C.R. Fletcher Associates

No matter how good you are at doing your job, you will — eventually, someday, possibly even today — make a mistake This could be something as innocuous as misspelling an important company executive’s name, or as serious as getting the “must ship today!” project complete and out three days late.

Here are some tips on how to handle these mistakes with grace, professionalism, maturity — and only a teeny bit of damage to your reputation.

1) As soon as you learn you’ve made a mistake, own up to it. Tell your supervisor about the mistake as soon as you can, especially if it’s a mistake that could be very embarrassing or costly to your company. When you go to your boss, be sure to tell him or her how you’re going to fix the mistake or that you’ve already done so. If you need help righting the problem, ask for input, but be sure you’ve already thought of different solutions for fixing the error.

2) If your mistake was a minor one, and more embarrassing than critical, apologize as quickly as possible. If, for example, you sent an e-mail to the company president and misspelled her name, e-mail her your apology right away (or as soon as learn of the mistake). If the president is the one to point your mistake out, apologize profusely and let her know it will never happen again.

3) Some mistakes require that you explain how the mistake was made. If this is the case, never try to foist the mistake onto someone else. Always take responsibility for your mistakes. This shows maturity and professionalism. Since you explained how/why the mistake was made, tell your supervisor the steps you will take to make sure it never happens again.

4) If your mistake embarrassed someone or proves embarrassing to your department or company, let your supervisor and/or the person or people you embarrassed know how badly you feel about it. Telling your manager how terrible you feel for making mistake lets him know that you know that mistakes can and do affect others. This also helps your supervisor believe you truly will be more careful in the future.

5) Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake. You’re human and therefore imperfect and imperfect beings make mistakes. The best thing you can do is own up to your mistake, apologize and then figure out ways to never make the same mistake again. Do so and your mistake actually could make you a better worker and person.

Making mistakes goes hand in and with the job search. Misspelled names on cover letters. “Failing” critical job interview questions. But don’t despair. If you live in the Syracuse, NY area, give C.R. Fletcher Associates, Inc. a call. We can help you get over your job search mistakes and steer you to great positions in some of the Onondaga County’s top employers. Contact us today.

It’s 6 a.m. and the alarm clock jolts you out of a fitful slumber. The last dream you remember
was about work. Recently work has been on your mind constantly, now it’s even invading your
dreams. It’s puzzling; you enjoy what you do, but in recent weeks every single thing involving
your job has become a chore, even the little things such as driving in to work have become a source of dread. You watch the clock, wishing you could make yourself go home at 5 p.m. like everyone else. You live for Friday evening, and feel sick to your stomach right on schedule by Sunday at 8 p.m.

What’s going on?

Odds are you are experiencing the classics symptoms of burnout. This is most common in people
who tend to be “workaholics” by nature and who go by the motto of “live to work,” but the reality is that burnout can happen to absolutely anyone at any time.

If you suddenly realize one day that this is you, what can you do to get through it?

The first thing to do is be accepting of your current struggles. Though your nature may be to
work until you drop, for a period of time commit to going home at the end of your normal workday, instead of working deep into the night as might be your norm.

If you’re one of those people who either never takes lunch, or if you quickly eat lunch at your desk while continuing to work non-stop, force yourself to get away from your desk for at least 30
minutes (60 is better) and clear your mind. By combining this with sticking as closely as possible
to an eight-hour work day, you will find yourself working in a pair of shorter, four-hour “bursts.”

Finally, commit to not taking your work home with you for a defined period of time. Dealing
with work issues all day long, then adding to them all evening is a surefire way to force your
brain to literally deal with work even as you sleep. You never truly rest, and you never really get
a good, solid break.

By committing to these three changes for a period of time (start with two weeks, and go longer if
you possibly can) you will begin to feel as if you are on a sort of vacation (and really you are –
you’ve allowed your brain to rest for at least eight more hours per day than you were previously) and it’s very likely you’re burnout spell will be short-lived.

