“The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it WOULD twist itself round and look up in her face, with such a puzzled expression that she could not help bursting out laughing”. Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
There is always at least one flamingo in every career woman’s life even if you do not realize it.
Usually it is the person that frustrates you the most, the person that makes it difficult to get your job done and be able to continue down the path to success. This is the person who makes it hard to win because of how they play the game; this is the person who behaves very similar to Alice’s flamingo.
Your flamingo may be your boss, it may be your colleague (the one in the old boys club that keeps steeling your ideas and presenting them), it may be your colleague - the one that is your competition for your next job, it maybe your shift manager or group leader, it may be a customer, or it may be your partner who really does not understand why you stay in your job. But no matter who your flamingo is, the key to success is learning how to control them, how not to become intimidated and how to laugh at them when they look at you with a puzzled expression because you actually learned to control them.
Just as in Alice’s story, managing your flamingo will not be easy, nor will it be predictable.
Why is that? It is because a Flamingo is a Flamingo; because it is a tall and extremely beautiful bird that likes to show itself off. Learning to manage a flamingo begins with understanding its strengths and weaknesses. For example, let’s consider the flamingo’s assets. The long legs and long neck that make a flamingo beautiful also make it quite fragile. They are an asset as well as a hindrance. Maybe that’s why Alice’s flamingo does not want to hit the hedgehog with its beautiful long fragile neck, or have its legs tucked away. In learning to manage your flamingo, examine its behavior, notice its assets and recognize its strengths and weaknesses.
Usually the flamingos in the business world are just as hard to manage as Alice’s flamingo, therefore trying to understand their motivation is a great way to begin the management process. Are they trying to maneuver themselves in order to get themselves into a comfortable or better position? Are they being unpredictable just to throw you off balance or gain advantage? Are they flashing their beautiful colors just to get attention? Once you observe and understand their behavior you can focus on the management process.
Flamingos in the business world, just like the birds, usually stand high and have their long necks and heads up in the air.
They are often so busy showing off their colors and being unpredictable, that they miss the entire meaning of the task, job or game. By focusing on what they do not focus on you can use the flamingo’s weaknesses to take control of the situation and manage them. Focus on the details that are too small for them to see. Bring substance and control to your position by being the unpredictable one. Most important: do not let their behavior intimidate you.
During my years in business I have observed many flamingos in action.
I have seen how their unpredictable behavior has frustrated those around them. Flamingos are in all positions, at all levels. Let me start with one of the most common and dangerous ones you will encounter in your career experience.
The Flamingo Colleague - Female
A female colleague with the flamingos character is probably the most difficult to manage. In the business world, people with this kind of character will be very protective of their career ambitions, just as a female flamingo would be protective of her young. The biggest mistake many women make is getting into too close of a relationship with their female colleagues at the workplace. Friendships and relationships are fine, as long as none of your colleagues have a flamingo character and you are not fighting with them for a promotion, a new position or the boss’s attention. Unfortunately this is rarely the case in the business world; there is always competition and fighting. Therefore I strongly suggest against becoming too close with your peers if you want to climb the ladder.
Why? Because women are often even more competitive with other women when fighting for a position, more competitive than if they were fighting with a man. And if one of the women has the character of a flamingo, then the battle can become very intense.
If you find that hard to believe, think of it in terms of what flamingos would do.
Let’s say there are 3 flamingos, all females and one piece of flamingo food. There would be an intense battle for that piece of food (especially if they all had children to feed). If there were 3 flamingos in total and 2 were females and 1 male, where would the intensity of the battle be? Probably between the two females!
In my 28 years of working, I have observed brutally competitive behavior between females, more competitive than between females and males. I, who could have categorized my younger self as a flamingo, will also admit in my climb up the ladder I engaged in brutally competitive behavior to ensure I got what I wanted. So what is my advice in dealing with unmanageable, unpredictable, female flamingos in the work place?
First, I hope you are colleagues and not friends with your flamingo.
Second, in competing for a position concentrate on what the qualifications of the position are, and how you can fulfill those qualifications.
