‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com.Dear J.T. & Dale: I was assaulted by a former neighbor. As a result, I suffered a stroke and have headaches that lead to seizures. I lost my job after suffering a seizure during a phone call. How do I handle this in an interview? — Cynthia Dale: Before we get to future interviews, Cynthia, I was dismayed to hear that a seizure cost you your job. So let's bring into the conversation a long-time friend of this column, employment law expert Scott Gordon of the Rodey Law Firm in Albuquerque, N.M., and ask him if there is something — perhaps the Americans with Disabilities Act — that would come into play. SCOTT: Whether or not Cynthia has a "disability" would depend in part on whether her condition is short term or long term. If her headaches and seizures are expected to continue, then she may very well be protected by the ADA. Dale: So if she's going to recover, then it's OK to fire her? SCOTT: No, but it wouldn't be a matter for the ADA, which does not cover short-term impairments. If you have the flu or a broken leg, you'll recover; therefore, you are not disabled. However, there are limitations on an employer's ability to terminate an employee who has a short-term impairment. The Family and Medical Leave Act requires the employer to grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to an employee with a serious medical condition. There are, of course, exceptions. J.T.: Let's assume for now that Cynthia's former employer complied or that she doesn't want to fight the decision. While legal restrictions might keep a potential employer from asking about health or medical conditions, they won't prevent questions about why she left her last job. SCOTT: I would advise Cynthia to answer honestly but without specifics. She might say: "I was terminated for reasons related to a medical issue. I think the decision was wrong, but I've chosen not to challenge it." A well-trained interviewer will know not to ask about the medical condition, but might ask her about not fighting the decision. She might then say: "I don't have to always be right. Sometimes it's better to preserve a relationship." If I were hiring, Cynthia would move to the top of my list. J.T.: She needs to do a bit more to get to the top of my list — you don't want to leave an interviewer wondering whether you can do the job. Perhaps, Cynthia, you could explain how you handle the headaches and minimize the chance of seizures. Dale: You end up hoping that someone will take an interest in helping you. That works, especially if you say something like: "I need someone to give me a chance to show how effective I can be. I'll really come through for such a person." Instead of interviewers feeling that they might be dragged into your life problems, your medical issue becomes a work advantage: greater effort and lasting gratitude. Jeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten's latest book is "(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success" (John Wiley & Sons). Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2009 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
8 Ways You're Being SHUT OUT Of The Hiring Process
1-hour workshop to help job seekers figure out what's getting them tossed from the hiring process
September 28, 2022
Are you terrified of screwing up a job interview? Does the thought of writing a cover letter horrify you? Are you scared to network with others? What do you even say, anyway? If you're struggling to overcome your job search fears, this live event is for you.
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
- Be confident in your job search—from writing your resume to networking
- Face your fears and move forward
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
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September 30, 2022
The business seems to be doing better, but you have reporting to show how well it's actually doing? You want to collect data and turn it into information. This allows the business to make decisions based on actionable reporting. How much business intelligence (BI) does your organization have?
COTS Applications For Actionable Reporting
Most COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) applications will have standard/canned reports. These are the “common” reports used by customers. If you’re implementing a new system and there are many standard reports, start with 10 top reports so you don’t overwhelm the end users. If you’re not sure what these are, ask the vendor to recommend them (especially if you’re changing your process and following the vendor’s best practice). Then the end users can utilize other standard reports as they get more comfortable and familiar with the application.
For example, if you just purchased a new phone system for the call center, find the reports that detail measurements such as the number of calls, dropped calls, wait time, peak times, etc.
Identify and define key performance indicators (KPIs), which are measurable values to analyze for better decision making. KPIs may be related to a specific function, line of business, or group of individuals. You can take a group of KPIs and create a dashboard. For example, some KPIs related to the help desk are:
- Tickets by status (e.g., open, on hold, completed, canceled)
- Tickets assigned by technician
- Average resolution time
- Rate of first-time resolutions
- Customer satisfaction
Once you’re comfortably leveraging the standard reports, you may want to ask the vendor (or your team’s developer/programmer) to customize standard reports or create custom reports with additional specific information you’re looking for. This may involve combining data from multiple tables within the application.
Two typical ways to serve these reports: 1) “push” reports to the end users on a scheduled frequency such as via email daily; or 2) have the end user “pull” reports which gives them the ability to access the reports as needed.
But reporting isn’t limited to COTS applications. You can create remarkable reports using Excel such as PivotTables, Pivot Charts, or Slicers.
Other Tips & Tools For Actionable Reporting
Another phenomenal visualization tool that is part of Office 365 is Power BI. It’s part of the Microsoft family (similar to Excel) so it’s straightforward to use. You can create a dashboard visualizing year-over-year comparisons, market segmentations, drill downs, etc.
If you’re new to Power BI, you can download the free desktop version (which admittedly does have limitations). If you find that Power BI does meet your basic reporting needs and you want more, then you can upgrade to the Pro license.
If you have enormous amounts of data, you may want to consider creating a data lake (raw data) or data warehouse (structured data). You can pull in data from multiple disparate systems into one central repository. There are ETL (extract transform load) tools to load the data into the data warehouse. You can cube the data so that the end users can roll up, drill down, and slice the data, do “what if” scenarios, etc.
TIP: If you allow end users to create their own reports, it’s critical that they understand the various data fields. Are you able to give them some type of data dictionary, or are they able to certify the results? It would be disastrous if they selected the wrong date or revenue field which produced incorrect results and sent the report to the board of directors.
Other reporting considerations:
1. Have a separate reporting database so that you don’t affect the production database. You don’t want an end user to kick off a complex query inadvertently causing production response to come to a crawl or even freeze.
- If you do set up a reporting database you need to decide how frequently the data will be updated—real time, once in the evening, etc.
2. Data needs to be secured appropriately (security). Who should have access to specific data fields should be determined by the data owner. For example, only a small handful of people should be able to access salary/payroll information.
3. Data should be classified such as public, internal, confidential, or restricted. Access should be controlled as appropriate.
4. Create a customer portal (extranet) to empower your customers (also partners and vendors) so that they can pull their own reports and information.
There is a quote by Lois Horowitz: “Not having the information you need when you need it leaves you wanting. Not knowing where to look for that information leaves you powerless. In a society where information is king, none of us can afford that.”
For more information on actionable reporting, follow me on LinkedIn!
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