Are you an ideal employee?

It’s a fair question, whether you’re looking for a job or you’re settled in with a job.

This articles describes 15 traits of the ideal employee. It’s a great list for prospective employers as they evaluate job candidates, but it’s also a great checklist for those of us looking for a job. What can we do to add more value to our company? Here are the first two items on the list:

1. Action-oriented – Hire employees who take action and take chances. While chances may lead to failure, they will more often lead to success and mold confidence while generating new ideas. Stagnant employees won’t make your company money; action-oriented employees will.

2. Intelligent – Intelligence is not the only thing, but it’s a strong foundation for success. While there are many variables you can be flexible on when hiring, intelligence is a must or you’re going to be spending an abundance of time proofing work, micromanaging and dealing with heightened stress levels.

The term “problem solver” isn’t on this list, though many of the attributes point to this quality. It’s important to be able to identify problems, but the best employees will help you solve them and also take the initiative where appropriate.

As you look for a new job and prepare for interviews, keep this list in mind.

Protecting your professional reputation

Are you someone who is respected in business? Do you meet deadlines? Do you avoid making excuses when things go wrong?

Your professional reputation is critical, and it goes far beyond your core competency for your job. It’s often about the little things, like being prepared for meeting and being responsive.

This article provides a very handy list of the little things you should pay attention to.

Facebook and job interviews

Most people are aware now that the stuff you post on Facebook and other social media outlets will likely be researched by prospective employers. This interview with Dr. Lawrence Burgee, Department Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Information Systems, Brown School of Business and Leadership, Stevenson University, illustrates the point. He tells a story of one interview where an applicant was asked if a person could be their friend for an hour to look over their Facebook page while others were interviewing him.

Dave Navarro gives career advice to musicians

Bullz-Eye.com recently interviewed Dave Navarro as Jane’s Addiction was about to release their first album since 2003. In the interview he was asked about advice he’d give to aspiring musicians.

BE: What is the number one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a band today?

DN: I’ve answered that before, and to be perfectly frank, in this climate and the way the music business is, I would say the number one piece of advice is to do exactly what you love, and make sure you love doing it. I think back to when Jane’s Addiction started in the late ’80s, and we weren’t really aware that we would amount to much. We thought we were doing something special, but given the climate and what was successful at the time, we just felt that it was best to do what we wanted to do and stick to who we were, and as a result of that, we were able to gain some attention. The climate has changed so much, and the media has changed so much over the years, I’m astonished with how many people I’ve come into contact with that are really looking for fame, period. And those are all the wrong reasons to do this. You’d just be chasing some dream, and once you’ve reached a certain level of success, their whole life will be okay. But the fact of the matter is, they’re still stuck with themselves at the end of the day.

BE: So music’s not the end goal for a lot of these bands? It’s just celebrity that’s more important to them?

DN: I don’t want to say that, because there’s a really great rock movement happening, and there are lots of great artists out there. I’m saying that, and I’m sure you can understand, if you look in the more mainstream/pop world, there are a lot of people just chasing the notoriety. And hey, they’re happy doing that, I’m not saying anything negative about them. I’m just saying to upcoming bands, make the goal to work on the music that you’re most proud of, and the rest should fall into place.

It’s good advice, and the notion applies far wider than the music industry. Ask yourself why you pick any profession, job or career. Are you doing it for the money or other types of rewards, or is it something you really want to do for its own sake. You have to be honest with yourself.

Words of wisdom from Steve Jobs

Apple announced the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs on October 5, 2011. He was 56. Jobs was the founder and former CEO of Apple that transformed personal computer technology and invented devices such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad. He is shown announcing the Macintosh computer in 1984 in San Francisco, California. UPI/Terry Schmitt/files

Steve Jobs passed away today. He was one of the most important and influential people of our time and he will be greatly missed.

I would recommend that everyone, particularly young people, read this speech from Steve Jobs given at Stanford in 2005. It’s the best career advice I’ve ever heard.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Read the whole thing.

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