Q&A with the career coach
Cliff Montgomery: Job Hunting and Career Planning
“Q&A with the career coach” is a series of articles featuring questions from readers and answers from 42-year human resource veteran and career coach Cliff Montgomery. Future questions can be submitted to him at his address below
Q: I find that many companies today are using personality tests for applicants. Do you as a coach use any similar tests and why?
A: While many companies today do use “personality” tests, I have to say that during my executive HR career, I was never a big supporter of these tests as I could never seem to make a connection as to whether these tests would be predictive of success in a particular role.
Employees with a variety of personalities seemed to be successful in the same role and added to our diversity. That all being said, I do use a fairly sophisticated behavioral-style assessment survey with my clients to help them better understand themselves and the behaviors that come most easily and naturally to them. I believe that many people have careers or jobs that they entered almost by accident, and then wonder why they’re not happy or performing well in them.
My assessment provides them an overview of their natural behavioral style, but, more importantly, what their ideal work environment would be, their strengths, as well as their “strengths that can be overused” (a.k.a. weaknesses). It also contains a section on how to coach them, providing them insight into what kind of managerial style would be the best fit for them. Armed with these results, targeted career planning is made much easier as the client better knows what they should be looking for.
Q: I understand you do pro-bono career coaching for veterans, and specifically for those currently returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. What are some of the reasons you feel employers should hire veterans?
A: This has been one of the highlights of my coaching activities recently. As an Vietnam-era veteran myself, while I strongly believe it’s my patriotic duty to help these heroes re-assimilate back into society after their service to our country is complete, in my experience, they bring a variety of critical skills to the workplace.
Most companies today are looking for team players who can work under pressure with leadership potential and an ability to do more than what’s expected. This is what the military prides itself on. Another area is discipline. This is a major strength of individuals who have served in the military, and you can always depend on a veteran to not only do what’s expected, but more.
For those veterans who were officers, their in-depth leadership training will pay big dividends for any company looking for managerial talent, and their ability to manage diversity is unequaled. Lastly, it goes without saying that these individuals work well under pressure and naturally talk more about “we” than “me.” Hire a vet; you won’t regret it.
Send your questions to Clifford E. Montgomery, executive and career coach in New Hope. He can be reached at 215-862-5553 or email@example.com. His website is montgomerycareercoaching.com.
Copyright ©2013 Bucks County Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.