Job Onboarding Is Important

You have submitted applications. You have completed interviews. You have received job offers. When you finally make the decision and accept the job position you want, you are on top of the world. Personally when I received my first full-time job offer and accepted the position, I channeled my inner Will Smith portraying William Gardner in the Pursuit Happyness at the end of the movie. When you receive and accept the job offer, the emotions take over and you are feeling great about life.


You land the job, so what is next? Of course, you move find a place to live and take care of your personal essentials (i.e. travel arrangements, packing, moving expenses, surveying the living area, turning on utilities).
These are important items when transitioning to a full-time professional position, but we want to focus our attention on job onboarding. Job onboarding is important for you stepping into a new office, learning a new role, and meeting new people. Being the new professional to the department can be both challenging and exciting. I will share a quick 5 tips on how to successfully navigate job onboarding.
You want to make the right impression. You want fit into the workplace. You want to do your job well and have something to prove at the organization. All these pressures and all these come to mind when you are the new kid on the block.


Map Out the Environment

You want to fit in and blend into the workplace. You do this by observing the work culture (how people carry themselves, how people interact to each other, and etc.). This task does not happen overnight but you can chip at it and learn each day something about your office, your floor, the entire organization. This process requires patience and active listening. I suggest understanding the demeanor of your office in your staff meetings, in your supervisor meetings, and even over lunch to see how individuals function on a daily basis. You are not a spy but more so like a coach watching the film in real time so you can document, learn, and adjust, so you will be about succeed in finding your place while onboarding into the new workplace.


Expectations

We are have goals in life. We all want to win at this game called life (personally and professionally). Life is a long-term game and your life continues to evolve over time as you mature. In starting a new job, we all have lofty goals, but hardly take the time to breathe and live in the moment. It is important when you are onboarding to set realistic expectations with yourself, with your supervisor, and with your job. Personally, I recommend focusing on three things you believe you can and will achieve in your role. In writing out your personal expectations and professional expectations, you need to understand this is a work in progress and expectations hold you accountable but also create room for growth. I encourage that you create your expectations (some personal and professional may overlap) and pick the three to five that are important to you then talk with your direct supervisor or other colleagues to see what the standards of the office are and see their perspectives. Putting this exercise into practice helps sets the foundation for you but also helps with mapping out the environment.


Professionalism

Being professional is one that involves not only the individual but the work environment form responding to emails a certain way to the way your present yourself. In the workplace, it is great to be prepared to scope out the scene to recognize patterns and tendencies. In the new TV series Blindspot, Taylor Shaw (Jane Doe) is one that carries herself in a professional manner and fits in with the FBI team even though she is not a full-time FBI agent or completely dresses the part. Taylor is an example of being professional by accepting who you are and what you aspire to become in the workplace setting. This fictional character blends in with the organization but still remains a true individual who has goals, concerns, and values. It is important to look the part and place more emphasis is placed on doing the part in a professional manner on a consistent basis with your employees and the clients you are serving.


Supervision & Mentoring

With job onboarding, you immediately focus on learning and doing the job well. It is equally important to establish great professional relationships with individuals in the workforce especially with your supervisor or potential employees that familiar with the structure and workforce dynamics. These individuals can be within your organization or outside of your place of work, but it is important to invest in your supervisor relationships and mentor relationships. Having that support when you make a mistake or looking for feedback on handling situations are essential for a professional when onboarding. In this time of adjustment, you are looking for that sense of belonging and looking for that support that provides you that boost of confidence. Finding Forrester and Good Will Hunting are both great movies that display this personal and professional development. In these movies, the movie characters played by Sean Connery and Robin Williams focus on the individual’s potential, provide useful advice, and finding their place. The supervision/mentorship is a two-way relationship and requires both parties to open communicate as well as provide the opportunity to learn as you go along with the job.


Be Yourself

The organization selected you because of your skills and abilities but also who you are as an individual. When organizations are interviewing you, the hiring committee is looking for “fit”, personality, and value-added to a team. Once you have arrived to the company, never forget who you are, what you can bring to the team, and mostly important your values as well as beliefs in a professional setting. You can still be weird, unorthodox, silly, personable, or straightforward if this is how you are wired. Looking at the TV show The Office, each individual has a personality and have different ways of completing tasks. It is important to take pride in yourself and who you are because you have to find your balance as well your happiness in the process of job onboarding.


