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Job spotlight: Work at being worthy

When it comes to being honorable, Jeff Karon of Tampa could write a book on the subject. He is the owner of the Honorable Classroom and the Honorable Workplace, two separate entities with one similar goal. Using his background in martial arts, Karon developed a program to bring honor and pride into what people do.

The Honorable Classroom is a tutoring and training service aimed at college-bound students to help them in any area at all, from test preparation to academic issues to behavioral problems.

The Honorable Workplace is centered around not only getting employees to care about the work they are doing but to teach them how to act and work in an efficient manner that will be beneficial to customers and co-workers.

According to Karon, one of the concerns of employers today is what to do about young employees and their attitudes in the workplace.

"I'm not pessimistic at all," Karon said. "The critics say young employees are not polite, they are slackers; and I don't have that view. What any employee needs is a model of how to act. So, I talk about honor and I ask people to write down what is honorable. It's external and how you act externally. Teenagers like being seen as being honorable and, as it turns out, employees do, too."

Karon's tips for getting a job:

1Job seekers are inundated by advice — some of it contradictory — from books, columns, blogs and personal coaches. Settle on a few classic principles. Practice them relentlessly.

2A good interviewer should not try to sabotage you, but instead will offer you an opportunity to demonstrate your worth. If an interviewer is aggressive or rude, that may tell you something important about the company atmosphere. Walk into an interview assuming that the interviewer is trying to help you.

3Practice your interviewing skills, then practice some more. Memorize one or two short quotes. Insert them into conversations occasionally for practice.

4Ask friends and acquaintances to read your resume critically. Act on their insights in some manner.

5Ask yourself why the company, business or institution should hire you. Your answer should be justified with examples of what you already have accomplished. Use that answer during the interview.

6Remember that no matter the quality of your education, experience or network contacts, luck plays a part in getting a job. Increase the probability through persistence.

Once you get a job how do you keep it?

Karon believes the best way to keep your job is to become an "amoral manipulator." If you choose to act with strength and honor, and treat customers, clients and co-workers with dignity, you will keep your own reputation, integrity, dignity and honor intact. Those will serve you in your next job, if you need one, and will help you stay sane during a possibly long job search. Being honorable doesn't guarantee that other people will reward you, but it will help you sleep better at night.

For more information on the Honorable Workplace, visit www. thehonorableworkplace.com.

Karon's philosophy on the workplace:

The ideal workplace is both congenial and collegial — that is, people treat each other as friends as well as colleagues who can get the work done efficiently. The next best workplace is at least collegial: If workers aren't friends, they at least are able to function well together, treating each other with dignity. For some people, this second workplace is ideal since they are able to separate work from their private lives.

Employers have a right to expect strong, honorable behavior from their employees. However, the best way to ensure such behavior is not a list of rules (though that may help). Instead, employers should model the behavior that they desire. Show employees, especially the new ones, how to act by acting, speaking and writing well yourself.

Complaining helps relieve tension in the short run, but often pollutes the workplace when pursued as a sport. Do not pollute your workplace.

Job spotlight: Work at being worthy 07/18/09 [Last modified: Saturday, July 18, 2009 5:31am]

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