Giraffes are one of nature’s most compelling creatures. Every day, both zoologists and ethologists (scientists who study animal behavior) learn more and more about how they live in both captivity and the wild. Here are some interesting facts about giraffes, and what lessons we can learn from them about being more effective at work:
Be a team player…
Giraffes are believed to be one of nature’s least territorial large animals. Multiple groups (called “towers”) will frequently inhabit the same space in order to share resources and look after calves and pregnant females. These towers often come together to form herds, which can number into the hundreds.
Work well individually AND as part of a team…
Despite their easy-going nature and team-focused social structure, giraffes know when it’s time to go it alone. Smaller towers of giraffes will often split off from the main herd if an area becomes overcrowded or resources begin to become depleted.
Giraffes adapt easily to new challenges to survive in the wild. Herds of giraffes often split, merge and reform, only to do the same with new giraffes shortly thereafter. Giraffes also appear to be less sentimental about their herd-mates than other large herbivores, making it easier for them to form new alliances with new giraffes as needed.
Let’s celebrate the longest day of the year with the tallest animals in the world – and help protect them!
For the second year in a row, JobGiraffe will sponsor Brookfield Zoo’s annual World Giraffe Day celebration. Conceived to raise awareness and funds for one of the world’s most impressive creatures, World Giraffe Day reminds us all to Reach Higher and contribute to the protection of our (and their!) environment.
JobGiraffe’s sponsorship of World Giraffe Day Celebration as well as the Brookfield Zoo’s Habitat Africa exhibit has been our most rewarding and meaningful partnership to date. We encourage everyone to visit the zoo for this unique celebration and to see these magnificent animals in person on June 18th.
by Ben Horwitz, Communications Director, JobGiraffe
As a job seeker, working with a recruiting and staffing professional can be a rewarding and enlightening experience. Recruiters can give you access to a wealth of jobs that are never posted publicly, while at the same time help guide you to the right position. Recruiters, in this sense, are your advocate or coach. Because of this, interviewing with a recruiter is not the same experience as interviewing with a potential employer. You aren’t trying to get your foot in the door of an organization, you are supplying the consultant with the information they need to go to bat for you by marketing you to their clients.
Here are the top five things that every recruiter will want to know about you
One: Tell me about your education. All of it.
Sometimes you’re an Accounting major looking for an accounting job. However, you never know when your familiarity with Classical Portuguese Literature is going to come in handy. You may have applied to a position that, on the surface, has little to do with your major, but a good consultant knows that every area of education comes with its own unique set of skills. History major? A consultant can talk about your research skills and attention to detail. Philosophy? Your analytical skills and ability to think outside the box. Econ? You’ve probably got some pretty decent math skills.
The point is, consultants know jobs, and they know what skills, traits and experiences are necessary to a particular role. Even if you never received a degree, your education has armed you with skills, knowledge and experience that our clients will want to know about.
Two: What are your skills and experience?
Every company does things a little bit differently, so be sure to tell your recruiter all the unique softwares, systems, certifications and experiences you have accumulated. These pieces of information form the bedrock of what companies are looking for in new hires. Also, since recruiting and staffing professionals frequently work to fill more than one open position at a given time, they can use your skills and experiences to “shop” you around to their clients. Who knows…they may know the exact company looking for your exact set of skills for a project or position.
Three: What’s your work history? More so, what’s your story?
When it comes to recruiters, you’re the product – and every good salesman needs to know what they are selling. Aside from your education, skills and experience, a good recruiter will want to know a bit of your story. In short, what makes you you? This will help them find you a company where you would be a good cultural fit, explain any prolonged absences from the workforce (due to school, family emergency or whatever!), and find you a position with a company that will not only advance your career, but also share your values.
Four: Why did you leave your previous positions? How are your references?
Chances are there is a reason you are looking for a new job. Things happen, and that’s ok! But be sure never to lie or “massage” your resume to make it look like you have more experience than you actually do. If we think we know the right position and company for you, it’s much better if we have a complete, accurate picture of your work history. That way we know what to highlight and what to smooth over or explain to a client. If there are past employers you think will give you a glowing reference, tell us, even if that person comes from outside the industry you are looking to move in to. We want you to get hired (it’s how we get paid), so think of us like a partner, not an obstacle or gatekeeper.
