Clarity was founded in 2000 with the goal of simplifying the recruiting process in order to make the best matches, the human way. Clarity is woman-owned and known as one of the top ten recruiting firms in New York. They focus on placing both contract and direct hire office support staff; including administrative, human resources, accounting, finance, and marketing roles.
You’ve studied up on the role you’re interviewing for, planned the perfect outfit and practiced your answers to commonly asked interview questions. You’ve even google-mapped exactly where you’re going and confirmed that you’re registered as a guest in your destination’s visitor system to ensure no snafus occur upon arrival. You can recite your carefully crafted talking points in your sleep. And therein lies the problem. Reciting information only gets you so far on an interview. What really demonstrates your intelligence, critical thinking and communication skills is your ability to genuinely converse.
To converse, inherently, is to engage in discourse ー to have a conversation!
Now, don’t take this the wrong way. By no means do we assume you don’t understand what a conversation is! However, a common interview blunder we see around here is when strong candidates come in to interview and are extremely well prepared to recite information about themselves, but less so in their ability to retain information coming at them effectively (read: listen actively), and incorporate it back into the conversation when questions are asked of them. This impacts their ability to make a human connection. We know how hard it can be to strike a chord in an interview, let alone make it feel natural. When you throw in nerves ー part of human nature! ー it only becomes harder. We do believe however, that there are a few tricks to help you open up your ears, and get out of your head a bit that can leverage your fact dropping on your experiences into natural conversations that highlight all your best strengths.
How can you be a become a better listener, you ask? Consider our three keys to successful active listening:
Listen with your EARS
Why are you talking? Really think about it. Before you open your mouth, it’s perfectly okay to pause for a couple of seconds to genuinely consider a question instead of diving into your rehearsed skills summary. Are you answering a question directly, and incorporating tailored bits that correlate with the role you’re interviewing for? If so, you’re on the right track! Or are your answers meandering and filling the air because you’re too nervous to stop talking? Listen. Pause. Answer. Then, dive into relevant specific sub-points or examples. If you need to ask for clarification, that’s perfectly alright as well. Trust us, a few extra seconds of thoughtful consideration will save you minutes of wasted time during your most important opportunity to make an impression.
Pro-Tip: Try to shift gears away from your personal cruise control. If an interviewer feels like you’re simply listing bullets they’ve already read on your resume, you’re boxing them out of an opportunity to converse, engage, and dive deeper. Furthermore, if you’re not actually answering their question, you definitely jeopardize your candidacy, because that’s the biggest dead giveaway that you weren’t actively listening. During your next interview, consider your memory a storage box where you can keep key points about the role or company in for safe keeping while your formulate your thoughts, and then pull them back out when possible to show you took into account the details you learned while listening.
Listen with your EYES
Check yourself and read the room. It’s important to consider the body language of your interviewer. You’ll be able to notice if they’re “checking out” mentally because you’re waffling around the question at hand, or taking too long to get to the point. They’ve – hopefully – already read your resume which is why you’re there in the first place! The biggest challenge of interview preparation is that is is one sided. You’re anticipating what could be asked of you and culling through the highlight reel of your experience to craft the perfect answers to them. What people don’t plan for however, can be the most critical opportunity to put your best foot forward; Your ability to ad-lib, improv, and think-on-the-fly is how you form real connections with others, afterall, so practice that, too!
Pro-Tip: If you notice your interviewers eyes are glazing over, they have a preoccupied look on their face, or they’re using closed body language, think fast! Wrap up your answer or drive long-winded responses back to the question if you’ve veered off… And stat! Eye contact is also something you want to maintain as often as possible during an interview so you can stay on high alert for these visual cues. There’s nothing more impactful than solid eye contact to genuinely engage someone, and to make them feel like you’re fully focused on them. Try to remain fully focused on your interviewer, not the people walking by your glass interview conference room on their way out to lunch.
Listen with your BODY
As mentioned above, listening transcends sound waves that enter your brain. There are non-verbal cues you must observe, and not only in other people. Per the above, given you can usually tell by the body language of your interviewer whether they’re engaged, or simply waiting for you to finally stop talking, the same applies to yourself. While active listening will help you achieve the best interview outcomes, you need to show that you are actively listening in order to develop rapport and trust with your interviewer. If they feel like you are disinterested, your head is in the clouds, or that your nerves are acting up, they’ll be able to see it. While eye contact factors in, there are a few key physical listening indicators that can really help disarm your interviewer, and foster an environment ripe for engaged conversation.
Here are some of our top tips:
Be comfortable in your skin: We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a professional, polished appearance during an interview. Find out what the typical dress code is, and level up a tier higher, so you’re putting your best foot forward. You’ll always be respected for being slightly overdressed, but being under-dressed can indicate a lack of seriousness which will set the wrong tone.
