[ 2006-12-01 11:33 ]
Q: I've been out of the (paid) workforce for a few years, for medical
reasons, although I did some volunteer work in my community during that time. I
also started a small business based on a hobby of mine. Now I'm ready to go back
to work full time, and I've got appointments for two job interviews. What should
I say when asked what I've been doing since my last "real job"?
A: An interviewer who asks you what you've been doing lately is really
asking, "What skills have you acquired recently that we might be able to use
here?" In other words, where you were is less important than what you learned.
Your volunteer work probably gave you some experience and insights that you
didn't have before, and starting a business (even a small home-based one) is
nothing if not educational. So sit down and analyze what you got out of those
two activities--whether it was organizing a fundraising drive, learning how to
market a product and deal with difficult customers, or whatever you think might
be relevant to the positions you're now seeking. You may be surprised at just
how much you did learn during your time away from full-time work, and many
skills these days are far more portable than most people think.
Q: Which do you think is better, working for only one manager or reporting to
several different people? I work for a PR agency and have been reporting to a
different manager for each of three accounts. Now our managing director wants
each of us junior people to work with only one manager (to build loyalty, he
says). I'm just starting my career, and I'd like to get exposure to many
different management styles, rather than knowing how only one person approaches
different situations and problems. Do you agree?
A: I do, as it happens, although I doubt your managing director is overly
interested in my opinion. Not only early in a career, but all the way through,
it can be extremely valuable to have lots of role models to draw upon (including
really bad bosses, who can teach you a thing or two about how not to manage).
However, if you're now to be limited to one boss, you might consider seeking out
exposure to lots of different styles and methods by getting involved in a trade
association or professional group.
（改编自：英文锁定 英语点津 Annabel 编辑）