If you try the above and you still find you dread coming in to work each day, it may be time to find another job. If that’s the case, come to CR Fletcher Associates, Inc. We have many terrific positions with some of the Syracuse-area’s top employers. Contact us today.

Dealing with High Turnover

September 14th, 2010

If you’re dealing with high employee turnover, our sympathies, because many human resource experts say that if a company is experiencing high turnover, that company is in crisis.

Here are some tips on how to deal with high turnover.

Many employees do leave for greener pastures. As in, companies that pay them more than a current employer pays. If your exit interviews are finding that workers are leaving you because they feel they’re not getting paid enough, it may be time to rethink your salary structure.

But leaving for a higher paying position isn’t the main reason most employees leave. Another big factor is an employee’s “quality of life” at the workplace. Do your employees feel management is weak? Is there a culture of distrust and tension? Do managers belittle employees? Is there no room for advancement? Do employees feel engaged with your company’s mission; do they feel they’re working for something “greater than themselves”? Do your employees feel safe at their place of work? Is the equipment adequate for them to do their jobs? Do employees feel appreciated?

All of these factors make a big difference in employee satisfaction. Survey your workplace and see where you can improve.

A lot of employee turnover occurs when an employee and a company just aren’t a “good fit” for each other. Either an employee had unrealistic expectations, or his or her work style or even personality just didn’t mesh with your company’s “culture.”

A pre-employment assessment tool can help you screen for on-the-job performance issues that also play a big role in whether or not an employee will succeed at your company. These traits can include the tendency to loaf on the job, substance abuse, theft, sabotage, ethics, goals and even personality traits.

Using these pre-employment assessment tools can go a long way toward “hiring right.” Hire the right people for the right jobs and you’re well on your way to cutting back on employee turnover.

Let CR Fletcher Associates, Inc. help you hire right the first time. We can source exceptional employees for your Albany/Schenectady company. Contact us today.

“If you could have any superpower, what would it be?”

“Why are manhole covers round?”

“If Hollywood were going to make a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?”

“If you were a salad, what kind of dressing would you be?”

Questions from a quiz show or dating show?  Not exactly.  These are some of the interview questions asked of job candidates.

And if you are preparing for a job interview now, you can expect that one or more of these off-the-wall questions will probably pop up in your interview.

Why?  There are a number of reasons.  The purpose of these questions is to test an applicant’s ability to improvise, think on his or her feet, and be creative.  They also give the interviewer a glimpse into your personality by seeing how you respond.  It gives the hiring manager an opportunity to see how your mind works.

So, when you get one of these zingers tossed your way, how should you respond?

Before you answer, relax.  Take a deep breath and collect your thoughts. You don’t want to just start babbling away before you’ve had a chance to think about your answer.   These questions also show the interviewer how you handle stress.  Do you become frazzled or do you remain calm and poised?  When you answer, be candid.  I t often is a mistake to try to think about what the interviewer wants to hear.  The best strategy here is to just be yourself.  There are no right or wrong answers to these types of questions.  And there is no one size fits all – each interview is geared toward the particular job that is open.

By way of preparation, it might help to think of a few stories or examples of your abilities that relate to the opening you are applying for.  Whether the question is run-of-the-mill or something out of left field, career counselors say the interviewer is essentially trying to get the same information – how you deal with uncertainty, innovate, think creatively, and evaluate situations.

Another piece of advice is to work through your answer out loud, rather than sit there for any length of time quietly ruminating about your response.  That way, the interviewer will be able to get a glimpse of how your mind works, how you solve a problem piece by piece.

Also, when you are confronted with one of these questions, think about how you can tie your answer to who you are and what you can offer a company.  You need to think about the overall impression you are trying to convey to the interviewer with your answer.

If you’d like to interview with some terrific Syracuse, NY companies, send your  resume to C.R. Fletcher Associates. We offer area residents great job and career opportunities with some of the regions best employers.

Copyright © 2010 C.R. Fletcher Associates, Inc.