Are you a “foodie” who would like to take your interest to the next level? Want to build your “hobby” into a career? As the saying goes, “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” If you’re a foodie anyway, you’re halfway there.
Think about your last visit to Publix. Do you remember strolling around the perimeter of the store and seeing the beautifully decorated cakes, crispy loaves of bread, skillfully cut rib eye steaks, mouth watering quinoa salad and handcrafted sandwiches? This is all produced by our culinary professionals. The associates in our Bakeries, Meat Departments and Delis all learn how to follow Publix recipes, artfully display products and maintain our sanitation standards. The goal, of course, is to meet and even exceed our customer’s needs. Gaining their confidence in our quality offerings means customer loyalty and the likelihood we’ll see that customer return to shop at Publix again and again. And since our associates own the company, that’s important to us.
Doesn’t this sound like a perfect career for you? All you have to do now is to bring your interest and enthusiasm and apply at Publix for a position within one of our fresh departments. For the Bakery and Meat Departments, we have trainee positions (Cake Decorator Trainee, Baker Trainee and Meat Cutter Trainee) that you can apply for. You can also consider applying for the Bakery or Meat/Seafood departments in general so you can experience the environment to see where you would fit best. Once you are here, I don’t think you will want to leave. What’s more, you’ll have the opportunity to learn, develop and grow a career doing something you love.
Some associates come to Publix with training and /or experience in these skills, but many come to Publix without these skills. They are all trained and developed into skilled culinary professionals, often finding lifelong career fulfillment in these roles. At Publix, there is a specific training process designed so the associate can succeed and progress. Once the skills are mastered, our associates can move up into managing one of these fresh departments, with entry-level managers earning an average of $45,388 per year! Some culinarians go into store management roles. This is another great option since Store Managers earn an average $114,859 per year. Others progress within their specific departments at a regional or corporate level to help develop and improve both products and methods to best serve our customers. Whichever path they follow, our culinary associates enjoy two things: a passion for food and ownership in Publix.
The next time you are in a Publix, visit our fresh departments, talk with our culinary professionals and ask them what motivates them in their careers at Publix. Sure they are enthusiastic to be part-owners of the largest employee-owned company in the nation. Even more than that, though, I think you will discover that once someone begins at Publix, they want to learn, develop and grow a career here. By bringing their passion to the position, they find it is not work at all!
First, conduct research on the organization. Is it on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list? Go to Glassdoor.com to see what employees say about the organization. Then visit the organization’s website. Last, but not least, Google the name of the organization to read any related news articles. This due diligence will not only provide you with the confidence that considering this organization will be worth it, but it also will impress those who interview you by showing you’ve done your homework.
Once you are familiar with the organization, prepare for the interview itself. This will boost your chances of doing well. Here are a few guidelines to follow.
BEFORE the Interview, get prepared:
- Study the job description closely.
- Be prepared to explain how you meet every one of the required qualifications.
- Think of ways to communicate the results you achieved on the job or doing volunteer work.
- How will you sell the hiring manager on why you would be a great fit for the organization?
- Rehearse answers to the really tough questions that are likely to come up.
- Write down questions of your own to ask. Here are a few suggestions.
DURING the interview, make sure you put your best foot forward:
- Dress appropriately, arrive a few minutes early, and turn off your cellphone.
- Be friendly, use the interviewer’s name, smile and give a firm handshake.
- Convey enthusiasm, make good eye contact, and be aware of your tone of voice and posture.
- If appropriate, present a neatly displayed sample of your work.
- Speak clearly and concisely, and use appropriate grammar.
- Avoid mentioning personal issues.
- Don’t criticize former employers, teachers or co-workers.
- Explain why you would be a strong fit for the position and for the organization.
- Expect the unexpected, such as oddball interview questions.
- Toward the end, ask the questions you prepared ahead of time that haven’t yet been answered, and ask these two other final questions.
- Close by assuring the manager of your strong interest in the position and thanking him or her for their time; then ask what the next steps are. (When will the manager decide whom to hire and how will you be notified, one way or the other?)
- Do NOT close by saying you think you are the perfect fit for the job. Without knowing who your competition is, you can’t be sure of that and saying so indicates you reach conclusions without knowing all of the facts.
If you follow these steps, you will have given yourself the best shot possible of getting a job offer.
What strategies do successful companies use that you could borrow to elevate your career prospects? They use clever ways to let their customers know how they add great value to their lives. This is called “branding.”
Here are a few excellent examples:
• Geico’s cute little gecko saying, ““15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance.”
• Apple offering products that not only have innovative technology but also the “cool” factor.
• Publix’s heart-warming TV spots that show how our products are incorporated into the most special family moments in our customers’ lives.
So how can you “Brand You?” How can you fashion a clear message about the great value you offer to employers?
Personal branding has been around for more than a decade, but when so much is publicly visible on social media channels, it is more crucial than ever to be mindful of the image you project. Your brand is your reputation, so delivering it clearly and conveying what is unique and authentic about you, will leave a memorable impression and can open doors that might otherwise have remained closed. So protect and nurture your personal brand carefully, since it may someday mean the difference between getting and losing the job you want or missing out on a great business or personal opportunity.
The first step in personal branding is to ask yourself some probing questions: What is important to you? What are your strengths? What skills set you apart from the pack? What are you most passionate about? A great resource to help you address these and other great questions is a handy online workbook from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Dig deep and you’ll find what holds most meaning for you and what you have to offer. That’s “Brand You” in a nutshell.
Personal branding guru Dan Schwabel, suggests you’ve discovered your personal brand once this equation is true:
Your self-impression = How people perceive you
Once you’ve identified your brand, reflect it consistently. Be patient and deliver the same message over time. You can switch up words to remain fresh and relevant to the conversation, but the main message needs to remain the same. There are many channels for sharing your branding message, such as:
• On your LinkedIn Profile page
• In networking events, conferences, lectures and at other in-person events through use of your personal “elevator speech”
• In resumes and cover letters
• In your other Social Media profiles
• On your personal blog or website
You get the idea. The key is to use consistent messaging to reflect your brand. With authenticity.
When you embrace “Brand You,” the world has no choice but to embrace it as well. It may not fit the needs of that hiring manager or buyer or coach at that particular time and place. But chances are, they will remember and will respect what “Brand You” has to offer.