Workplace expert Tory Johnson is in Washington this week for the Spring Women For Hire Career Expo. We sat down yesterday to discuss what it takes for professional women to thrive in this challenging job market, whether as a manager or as a job seeker. Edited excerpts from our conversation are below.
Mary Ellen: What is the biggest challenge women managers are facing right now?
Tory: Everyone feels pressured to do a whole lot more with less. Some people choke, but others recognize it as an opportunity. This is the time to speak up and offer new ideas. You need to have the strength to kill projects that are a drain on your resources. You need to say no. For the person who recognizes that, this is a time to shine.
With so many applicants to choose from, how do you sort through them all and know you’ve hired the best person?
By going through multiple interviews. Often, we’re so anxious to fill that seat, we make our decisions based on first impressions. But the hiring process shouldn’t be that easy. You want to see them sweat a little.
What’s the most important thing any woman looking for a job right now needs to know? How does your organization help?
With so much available talent right now, it’s not enough to be qualified. You must also be an excellent job seeker. You have to network. I can’t make you smarter or give you better skills, but I can help you package it better.
Photo, Tory Johnson