How to Gain Power at Work When You Have None |WSJ

Workplace  | Career advice

Networking across your company, cultivating charisma and developing expertise in an emerging area are keys to success—and can be learned

By Sue Shellenbarger

March 6, 2018

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Illustration: Robert Neubecker

Many young employees are frustrated when their first jobs land them in powerless positions at the bottom of the organization chart after years of leadership roles in school, leading some to jump ship far sooner than employers would like.

How do you gain power when you have none?

More employers are opening new paths to leadership by encouraging employees to develop spheres of influence that have nothing to do with the org chart.

Such informal power is increasingly important—and valued—in today’s flatter organizations, where more jobs confer responsibility for teammates’ performance without the authority to give orders or dish out rewards or punishment, says corporate trainer Dana Brownlee, of Atlanta. Read more…

 

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5 Secrets to Mastering Conflict

Communication | Office politics | Conflict Management

by Travis Bradberry | April 29, 2015

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Getty

Between the two of us, we’ve spent 50 years studying what makes people successful at work. A persistent finding in both of our research is that your ability to handle moments of conflict has a massive impact on your success.

How you handle conflict determines the amount of trust, respect, and connection you have with your colleagues.

Conflict typically boils down to crucial conversations—moments when the stakes are high, emotions run strong and op­­­­­­­inions differ. And you cannot master crucial conversations without a high degree of emotional intelligence (EQ).

With a mastery of conflict being so critical to your success, it’s no wonder that, among the million-plus people that TalentSmart has tested, more than 90% of top performers have high EQs.

So how can you use emotional intelligence to master crucial conversations? There are five common mistakes you must avoid, and five alternative strategies you can follow that will take you down the right path.

Mistake #1: Being Brutally Honest

Read more…

LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund

Advocacy | Intellectual Freedom | Humanitarian Aid

The LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund supports librarians who are facing financial difficulty due to discrimination or because they have taken a stand in support of intellectual freedom. In this video, trustees describe the fund, and why it’s needed. (2008)

Q&A: How do I move from a public library to an academic library with no academic library experience?

Library careers | Academic libraries | Career Advice

by Susanne Markgren | January 23, 2018

Q: I need your advice. I have nine years experience in public libraries. I completed my Library Science Degree while working full time. It has been a year since my graduation and I am itching to work in academic libraries. Before library school, I always thought I would end up working in public libraries, however since I have been exposed to all the available options —  that has changed.

I enjoy working in public libraries but want to explore academic libraries and I think it is a better fit for my skills. For the past year I have been applying to academic institutions for entry level positions but to date have received no call backs. How do I move from a public library to an academic library with no academic library experience, because most academic vacancies require at least one year experience in an academic environment. Any advice on how I can make myself more employable without having the necessary working experience would be most appreciated.

 

A: This is a common question, and moving from one type of library to another can be a difficult maneuver, but isn’t impossible. And advice about switching from one type of library to another can be helpful, no matter what type of library. As Ellen said in a previous Q&A, “You’ll need a compelling answer to the question ‘Why are you seeking to make the switch from A to B?’”

Here are a few (other) suggestions:

  1. Revise your application materials. Look at academic librarian resumes to see how they are formatted and organized. Use the job description to emphasize the aspects of your experience and skills to best match the top job requirements — in both your resume and cover letter.
  2. Don’t hide the elephant in the room, use your public library experience to your advantage, to make you a unique candidate. Mention in your cover letter how your years working in public libraries will make you an excellent academic librarian – and use examples. Do you work with diverse populations, or a specific ethnic group? Do you have experience with programming, teaching, reference work, access services, systems, collection development? Do you work with high school students? Do you have unique customer service or language expertise? Be specific in your language and the tools you’ve used in your work.

Read more…

BLL 13: Career advice from Ellen Mehling of Library Career People, and the joys of leadership burnout | Podcast

Leadership | Library Management | Mentoring | Career advice

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Welcome back to Better Library Leaders! It’s been a long gap, partially because of the holidays, but also because I have been working hard on a course I’m teaching this month on Collaborative leadership for Library Juice academy. We had a large class sign up to work together to design collaborative project plans that they can take back to their own workplaces. Don’t tell, but I’m learning as much from them as they are from me. Our interview this episode, after fighting through a few technical hiccups, is with Ellen Mehling of Library Career People, my absolute favorite resource for folks considering a career in libraries, searching for that elusive first job, or preparing to make the jump to a leadership position. And in our spotlight segment, we’re going to talk about burnout as a leader. Because that’s been part of the reason for this gap too. But first, here’s my conversation with Ellen Mehling! (Please click this link: //html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5082640/height/90/width/640/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/)

 

What Trader Joe’s Figured Out About Work Culture That My Other Past Employers Haven’t

Workplace | Employment | Leadership

By Hayley Benham-Archdeacon—Lattice | 09.13.17

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[Photo: ablokhin/iStock]

When I was hired by Trader Joe’s at 16, I wasn’t even legally able to run a register. I was told I was hired based on my personality, even if I was almost useless. By the time I left seven years later, I’d worked across six different stores. And I don’t know how they do it, but they have the best managers possible, consistently.

Trader Joe’s hierarchy is organized unlike anywhere else I’ve worked. Each store runs with one captain, and a team of eight to 12 mates. Everyone else is crew. And yes, they are thorough with the sailor-ship deck theme.

I thought that having so many middle managers would cause problems, but in fact it turns out to be good for everyone. Oversight of opening and closing shifts are distributed evenly, and tasks and assignments are rotated throughout the week, which means no one is stuck taking in the frozen truck at 4 a.m. every single morning, or closing out our computers every night until midnight. Maybe that’s why managers are able to stay so nice to us. And if you don’t feel comfortable going to one manager about a problem or personal event? No problem, you have 10 others to speak to.

At my last store, my coworker was having a rough time in his personal life and the frustration was beginning to show at work. We watched a manager take him out back, presumably for a stern talking to. In fact, the manager handed him a box of broken eggs from the spoils cart, taped a plastic pallet wrap up to the wall of our loading dock, and told him to throw eggs at the wall until he felt better. It worked.

Read more…

Q&A: Finding a library-specific career coach or resume writer

Career advice | Job searching | Resume coach | Librarians

by Ellen Mehling | Library Career People July 18, 2017

Posted by Ellen Mehling

Q: I am wondering if there are library specific career coaches/resume writers out there. I have been receiving conflicting information when I have my resume reviewed, and the comments I am getting are more appropriate for business and sales, which are very different worlds than the library one. I want to show myself at my best, but I’m confused as to how to best do that, when it seems that some people look at what you have achieved, and being at my current job as a temporary employee for more than a year, but not getting more responsibility because I’m not even a part-time employee.

EM: (Full disclosure: I have been a career/resume advisor and instructor for librarians/info pros and library school students for over ten years.)

Yes, there are library-specific advisors who can give you feedback on your resume and make recommendations regarding your career development. As you noted, advice that is geared towards other fields may not be ideal for an information professional.

You can start with local, regional or even national professional organizations that have mentorship programs or offer resume-reviewing or other job-search assistance services. Such services may come with membership or there may be an additional fee for, for example, a resume or cover letter review, or a one-on-one advising session. Sometimes resume-review services are offered at conferences.

You can also ask trusted librarians in your network if there is anyone they’d recommend. As with any kind of advising or any paid service, you’ll want to get some info about the person providing the service, either from their website or LinkedIn page or via direct communication, to be sure this is the right one for you:

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