Flamingos will focus on who they are more than meeting the qualifications. By nature flamingos will try to sell themselves not their capabilities. Most female flamingos are so focused on themselves; they may miss the real picture. Use this to your advantage. Fight the battle for the attention from those whom are making the decision, do not fight against your competitor directly. Be strategic and smart in battling the circumstances, not the flamingo. Never go into direct battle with a flamingo, you will only lose.
In the end have some fun and burst out in laughter at the flamingo’s expression when they realize you are able to predict the unpredictable, and maybe even control the situation. Last, remember in each management challenge with a flamingo there is a learning lesson and if you are a flamingo, then maybe it’s time to pull your head out of the sky and learn from my observations of you.
So, this is my flamingo lesson for today, more advice on Flamingo Bosses, Flamingo Men Colleagues and more to come in the upcoming weeks, and for now just burst out laughing.
You have probably heard the term “dress for success.” Well, you are going to want to dress for success when you go on a job interview as this is your first and only time to make a good impression with your prospective boss.
How do you dress for success? Here are some pointers on how to really make a good impression with your dress style during a job interview:
Wear a suit
If you are a man, wear a tie. If you are a woman, wear a suit with heels and stockings. You should look very business like and professional. You probably will not be wearing a suit when you go to work on a daily basis, as most offices have adopted the business casual look, but you will want to wear a suit for the interview. Wearing a suit will show the interviewer that you cared enough about getting the job to get dressed up.
You do not want people to smell you coming a mile away, even if it is an expensive cologne. Minimize your use of cologne or perfume when you go for a job interview. Too much cologne is distracting and will end up being a distraction for your prospective boss who may even be disturbed by this. Both men and women are guilty of wearing too much cologne at times so go easy on the scent. By the way, you don’t want to smell bad, either. Make sure that you are well groomed and washed for your job interview.
Go easy on make up
Women should go easy on make up as well as elaborate hair styles. Women who wear too much makeup to a job interview end up looking unprofessional. This does not mean that you have to look like a plain Jane, either. You can look good and wear your hair pulled back without having it in a severe bun. But long flowing locks and make up galore is for a nightclub, not for a job interview. While you want to look attractive, you want to tone down any elaborate appearance.
If you are a man, make sure that you shave before a job interview. The scruffy look may work for some actors, but it will not land you a job. Shave and look well groomed before the job.
You would be surprised at how many people will notice your shoes. Women should wear a low heel and men should wear dress shoes. Shoes should be conservative in nature and should be polished.
Professional networking is at the core of a successful career. It is important to identify individuals with whom you can form positive relationships and share information. Networks provide support, business leads, and can even help you circumvent those automated pre-screening filters!
1. Alumni Networks
When you complete a program of study, do not let your affiliation with your school diminish after you receive your diploma or degree. No matter if it is high school, a technical college or a four-year university, forming and maintaining professional relationships with teachers, principals, professors, advisors, and fellow learners can prove to be beneficial in your search for employment. Almost all schools have alumni groups you can join. I would suggest contacting your school’s alumni office or career center just before you graduate. Familiarize yourself with the resources that will be available to you once you graduate. Look for alumni-specific events such as career fairs, networking parties, and even tailgating events. You do not always have to network in a formal setting. Networking in an informal setting can be as effective, as it provides a more relaxed atmosphere to make connections.
Another way to make the most out of your alumni connections is to keep your contact information current with the alumni office. This includes your mailing address, phone numbers, and email address. You will want to be sure you can receive notifications that may be of benefit and of interest to you. If the alumni office produces an alumni directory, request a copy. Also, read alumni newsletters and other publications to stay abreast of the happenings on campus. This is a good way remain connected with your school.
If you have been out of school for a while and have not remained in touch with your school associates and friends, it isn’t too late. Start today by reaching out to your alumni office. Attend a school event. Reconnecting is easier than you think. Whatever you do, do not let this valuable resource lie dormant. You have made a huge investment in yourself by attending school and completing your program, and now it is time to realize more of a return on your investment.
