Thirty year corporate veteran, Andy Teach, made his way from the West Coast to Bloomsburg University to enlighten students on how to be successful in the workplace in today’s tough economic times on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Kehr Union. Andy Teach was most recently the vice president of Network & Cable Research in Los Angeles, California, but when the economy was hit hard, his contract was not renewed after being in with the same company for 27 years. Now he travels putting on this presentation to show people of all ages what it takes to not only get a job, but how to keep the job for when you get hired. He admits his own mistakes in hopes that other will learn and become as successful, if not even more successful than himself.
One of the first things he said was, “Find something that you like to do. Jobs in which you can excel in, get promotions, and make an impact.” He recognizes the importance of making sure you love what you do, and not taking a job specifically for the money that you will be making. Teach made the remark that networking does not stop once you get the job. You network, network, network, until you cannot network anymore which, according to Teach, should be never. You need to constantly be networking with people to gain the upper hand in the workplace. For college age students he recommends that you get a business card. You can make your own or you can use a website that does them for you. Some information to include would be your name, school, contact information, major, and expected graduation date. He also mentioned the importance of taking risks and to go for everything that you want. Do not be scared to take chances and make mistakes. You can learn from you mistakes and it is better to make them when you are young.
If you are looking for a job you can use many resources in order to get the word spread that you are in the market looking for a job. You can network within your family, with your doctor, dental hygienist, or any other people you know. Establishing contacts is very important. Websites like Facebook and Twitter can also be used to announce that you are looking. People may respond with a contact that can lead you to a job that you will have for the rest of your life.
Your resume can make a huge impact on your first impression on a potential employer. Make sure that everything is correct and in the place where it needs to be. Once you get the interview for the job, you have to start doing research. Research the company and what the company believes in. Looking at the mission statement is a good place to start. It doesn’t hurt to do a mock interview to practice for the big day. Here at Bloomsburg, you can schedule a mock interview with the Career Center, which is located on the second floor of the Student Services Center. This will help you to work out any kinks in the process and do even better when it is the real thing. You also want to be prepared with all the necessary paperwork and be able to have a list of questions readily available. Asking questions at the end of an interview further shows your interest in the company.Do not be rushed out the door. Feel free to ask as many question you have. Dress is also a vital part of the interview process. Teach said, “Dress as if you are going for the position that you want, not the one you are applying for.” By this he means dress up like upper management to prove that you dress nicely and take care of yourself. Smiling is always important and making eye contact with everyone you come in contact with goes a long way. “It is the little things that matter,” Teach continued. ” The little things go very far.” After the interview make sure that you send a thank you letter. It can be in the form of an e-mail, a handwritten letter, or a formal business letter format. “I really did not care which format they sent me,” Teach said, looking back on his days as an employer. “Just showing that they took some time to do it became a deciding factor in some cases as to who I was going to give the position to.”
After getting the job it is important to stay calm and do everything that is asked of you. Teach stresses that when you are the new kid on the block, “Go with the flow, at least in the beginning. Get to know the job and the politics before jumping into anything new.” You are also going to want to protect your reputation. Make everyone think that you are the best and that you are very nice. Obtaining respect in the workplace is very important. Do not be late to any days of work or meetings. By being late shows your personal time is worth more than work. Teach also suggested that you proofread everything. By doing this you gain credibility and give yourself a sophisticated image. It shows that you care enough to make sure that there are absolutely no mistakes. Taking credit for accomplishment is also something you need to do. Do not let upper management take credit for your ideas. Constructive criticism from your boss is helpful, and although it may seem condescending, take it as learning experience. Don’t take it personally. Take the advice and work with it. “It is okay if you make mistakes,” Tech said. “The key is to never make the same mistake twice.”
Being a flexible worker is very important when you are trying to establish a good image with your boss, company, and co-workers. When asked to stay late, come in early, work on weekends, or anything else it is very important that you do so. Being able to be a team player is something a company is always looking for. You always want to anticipate what is next. Teach compares this to playing chess in high school, “You always want to think three moves ahead. Think what the other person (your boss) is thinking and cooperate.”
The next topic that was discussed was office etiquette. Teach explains, “In my years as a vice president I have seen so many people do the wrong thing when it comes to doing simple tasks like answering the phone.” You need to speak clearly and have a respectful demeanor. It is also important to not be labeled as a complainer! This is something that Teach says that he lacked. He was always complaining about everything because he wanted everything to be done the right way. One last tip he had was to never date a co-worker or your boss.
The Internet is useful for almost everything but according to Teach it is probably not the best to use the Internet all the time at work. Many workplaces monitor the use of the Internet and have gotten fired because of the sites that they have gone on. He also offered helpful tips about e-mailing. He went over that you should always be looking for typos. Other things included not to use all CAPS, not forgetting attachments, using small paragraphs, sending messages with high priority, carbon copying the correct people, and leaving out contacts that are not involved in what you are communicating about. Teach said, “Tone is everything in an e-mail. You need to make sure you are speaking with a good tone, a tone in which people can read and interpret without getting any wrong messages.”
“The hardest thing about work is not the work,” He added. “It is the people that you work with.” It is so common for drama to happen in the office and getting along with your co-workers is the hardest thing, Teach says. Making sure that all the work can get done while being friendly and respectful with the people you are working with can be very challenging.
The number one piece of advice Teach had to give was that you need to make close connections with your boss. There are all different kinds of bosses, but you need to be able to be in close contact with them when it is necessary. Getting your boss on your good side is something that should be of top priority once getting hired.
The advice and information that this man had to offer was endless and everything was vital information for job seeking college students. What he had to say can help you to gain experience and a job that you will have for a long time. Following these tips and allowing your true personality to shine will help you to get the dream job that you have always hoped for.