). If there are certain ones you know you’d like to work for, then research them ahead so you can show the interviewer you’ve done your homework.
  • When talking to the interviewer, focus on one or two key strengths that you think would contribute most to the company. The better job you do at selling yourself, the greater your chance for getting called for an interview.

3. The Panel Interview 

For most job candidates, the panel interview is the one they fear most. This is when you’re interviewing with an entire group of people (managers, HR professionals, potential co-workers, etc.) – so it can sometimes feel like more of an interrogation and less of a job interview.

To keep your nerves in check and put your best foot forward, consider the following:

  • Don’t get caught off guard. When scheduling the interview, ask specifically who will be in attendance. This will tell you a) how many people you’re interviewing with so you can mentally prepare and b) who they are so you can research them ahead of time.
  • While there are certain people on the panel you may connect with immediately, don’t concentrate solely on them. Be sure to focus some attention on each person and make eye contact with everyone.
  • Send a thank you note to each participant after the interview. Be sure to write something unique in each person’s note because, oftentimes, they’ll compare notes.

4. The third interview.

It used to be you’d interview once for a job and find out whether or not you got it. Today, though, many employers are using subsequent interviews to ensure they don’t make a hiring mistake.

If you’re on your third – or fourth or fifth – interview, you might start feeling burned out and disengaged. To ensure you maintain your enthusiasm, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Before the interview, think about why you want the job. Make a list of the amazing opportunities, the great salary and benefits, the chance to advance your career, etc. Once you remind yourself of all the advantages, you’ll re-ignite your excitement.
  • Ask about when the employer will be making a decision. Once you have a clearer sense of how long the timeframe will be, you can better prepare for it.

Need more help with your job search? Give Adams & Garth a call. 

As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, we work with some of the top employers throughout Central Virginia and we can connect you with opportunities that are oftentimes not advertised.

Contact us today to learn more or search our Lynchburg jobs now.