This is a true story as told to DiversityJobs.com where you can find helpful career interviews and job search advice in your desired industry. Visit to find a career interview in your field today. The job path of a diversity consultant isn't always the same, but here's my story. I am currently a Military Equal Opportunity (MEO) Advisor / Human Relations Education (HRE) / Diversity Specialist for the United States Air Force. I have been in the military for a total of 15 years in various jobs, and have served in my current position for almost three years. I completed a three-week course on Diversity issues in Florida before I was assigned this position. I also go through many continuing education courses on a regular basis to keep me up-to-date on the latest information I need to perform my duties. In addition to my military duties of airmanship, which includes physical fitness and being prepared as a warfighter, I manage the Diversity, MEO and HRE programs for the entire base that I am stationed on. I am in charge of all administrative functions for these programs, and I coordinate and conduct all Diversity and related training for a small base of about 1,200 people. I create the training and course materials and conduct classes. My staff and I promote an environment where all individuals connected with the unit, both civilian and military personnel and their families, are treated with dignity and respect at all times, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. I also provide advice, consultation, education, mediation to unit members and families, and provide resources for them, in an effort to enhance mission effectiveness. I have a staff of three that assist me, so I also train them and keep them up-to-date on Diversity issues. On a scale of 1 to 10, my current job satisfaction rating is a 10. I love my job and what I do. I get to serve my country and help better the lives of our airmen, civilian employees and family members. I joined the military to help people, and I get to do this on a daily basis. I have served in a lot of positions in my 15 years in the military, and this is by far the most challenging and most fulfilling. When I took this job, being a Diversity consultant was really not on my radar as far as what I wanted to do in the military. My Commander came to me and asked me to do the job because he really believed in me and my abilities. After thinking on it for a few minutes, I accepted. I believe I made the right choice, and my senior leadership agrees. I perform my duties to the best of my abilities and it has paid off in the form of happy unit members and several awards bestowed upon me by my unit and higher headquarters. The single most important thing I have learned outside of school about the working world is that it's tough. My unit has several Guardsmen and Reservists attached, and I deal with active-duty members as they transition to retirement. The job market is tough, and leaving military service to a world of unknowns is scary. I am thankful to have job security in the military, but even that is shaky now, with budget cuts and subsequent personnel cuts. The most challenging part of my job would be the complaints we get that someone isn't being treated fairly. We then have to investigate and get statements from the parties involved and interview witnesses and try to come up with a good solution for all parties involved. This can be stressful as every story has multiple sides and it's up to us to find out the truth of the matter. My job can be stressful at times. There are a lot of tasks to be done, and sometimes we have little time to complete them in. We also have a yearly inspection, but my team is always on top and ready for anything like that, so it doesn't cause us as much stress as you might think. Thanks to the other members of my shop, I am able to leave work issues at work most of the time. We share weekend duty and one of us carries the duty cell phone each weekend, so for three weekends a month, I am free to think about everything but work. And in the evenings, I relax with my family and leave work issues at work. I exercise daily and eat a healthy diet, so I am able to handle any stresses that come my way. To obtain the position I hold in the Air Force, you must be at least a Non-Commissioned Officer in the rank of E-5 or above. I currently hold the rank of E-7/Master Sergeant, and have a combined total of 15 years of military service (four years in the Army and the rest in the Air Force). My base pay is currently $3,976 per month, not including other allowances. I also receive BAS (Basic Allowance for Subsistence, or grocery money) and BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing). The military pays you well for what you do, once you get a little rank and time in service. I am authorized 30 days of vacation per year, and I do take all days authorized. It is more than enough, and I am so thankful for the time off. I realize many jobs don't get this kind of vacation time. 30 days per year is enough to allow me to spend quality time with my family and relax and clear my mind so I can do my job well. Each day, I am happy to get up and head to work. I am so honored to be able to serve my country. I fought pretty hard to clear several obstacles to even be allowed to join the military 15 years ago. I never take my service for granted, and I never take for granted that the military took a chance on me and decided to let me serve. I have been proud of everything I have done, but the most proud moment in my life was when I got to meet President Bush in Greensburg, Kansas in May 2007 just after the devastating tornado hit that town. I will never forget how he shook my hand and thanked me for helping the people of Greensburg. I was and still am honored. JustJobs.com is ajob search engine that finds job listings from company career pages, other job boards, newspapers and associations. With one search, they help you find the job with your name on it.Diversity consultant job image from Shutterstock
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 23, 2022
Have you interviewed for a job and got caught off guard with the salary question? Do you struggle to identify a reasonable salary range that you feel comfortable with? If so, we're here to show you the right way to conduct salary research!