Smile!: For starters, there’s hardly a better first impression to build rapport than one including a genuine smile. While you want to avoid nervous laughter at all costs, as you build trust with your interviewer throughout your conversation ーby demonstrating your impressive active listening, of course! ー it’s okay to let your best self shine! Passionate about the opportunity and new initiatives being discussed? Show how you feel with an engaged smile as you take it all in.
Follow these tips and you’re sure to strike the right chords during your next interview conversation, and that will surely be music to your interviewers’ ears. Over time, these practices will become second nature, and your listening comprehension will soar — at the interview table, and on the job!
Our economy is thriving and new businesses are budding left and right. We all know, however, that not every business can or will come out on top. What differentiates businesses that sink from those that swim today? Their people! Those with the strongest, most diverse, and most resilient teams are those that reach the top and achieve success, and do so faster. They also stay there longer.
So what’re the secret weapons to secure a team that can take a company to the top of its industry’s ranks?
Recruiters and People Pros!
We know you know about us, at least a little bit. However, as recruiters reach the highest levels of demand they’ve ever been in, we want to fill you in on what our job really entails ー at least here at Clarity! While most recruiters will tell you they “fell into” the industry, we forecast more and more students will discover recruitment in their studies of business, and we forecast this career path will continue to grow. Sourcing strategies have become more sophisticated, and the required communication skills have heightened. Even the recent re-branding of many Human Resources functions is in indication of the new messages surrounding the field of talent acquisition. Senior heads of HR and Recruitment are now Chief People Officers and Heads of People. Some of these language shifts are emphasizing what makes HR and Recruiting-specific teams the culture drivers they should be ー the actual people in the roles.
The most effective and admirable Executives these People Teams support are those who care about finding the right additions to their company’s culture, and not just the right fits. We’re all humans at the end of the day, and it’s time a little humanity is injected into the key function of any company ー management of their greatest resource. Their people! Growth and profitability for top companies is a direct result of thoughtful recruitment and detailed strategies to attract the right people for a team. Helping provide this service for businesses to fuel their growth is what makes us tick, and we believe it’s a profession we can feel great about at the end of the day because we’re genuinely helping people grow their careers. As one of our own values here at Clarity, Humanity drives everything that we do. We care deeply about our people here on our own team as well as those we recruit and place with our clients. We also believe everyone deserves a fair chance to find their professional home and the tools to do soー whether short or long term.
So where do agency recruiters fit in?
We’re the actual secret sauce. You don’t always know we’re there, but behind most of your favorite companies, there’s a trusted agency partner handling sourcing across a wide array of diverse pipelines, screening, and navigating confidential conversations including salary negotiations with top candidates for any given open role at said company. One of the biggest challenges businesses face is sheer volume of applicants, and professional recruitment agencies are able to drill down on requirements for a job and source the best people for the it. On top of our highly-personalized candidate interactions, we’re conscientious account managers and strategists. We meet job seekers all day long and assess their capabilities. We then build shortlists for our clients to save them time and energy. Anyone who has run a candidate search in-house understands how time consuming it is, so our service saves internal hiring teams lots of time and energy. From admin support to marketing, legal and finance to tech, we recruit across all of these practice areas.
Let’s break down a day in the life:
Whether you’re a Recruiting Coordinator or a Senior Account Executive, one thing is for sure ー first thing in the morning is your time to fuel up! Then, get ready for a long day that goes by incredibly fast! So what does a day in the life of a recruiter at Clarity look like? Shifts vary, with some recruiters arriving as early as 7:30AM, and leaving around 4:30PM, others arrive at 9AM and leave around 6PM. But yes, we’re all on our phones making sure interviews go off without a hitch and feedback is fielded, even if we’re not sitting at our desks! We can’t give away all of our tricks, but here’s a sample day-in-the-life of a Clarity Account Executive…
7:00AM ー Get up, and get going! Commute into the office (or log on if you’re working remotely) and fuel yourself! Days can be packed with back to back calls and meetings with candidates and clients. Green juice, coffee, breakfast… whatever works best for you, just don’t run on empty.
8:00AM ー Emails and calendar management! While we try to ensure our calendar is set the day before, last minute adjustments always need to be made. Make sure everything is squared away and confirmed, and that candidates have all pertinent information for any interviews taking place on site at your clients’ offices.
9:00AM ー Match Meetings! We maintain a very collaborative environment here, and we’re a relatively small team. These meetings are an opportunity for individuals and teams to share their hottest jobs that their sourcing for in case there is any crossover, and candidate recommendations. Unlike other agencies, we’re incentivized to help eachother out here, and we all win at the end of the day by sharing our resources with each other. We also discuss job order calls we have scheduled for the day with new and existing clients, and share general status updates.
