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Keeping up with the times

(2007-07-05 13:13:10)
 

Keeping up with the times

News flash! Lifelong careers with one benevolent, paternalistic employer have pretty much gone the way of the buggy-whip. Why? Well, for one thing, today's companies have to react more quickly and effectively than ever before to the challenges they face in the marketplace. As crazy as the employment world may look to you right now, you may rest assured that the world of business looks even more unpredictable to the people who are trying to build profitable companies.

 

We live in a world in which "international companies" can emerge, grow or fail overnight, thanks to a snazzy home page on the World Wide Web. We live in a world in which demand for once-essential products and services can be superseded in an instant as a result of new technological developments.

 

What does that mean? It means that, for the prospective employer, and for you, adaptability is everything.

 

In today's economy, a work force made up of people who can each perform a single set of tasks quite well can be a serious handicap. If each worker's focus is on a narrowly written job description, the company may not be able to react as quickly to competitive challenges. Today's employers want employees who can spot problems, train themselves more or less independently to resolve them, and pass the information along to colleagues as circumstances require.

These days, prospective employers don't want to hear about formal job titles as much as they want to know about the inventive ways you've dealt with the problems that no one foresaw.

 

Accordingly, you must find success stories from your personal history that show your willingness, ability, and, yes, your eagerness to work outside the formal confines of your title. "That's not my department" is an obscenity on the employment front these days, so don't say it.

You should assume that the person you'll be interviewing with will be on the lookout for workers who show the ability to adapt well to brand-new ideas and procedures. They want to talk to people who can show a little initiative when circumstances dictate, which is most of the time. So you're going to pass along stories that demonstrate that you are this kind of person.

 

The success stories you develop for your interview must show your ability to adapt well to new ideas and procedures. They must demonstrate that you are not waddled to the narrow confines of a written job description.

 

Warning: Demonstrating your flexibility is not the same thing as saying that you are “Willing to do anything”! That's a message that puts the responsibility on the employer, not on you. What we're talking about is sending a message of accountable flexibility.

 

Your aim is to demonstrate a specific set of skills in a certain area...and a willingness to adapt those skills to other, unexpected problems as they arise. It's time to work up compelling success stories from your past that highlight this trait. Do so right now.

 

Take a few moments to jot down the details of five separate occasions in your work, educational or volunteer history when you adapted well to a new setting.

 

If you're like most of us, the first few minutes will be the toughest, but after that, you'll probably find that you can come up with a great many more than five examples!

 

Take this opportunity to think of the times you mastered new computer software, pitched in when a supervisor was ill or performed well when given a new set of responsibilities in an area in which you had little or no experience. Use non-work-related examples if, after 10 or 15 minutes, you are still having trouble identifying work stories.

 

Here are some examples of what your stories might sound like. Be sure to incorporate your own experiences, not to simply adapt what follows to your own situation. Don't exaggerate-----do make the most of the positive, can-do adaptability stories in your own background.

(From Last Minute Interview Tips by Brandon Toropov)

 

词汇短语(Words & Expressions

 

benevolent  adj.                         慈善的;慈祥的.

paternalistic  adj.                        家长式作风的;父亲般的

snazzy  adj.                             时髦的

supersede  v.                            代替,取代

prospective employer                      预期的雇主

handicap  n. v.                           障碍,残疾

foresee  v.                              预见,预知

obscenity  n.                            大忌;猥亵

on the lookout for                         守望着寻找

pass along                               传达,转达

wed to                                  和---结婚;固守---

accountable flexibility                      负责任的灵活性

trait   n.                                特点;品质

jot down                                 草草记下,写下

pitch in (into)                             精力充沛地着手干---

non-work-related                           与工作没有联系的

can-do adaptability                         能把握的适应性

 

背景知识(Background Knowledge

面对市场这只看不见的无情之手,有多少疑问在求职者逡巡之际萦回;我的职业在哪儿?我怎样才能让用人单位在求职的芸芸众生中选择我?……人们也许会说,求职的成功,取决于求职者学历、经历、专业、年龄、技能等因素的综合供给与招聘者需求的平衡。但是也有一个不容忽视的事实是:求职过程中的一些因素也直接影响着求职的成功与否。因为绝大多数的招聘者对应聘者并不熟知,他们只有在招聘的短暂时间里通过分析求职者所提供的文字材料、电话谈话、面对面交流等方式来判断你是否是他们所需要的人。在这种情况下,指导求职者如何撰写求职信,如何准备面试,如何应对招聘者精心设计的问题和测试等等,就显得十分重要了。

本文选自美国作家布朗顿·特瑞帕夫(Brandon Toropov)的求职系列丛书中的《最后一分钟面试技巧》,此书就求职者应该怎样应付瞬息万变的信息社会,将自己的适应能力展示给雇主进行了阐述。

 

例句解析与翻译(Sentence Analysis & Translation Exemplification

1.  省略(omission )是商务英语翻译中的重要技巧之一。句子的翻译不仅要讲究通顺,还要考虑到上下文和与全篇内容的衔接。以下一句话为例,划线的部分不翻出来,句子的意思就已经完整清楚了。因此,这一部分可以省略。

As crazy as the employment world may look to you right now, you may rest assured that the world of business looks even more unpredictable to the people who are trying to build profitable companies.