These days, the hiring manager or recruiter will most likely ask about your salary expectations in the first or early round of the interview process. If you aren’t ready for this conversation, it can make you look unprepared, diffident, or worse….costing you the entire job opportunity.
So, let's show you how to avoid that and talk about your desired salary with confidence!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Figure out the correct sites to explore while doing salary research
- Identify the tools you need to figure out your market value
- Choose a salary range that you feel comfortable with
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, September 28th 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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In my last article, I talked about an example of someone who was working 60 hours a week and then went through a big life event (like having a baby) and now only wants to work 40 hours a week. If you're in the same boat, how can you reset work expectations with your boss and still get a good performance review?
Here's my advice on how to successfully manage work expectations without hurting your career...
It's Usually Easier To Get A New Job Than Reset Work Expectations
@j.t.odonnell Replying to @carolinecc1 How to reset work expectations with your boss. #worktok#careertok#jobtok#careertiktok#careeradvice#quietquitting#quietquittingmyjob#career#job#learnontiktok#edutok#worklife#work#workmode#boss#expectations♬ original sound - J.T. O'Donnell
In my 20+ years of experience as a career coach, about 50% of the time it's just easier to get a new job if you're looking to reset work expectations at your current job. At a new job, you can set your ideal expectations from the get-go.
But if you really like where you are right now and want to stay there, follow the three steps below to reset your work expectations.
How To Successfully Reset Work Expectations With Your Boss (If You Want To Stay)Bigstock
Step #1: Do Some Homework
Get out a piece of paper and create three columns. In column #1, list all the things you were hired to do, looking back at the job description for your role if you have to. In column #2, list everything that you've taken on since then because if you're working 60 hours a week, you've taken on a lot of additional responsibility. Then, in column #3, think of one or two things that you could take off your boss's plate. Something that's a real headache to them that if you took it off their plate, you'd be super valuable to them.
Step #2: Meet With Your Boss
Next, set up a one-on-one meeting with your boss. Type up your three-column list, sit down with your boss, and have a conversation. Here's an example of what you could say...
"When I first started at this company, I was working 60 hours a week to get myself up to a level of value. But now, as you know, I've had this life event and I really want to stick to 40 hours a week but continue to give you a high level of value. So here's what I figured out. Here are all the things I was hired to do in column #1. Here are all the additional things I'm now doing in column #2. And here are some things that I would love to do for you to make your life easier in column #3. But in order for me to do that, we'd have to take a couple of things off my plate in column #1 that maybe somebody else with more junior skills could handle."
This is how you begin the conversation. Now, as a bonus, I would suggest you go through and list how many hours a week you do each task in columns one, two, and three, and add them up to show your boss how all of those tasks take over 40 hours to complete. And if you could move things around together, what would they want you to work on? What would be the highest payoff activities for your 40 hours?
Step #3: Update Your Boss On Your Progress
The final step is to give your boss some time to review this information. Then once they approve your new work expectations, you are going to regularly update them on your progress. Communicate with them about what you're getting done in 40 hours. Market yourself because that's what people forget to do. They forget to market their value and prove to the employer that they're working smarter, not harder—without having to do it in extra time.
Once you shift this perception, you're going to see great results. A lot of times managers don't realize how much you're doing and, upon seeing this list, will reset your work expectations for you. But it's on you to bring up your concerns and try to find a solution where both of you are happy.
