Career advice | Mentoring | Social networking
“Focus on WHO instead of HOW” — Dean Jackson
There’s a famous story of Edwin C. Barnes, who in 1905 had no money or expertise. However, he was an ardent fan of the inventor, Thomas Edison.
Barnes wanted to become business partners with Edison. He knew that if he became partners with Edison, there would be no limits on what he could accomplish. He took a freight train to New Jersey and walked straight to the Edison Laboratory.
He was wearing musty and scrappy clothes and told Edison he wanted to go into business with him. Edison was impressed by the boldness and made Barnes a floor sweeper. Read more…
Mentoring | Coaching | Career Advice
July 10, 2018
HBR Staff/Richard Newstead/Getty Images
“Tell me about your career goals.” How often have you said this to a person you’re managing or mentoring, only to get a blank stare in return? Perhaps the person confides that they don’t know what their goals should be, or even whether there are opportunities to advance at your company. How do you begin to provide support?
Career dissatisfaction is a growing challenge in today’s world, which is why we’ve decided to do things differently at Weight Watchers, with the help of LifeLabs Learning. The results of CEB’s 2015 employee survey capture the problem well: 70% of employees surveyed (across many industries) reported being dissatisfied with career opportunities at their company — a disturbing figure given that it is one of the biggest drivers of engagement and retention. At the same time, 75% of organizations said they expected to face a shortage of necessary skills and knowledge among their employees. So, on the one hand, employees feel they can’t advance fast enough, and on the other, companies believe employees are growing too slowly. How can such a blatant and dangerous contradiction exist? And what can we do about it? Read more…
Career advice | Professional development | Librarianship
By April Witteveen | June 28, 2018
Voices of experience on switching roles or types of libraries
The term librarian embraces many kinds of jobs, and often the first place someone lands isn’t the perfect fit. Browsing the classifieds can turn up postings that pique a library worker’s interest but may be in another type of library from the one where they’re currently employed, or the job description may comprise a different skill set. These librarians we spoke with have all made a midstream jump, and they share their insight on what it took to move into a new branch of the field.
Preparing for the Shift
As someone who’s made the change from metadata librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to high school librarian with Fairfax County Schools, Springfield, VA, Lisa Koch recommends first taking time for self-reflection. “What is it about your past position that you liked? What are you looking for in your new position? What can you do now to connect your present position to the future?” While the fundamentals of librarianship will inform job descriptions across the field, she notes that there can also be “important differences” that deserve consideration. Addressing gaps in knowledge or experience through volunteering, part-time work, and professional development will be worth the time. “You will have a better sense of potential concerns your [future] employer may have and identify potential areas of growth,” says Koch. Read more…
FROM HIGHER ED TO HIGH SCHOOL Former University of California, Santa Barbara metadata librarian Lisa Koch (ctr.), now a high school librarian for Fairfax County Schools, VA, in the library with the “amazing” teachers of Robert E. Lee H.S., Springfield
Networking | Communication | Career advice
A therapist gave us advice for how to get over it
Jessica Dore | Jun 19, 2018
It can be difficult to know the difference between having social anxiety and being awkward, introverted, or shy. The American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines social anxiety as “a persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations” that involve being “exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.”
Modern life provides us with constant opportunities to be scrutinized by others, and while few among us wouldn’t be nervous about giving a work presentation or a speech at a wedding, an ongoing fear of saying the wrong thing in casual conversations can become problematic. Conversation anxiety, though not itself a disorder, is an aspect of social anxiety that can make dates, parties, and mixers anywhere from mildly stressful to intolerable.
Networking | Conferences | Lifehack
by Jordana Valencia
May 09, 2018
Whether it’s attending startup events, social gatherings, or happy hours, networking is a necessary part of every entrepreneur’s life. Seventy-eight percent of entrepreneurs agree that networking is crucial to startup success, which is why there are a myriad of articles online about how to master and love the art of networking.
But networking can be extremely draining. Imagine the countless hours entrepreneurs spend talking, traveling, and socializing with contacts and potential investors. Excessive social interaction can be physically and mentally exhausting for anyone — even extroverts. In fact, many of the founders I coach describe networking as draining, saying it sometimes robs them of the energy they need to work on actual business operations. Read more…
Career Advice | Life hack | Mentoring
June 1, 2018 | Leah Weiss
For us to make the greatest impact at our jobs — and also feel the greatest satisfaction — we need to tap into work’s deeper meaning, says Leah Weiss, a compassion expert and researcher.
For humans, purpose can be a matter of life and death. As Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” Purpose is something we do or something we create — not something we buy, inherit or achieve. Purpose could be any direction in which we’re heading with some degree of intention. It’s a far-reaching, steady goal, something personally meaningful and self-transcending that, ideally, shows up in our lives every day. Read more…
People who consider their work to be a calling tend to be more satisfied than those who think of their work as “just” a job.
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
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…