9:30AMー> Lunch ー Calls Call Calls! Interviews Interviews Interviews! Phone screens with candidates we’re sourcing come first, and after we have a great conversation, we bring them in so they can meet with their designated recruiter and other relevant team members in-person. We meet everyone face-to-face before we share details about specific roles, or share their resumes with our clients. Each Recruiter and Account Exec could be managing up to 20 job openings at any given moment, with new openings constantly flooding in, being re-prioritized and distributed to the right sourcing team throughout the day.
Lunch ー It’s lunchtime… already?! If you’re lucky, you might take yourself out for a walk through Bryant Park, or meet a client for lunch at a hot restaurant to catch up. Fortunately, our office is located among many great lunch options! Have a call that’s running late? Thankfully our office is stocked with snacks, Cold Brew + Kombucha on tap! We might even have a catered Lunch n Learn with a visiting speaker, or a Clarity U session to keep up on professional development.
1PM-4PM Afternoon can entail a variety of things ー we get to manage our own schedules barring emergencies + critical deadlines. Here are a few things we could be working on:
Catching up on Job Boards / Linkedin ー Reading in-mails, reviewing applications to our job postings, identifying who is a fit we’d like to schedule time with, and set up conversations and meetings.
Interview prep calls – When a candidate is invited in to interview with a client, we make sure they have all the pertinent information they need to succeed, including awareness of the companies location, arrival details, dress codes, who they’ll be meeting with and relevant history of the role and team. Recruiters get to become subject matter experts and learn about lots of super interesting companies and industriesー the more you know, the better relationships you can build with clients and candidates!
Client Check-insーAfter securing contracts with clients, we submit a carefully selected shortlist of interested candidates to our clients for review, we arrange time to field their feedback. This can happen over email, but when possible we like to hop on a call or meet up in-person to review their feedback. This informs the future of the search and whether we move into interview rounds or refine search criteria.
Take a Job Order Call ー Learn about a new position your client needs candidates for. And, note that they usually need them yesterday. Time to activate and calibrate the team with the specs! This can happen at any given moment ー so you always have to be ready to switch gears and think fast!
Sales Bootcamp ー We’re always prospecting and seeking new business opportunities, so we try to carve out time each day to make a few phone calls to new connections, or businesses we’d love to work with to introduce ourselves and our services to – and hopefully land a job to work on! Our CEO runs bootcamp sessions for sales people across levels to sharpen their skills and get real-time feedback.
Manager Check-ins ー Encounter a complex situation or need advice handling something new? Our leadership team is fully accessible to give advice, breakdown the best approach to proceed, and provide feedback. We’re all in it together, and know that experience is the best teacher.
4PM ー Is it snack time? Maybe more Coffee? Green Tea? Kombucha from our office nitro tap? Our office favorite perhaps… Cookies from Culture Espresso? Or all of the above!
4:15PM until end of shiftー Securing in-person interviews and confirming client interviews for the next day and rest of the week. If we’re really lucky, we’ve just fielded positive feedback from our clients and our interviewees, which means we may be extending an offer today — the best part of the job! Then we spend the rest of the day lining everything up to start all over again tomorrow!
After Hoursー We may head out to a fun networking event, hit a gym class with a client or colleague, spend time with family, or take time to simple recharge! All while monitoring any after-hours emails, of course.
Interested in learning more about what it’s like to work at Clarity and the role recruiters play in building a business? Send an email to Colleen Robson [email@example.com] our Head of People, along with your resume, and mention this post. A career at Clarity could be right for you if the above sounds like a schedule you’d be interested in tackling. If you enjoy meeting new people, are curious and a quick learner, a strong communicator and great listener, even better. We’re always interested in speaking with people that could add to our culture, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
With another Memorial Day weekend upon us, it’s time to think about SUMMER! While summer may not always feel like the optimal time to get out there and look for a new job ー at least according to blogs and the opinions of friends and family ー we’re here to say that plenty of companies are poised for growth this summer and have plans to make hires. We know because we are actively recruiting for them right now! With management and decision-makers taking vacations throughout the summer, things can slow down in some cases. However, summer has historically been an incredibly busy time here at Clarity ー in fact it is often our busiest hiring season of the year! The key to landing a job in the summertime? Keep your search in motion. We understand that temptations to coast through your current job and prioritize fun abound, but don’t push pause on your search completely. Here are some causes for the uptick we see in hiring during the summer, followed by some actionable tips to optimize the season for your search, and perhaps find opportunities in unlikely settings!
Resignations are Unpredictable It’s nearly impossible to forecast when someone will resign or leave a role, but our clients come to us right away when it happens, especially when it’s a critical hire or role they can’t wait 3 months to fill. With job-hopping on the rise, especially among millennials, resignations can strike at any time outside of traditionally peak hiring seasons of Q1 and Fall. Hiring to backfill someone who has resigned is a wholly separate situation than growing headcount, and often it’s not widely publicized. This is why you always want to have trustworthy recruiters in your corner to inform you of quiet openings!