Written by Eric Hall

How to Lose a Job Offer in 10 Steps


College seniors everywhere dread it more than a losing football season: the job search. Crafting the perfect resume is eye-crossingly complicated, writing a pleasantly tantalizing cover letter is a snooze, and actually finding a job that interests you is a mammoth task in and of itself. So make it easy on yourself! If you don’t actually want to land a job, you’re in luck. Here are the Career Center’s official steps to miss out on the job opportunity you’ve been dreaming of.


Phase 1: Resume Rifts

1. ALWAYS trust spellcheck
                  When writing a resume for a job you DON’T want, it’s always best to consider spellcheck your best friend. Remember, spellcheck isn’t known for its accuracy, so you should feel totally comfortable letting it make sure any words in all caps are spelled correctly. Names, addresses, and business names are spellcheck’s worst nightmare, but it’s OK. You’re not in it to win this job, so just sit back, relax, and let spellcheck do the dirty work for you!
2. Submit a generic resume
If you really want your resume to land in the trash and it’s already littered with spelling and grammar mistakes, make sure you submit the same resume for every job you apply for. Why take the time to show the hiring manager why you’re perfect for the job when you can just let them decipher it for themselves? It’s their job to do the hiring, after all! Feel free to leave all your irrelevant experience on there, and really make them dig for the qualifications that matter. While you’re at it, go ahead and leave your high school jobs and clubs on there as well—the employer won’t care. (Pro tip: make sure your objective statement says something totally irrelevant to the job you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a job in nursing, say you’re interested in marketing! Who cares if your aspirations have changed!)
3. Jazz it up!
                  If you’re serious about missing out on your dream job, never forget to make your resume stand out from the competition... in all the wrong ways. Use all your favorite colors and fonts—feel free to mix and match them, too. You may even consider using different sizes for every line of text. This is your chance to express your individuality and creativity! If you’re really feeling saucy, be sure to add your favorite photo of yourself, whether it’s work appropriate or not. We suggest using photos taken with an iPhone 5 or older.


Phase 2: Cover Letter Confusion

4. Use a form letter
                  Applying for jobs is hard. Don’t waste your time slaving over a boring cover letter! Instead, run a Google search for cover letter generators. Then all you have to do is plug in the job information and voila! Now you have a cover letter ready to join your resume in the garbage. (Pro tip: have your salutation read, “To whom it may concern:” Employers will hate it!)
5. Write your autobiography
                  If you really don’t want the job, an alternative to using a scripted cover letter is to use it as an opportunity to tell the employer your life’s story. Make it several pages long—as long as you need for it to contain all your unnecessary stories and emotional baggage. Mention your long-lost childhood pet for best results. Feel free to use this as a chance to call out all your least favorite supervisors by name. That employer will never want to hire you!
6. Bore them to death
                  Hiring managers sometimes have to sift through hundreds of cover letters before they land on one that truly hooks them. To save them some time with yours, be sure to make it as bland and vague as possible. Don’t mention any previous experience or success that would make them interested in you. Simply tell them you found their job listing on Indeed, tell them you’re a results-driven, motivated worker and leave it at that. They’ll never give you another thought. (Pro tip: Accidentally send a cover letter you wrote for another job, and forget to change the names and company address! That will make their decision very easy.)


Phase 3: Interview Ignorance

7. Dress for comfort 
                  If you somehow still managed to land an interview following all the previous steps, make sure to prepare for the results you want. Wear your favorite outfit, whether it’s that sparkly cocktail dress you wore to the club last weekend or the hole-ridden high school varsity football t-shirt and sweatpants. Avoid wearing professional dress at all costs! Skirts should be either inches above the knee or down to the ankles, shirts should be wrinkled and stained, and hair should be unkempt. It’s best to let your interviewer know how seriously you take this meeting as soon as you step in their door.
8. Show up late
                  … or not at all. The interviewer probably has several candidates to interview, but their time doesn’t matter to you. You’re doing them a favor by even showing up in the first place! So leave your house 10 minutes before the appointment and don’t give yourself any time to collect yourself in the lobby. Then when you finally show up, burst into the office and blame it on traffic.
9. Make yourself at home
                  Prop your feet up on the desk. Smack your gum. Twirl your hair. Blow your nose. Imagine you are binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix and assume that position in your interview. Bring a snack with you, and munch on it between answers. You want the hiring manager to be confident that you have no idea how to behave in a professional setting.
10. Let it all out
                  Now that you’re finally in the interview chair, this is your moment to shine. Be as open as possible and share all the personal details you can think of. Did your hair get stuck in the blow dryer this morning? Great! Tell them. Did you and your ex-girlfriend get into a screaming fight last night? Even better! Be sure not to spare any of the details. If a curse word escapes during your rants, don’t worry about it. You have no chance of being hired any way!

