WHAT DO YOU WANT IN A CAREER?
If you're like most people, you have probably thought of a few things you would love to receive as gifts this holiday season.
According to the National Retail Federation, more than half of consumers are hoping to unwrap gifts of books, CDs, DVDs, videos, or video games this holiday season. Other gift favorites this year, in order of popularity, are: clothing and accessories, gift cards, consumer electronics, jewellery, and home décor.
Some of the gifts in these categories may be ideal for work. You might be looking forward to receiving a business book such as Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't by Jim Collins, a DVD of the movie Office Space starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston, a new interview suit, a Staples gift card, a Blackberry, or even a tie clip.
However, many of the things employees and employers really want do not appear on any holiday gift lists. Still, it's the season of hope, so here are some things that many people hope for in their workplaces:
What Employees Want
To discover what employees want most, we turned to research by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans, authors of Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay.
Kaye and Jordan-Evans asked over 15,000 people why they stayed with an employer. The answers were surprisingly consistent. They found the same reasons for remaining with an organization "come up again and again throughout every industry and at every level." There are only minor differences between what people want in different positions, what men and women want, and what workers of different ages want.
Here are the top 15 responses listed in order of popularity. All the employees interviewed included at least one of the first three items on their personal list. How many of these things are part of your job?
Since it's the season of office parties and eggnog, we should also mention that the list included "fun on the job" at #16.
What Employers Want
We asked Ebenezer Scrooge, CEO of Scrooge Industries what he wants from his employees. He told us he wants employees who:
When we said we didn't think many employees would be willing to work under those conditions, he replied "bah, humbug" and muttered something about how wonderful the days of the Victoria-era workhouses and 1990s dot-com start-ups were.
Since Scrooge wasn't much help, we have put together our own list of what employers want.
Job skills are at the top of the list. Of course, the exact skills vary by job and employer. For example, some may require customer service skills while others may need computer skills. The bottom line is that employers want employees who are capable of doing the job they were hired for.
Next on the list is experience. Few employers offer much on-the-job training, so no matter how enthusiastic an applicant is, employers need to know that person can hit the ground running and do the job without taking too much time trying to learn what to do from busy co-workers.
If you don't yet have the skills and experience to do the job you want, look into ways to learn the job and get experience such as training programs, volunteer work, internships, and apprenticeships.
Here are some additional items many employers have on the list of traits they want in an employee:
If you need to improve in any of these areas, we suggest adding Dale Carnegie's wonderful book How to Win Friends and Influence People to your Christmas list.
We hope you get everything you wish for this holiday season.
by Tag and Catherine Goulet:
FabJob.com is featured in Woman's World Magazine ("Land Your Dream Job" article, April 2007).
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