Need more help with your career?
I'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Power Hour Event Subscription! I look forward to answering all of your career questions in our next live event!
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How do you know if you understand something?
I am a non-technical person working in an IT company. My colleagues will often tell me something technical. Sometimes I understand what they are saying. Sometimes I have no idea what they are talking about. Sometimes I think I understand what they are telling me when they are telling me, but then later I realize that I don’t understand it at all.
Understanding is complex. As communicators and trainers, we need to think about how understanding works to communicate and train effectively.
We are all communicators and trainers at one time or another.
What Is Understanding?
A quick Google search of “understanding” does not provide a clear answer.
Researchgate, quoting “Newton, 2000,” says, “Understanding implies being able to think, act and apply the knowledge in different ways in various situations.”
Robert Ryshke, writing in “gse.harvard.edu,” states, “Understanding a topic of study is a matter of being able to perform in a variety of thought-demanding ways with the topic.”
Artseducator.org says something very similar: “Understanding is a matter of being able to do a variety of thought-provoking things with a topic.”
Let’s Ask Again: How Do You Know If You Understand Something?
If someone explains something to you and then asks you if you understand it, you will probably reply based on how you feel.
As a trainer, you may well look at your trainees’ faces to see if they understand the material. When they don’t understand, they may look uncertain or give you the “What are you talking about?” look. (My two-year-old niece is very good at that!)
The feeling that you understand is sometimes deceptive. This is why educators use “output activities” or tests to see if trainees really understand.
How Can We Test Understanding?
The worst thing you can do is ask: “Do you understand?” It puts the burden of understanding on the trainee. If he doesn’t understand, it’s the trainer’s fault. She needs to explain the content in a different way.
When learning in groups, trainees may not say they do not understand for fear of looking stupid in front of their colleagues.
There are a number of options you can build into your training plan. These options are based on Wiggins and McTighe’s “6 Facets of Understanding”:
- Ability to explain the content: This has to be more than just repeating the material verbatim. Let’s imagine you are teaching sales agents a new sales script. If your trainees create a mind map to explain the material they received in a PowerPoint presentation, they are reformatting the information and engaging with it at a deeper level than they would by repeating it.
- Interpreting the content: To see how well your agents might understand the sales script, ask them to explain it to their colleagues as if the other person was five years old, their grandmother, or to an alien from another planet. Their challenge is to explain it to someone who does not have the same contextual knowledge that they do.
- Applying the content: When teaching your sales team the new script, this will include getting them to role play it. One trainee will be the salesperson and the other the customer. Role plays can include “what would you do if…?” scenarios to practice dealing with different types of customers and handling different objections.
- Having a perspective based on the content: You can build this into the role plays by asking the “customer” to play a specific kind of customer and behave as this kind of person might behave. In a business-to-consumer scenario, this might involve playing roles representing different demographics. In a business-to-business context, this might mean playing the roles of customers in different verticals who have different requirements and different ways of behaving. Builders have different needs and behave in different ways from bankers.
- Empathize: When adopting roles in the role-play training, ask trainees to imagine how customers might feel and put those emotions into the training. This could include angry and aggressive customers. This gives trainees playing the salesperson’s role the chance to test their skills in handling an angry customer, while it gives the trainee playing the “angry customer” the chance to imagine how the angry customer is feeling, and adjust how she handles him accordingly.
- Have self-knowledge: Some trainees may find this uncomfortable since trainees need to examine their own reactions and feelings towards the content. For salespeople, particularly after they have role-played a demanding conversation, this may help them to understand and manage their own emotional responses when facing, for example, angry customers.
The Ball’s In Your Court!
Are you planning some training? How do you know that you understand the content well enough to train it? What questions are you afraid people will ask? How do you plan to test your trainees’ understanding?
I’d love to hear more about it! Drop me a line!
The following article may be both relevant and useful: Explaining How Things Work: How To Do It And Why It Matters
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