Monthly Archives: August 2017

What’s a Guy to Wear?? Finding a Mentor—An Essential Career Step… For Some Hirers, Algorithms Trump Résumés

What’s a Guy to Wear??

As the line between work and play blurs, the decision about what to wear to the office can become fraught, especially for men. Sure, wear jeans—but how faded? Office casual can be great—but does wearing pressed slacks make a guy overdressed?

For men in the workplace, everything from facial hair to colorful socks can speak volumes. And while a bad choice may not land a hipster in HR, it may impact his ability to move up in an organization. Below are some tips to avoid the pitfalls of wardrobe mishaps.

Replicate high-end looks. The advice to dress for the job you want still stands. However, many workers’ paychecks do not support buying at Barney’s. Instead, try emulating an expensive look by shopping at bargain stores like Nordstrom Rack and H&M.

Beware of sticking out. Overstepping with bold fashion statements such as a colorful polka dot tie or a large handlebar moustache may cause ridicule among coworkers and show a lack of judgment that could have long-lasting repercussions.

Ask when in doubt. If you notice your boss eying your scraggly beard—not in a good way—discuss it. Explain that you grew facial hair to appear older and gauge the boss’s reaction.

–From The Wall Street Journal

Finding a Mentor—An Essential Career Step


Perhaps the most important career move you can make as a new-hire is choosing a mentor to help you grow in your current position and broaden your skills for a lifelong career. Of course you want a mentor who understands organizational politics and is willing to share contacts, but good mentors offer even more. They should genuinely want to help others and click with a mentee’s personality.

Consider the following before asking someone to be your mentor.

Define your own objectives. Which skills do you want to work on, and who might be the right role model to help you do so?

Choose an inspirational mentor. Associate yourself with a mentor who can offer you a different perspective toward problem solving than your own. It’s the best way to grow.

Pick one…or two. A good mentor within an organization will know the ropes about that particular workplace. However, an individual outside the organization may provide a wider view of an industry as a whole. Some experts advise having several mentors to help you develop your work skills.

From SFGate

For Some Hirers, Algorithms Trump Résumés

To increase hiring pools, some employers are using algorithms rather than résumés. Global brand Unilever has been targeting potential new-hires by placing ads on Facebook and career-advice sites. People who click on the ads are redirected to applications for internships and entry-level jobs, which are pre-picked by scanning the applicant’s LinkedIn profile. When the applications are submitted, they are then scanned by an algorithm that eliminates half the pool.

Those who make the cut are next asked to play online games that assess skills such as recall and concentration, and the applicants who make it through the tests submit video interviews in which they respond to questions about how they would respond to job-related situations. Only after passing that hurdle does a face-to-face meeting come into play.

Users of the new recruitment method point to its merits, such as eliminating human biases and personal preferences. Although still in its initial stages, the strategy is being implemented for Unilever hiring across the globe.

–From Fox Business

Slanguage: Not for Use at Work

[Instructors: Download PDFs of this exercise and solution at the end of the post.]

Everyone uses slang, especially when speaking to peers. While slang can create unity and community among peers, it can also alienate those who are not part of the in-group and affect how others view your professionalism.

Below are ten sentences containing popular millennial slang words. Rewrite the sentences to sound more appropriate for the workplace.

Word Definition Used in Sentence
lit amazing Did you see how Dipali made that sale? That was so lit.
trash terrible, worthy of being thrown out That email from HR about the increase in our co-pay was trash.
cancel(led) to reject a person, place, or thing Just because Mateo criticized your report in the meeting, you can’t cancel him.
drag to rake someone through the coals; burn someone I’m going to drag Ellen to the ground after she left me to clean up the office kitchen.
woke being aware You need to stay woke when Michelle sends out those meeting reminders.
savage hard core Did you hear that Su-lin stayed up all night to make that deadline? That’s just savage.
sic cool We made the sales goal! That’s sic!
hardcore intense (can be used as a positive or negative) Mireya is so hardcore she finished that brief in one day. Brendan got laid off. That is hardcore.
live cool/exciting or extreme/intense The intercultural training session was way live.

Miranda was way too live during that meeting.

excluded from this narrative negative response to a request Jean asked me to show the new dude the office, but I’m so busy I want to be excluded from that narrative.

Key to Slanguage: Not for Use at Work

Slanguage Sentence Standard English Sentence
Did you see how Dipali made that sale? That was so lit. Did you see how Dipali made that sale? That was impressive!
That email from HR about the increase in our co-pay was trash. That email from HR about the increase in our co-pay was upsetting.
Just because Mateo criticized your report in the meeting, you can’t cancel him. Just because Mateo criticized your report in the meeting, you can’t ignore him.
I’m going to drag Ellen to the ground after she left me to clean up the office kitchen. After Ellen left me to clean up the office kitchen, I’m going to suggest we put up a sign reminding people to do their own dishes.
You need to stay woke when Michelle sends out those meeting reminders. You should pay attention when Michelle sends out those meeting reminders.
Did you hear that Su-lin stayed up all night to make that deadline? That’s just savage. Did you hear that Su-lin stayed up all night to make that deadline? That’s dedication!
We made the sales goal! That’s sic! We made the sales goal! That’s phenomenal!
Mireya is so hardcore she finished that brief in one day.

Brendan got laid off. That is hardcore.

Mireya is so diligent she finished that brief in one day.

Brendan got laid off. That is awful.

The intercultural training session was way live.

Miranda was way too live during that meeting.

The intercultural training session was really interesting.

Miranda was way too intense during that meeting.

Jean asked me to show the new dude the office, but I’m so busy I want to be excluded from that narrative. Jean asked me to show the new guy the office, but I’m so busy I’d rather skip it.

Slanguage Exercise

Key to Slanguage

Millennials Learn Business Etiquette – at the Plaza Hotel!

Many millennials may be familiar with the classic and elegant Plaza Hotel from reading the beloved children’s book Eloise. However, few are likely aware that the New York City establishment is offering business etiquette lessons to young professionals.

The Plaza Hotel Finishing Program, launched in conjunction with the Beaumont Etiquette School’s Myka Meier, emphasizes the importance of showing respect in business situations. Meier covers a host of topics from proper e-mail rules, when to use emojis, and even modest sitting positions.

Offering either hour-long or five-hour intensive courses, the curriculum tackles such issues as dining manners, social interaction, and networking, all with the objective of countering the relaxed manners that typify the young generation of new business professionals.

Other topics addressed are proper hand shaking (only two pumps for business events), starting conversations (avoid the clichéd, “So what do you do?”), and improving eye contact. However, increasing participants’ charm quotient is the real goal. Meier notes that charm is a required ingredient for success, but that it can be learned.

One of the biggest problems facing millennials, Meier says, is that the increase in technology use has made personal conversations land mines for the unpracticed. To help her students, she encourages networking among classmates at the hotel after class sessions.

Discussion

  1. Myka Meier has stated that etiquette “has become trendy.” Do you agree? If so, to what do you attribute this new interest in manners and civility?
  2. Many claim that millennials are careless and lax in their business behavior. What repercussions might such conduct have in the workplace?
  3. Why is engaging in personal conversations so important for success in the professional world? What can you do now to help prepare yourself to become a more confident conversationalist?