Strategic Summer Job Transitions To build on the above, when people are strategically transitioning jobs and planning to make a move from their company, they often aim to leave a company during summer so they can take a few weeks off before they begin the new position they’ve secured. Why? Because: VACATION! Not everyone is able to be so strategic here, of course, but it is definitely something we see quite a bit of during warmer months, which can lead to unforeseen permanent roles opening up. On the flip side, chances are your boss will be on vacation for a portion of the summer. This often makes it easier to slip out of the office for a lunchtime interview!
High Demand for Summer Temps Temp work abounds during the summer! For the same reason it’s commonly thought to be the “slow season” for hiring, it is also when we see the highest demand for temporary workers. Whether it’s vacation coverage or filling a gap before a company is ready to hire someone permanently in the Fall (parental and medical leaves also factor in!), summer is action packed on our temp division! With temp-to-perm conversions trending upward each year, more companies are sure to integrate this strategy into their long-term hiring plans. We’ve even seen short term temps land permanent roles more often than ever before. We’ve even seen employers create new positions for these temps based on their strong performance and strong culture-add to the teams they start out with on a short term basis.
So how exactly do you take advantage of the season and use it to set the stage for a productive job search?
Activate your network!
Warmer months are the best time to grab coffee or lunch with that connection who fell off your radar during the wintertime, or to go out and meet new people. Clarity recruiters have met candidates and new clients in all kinds of places while out and about, and often spontaneously. From casual chatter with neighboring diners at a restaurant, to happenstance subway conversations ー these situations and more have resulted in Clarity placements. Once in a while, remember to pull the earbuds out and keep your head up ー you never know who you’ll meet!
Attend networking events to meet great new people in a field of interest to you. It might sound cliche, and, we know not all networking is created equal. There are so many great panel discussions and curated events going on all over the city ー networking has come a long way in the past 2-5 years!
Here are some we like in NYC:
A classic meetup is always a great idea – follow your interests… the opportunities are endless!
Tap into other co-working spaces, too! If you have friends that are members, ask for an invitation to a closed event, or join the space’s email list to learn about what’s upcoming that you may be able to sign up for.
Built in NYC has a robust events calendar focused on partnerships with emerging start-ups.
Are you dialed in to the tech scene, or, do you want to be? Subscribe to Gary’s Guide for a weekly listing of tech related happenings in NYC, and get offers to win free tickets to last minute events!
Curious about a new industry but don’t know how your skills fit into it? Strike up conversations with new friends you make in your summer social activities ー ask about what their field is like, or how they enjoy their company. Even if their company isn’t hiring, maybe they can introduce you to a new connection elsewhere that is!
Follow us on instagram @clarityrecruiting so you’ll never miss out on an event we’re hosting, co-hosting, or sponsoring!
Networking can happen anywhere ー and you can always schedule a follow up lunch if the event you’re at isn’t conducive to a quality conversation! Remember: People, more often than not, love giving advice and they also love sharing their experience. That informational interview with someone from college a few years ahead of you, or a former manager that’s moved to a new company you follow on social media, is only an ask away.
You don’t have to wait for a chance encounter ー we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch with your recruiter by shooting over an email with your updated resume, plan a catch-up over coffee, or schedule a time for a phone call to share updates on your goals. If you’re new to working with us, submit your resume right here and we’ll be in touch! The perfect job for you might not be available today, but summer is an ideal time for you to take advantage of quieter months in your own role to get your search rolling, update your resume, and start putting feelers out. Then again, maybe the perfect role is open. How will you know if you don’t reach out?
Collaborating with Six Degrees Society has become a highlight of our event schedule here at Clarity (check out #lifeatclarity for more!)! We love the genuine connections we make with members, and how event attendees really make the extra effort to be present while connecting with one another. The organization’s founder, Emily Merrell, is as excellent a curator as she is a moderator, and she’s able to draw out insightful commentary from anyone she shares the stage with! Last week, Moira Dorst, our CEO, had the pleasure of riffing with Lauren Berger of Career Queen about how to cut the chaos out of your life and design your own success. As the leader of our boutique, woman-owned recruiting agency, Moira has over 18 years of experience in the recruiting space and has worked with countless amazing companies to solve for their recruitment challenges – she knows a thing of two about managing chaos, and this Fireside Chat provided the audience with actionable advice.