Five: What are you looking for in your next position? In your career??
Culture, values, hours, salary, benefits, location, room for growth? All of these play a role in your job search. We need to know your priorities so that we can send you to the right client. Many recruiting and staffing agencies even include a “refund period” on their candidates, so if you walk away from the job after one week, we have to find someone new for our client and a new opportunity for you. It’s simply not enough for us to find you any job; we need to find you the right job. One way to do that is by learning from your past decisions.
We know jobs and we know our clients. What we need to learn more about is you!
Tune in next week to learn the top five questions that you should be asking every recruiter.
When it comes to World Giraffe Day, we are more than just interns. At JobGiraffe, we experienced being leaders and innovators on a major company event. Our biggest project this summer was planning and organizing World Giraffe Day at Brookfield Zoo. On June 20th, we invited over 1,000 clients and their families to join us at the zoo to celebrate and bring awareness to the conservation of giraffes. We were entrusted with the responsibility of planning, budgeting, and organizing this major event.
From the first day of our internship, we were told, “The one thing you can always count on is change.” As time went on, we began to realize how accurate this statement was. Whether it was budget changes or mounting attendance rates, we were expected to adapt to these changes. We realized it was more important to adapt to the change than to try to force reality to meet your expectations.
Throughout the planning process we came in contact with many other aspects of the company. One of the most interesting projects outside of the event was creating new and engaging social media posts. We learned the planning of a company’s social media is very different than using it personally.
In 2011, JobGiraffe was created out of Paige Personnel Services, and we were lucky enough to be a part of this ongoing re-branding process. We gathered old clients from the Paige Personnel database and created spreadsheets to put them into the new system. These spreadsheets were used to invite old clients to our next event, World Giraffe Night.
With our last event being such a success, we were confident going into our second event. World Giraffe Night gives us an opportunity to plan a different style of event. Where the first event was a chance to show appreciation to our current clients, our second event is to reconnect with old clients and re-introduce ourselves at JobGiraffe. We’ve learned from the first experience what to carry over into the second event when it comes to staffing the event, budgeting, and communicating with Brookfield Zoo staff members.
We hope that our impact on JobGiraffe’s first World Giraffe Day and Night event will become a tradition for years to come. We believe this is the beginning of a successful branding event for JobGiraffe going forward. And through our own experiences with JobGiraffe, we hope to have built a foundation for our own careers going forward as well.
by Ben Horwitz, Communications Director, JobGiraffe
Earlier this year JobGiraffe announced that it will sponsor Brookfield Zoo’s second annual World Giraffe Day celebration. Our partnership with the Zoo is a reminder of our deep commitment to Chicago, the surrounding suburbs and the people who call it home. Yet, outside of our Midwestern world, it is also a call to action for conservation globally.
It isn’t hard to see what makes giraffes such spectacular creatures. Their grace and strength are reminders of the undeniable majesty of nature, and their bodies are a reminder of what extreme lengths (no pun intended) nature will go in order to survive. They are also the perfect mascot for a company that encourages job seekers to reach higher and to stand out above the crowd.
Unfortunately, these animals are under siege. In the last fifteen years there has been a 40% reduction in their population. Approximately 80,000 individuals remain today, but their numbers continue to dwindle due to illegal poaching and habitat loss. Two subspecies of giraffe, the Rothchild’s and the West African giraffe are the most threatened, currently numbering a paltry 1000 and 300 respectively. The plight of the giraffe has gone largely unnoticed when compared to that of the African elephant or black rhinoceros, leading to what some have called a “Silent Extinction.” World Giraffe Day was conceived to combat this trend and support giraffe conservation efforts across Africa.
Celebrated on the longest day of the year (or night if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) World Giraffe Day is an opportunity to learn about, raise awareness and raise funds for the earth’s “longest” land animal. Currently, giraffes are the least understood large mammal in Africa, and are often referred to as the savannah’s “forgotten megafauna.” World Giraffe Day hopes to change that.