When graduates ask: “Why can’t I get a job?” Aaron Addison December 1, 2015

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“What are you planning to do when you graduate?”, is a question that I often ask undergraduate and graduate students.  Responses are as wide ranging as the student population itself.  There is the predictable “Good question”, the more resigned “I don’t know” and the more altruistic variants on “save the world — make a difference”.  Most though have a common goal, either continue on in their academic pursuits or…..get a job.  A recent article (published by BBC) on a study done at University of Westminster revealed many of the experiences I have had over the years are not unique, but rather data points in the much larger phenomenon  of recent graduates not being able to find a job. (article here)

Before coming to Washington University in St. Louis almost ten years ago, I spent 17 years in the private sector, working as a project manager in the civil engineering\architecture business.   Part of that time was as a self employed consultant, part working for a major engineering software provider, and part working directly for engineering companies.  I feel extremely fortunate to have had the real-world project experiences that have shaped my professional career.  All of these experiences had a common denominator.  You must bring value to the job.

Sharing these experiences have led students and recent graduates to my door to ask for my help in finding gainful employment after graduation.  They come with CV in hand and want to know what to change and how to modify content to get a job.  They are crushed to discover that almost no one cares which lab they worked in during college, what their GPA was, or who they were a TA for (and how many times).  They make the changes only to find that it’s still not enough to land their dream job….or any job.   The disconnect between resume and interview is real.  read more…

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You’ve Got the Job, Now What? How to Stay Relevant at the Workplace

Career Advice | Mentoring | Employment |Professional development

By on February 22, 2017

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Do more, achieve more, stay relevant

You’ve made it through the first 18 months of your social-impact job! Give yourself a pat on the back. I know it wasn’t easy but you didn’t break, and now you’ve made a name for yourself.

As I mentioned in part one of this series, You’ve Got the Job…What’s Next?once you’ve been at your job for 12-18 months, you should be working toward “Superstar Status” by stepping outside of your role and establishing yourself as a leader. You’ll need to be more and do more in order to stay relevant.

Here’s how to stay relevant at the workplace by excelling at your work and stepping up for new challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities:

Be an advocate and an ambassador

Read more…

What the Best Mentors Do | by Anthony K. Tjan

Career advice | Coaching |Mentoring

February 27, 2017

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Mentorship comes in many flavors. It doesn’t always work unless leaders bear in mind a few common principles.

Over the past three years, as part of my forthcoming book, I’ve been researching how leaders can better judge and develop their talent in light of a changing, more purpose-driven, more tech-enabled work environment. Having interviewed close to 100 of the most admired leaders across business, culture, arts, and government, one important characteristic stands out: They do everything they can to imprint their “goodness” onto others in ways that make others feel like fuller versions of themselves. Put another way, the best leaders practice a form of leadership that is less about creating followers and more about creating other leaders. How do they do that? I’ve noticed four things the best mentors do:

Put the relationship before the mentorship. All too often, mentorship can evolve into a “check the box” procedure instead of something authentic and relationship-based. For real mentorship to succeed, there needs to be a baseline chemistry between a mentor and a mentee. Studies show that even the best-designed mentoring programs are no substitute for a genuine, intercollegial relationship between mentor and mentee. One piece of research, conducted by Belle Rose Ragins, a mentoring expert and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, demonstrated that unless mentees have a basic relationship with their mentors, there is no discernable difference between mentees and those not mentored. All this is to say that mentoring requires rapport. At best, it propels people to break from their formal roles and titles (boss versus employee) and find common ground as people. Read more…

There Are Only 4 Types Of Career Problems

by J.T. O’Donnell

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CREDIT: Getty Images

Several times a day, the phone rings at our company with people calling to discuss their career problems. We get ten times as many emails each day from people writing in about their career problems. By phone or by email, they always start with, “I need to explain my story, it’s pretty complex…” And yet, here’s what they have in common:

  • All of them are experiencing a crisis of confidence.
  • They’re all frustrated and unhappy.
  • Each has a detailed account of what has led them to their current situation.
  • AND, every single one is also making the same (false) assumption about their situation.

It’s Not Rocket Science, You Shouldn’t Treat It That Way

Over 15 years ago, I started studying and working with people who felt unsatisfied in their careers. I’m a logic girl. I like process. I went to school for engineering. I decided to set out to build a system for finding greater career satisfaction. To do that, I realized I needed to be able to diagnose each person’s situation so a plan could be put in place. To the untrained ear, it might sound like each person has a highly complex career problem on their hands. But, after listening to a large quantity of career stories, I noticed they all fell into four categories. No matter what the complexity of the circumstances surrounding their particular career problem, it still boiled down to one of these four major challenges. Read more…

10 Irresistible Traits of the Smartest People

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CREDIT: Getty Images

Positive psychology teaches us exceptional behaviors that draw others to us like a fly to flypaper. Here are 10 to get you going.

6 reasons 20-somethings don’t get promoted

Caroline Beaton Aug. 29, 2016

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According to a recent millennial leadership survey from The Hartford, 80% of millennials see themselves as leaders today.

Yet only 12% of Gen Y held management roles in 2013; and less than a third of The Hartford’s sample reported that they’re currently business leaders.

Maybe we’re entitled and delusional. Or maybe, explained millennial expert and author of “Becoming the Boss,” Lindsey Pollak, we have a progressive understanding of what it means to be a leader. “Millennials believe they can lead from whatever position they’re in,” she said. We know we don’t need an official title to impact our organization.

But if millennials really are leading from behind, why aren’t we getting promoted?

If you’re ambitious but stuck on Level 1, below are six possible reasons. (Warning, tough love ahead.) Read more…

12 Ways to Know You Genuinely Have Emotional Intelligence

Genuine people have a profound impact upon everyone they encounter. Discover the unique habits that cause them to radiate with energy and confidence.

by Travis Bradberry

There’s an enormous amount of research suggesting that emotional intelligence (EQ) is critical to your performance at work. TalentSmart has tested the EQ of more than a million people and found that it explains 58 percent of success in all types of jobs.

People with high EQs make $29,000 more annually than people with low EQs. Ninety percent of top performers have high EQs, and a single-point increase in your EQ adds $1,300 to your salary. I could go on and on.

Suffice it to say, emotional intelligence is a way to focus your energy with tremendous results.

TalentSmart Homepage

Read more…