So how can you actually cut the chaos get it together you ask?! Here’s one of our favorite takeaways from the live chat downtown at WeWork:
To Moira, it’s about re-framing the chaos more than eliminating it completely… “The noise of so many experts across the media and internet is overwhelming, and makes it hard to know what advice is right for you. If you quiet the noise using tools like meditation, affirmations, and the act of trusting your own intuition, you’ll get closer to identifying what makes you feel most alive.” she explains.
“Once you find that, follow it! Re-frame the chaos and view it as a slew of opportunities to help you grow.” Moira adds. “Then weed out anything hindering your growth. Soon, you’ll feel the chaos transform from something that weighs you down to something that energizes you!” We could not agree more — time to pull up those weeds!
This year we’re analyzing geographic hiring trends across NYC, our biggest market, and sharing insights about where Clarity candidates are being placed most. Our findings are based on real data from real placements that have been made by Clarity from January 1st through the end of March, 2019.
While midtown, which includes several neighborhoods, still pulls in first as the area in which we’ve placed most candidates in Q1 2019 – 114 placements! – times are definitely changing! Watch out midtown, companies and employees have discovered great alternatives to the classic midtown high-rise life! Coupled with loft style office layouts and neighborhoods with great dining options, stylish downtown neighborhoods are in the limelight right now. The face of office life in NYC is continuing to transition to accommodate the desires of top talent, which has caused companies to re-evaluate their spaces, and what areas they want to call home. In a tight labor market, this matters a lot. Why the dramatic shift away from midtown? Based on supplemental insights gleaned from conversations with our candidates, here are three characteristics trending right now in NYC workplaces that reflect what’s true of many neighborhoods south of Penn + Grand Central stations that we’ve placed candidates in during Q1.
People are looking for more flexible working styles. This doesn’t simply mean they need to work from home, or work less hours ー in fact it’s often the opposite! With productivity expectations heightening in many growth-oriented companies and hours shifting longer, companies have made substantial efforts to create working environments conducive to long days. By equipping spaces with design-minded furnishings and setup optimized communal co-working for teams, employees are happier in their surroundings. With more companies issuing laptops, people feel free from the confines of cubicle life or overly close quarters. Flatiron loft spaces are fit to provide the right canvas to develop these environments, and is home to many desirable companies that we recruit for, with SoHo and TriBeCa not far behind.
Flatiron District – 86 hires
SoHo – 26 hires
TriBeCa – 19 hires
Many of our smaller clients as well as growth-oriented clients are joining the ranks of their successful predecessors and joining co-working communities, while they scale up. Alternatively, they’re trying to make their corporate HQs feel like them, which relates directly to added flexibility employees crave. Business owners and executives benefit from this by minimizing office clutter and leaving office management to places like WeWork, or hiring managed services like our friends Managed by Q. This leaves more time to focus on what your business is building. Neighborhoods like FiDi are getting with the program, and many companies outside the realm of finance are setting up shop there. Formerly industrial enclaves such as DUMBO in Brooklyn who are converting formerly unused spaces into modern offices as well, and this neighborhood is defining itself as a popular tech startup hub.
Financial District – 26 hires
DUMBO – 2 hires
You don’t need to work at a design firm to be a creative! Creativity is an increasingly essential trait required to succeed in business in order to get ahead of the competition. For many companies, simply setting up an office in a creative part of town can inspire creative outcomes. Take Hudson Yards for example. With offices overlooking the hottest creative destinations in town, The Shed and The Vessel, it’s impossible not to be inspired no matter what industry you are in. Comparable amounts of our candidates were placed in other uniquely creative zones as well – Chelsea and the East Village, known for decades as artistic destinations spanning prestigious galleries to iconic street art.
Hudson Yards – *New on that map this quarter!* 8 hires
East Village – 8 Hires
Chelsea – 10 hires
While the above are sought after features trending downtown, proximity and convenience still matter. They matter a lot! Midtown may be challenged by emerging and unconventional workspace trends, however, midtown remains extremely convenient, and home to many of our valued clients. We make a lot of office visits to our clients also, and we’ve seen many update their spaces in order to stay on top of what top talent is seeking.
Have you worked in various NYC neighborhoods? What’s your favorite and why? We’d love to hear!
Today we’re chatting with Alexandra Kaplan from our direct-hire team to discuss a key element in her life that has recently become a guiding force on her career path: creativity! Even though she’s not technically an artist, she’s here to tell us that regardless who you are or what you do for work, you have creativity at your core. Not only does everyone have this creative side, but embracing it can positively impact all facets of one’s life, Alex tells us, and we’re dialed in!
Once she stopped worrying about labels and expectations of others around her, and traditional concepts of what it means to really be “creative”, everything changed. Trust us, we know this is easier said than done, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. We’ll leave the rest to Alex and let her tell you just how she was able to harness her own creativity and use them to guide her career and personal life in unexpected ways. She’ll also share her tips for how you can discover your own inner creative!