2. Professional and Trade Associations
Just about every career field has one or several corresponding professional and trade associations you can join. Normally, yearly membership dues are required along with proof that you are either currently working in your field, are a student, or a graduate seeking employment in the career field associated with your organization of interest. If you are a student you may, in some cases, qualify for a reduced membership fee. Joining a professional organization can open up a number of career opportunities. Please be aware that simply adding your name to an organization’s membership roster will not guarantee that you will have success in your job search. You will need to be an active participant. Most organizations have at least one major conference a year, and smaller scale events on a more frequent basis. Attend as many events as your time and money will allow. Not only will you be able to stay abreast of developments in your field, you stand an excellent chance of making valuable professional contacts.
3. Career Fairs
I am not trying to be overly obvious, but if you are looking to make employment connections, what better place to do so than at a career fair? Depending on the size of the event, you will have access to dozens or even hundreds of recruitment and hiring managers under one roof. This will be the perfect opportunity to get to know more about the companies that interest you, and more about the people who do are responsible for hiring. Also, you will have an opportunity to meet with fellow job seekers. You’re probably thinking, “Job seekers? Aren’t they my competition?” It depends on how you look at it. You may meet someone who works or has worked at a company where you would like to work. They may be willing to candidly share their experiences with you. Be careful though. Use your best judgment when speaking to other job seekers. Don’t let this information alone determine your level of interest in the company. Gather facts by doing your own research.
This isn’t written in stone anywhere, but I believe every professional should attend at least one major conference and four other events (one each season or quarter) related to their career field. Conferences provide professional growth and development opportunities and put you in direct contact with others in your profession. Challenge yourself to meet at least five new people. Plan ahead so that you can get the most out of your experience. Study the conference agenda to determine which workshops and presentations you will attend. If you have an area of expertise, you may consider registering as a speaker. Remember to have copies of your professional resume available and plenty of clean, crisp business cards.
5. Social Networks
Social networking, when used properly, can be a great tool to help you land a position. This is an opportunity for potential employers to get a better idea of who you are outside of your resume and a way for you to easily get information about companies of interest.
Artificial intelligence has been the secret sauce for a few of the most significant modern technology companies. However modern technology large Alphabet Inc.'s Google is betting large on 'democratising' artificial intelligence as well as machine learning and also making them offered to everyone-- users, developers as well as ventures.
From finding and also taking care of dangerous conditions, reducing crash threats to uncovering monetary fraud, Google said that it aimed to enhance the quality of life by lowering access obstacles to using these technologies. These modern technologies would likewise add a great deal of value to self-driving cars, Google Photos' search capabilities and even Snapchat filters that transform the photos of customers right into computer animated photos.
" Google's cloud platform currently provides customer applications to over a billion individuals on a daily basis," stated Fei-Fei Li, primary scientist of AI and artificial intelligence at Google Cloud. "Now if you can just picture, combining the large reach of this platform with the power of AI and also making it readily available to everybody."
AI intends to develop machines that can mimic human knowledge processes, while Stanford University explains machine learning as "the scientific research of obtaining computer systems to act without being explicitly set."
At the Google Cloud Next seminar in San Francisco this month, Ms. Li introduced the accessibility of cloud 'Video Knowledge API' to the programmers. The technology was demonstrated on stage while playing a video clip. The API was not just able to find a pet dog in the video yet likewise determine it as a dachshund. In another trial, a straightforward search for "coastline" regurgitated video clips which had beach clips inside them. Google claimed the API is the very first of its kind, enabling designers to easily browse and also discover video web content by providing details about entities. These include nouns such as "blossom" or "human" and also verbs such as "swim" or "fly" inside video clip web content. It could even give the contextual understanding of when those entities show up. For instance, searching for "Tiger" would certainly discover all precise shots consisting of tigers across a video clip collection in Google cloud storage space.
"Now finally we are beginning to radiate the light on the dark matter of the digital universe," stated Ms. Li, that is also the supervisor of the Artificial Intelligence and Vision Labs at Stanford College.
Author Brian Stevenson
Brian is author of this blog. He is a researcher of career development, he knows a lot about career building and whats to share his experience with readers. Brian is also a Zombie evangelist, Friendly web lover, Pop culture specialist, Subtly charming writer and Food enthusiast.