Best advice I’ve ever got: “Shutup and Listen!”


When I think back to the past, the advice that resonated with me the most was the unfiltered, unadulterated  “truth.” Basically the stuff that wasn’t sugar coated to prevent hurt feelings or bruised egos…the stuff that had teeth. But then again, I also received lots of great advice that I completely ignored but probably shouldn’t have. Sadly, when it comes to receiving and giving advice it really comes down to hearing what you need to hear at just the precise moment when you need to hear it! Which is most often after an epic fail…

This is why, the “shutup and listen!” advice I got from an instructor in the Fundraising/Development program at Mohawk College was so valuable. So often when it comes to “selling” ideas we’re so focused on convincing the other person to see our point of view that we figure just yammering on and on about it will somehow magically work.

The truth of the matter is that employers are like anyone else and aren’t easily talked into things they aren’t already sold on. That’s why it’s up to you to give them a convincing reason to “buy” into your idea then have them sell it to themselves by holding your tongue. When people are allowed to talk without interruption they often talk themselves into or out of ideas very easily, all you need to do is plant the seed as to why your ideas are the best and let them do the rest.

So how do you “sell” someone on your idea?

As Dale Carnegie said in his famous book “How to win friends and influence people” most people think about themselves 95% of the time, so if you can spend at least 50% of the time thinking about the needs of others you’ll have a unique advantage over those who can only see things from their own narrow point of view.

Selling others hinges on the idea that you’ve thought of their needs first and foremost and are proposing a way to fulfill their need, which is essentially hiring you!

With all the hot air being blown by your competition your silence will be a breath of fresh air!


Etiquette in the Workplace?

Etiquette can be defined as “a code of behaviour that delineates expectations for social behaviour according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.”

In the group setting of a Community College, where students are training to be “futuready”, are we doing enough to ensure that our students are truly job ready?

Are we doing enough to ensure that we are setting expectations for social behaviour?  Is our manner professional and do we set the bar high enough for students in this academic setting?  How do we dress?  How do we speak?  How do we behave towards each other and to

Judy-Anne Sleep and Elaine Logie, students from the Career Consultant Certificate Program

Judy-Anne Sleep and Elaine Logie, students from the Career Consultant Certificate Program

the students that we deal with?

If we set the expectations, how do we address inappropriate speech or inappropriate e-mails?  There are many instances where the Student Code of Conduct is not contravened, so how do we deal with that?

Is it appropriate to allow swearing?  It is certainly not appropriate to allow any racial comments, but what about swearing?  If it is tolerated in the workplace, should it be allowed in the classroom and hallways?  Or, is it tolerated in the workplace?

In most business settings it is not tolerated and is seen as unprofessional conduct.  College employees should do their part to address inappropriate and unprofessional comments.  College students should know that it is not considered professional, moral or necessary.

Within the college environment, the classroom should be a trial run for a student’s future career.  Students should be expected to come to class on time, dressed appropriately, and behave in class in a non-disruptive, professional manner that is conducive to learning and working.

We should be encouraging students to express themselves in a way that makes one appear professional and job ready.

That’s the graduate I want to hire!

Judy-Anne Sleep is a student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. MCACESblogs is a series of posts by students for fellow job seekers. For more information about MCACESblogs, please contact Lidia Siino at