You’re the Boss — Now What? 7 To-Dos as a First-Time Manager – Forbes.com

You’re the Boss — Now What?

7 To-Dos as a First-Time Manager


If you’ve been promoted to management for the first time, you’re probably stoked about your new gig, ready to take charge, and, let’s be honest, contemplating how to spend your first new paycheck.

But, if you’re like most, you’re also feeling pretty terrified. While graduating to management is a huge accomplishment, it’s also the beginning of a pretty huge challenge. Not quite sure where to start? Get off on the right foot with these steps for a smooth transition.

1. Get Smart

First off, make it your personal mission to learn everything you can—believe me, this is the big key to success as a new manager. Seek out the management tools, resources, and classes that your company offers. Some organizations have formal supervisor training, and nearly all have manuals and HR policies. Read them, digest them, and keep them on your bookshelf.

You should also do some digging and learn more about each of the people you’ll be managing. Review their personnel files, their resumes, and their past performance reviews and goals.

2. Find a Mentor

Of course, many of the situations you’ll face as a manager aren’t outlined in any manual. How do you deal with a team member who’s underperforming? Or an overachiever who you’d love to promote but can’t because of budget cuts?

The good news is, someone else has probably dealt before with any situation you’ll face. So one of the most important things you can do is find a mentor, someone with whom you can confidentially discuss issues as they arise. If this is your boss, great. If not, find someone else in your company who can serve in this capacity.

3. Change Your Focus

You’ve likely been promoted because you’re awesome at your job. But the crazy thing about your new position? It’s not about you anymore. “Before you were a manager, your number one job was to accomplish tasks,” says Penelope Trunk in 4 Worst Mistakes of a First Time Manager. “Now, your number one job is to help other people accomplish the tasks in an outstanding way.”

This shift is often difficult for first-time managers, but it’s crucial—your performance will be tied to the performance of your team. This means, if your team fails, you fail. And if they succeed? You can take credit, but you have to share it with the rest of the group, or they won’t be willing to do a great job for you in the future.

4. Listen and Learn

Many new managers want to make bold changes quickly to show that they’re in charge—and it’s a bad idea. Resist this temptation, and instead, take plenty of time to fully understand your organization and team. Set up individual meetings with each of your new staff members to understanding their roles. Ask questions about what they like about their job, the biggest challenges they face, and ideas they have for improving the organization.

Obviously, you can’t please everyone, but saying “I would love to get your input as I make plans for the future” goes a long way in building positive relationships and open communication. And understanding what people’s goals, hang-ups, and challenges are can help them perform at a higher level, which will only serve to help you.

Also let them know that you’re open to listening on an ongoing basis. Whether it’s having an open-door policy or scheduling “office hours” each day, make sure your employees know when and how they can reach out to you.

5. Address Relationship Shifts

The biggest mistake that new managers make? When asked this question, “90% of the women whom we interviewed replied that they tried to be liked,” say authors Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio in The Girl’s Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch). This can be especially true if you’ve been promoted from within and find yourself now supervising someone who used to be at the same level as you.

My single best career tip!

My single best career tip! and the single best question to ask the interviewer.

 

 .. is this:

You know that part of the interview where they ask “well, do you have any questions for me?”…

Say yes and ask: “How do I help you get a gold star on your review next year?”

This bit of advice has helped more people in more interviews than any other bit of advice I’ve shared over the years. Why?

Well, the interview process lends itself to our becoming self-absorbed and talking only about ourselves.

Or conversely, we become “job analysis engineers” and ask all sorts of questions about the job and reporting structure and how it fits in with the company’s five year plan and so on. I love getting questions from candidates in interviews, but I do have to admit I feel that they’re not quitegetting the point of an interview if they pull out six pages of typed, single-spaced questions.

We get so obsessed with the details of the job that we forget about thework.

Working together and being a good addition to the team mean being concerned with how you are making the team successful. And that means being concerned with how much you are helping to make your boss successful.

Asking this question shows that you have empathy. It shows that you have an interest in your boss’ career and future success. It shows that you are not just a self-absorbed “what’s in it for me” kind of person. And it shows that you know you are there to “give” as much as you are there to “get”.