Communications Team: What does creativity mean to you, and how did you discover it was important to you?
When it comes down to it, creativity is a birthright, and everyone has the ability to create. While society tends to separate us by race, nationality, gender, religion, etc., we have to remember that at our core we as humans have more similarities than differences, including an innate capacity (and need) to create. It’s common ground among all humans beings and it’s unfortunate we don’t pay more attention to it. Personally, I like to think of creativity as a vehicle through which I can produce something that has never been produced before. Whether it’s a unique solution to a problem, or a piece of art or writing, creativity adds endless value to our lives. Really, it’s just a state of mind and a willingness to harness your potential, and once I realized this, it became one of the most important pieces of my life. It has definitely helped me find clarity in my professional and personal life and redefine the ultimate meaning of my work.
Communications Team: Were you always creative? At what point did you decide to work harder to cultivate this side of you, even though it wasn’t explicitly required in your professional life?
An inciting incident that really helped me harness my inner creativity and apply it to my life was reading the self-help workbook “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron (which you may have seen written up recently in the New York Times!). It had a profound impact on my life and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to live a more creative life. Cameron says we are all artists at our core but psychological blocks, such as self-doubt and fear of failure (or success!) prevent us from reaching our full potential. When I picked it up the first time few years ago it didn’t resonate with me. I thought it was a little too out there for me. I picked it up a few years later during a time in my life when I needed an outlet and boom! – I was able to relate to it in a completely different way. It also inspired me to start taking creative writing classes rather than just thinking and talking about taking creative writing classes and it’s really been a game changer in my life, giving me the creative outlet I needed and the tools to see things from a more artistic standpoint.
Communications Team: What if we’re convinced we’re not creative ー How can we make this mental shift and harness our inner creative?
Loosen the Reins! Everyone has the ability to create but it’s important to redefine what we mean by “creative” ー loosen the reins on how you define it, and let yourself fit in to this new definition. Often we equate creativity with studio arts or film or poetry when we should really be thinking about it more broadly, particularly as it relates to our professional lives. If you think about it, most jobs require creativity on at least some level. For example, maybe you have to do a lot of problem-solving or speaking extemporaneously at board meetings. That in itself requires creativity ー following the status quo is a surefire way to block innovation. When I worked in NYU Undergraduate Admissions prior to joining Team Clarity, I had the good fortune to work with students across a wide array of disciplines. The engineering students, who are typically very mathematical, were some of the most creative soon-to-be professionals I had ever encountered. I also worked with a lot of NYU Stern School of Business students who were in the process of creating their own start-up companies. Needless to say, developing a successful career requires an endless source of creativity. Even the students pursuing degrees in social work had to come up with innovative ways to handle difficult interpersonal relationships. We don’t often think of it this way but being able to tap into this inner resource is key to success in any workplace.
Let Yourself be Curious Secondly, it’s crucial to develop a curiosity about the world. I try to see beyond face value and go deeper than what appears to the eyes. Ask questions, challenge the status quo, and surround yourself with people who inspire meaningful conversations. Curiosity is a form of creativity – by seeking information and answers, you create new pathways in your mind which lead to new ideas and fuel productivity. Go ahead, test the waters! I wanted to know if I had painting skills, and as a result developed a new hobby in paint-by number ー we’re not all going to become the modern-day Monet, but you never will know until you try! It’s also incredibly soothing after a long stressful day in the office!**
Let your imagination run wild And finally, think BIG! Major cities are especially ripe for thinking big, given the constant stream of activity. As I referenced earlier ー inspiration is all around! I was walking to the subway the other day and consciously decided to look around rather than scroll through my instagram while in the crosswalk (yes, I am that pedestrian). I passed a window on the second story of an old building outside of what appeared to be a run-of-the-mill hair salon. It was dark and there was only one shadowy figure in the window… And just like that, what could have been an an average walk to the subway turned into the inspiration for the plot of my next short story!
Communications Team: Thank you so much, Alex ー hopefully we can follow your lead and implement these tactics to find our own inner creatives in and out of the office!
Interested in reading Alex’s creative writing, hearing how her paint by number skills got so good (see above!), or connecting to discuss your next professional step? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The meaning of this term is inherently confusing. It’s time to clarify it so you can build yours up and drive your professional and personal success!
The Conundrum: We hear terms like “entrepreneurial spirit” wafting around places like linkedin often as we scour requirements and qualifications on new job openings. These terms are oft coupled with terms like, “must be a team player” and “must take direction well”. It’s a plus if you’re “process oriented” and you certainly must “possess a positive attitude”, but if you don’t have a desire to “ideate” and “implement” new processes in order to “drive efficiency”, then you need not apply. It gets challenging when expectations to take direction well, and, thrive in a structured environments are juxtaposed with the expectation that your creative thinking can upend an existing modelー am I right?
