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Answers to career questions – Part two

Female Military Health System Leaders by militaryhealth via flickr

On Tuesday, I posted the first two of four career questions I’d answered for a virtual interview somewhere along the way. These are the final two questions and answers in the interview.

#3.    Is there a particular leadership style which is great for bagging a career promotion?

Great leaders establish clear, measurable goals, put the right people in place to accomplish those goals and then get out of the way. They do not control the process; they offer the support and the tools needed to accomplish it. They let their employees know they will stand behind them, but they will also hold them implicitly accountable for their actions. They praise in public, frequently and offer brutally honest feedback in private, equally as often.

Great leaders embrace innovation and yes, even failures and errors. They understand the only people not failing or not making mistakes are those not doing anything. As long as lessons are learned and improvements made, there is nothing wrong with a slight misstep in the forward progression toward a goal. They work well as part of a team, but don’t forget their personal contribution toward the success of the team. They aren’t shy about reminding others of those contributions, when appropriate. Those demonstrating confidence, leadership and a whatever-it-takes approach head most promotions lists.

#4.    Being made redundant can really affect job seekers self esteem. What’s the best advice you can give them?

Photo by insertinanename via flickr

At the risk of sounding terribly cliché, “Fake it ’til you make it.” It’s all about maintaining a positive attitude. And sometimes, you have to fake that positive perspective until you have a genuinely positive point of view. Internal sentences, “self-talk”, is so important during difficult times. “You weren’t laid off. Your position was impacted because of a business decision.” “You’re not looking for a job. You’re a solution, waiting to connect with the employer who has a need you can satisfy.” See the difference.

Maintaining a positive attitude is far and away the most difficult part of the search. I’m not here to diminish the intense and deep emotion attached to redundancy, but I will be forthright in saying carrying a dark cloud into the search will do nothing to advance it or shorten the time it takes to land a new position. No one wants to bring “Mr. Doom and Gloom” or “Ms. Whiner” on board. You may feel like that on the inside (and rightfully so, it is a frightening, stressful time), but as the old saying goes, “Never let them see you sweat.” Confidence, enthusiasm, a positive attitude, a smile, gratitude, all combine to support a successful search. If you can’t muster if from deep inside, then plaster it on the outside, eventually, it will come from within.

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