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Promoted Over Your Peers? How to Lead a Team of Co-workers

You got the promotion. It comes with new responsibilities and new benefits. However, it also comes with a unique challenge. As the victor, you now need to navigate a new landscape of leading your coworkers, including a few who wanted the job you got. 

The transition from peer to leader all depends on your first few weeks. Here are our best tips to manage your teammates. 

Get Reacquainted as  Leader 

You didn’t get tapped to lead the team because of a fluke. It was your skills combined with the vision that helped you get started. However, your coworkers may not have seen what your boss did. 

Rather than force a transition, ease into it by meeting with your team members and getting reacquainted. Let them know what you see for the seem and ask them for their input. 

Don’t forget to get and reaffirm your co-worker’s pain points. Now that you have the power to make changes, hearing their concerns and suggestions again may give you a new perspective. 

Earn Your Influence 

You were one of the team on Friday, and now it’s Monday, and you’re the team leader. Your team won’t follow your influence just because you had a title change. 

You won the role because your boss believed you would be a good leader. Now is the time to start showing everyone what you can do. Work hard, listen more than you talk, and start working on earning your influence. It will make the smoothest transition into management. 

Set Clear Expectations 

As a team member, you could go to Happy Hours, laugh at the water cooler, and commiserate with your colleagues. While there’s no ‘us’ and ‘them’ when you become a leader, you need to set clear expectations if you want to lead. 

You now need to figure out how to be approachable and friendly without compromising your impartiality. One of the best ways to do this is to be as clear about your work. Be honest about what you’re looking for, and give useful feedback. 

Being open and transparent will transform your colleagues into a team that emulates your influence. 

Be the Leader Your Boss Knew You Could Be 

Managing your coworkers can be awkward, but there was a reason you got the promotion. Your superiors believe in your ability to lead. And that’s just what you need to do. 

While some things do need to change, you just need to keep being you and be as willing to work for your coworkers’ respect as you were willing to work for the promotion. 

Are you looking for your next leadership role?

RightStone is placing highly-skilled candidates into IT leadership roles right now. Get in touch to learn how you could find your next position. 


Ace Your Next Virtual Interview

A few years ago, virtual interviews were the ‘future of recruitment.’ Today, they’re a necessity for employers who want to hire new team members. And if you’re looking for your next role, they are an asset.

Virtual interviews are those that take place using video conferencing technology. They’re not just a glorified phone interview: they allow both parties to parse the nonverbal cues you’d miss over the phone.

Are you staring into the face of yet another virtual interview? Here’s how you can ace it and win your next role.

Prepare Like It’s an In-Person Interview

Virtual interviews are in-person interviews, even if you’re not in the office. So rather than preparing for a preliminary chat like you might with a phone interview, treat it like a normal interview.

What does that mean? Think about potential questions, come up with helpful anecdotes, and write down your questions. You also need to dress the part, so make sure to come in your best business casual (at a minimum).

Test Your Technology Half an Hour Early

You wouldn’t be late for an interview on-site, and you definitely can’t be late for a virtual interview. There’s little leeway for tardiness if you don’t have to leave your house, so make sure you rule out everything that could get in your way beforehand.

The most common reason virtual interviews start late is because of a technology fail. To prevent that from happening, test out your speakers and microphone early. If you’re not familiar with the web conferencing tool, read a quick how-to before the interview starts. 

And if it’s an app, download it earlier in the day. Don’t be caught waiting for it to install when your appointment rolls around!

If you’re having any technical problems or you think there’s an issue on their end, acknowledge it. Don’t be afraid to say you can’t hear or see your interviewer well. It’s better to let them know than to try to fly blind.

Practice Your Pace and Tone

Given the role of the camera, many people focus solely on the video aspect of the interview. While your background, lighting, and appearance are very important, you shouldn’t forget to focus on the audio.

Lag, noise, accents, and other issues make virtual interviews trickier than asking a candidate into the office. To help them out, you should focus on speaking clearly and at a reasonable, natural pace. Use your pauses wisely and use your nonverbal communication to make it clear when you’re finished speaking.

Be Yourself to Ace Your Next Virtual Interview

Virtual interviews are a great way to speed up the recruiting process and save everyone time. They’re not a replacement for a final, in-person interview, but they’re a great substitute, particularly right now as companies try to hire while social distancing.

The best trick for virtual interviews is to treat them like a normal interview and prepare accordingly. Be early, know where you’re going, and above all, be yourself.

Ready to move forward?

Are you on the hunt for your next job? We can help you get there. Get in touch to learn what roles are available.


Do You Still Need a Cover Letter When Applying to an IT Job

Due to the fact that most IT jobs primarily require a high degree of technical experience and ability, many job candidates in the industry assume that sending a resume to an employer on its own will sufficiently demonstrate their qualifications for a particular role. Resumes, after all, are intended to be clear-cut and straightforward documents that lay out the bare facts of your professional experience and skills.

While resumes are undoubtedly a crucial component that should be included in every job application, they don’t necessarily provide employers with an in-depth feel of an applicant’s character or unique abilities. In order to communicate those qualities, it’s essential to include a cover letter in every application that you submit in your IT job search.

What are the benefits of a cover letter?

As mentioned above, a resume – while very useful – should only be communicating the bare-bones facts of one’s career: work experience, education, technical skills, awards, contact information, and so on. A cover letter, on the other hand, should paint a picture in an employer’s mind of who you are, why you’re passionate about what you do, and how, specifically, your unique background, skills, and experience make you the best possible candidate for the role that you’re applying to.

In other words, it should take the facts that are contained in your resume and turn them into a story about how you’ve come to be who you are and where you are today.

What are the components of the ideal cover letter?

Compared to resumes, cover letters typically require a bit more time, thought, and effort. To simplify things a bit, here are four basic components that should be included in every cover letter:

 

  • Greeting, such as “Dear Mrs. [insert name of hiring manager].

 

  • Body paragraph containing an outline of your experience and the specific reasons why you’re a uniquely good fit for the job.

 

  • Role and Industry-specific keywords placed strategically throughout the letter.

 

  • Appropriate closing, such as “sincerely,” or, “thank you for your consideration.”

 

To learn more about how to format a compelling and effective cover letter, check out some of these templates.

At RightStone, we’re passionate about providing job candidates with the education and resources that they’ll need to advance to the next stage in their careers. To get started on your IT job search, contact us today!


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