Subscribers like you say the interviewer’s face lights up when they ask this question. I have heard time and time again from our four-and-a-half million subscribers how effective it’s been in interviews:

And it’s got all the hallmarks of a great tip: it’s easy to do, easy to understand, and easy to measure.

So thank you, Dear Readers, for all you’ve done for me over these past eight years, and I will continue to do all I can for you, now and in the future.

Have a great first week of May!

The 24-Step Modern Resume

The 24-Step Modern Resume

This link has a few tips to create an impressive resume. Courtesy theladders.com

Use this list to ensure your resume gets where it needs to go and that it receives as high a ranking as possible, optimizing your chances of getting an interview.

Checklist

    1. Do not apply to a company multiple times if the positions do not match your experience and skills. Recruiters notice multiple submissions, and it reflects poorly on a candidate if he or she applies for jobs that aren’t a good fit.
    2. Don’t send your resume as an attachment. To avoid getting caught by security scans, paste it into the body of the e-mail.
    3. When e-mailing a resume, keep exclamation marks out of the subject line and body of the text.
    4. When e-mailing a resume, don’t use words in the document or headline that could be misinterpreted by spam filters. For example, use “graduated with high honors” instead of “graduated cum laude.”
    5. Include a professional or executive summary at the resume top, followed by a list of bulleted qualifications and/or achievements.
    6. Customize the professional/executive summary and bulleted list(s) with keywords that match a given job.
    7. Make sure the keywords in the executive summary and bulleted qualifications and achievements replicate those in the job posting.
    8. Keywords alone aren’t enough. State-of-the-art ATS technology relies on contextualization as well. Frame keywords with descriptive material that demonstrates experience and familiarity with the subject.
    9. Do not use abbreviations such as “Mgr” instead of “Manager.” It is unlikely that the ATS has been programmed with a list of abbreviations to stand in for keywords.
    10. Avoid misspellings. A misspelled keyword is a keyword that the ATS will miss, lowering your ranking.
    11. Use standard capitalization, not all lowercase or full capitals. Improper capitalization annoys recruiters.
    12. Fill in all the information requested by an online application process, even if it’s listed as optional. Recruiters often sort by optional information to filter out applicants, and filling in all fields will ensure you don’t erroneously get caught in a screening filter.
    13. Fill in all information requested by an online application process, even if it’s included in your resume. This information can be used to filter out applicants before a hiring manager comes to the point of opening the resume itself.
    14. If you’re being referred by an employee, make sure the ATS knows it, because it’s smart enough to care and will rate your resume higher.
    15. If the ATS offers options, opt for uploading your resume instead of cutting and pasting. This feature often parses information and saves it in the optimal format, ensuring the cleanest presentation.
    16. To avoid choking an ATS with a highly formatted resume, make sure your resume is in a clear, concise format, with your contact information located at the top instead of in the header or footer.
    17. Do not include graphics or logos on a resume; they can garble the information the ATS processes.
    18. Respond within 24 hours after hearing back from a company.
    19. Keep an eye on spam folders. Filters are so sensitive today that they can recognize e-mail that’s automatically generated — a category which both spam and follow-up e-mail generated from an ATS program can fall into.
    20. Adhere to instructions provided in follow-up e-mail. If the follow-up e-mail lacks a phone number but directs you to respond with your availability, respond via e-mail, not by calling. This will likely get you the fastest response.
    21. If you receive an automatically generated rejection e-mail, immediately contact the recruitment office of the rejecting organization or a sympathetic administrative assistant — anyone who can advise you as to the best way to replace the resume currently in the ATS with one containing better keywords and phrases.
    22. When reapplying after an initial rejection, tweak executive summaries and bulleted lists of key skills and achievements. Don’t alter your work history elements.
    23. When reapplying, don’t try to use a different e-mail address from the one you used on your first try. This isn’t enough to avoid a duplicate record in advanced systems such as Taleo, which use multiple candidate identifiers, so make sure to follow Step #21.
    24. Once your customized resume has been resubmitted, contact the appropriate recruiter (or sympathetic administrative assistant) and request that your updated resume be reviewed for the open position.