Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Are You "Imminently Capable"? One on One with Jodi Glickman of Great on the Job

Tell us about Great on the Job.

I launched Great on the Job in 2008 to train people how to communicate at work— everyday, in every situation, weather you’re a star performer or a struggling novice. GOTJ focuses on what most everyone else overlooks—the daily interactions that make up 80% of the workday—asking for help without sounding dumb, answering questions you don’t know the answers to, raising red flags when problems come down the pipeline, etc. In essence, I’m providing the building blocks and a road map to give people simple strategies to master daily work place conversations.

What’s your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?

I love building and creating something that didn’t exist before. It’s totally amazing to me that I can go out and market and sell my own products and services in a compelling way. I love winning new business, servicing the hell out of my clients and getting feedback that says GOTJ knocked it out of the park. I love hearing from people after a training session who tell me they’re going to use the GOTJ strategies right away or the ones who email me after the fact to tell me how they’ve had a breakthrough at work because of a GOTJ strategy.

I guess, in short, I love the impact GOTJ is having on people. Beyond that, I love the challenge of building something sustainable and leverage-able and scalable. I can’t wait to see where and how this business grows over the next 12 to 18 months and beyond.

Urban Interns is all about connecting business owners with talented people looking for part-time work and internships. Tell us a little bit about your approach to hiring --when you bring someone on board, what are the top three qualities you look for?

“Imminently capable” is the term I use to describe what I’m looking for. In a small business, you need to find people who can figure out how to execute on whatever you need them to do. To me, that means have a great attitude, being highly motivated and taking ownership for your work. Asking for help is key too—that demonstrates judgment and thoughtfulness and I always prefer that versus someone going down the wrong path without involving me early on with questions or issues.

As a career switcher, I don’t necessarily care about past work experience being relevant—I care more about the qualities and traits that you possess that have enabled you to have success in your past endeavors. Are you a quick learner? A strategic thinker? A problem solver? Are you going to give 110% percent to be a part of a fun, dynamic, fast-paced growing organization that hopes to seriously change the world one day with a new approach to teaching communication?

More and more, business owners are turning to part-time staff and interns as a first step in growing their team. As an expert on workplace communication, what’s one piece of advice to business owners if they’re new to managing staff.

Over-communicate—plain and simple. It’s critical when you’re managing staff and interns to give more guidance than you’d ever think you need to give. When you’re giving assignments, make sure your team understands them. Offer guidance and support along the way instead of making your team come to you—often times they’ll worry they’re supposed to know what to do. I’m always happy to discuss projects and assignments for as long as possible until my team and I are on the same page and everyone knows the direction to take.

And to the job seekers, what should they know about working in a start-up environment? Are the communication rules different than if they were working in a corporate environment?

I don’t think so really. In an entrepreneurial environment, you’ve arguably got to be more flexible and more proactive, because there are less clear-cut definitions of roles and responsibilities. However, I think all the same rules apply. Be proactive. Ask for help. Download your team regularly on what’s going on. Highlight or flag issues early on. When things go wrong, come armed with solutions not just problems.

Last but not least, what fictional tv or movie character would you most like to work for? (Note about us: Cari would work in the Miller Gold Agency on Entourage, though not as Ari’s assistant. Lauren would work for Gordon Gekko on Wall Street.)

Oh that’s an easy one! The Mad Men folks for sure. I’d either have to go with Don Draper—the fabulously creative and brilliant exec whose always able to swoop in at the last minute and come up with the perfect ad campaign. Or I’d go with Joanie— she’s the definition of imminently capable—she’s 100% reliable in terms of getting things done correctly or fixing other people’s screw ups.

Want to work for Jodi and Great on the Job? Apply for an awesome job as Director of Social Media here!

Jodi Glickman is the President of Great on the Job. Great on the Job teaches simple and basic strategies (“Micro Strategies”) for communicating strategically and effectively in all workplace situations—reaching out to new clients, answering questions you don't know the answers to, inserting yourself into team processes, asking for help without sounding dumb, dropping by a partner's office to introduce yourself, and more. For more info, visit

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