If you spend at least 40 hours a week at work, you should enjoy what you do and whom you do it with, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case for many of us. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, 70% of U.S. workers are not engaged at work. Virtual, Inc. is striving to fix that, one employee at a time. In line with our commitment to providing our employees and the broader community with valuable professional development opportunities, we hosted a Networking Open House on May 11 surrounding a theme that embodies Virtual’s core values: “Finding and Creating a Great Place to Work.”
While nothing can quite capture the energy and passion in the room or adequately replace the conversations and connections made at the event, here are a few key takeaways extracted from our speakers’ presentations:
What does “Work Fit” mean to you? Heather E. Wood, Vice President, Leadership Facilitator and Executive Coach at MCG Partners, stressed the importance of asking yourself a few crucial questions: What do you want out of your job? What are your needs from a career? And, possibly the most important question- what motivates you? If you find that a job looks great on paper, but it doesn’t provide you with an appropriate work-life balance that you need, that job would probably not be a good “work fit” for you, if work-life balance is important to you. But if you find a job that meshes with the culture you want, offers you the resources and development opportunities you need, allows you to balance your career with other parts of your life, provides you with managers who support and motivate you, and enables you to fulfill your passions and achieve your goals, you may have a good “work fit.” Keep looking within and asking yourself questions until you find a job or career that matches up with your answers.
Find a company with engaged employees, and you may find the happiness you are seeking in your career. Allan Benowitz, Vice President of the Employee Engagement Group, discussed how “happy” does not necessarily equal “engaged,” but engaged employees are typically very happy with their jobs. Take a look at a company’s mission statement or list of values, and evaluate what they place the most importance on. Employees’ behaviors and feelings should be mentioned – not just the results of the company’s work. If you find a workplace that values respect, empowerment, and trust, the last of which is the #1 motivator of engagement, then you may have stumbled upon a place where you can flourish and grow professionally. While job hunting, make sure a company values the same things you do – and search for an organization whose employees feel engaged, trusted, and motivated.
Companies can’t be pro-business without being pro-employees. This quote comes from Virtual’s President and CEO, Andy Freed. He previously worked on the 1992 presidential campaign for Paul Tsongas, who believed that “you can’t be pro-jobs without being pro-business.” Andy believes that in today’s economy businesses can’t thrive unless they focus on their greatest asset – their employees. Virtual strives to create an open environment conducive to learning and growing, and we do that by taking care of our employees and providing them with the resources they need to grow. If you have found a company whose beliefs align with yours, you likely have also found a place that values you and your skills, and will allow you to grow for years to come. The way a company treats its employees should be a key factor in your decision-making process. Look for a place that values everything its employees bring to the table, fosters learning and growth, and strives to continue improving opportunities for its workers.
Present yourself in a professional manner. Danielle Newman, Relationship Manager of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn, gave us three quick career tips for building a strong LinkedIn profile: Post a profile picture that portrays you in a way you want to be viewed; write a catchy headline (spice it up by writing out your skills instead of naming your job); and write a strong but short summary – three paragraphs should do the trick. Put your best face forward and make sure you portray yourself the way you want your future employer to see you. If you keep making yourself available by attending networking events, maintaining your social media profile, reaching out to those you want to connect with, growing your skill set, and applying yourself whenever possible, you will increase your chances of finding – and landing – your dream job.
Ultimately, the will to find your perfect match comes from within. You need to first ask yourself a few key questions about what you truly need from a career, what you value, and what motivates you. Your answers will guide your job search, especially in the initial stages. Once you have a solid idea of what you are looking for, you should be proactive in your search, honing your skills, attending career fairs or networking events, and maintaining strong digital representation (social media, resume, etc.). The next step in your search is to evaluate the workplace by reviewing their mission statement and trying to identify how engaged their employees are. Look for an organization that values their employees and is striving to provide high-quality development opportunities to them. If you can find a company that values the same things you value, can support you in the way you need, and enables you to have a healthy work-life balance, you may have found your perfect fit.
Making yourself available and extending your networks will increase your chances of finding a job that will make you happy. Virtual, Inc. strives to provide its employees and the community with opportunities to network and focus on professional development. If you’d like to hear about more opportunities like the Networking Open House on May 11, 2017, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for frequent updates. We hope these tips and events provide valuable guidance in your search – not just for a job, but, more importantly, for happiness in your career.Back to Knowledge Hub