正像现在的就业领域在你看来古怪和狂热一样,商业界对那些竭力建立赢利公司的人们来说显得更加难以预测。

 

2.  英汉互译要讲究选词用句。英语的词汇的特点是一个词的同义词特别多。如下面一个例句中的supersede  就有replace, substitute 等同义词。在汉翻英时,为避免重复,可在一篇文章中交替使用同义词。

We live in a world in which demand for once-essential products and services can be superseded in an instant as a result of new technological developments.

在我们生活的时代里,由于新技术的发展,那些一度是人们基本需求的产品和服务顷刻之间可以被取代。

 

3.  “ They don’t want -----as much as they want---” 是一种特殊形式的比较级,汉语意思是“比起----更想知道----”,而不要翻成“不想------”

  ”These days, prospective employers don't want to hear about formal job titles as much as they want to know about the inventive ways you've dealt with the problems that no one foresaw.

如今,比起你的职业头衔来,你未来的雇主们更想知道你在处理那些别人没有预料到的问题时的创造性方法。

 

4.  下面句子中的which is most of the time. when circumstances dictate, 的非限定性定语从句,对 “当情况需要时”作补充说明,表明可能在大多数情况下,都需要这样做。

They want to talk to people who can show a little initiative when circumstances dictate, which is most of the time. So you're going to pass along stories that demonstrate that you are this kind of person.

他们想与那些当情况需要时------在大多数情况下是这样------能够表现出创造精神的人交谈。因此,你应该能够将证明你就是这类的人的经历传达给对方。

 

5. 在翻译时,以下的句子有两个语言点值得推敲:1)what follows 乍眼看去不是很明白,但根据上下文可以推断,它表示将要举出的范例。2)can-do adaptability 中的can-do 作为形容词,意思是很明白的:能够做到。放在句中可以翻成“有可信度的”,“令人信服”的等等。

Be sure to incorporate your own experiences, not to simply adapt what follows to your own situation. Don't exaggerate-----do make the most of the positive, can-do adaptability stories in your own background.

务必将你的经历融入你的故事,而不要简单地将样本改为己用。不要夸张和吹牛,一定要根据你自身的背景尽量写出积极的、可信的适应性的故事。

 

译文(Chinese Version

 

跟上时代的步伐

这是一个瞬息万变的时代。那种终身受雇于一个慈父般的雇主的时代已经一去不复返了。为什么?只因为一个原因:今天的公司面对激烈的市场竞争,因而不得不作出比从前任何时候都更快速、更有效的反应。正像现在的就业领域在你看来古怪和狂热一样,商业界对那些竭力建立赢利公司的人们来说显得更加难以预测。

在我们生活的时代里,许多国际性大公司可以在一夜之间出现、发展和垮台,这导因于遍布世界的时髦的网络主页。在我们生活的时代里,由于新技术的发展,那些一度是人们基本需求的产品和服务顷刻之间可以被取代。

这意味着什么?这意味着对你未来的雇主和你来说,适应性就是一切。

在今天的经济生活中,那些只能从事一种工作的劳动力可以被看作是严重的残疾人。如果每个工人的注意力只集中在自身岗位要求的狭隘的范围内,公司就不可能应付激烈竞争的挑战。今天的雇主希望雇员能够发现问题,或多或少训练自己独立地解决这些问题,并且如果情况需要的话将这些信息转达给他们的同事。

如今,比起你的职业头衔来,你未来的雇主们更想知道你在处理那些别人没有预料到的问题时的创造性方法。

与此相适应,你必须在你的个人经历中寻找一些成功的故事,这些故事能够表明你在你的职业头衔以外工作的能力和愿望。“那不是我的专业”,这是今天就业领域的大忌。不要这样说。

你应当假定,你将会见的面试主持人正在寻找那种能够很好地适应崭新思想和方法的雇员,他们想与那些当情况需要时------在大多数情况下是这样------能够表现出创造精神的人交谈。因此,你应该能够将证明你就是这类人的经历传达给对方。

为面试准备的成功故事必须能够证明你适应新思想和新方法的能力;这些故事必须证明你不是那种固守于规定工作狭隘范围的人。

注意:证明你的适应性和灵活性并不等同于去说你能够做任何事!我们这里谈论的是向对方传达你的灵活性和适应性,将这种清楚明了的信息传达给对方,使对方能对你因才施用。

你的目的是表明你在某个具体领域的技能,以及你将这种技能用于解决其他未预料到的问题上的愿望。现在是证明你有这方面技能的时候了,现在就干。

花一些时间写下你在受教育过程中、工作中、或者参加志愿者工作经历中能够很好地适应新环境的五个相互独立的事件的细节。

和我们大多数人一样,最初的几分钟对你来说是最艰难的,但之后你可能会发现你能够找到远远不止五个这样的例子!

利用这个机会回想你过去经历中这样的时刻:掌握一种新的计算机软件;当你的上司生病后你仍努力工作;或者在一个你没有多少经验的领域担当了一份新的责任而又能干得很好。如果你使用与工作没有联系的事例,即使过了10-15分钟时间,你仍然会觉得难以确定你的故事。

这里有几个成功的故事的例子。务必将你的经历融入你的故事,而不要简单地将样本改为己用。不要夸张和吹牛,一定要根据你自身的背景尽量写出积极的、可信的适应性的故事。

-----------

(节选自美国作家布朗顿·特瑞帕夫(Brandon Toropov)的求职系列丛书中的《最后一分钟面试技巧》)

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