Written by Sarah Russell

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this post is intended to be taken tongue-in-cheek and to provide directions for what not to do to present yourself professionally and successfully. Exercise these tips at your own risk.

Five Things I Wish I’d Known as a New College Graduate

As a new graduating class prepares to leave Auburn for a bright future, I remember my own college graduation. I felt unsure about what to do next as I faced life after college. Here are five things I wish I’d known when I first entered the “real world,” bachelor degree in hand.

1. You still might have no idea what you’re doing. And that’s ok.
Imagine that your best friend just landed his dream job, a position directly related to his major (and one he’s dreamed about since he was eight years old). You’re terrified because you majored in something you really liked, but have no idea what you’re doing next. Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Don’t worry, because here’s a secret your friend doesn’t know: Almost everyone changes their career path every five years. This means that even if you try out a new job and hate it, it’s likely you won’t be there that long. That said…

2. One opportunity leads to another.
You will have choices to make in your personal and professional life. Lots and lots of choices—even if it seems that you’re facing a dead-end, career-wise. You may not be able to use Jedi mind tricks to force a potential employer to offer you an interview, but you do have the power to get to know the people at your current position, volunteer at an organization you care about, or request an informational interview. Be wise about your choices—because you’re making career choices all the time. How to be wise about choices…? Well…

3. You should get to know yourself.
Now is a perfect time to assess about your values (I know, you just want to know what you should do for a job. But trust me, you can (and should!) get to know yourself at the same time). What, in your opinion, constitutes a life well-lived? What professionals do you admire and why? What do you like doing? What makes you feel alive? Use this data to guide your choices. Say “yes” to assignments, positions, and relationships that bring you a little closer to fulfilling a value. Understand that you might have to make some compromises along the way because…

4. There is no such thing as the perfect career (or life). 
Once you start getting to know yourself, you’ll discover that there is no way you can have everything you want out of life, both personally and professionally. This is an unalterable fact. This is why it is important to not only discover your values, but intentionally prioritize your values and then act accordingly.

Lastly,

5. The Career Center Isn’t Just for Resumes
At the end of my senior year, I visited the career center just once. I wanted to learn how to write a resume. Little did I know there was so much more that university career centers have to offer! We can teach you how to reach out to professionals, show you online job search tools you may not have heard of, facilitate a discussion about prioritizing your values, and help you practice interview skills. We serve alumni up to five years after graduation, so now is the time to begin using our services (if you haven’t already!).



Congratulations on your graduation from Auburn! 

Post Submitted By:
Shari Black
Counseling Psychology PhD Student
Career Center Graduate Assistant

Student Perspective: The Gallup Interview


Ali, a student assistant in the Career Center, recently participated in a Gallup interview as a part of her internship interview process. These tips can help you prepare for a similar type of interview situation.

A Gallup Interview is an interview to determine your strengths and personalities. This is designed so the company you are applying for knows your strengths and will determine if they match the strengths the company wants. Before the interview, I researched and asked my other peers who have had a Gallup Interview before. Each person I talked to said the same thing. They said you cannot prepare for this, you just have to be yourself because they will ask you the same questions three different ways and are wanting the same response. However, I did do some research on glassdoor.com and found some questions that they may potentially ask me. But the best advice was, to just be yourself. During the interview my interviewer was very animated and enthusiastic about the questions he was asking. He did ask the same questions three different ways on multiple occasions. The questions ranged from yes/no questions to short answers and during the yes/no questions he would then, most of the time, ask me to elaborate or give examples. When you are asked to elaborate or give examples this is the time to impress them because the interviewer does not have your resume in front of them and they do not have any prior information about yourself. This gives you the opportunity to sell yourself! The interview was also rapid questioning, so you need to be constantly on your toes and listening carefully. They also love when you are assertive, confident and answer with enthusiasm. Overall, I enjoyed the interview because it was different paced. Advice for future Gallup Interviewees: BE YOURSELF AND SELL YOURSELF!

Post by: Alexandra Britton
Employer Relations Student Assistant