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The latest news on Careers from Business Insider

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    Celestine Johnson, Innovation Endeavors

    Good news! By the time you wake up in the morning, the tech industry's big manpower problems will be solved.

    That is, if British Airways' outlandish plan works.

    The airline has invited more than a hundred Valley notables to hop on an 11-hour transatlantic flight to London.

    Once airborne, they're going to come up with ways to get more people, particularly women, to become technologists. When they land, they'll present their ideas to representatives at the United Nations.

    The brainstorming session, which BA calls "Ungrounded," involves four teams: One team will work on the U.S. tech talent demand shortage.

    There's a big debate right now about whether that shortage really exists. Some research shows that colleges are minting more grads with degrees in programming than the market can absorb. Other research shows that colleges are churning out about half the number of programmers, scientists and the like than the market is predicted to need. 

    Another team will brainstorm solutions to the lack of women in tech, which no one denies is a problem. A third team will focus on expanding science, technology, engineering and mathematics ("STEM") education. And a fourth will use their 11 hours to figure out how to foster more tech in emerging countries.

    Some of the people taking part include: Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist; David Raskino, director of Microsoft's Bing Fund; Claudia Fan Munce, managing director of IBM's Venture Capital Group; Google Ventures’ Partner Wesley Chan; Will Young, director of engineering for Zappos; and Celestine Johnson: creative director for VC firm Innovation Endeavors.

    BA asks wants to know "Can a single transatlantic flight help change the world?" and the answer is, probably not. But it's still a great idea to try, and one step — or one flight — leads to another.

    SEE ALSO: AWESOME PLACES TO WORK: These Startups Have Better Perks Than Free Food Or Beers On Tap

    SEE ALSO: Weird And Awesome Perks Some Tech Companies Give Their Top Execs

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Jobs in the hidden market are much better than the jobs listed in the public market.

    The point of this article is to strongly suggest that job-seekers should only spend 20% of their time working the job boards and most of it networking. A lesson in hire economics helps explain why.

    Last week’s Department of Labor (DOL) report indicating that total nonfarm employment increased in May by 175,000 was greeted with a collective sigh of modest relief. Unfortunately the June 11 DOL JOLTs report of open jobs forecasts a summer of renewed hand-wringing.

    As shown in the first graph there was a nice pickup in open jobs in February to almost 4mm resulting in the decent employment increases in April (+149K) and May (+175K).

    The Q1 flattening of total open jobs however is likely to be felt in the summer months since there’s a lag of about 2-3 months after a job is posted before it’s filled. So if a job-seeker is expecting to get a job by applying to a job posting, things will get more difficult.

    However, things aren’t as dismal as this report indicates since the DOL report doesn’t reflect the total jobs available, only those posted. In an earlier post I described the sequence of steps companies use to fill jobs from promoting people internally, networking and getting referrals, and searching through resume databases and posting on job boards. This sequence results in two job markets, one that’s hidden, the other public. This is shown in the second graph. Based on some of our semi-scientific analysis (public and private survey data) it appears that about half of all jobs are filled in each market. The DOL data does not consider this hidden market.

    This is good news to job-seekers, but you can’t get to these jobs by applying. Here’s why: jobs in the public market are filled by matching skills listed in the job posting with those found on the resume. At best, this is a poor process, and why most jobs in the public market take so long to fill. Jobs in the hidden market are filled based on internal promotions, referrals and recommendations, with candidates being assessed on their past performance and future potential. For job-seekers who aren’t perfect matches on skills and experience this is great news, but to get the chance to be evaluated this way you need to be recommended by someone in your network.

    In my book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired, I suggest that recruiters should employ a 20/20/60 recruiting strategy. The idea is to only spend 20% of their time posting jobs, 20% looking for resumes and 60% networking. This allows companies to find the best people available, not just the best people who are applying to their job postings.

    A similar 20/20/60 job hunting strategy should be used by job-seekers. In this case 20% of the time responding to job postings by going through the back door rather than applying through the front, another 20% ensuring your resume and LinkedIn profile are easy to find and worth reading, and the remaining 60% networking to find jobs in the hidden market. In another post I described in detail what job-seekers need to do to improve their networking skills. Rather than repeat the techniques, I’ll just repeat the theme: being referred to a hiring manager by a trusted person is 50-100X more likely to result in being interviewed and hired compared to submitting a resume to a posted job.

    A big plus: since recommended candidates are judged largely on their past performance and future potential, it opens up the door to diverse candidates, returning military veterans, high potential candidates, and any good person who isn’t a perfect match on skills and experiences.

    Better still: jobs in the hidden market are much better than the jobs listed in the public market!