All of this can make it awfully difficult to understand what it really means to be qualified for a role. It can certainly be confusing to self-reflect and consider how, at once, you can be on both sides of the spectrum ーwilling to be scrappy, do what it takes, and intelligently suggest improvements, all while making certain to steer the course without rocking the boat. So how does one deal? What is this mystical “entrepreneurial spirit” truly referring to? What gives?
The Breakdown: Possessing an entrepreneurial spirit differs from actually being an entrepreneur, because it’s a mindset. It is however, a mindset that is all about owning your responsibilities. In a similar way to how an entrepreneur, founder or investor owns their business and its outcomes financially, to possess this mindset, you need to consider your effort and energy as your currency. The more you put in, like a financial investment in a bright business idea, the more (hopefully!) you will get out. Taking ownership of your job responsibilities is where this spirit plays into your career, and it’s important to employers. By thinking like a business owner, a founder, or even an investor, you are taking on full accountability for you actions, inactions, and outcomes. Doing so will help you manage ーpiece by pieceー your own contributions to the company you work for which will help you add value to your team, and build trust with leadership. In doing these, you will possess one of the most sought after skills top businesses are seeking in their next new hires.
The Key Characteristics:
Here are 3 traits that exemplify what it means to have the intangible mindset that is an entrepreneurial spirit.
Growth Mindset ー This is a way of thinking in which you are always seeking opportunities to improve upon yourself, learn and grow. You also don’t see failures as roadblocks, but merely as a vehicle to learn something new and become smarter. This does not simply mean you’re attempting to climb the corporate ladder ー it means you are constantly iterating how you perform and are seeking opportunities to learn and grow. By doing so, quite simply, you do! There’s a great definition of it here, and how it differs from its opposite, a “fixed” mindset to offer greater detail (which is not very entrepreneurial at all!).
Grace under Fire ー The pressure is on. Work is hard. Deadlines are real. How you handle stress, pressure and high expectations that are set forth upon you (by yourself, or by others) can indicate your ability to take ownership and responsibility in all areas of your life. Are you able to maintain calm and take action to improve situations? Are you solution-oriented? Are you able to make recommendations for how to best handle a challenge? If you answered yes, then that’s the spirit right there! And say you make an error ー can you take criticism in stride and recover quickly from a downfall? Can you fail forward and use your learning to make immediate improvements? That’s accountability, which goes hand in hand with ownership, and it’s a key factor of the entrepreneurial spirit.
The Takeaway: Each of these traits hinge on each other and they all must be taken into consideration in order to boost your own entrepreneurial spirit. We’re hoping this breakdown has helped you either self-identify as having it, or at least recognize gaps you need to fill in to shift your own mental tendencies.
So, do you have the spirit of an entrepreneur? Use it to your maximum advantage! If you’re interviewing, be sure to share specific examples of times you have used the above traits to highlight it. Writing a list or jotting down personal anecdotes while preparing can make it easier to communicate verbally when the time comes. This practice makes all the difference in how you articulate your strengths in an interview, and give yourself an edge by possessing it. Telling your story and articulating your soft-skills, like the elusive entrepreneurial spirit, can set you apart ー and in a good way! ー in the most competitive candidate pools.
Team Clarity wants to help you combat your winter hiring doldrums! To mark the first day of spring – the season of new beginnings – we have officially launched our new technical recruitment practice, Cleartech Recruiting!
Cleartech is a division of Clarity that has launched out of popular demand from our vast client and candidate network. The technical recruitment market has been longing for Clarity’s signature high-touch and tailored approach to team building which will serve as Cleartech’s core. While we may be hiring AI engineers for some of our clients (among many other positions!), we don’t depend on their algorithms to build better technical teams; we depend on our dedicated team of experienced recruiters. This is a team that takes a refreshingly human approach to solving for your technical hiring challenges. Coupled with our passion for fostering inclusion, the Cleartech approach ensures our talent is sourced from a wide array of diverse pipelines and networks.
Powered by Clarity’s recruitment expertise and industry leadership, and stemming from two decades of recruitment experience, Cleartech is your end-to-end technical recruitment solution. Rooted in Clarity’s consultative and personalized approach, Cleartech offers you support, guidance, and tactical strategy to source your next hire, grow your technical team, or help you find your next position to grow in your own career.
Based in NYC, the burgeoning tech hub of the Nation, Cleartech is constantly absorbing tech talent and providing them opportunities in this highly competitive market. The Cleartech team is also equipped to lead your searches in markets across the Nation from Atlanta to Silicon Valley and everywhere in between. With an expansive network that is growing daily, our Cleartech recruiters are on the pulse of market rates and best practices, and are ready to partner with you to achieve your growth goals.
Seeking technical talent?Click here to submit a job you’re looking to fill, and a Cleartech account manager will reach out to you as soon as possible to discuss our process in further detail.
Looking for your next technical job? Visit Cleartech’s new website to see a sampling of roles we are actively recruiting for, which you can apply to directly. This page will be filling up fast, so keep checking back! Interested, but don’t see what you’re looking for? Submit your resume here, and a recruiter will reach out to you directly to arrange a time to discuss your career goals.
Are you a technical recruiter? We’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in exploring career opportunities with Cleartech. We’re hiring! Send an email directly to email@example.com including your resume to be considered.
We’re officially one month into 2019! Are you on track with your resolutions or have you already veered off course? If you’ve answered the latter, we want to help you jump back on board in a few simple steps. Before feeling too down on yourself for not keeping up, remember, you’re not alone, and there’s plentyof time to get your goals in check. There are quite a few reasons why 80% of resolutions fail by February, but there are just as many ways to re-route and refocus your energy toward the positive changes you’re after.
Let’s break it down…the first step is understanding!
Step One: Understand WHY Your resolutions feel unattainable
Think about it for a minute ー there is no right or wrong answer, and you don’t even have to tell anyone. Just be honest with yourself and look within to identify why your resolutions have been unattainable so far this year.
Did you bite off more than you could chew?
Did you set a vague resolution?
Did you choose netflix over taking action?
Did discouragement take over your mindset?
If “yes” is your answer to any of the questions above, you’re ready for step two:
Step Two: Re-imagine your resolutions
It’s time to zero in on your resolutions and the larger goals they’re intended to serve. This time, do it through a clear lens and identify the smaller actions needed to really get there ー enter the mircoresolution! If you’re diving into semantics here, stop right now! While using a prefix like micro, you might infer this to mean you’re making your resolutions smaller ー and while in comparison to a lofty, vague and unattainable concept, you are, the purpose of going micro is to distill your goal into more attainable components. These smaller pieces will ultimately serve your bigger, overarching goal(s). Consider going micro a way to draw a road map you can really hold yourself accountable to.
How exactly are you supposed to plot your course?
Step Three: Take action!
Consider the following key words and actions to help you refine your resolutions, and make active moves toward achieving them:
Our favorite word, clarity, is also an essential component of declaring a resolution or setting any kind of goal for that matter. The more specific you can be, the better. Is your resolution concise and clear? Or is it a big, vague idea or theme that challenges your ability to take action due to its magnitude?
Take action: If your resolution lacks specificity, drill down on it to find its purest form. From there, you can outline steps to actually attain that larger goal through concrete actions. For example, instead of simply “Get a New Job in 2019”, imagine what a road map will look like to get there, and write down the micro-steps to get on the road, such as: Update my resume! Email that recruiter back and set up that call! Create a list of target companies to research! Email your former co-worker who works at one and invite them for coffee! Submit your resume to Clarity! The list goes on…
Eliminate Negative Language
Negative language impacts our behavior and treatment of ourselves. Have you phrased your resolution using negative words, such as, don’t or stop [insert bad habit here]? Consider changing your action to something positive and proactive that will help you eliminate the behaviors you’re zeroing in on and would like to change. As is true in many areas of life, it’s not always about what you say, it’s how you say it that drives results.
Take action: Say it out loud to yourself in the mirror! Reciting your resolution should feel inspiring and encouraging ー like something you can do, and want to do. It shouldn’t feel like a scolding, or cause you to devalue your self-worth. Instead of “Stop being lazy and hitting snooze so many times”, try, “Set alarm 20 minutes earlier in the morning to make extra time in the morning for [insert act of self care].”
Make sure your resolutions are actually something you can take action toward, and you alone. If your goals depend on or include the actions of others, you’re no longer in control of the outcome. If your goal pertains to outcomes you’d like to see at work, in your personal life, or with your friends and family, don’t pin it on the other people or variables that are constantly changing.
Take action: Pin it on yourself, and define what you can do to optimize your relationships and encourage behavior you’d like to see in others. Seeking a promotion? Instead of simply resolving to, “Get the promotion I know I’ve earned”, think about how to proactively encourage the topic. Not enough face time with your manager? Start by scheduling a check-in meeting or review ー you don’t need to wait for your manager to arrange an annual if you have something important on your mind.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that while January and February are peak resolution season for many people, thinking about the micro steps needed to be your best self should be part of a daily routine, all year round. Going micro will make it easier to visualize your goals too, so don’t be afraid to write them down! Comparing yourself to other people crushing their fitness goals on instagram or hitting their bucket list of dream vacations also won’t help. If you follow the above recommendations, your list of micro-resolutions can start to stack up. Taking action is the ultimate antidote to anxiety after all, so take control of your actions and turn your resolutions into reality!