    Consider that jobs in the public market represent lateral transfers for the fully-qualified people described. Jobs in the hidden market represent promotions, stretch jobs and career opportunities. Just look at the job descriptions posted in the public market as proof. They’re no more than long-winded help wanted ads offering equivalent jobs to fully qualified people who are somehow willing to endure the demeaning obstacle course. This is not to say that some of these job aren’t actually great jobs, but they’re written to weed out the weak, not attract the best.

    While the job market is not as robust as it could be, it’s not as bad as reported. That’s why it’s important for job-seekers to play more of the hiring game in the hidden market. As a starter, the jobs are better and you have a stronger chance of being hired, since you’ll be judged on your past performance and future potential, not by some artificial matching algorithm. More important, these jobs are frequently modified to take better advantage of a person’s strengths, rather than force-fitting the person to a pre-defined role. Networking is the entry-point into the hidden job market, It is hard work, but necessary work for those that want to get a job they deserve or a better job than the one they have now. The alternative is to complain. Which hardly ever works.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    phone woman bar mystery question sadOn your first day of a new job you’re often excited and nervous. But after a few weeks, you start to settle in and feel more comfortable with your colleagues and the work.

    But if you’re not careful, you could find yourself unknowingly making the kind of mistakes that will not only bug your co-workers and boss, but prompt them to label you as “annoying,” “clueless” or “worthless.”

    If you want to avoid such monikers, consider these top 10 mistakes often made by newbies:

    1. Saying “I know” too much.

    You were hired for the job because the employer believes you to be intelligent enough to do it. But that doesn’t mean your colleagues want to hear a smug “I know” or an eye-rolling, “I know” while they’re trying to offer helpful advice. When advice is offered, offer a simple “thank you.”  If it is advice that has been offered before and you’re getting sick of hearing it, you can always say something like, “Thanks for the advice. Todd and Bridget mentioned the same thing so I can see this is an important issue.”

    2. Dishing the dirt.

    Even if you think it’s harmless gossip such as, “Did you see what Kim Kardashian wore the other day? Horrible!” you don’t want to give even a hint that you might be a gossip. While office politics and gossiping are part of any workplace, in the early days you’ve got to be careful not to give anyone any ammunition to use against you. When the new boss asks a colleague how you’re doing, you want the colleague to mention how you’re focused on work – not the latest issue of “People” or the fact that you gossip with another colleague during your break.

    3. Failing to acknowledge the top dogs.

    In some circles, this is known as “kissing up.” But paying your respects to leaders and top performers is much more than that.  It means that you’ve done your research and are being respectful of their accomplishments. In other words, don’t meet the top performer and say “Hi” without also noting, “I know you spearheaded that big project for XYZ Corp. last year.  I look forward to watching and learning from you.”

    4. Being rude with technology.

    Yes, it’s true that everyone relies too much on their smartphone and spends too much time on Facebook at work. One day you may do the same. But in the first months of your job, don’t even send one text during your work hours or even think of checking Facebook. It’s a double standard to be sure, but you’ll be judged much more harshly in the beginning for such behavior. Explain to family and friends that you’ll be offline except during breaks so you’ll be less tempted to stray into behavior that will cause others to see you as immature and lazy.

    5. Showing up with orange hair.

    If you were hired with brown hair, that doesn’t mean you can show up with neon-colored hair three weeks into your new job. It’s also smart to avoid new visible tattoos, piercings or clothes that drastically change your look. Bosses can get very unhappy very quickly when they discover a new hire has made changes that violate dress codes or the company culture. They want to spend their time coaching and training you in your new job, not telling you that your hairstyle is scaring customers.

    6. Not writing things down.

    I don’t know about you, but it bugs the heck out of me when I go to a restaurant with several people and the waiter doesn’t write down even one order. Usually that means he delivers orders that are wrong and we all just shrug and eat what is in front of us because we don’t want to hassle with it. But you can bet that poor performance may be reflected in the tip. Some people believe they have an uncanny memory for details, and maybe you are one of them. But if you don’t want to drive your colleagues and boss crazy, take the time to write down the directions that you are given. It’s one thing to go back with questions to verify your notes, it’s another matter to say, “Uh….what did you say earlier today? I don’t remember.” You’ve just created more work for that person who has to repeat instructions – and given yourself a reputation as a poor listener.

    7.  Not hitting your marks.

    You should always strive to get to work 10 to 15 minutes early. That allows you to stow your stuff, get a cup of coffee and sit down to catch your breath before diving into your job. Nothing makes you look more unorganized than rushing in and jumping into your seat in the nick of time – or even late. When it comes time to leave, don’t bolt for the door the minute your time is up, but take the time to organize your workspace for the next day and ensure you’re not leaving critical work unfinished. The same is true for lunch or other break times  – take the time allotted but no more.

    8.  Turning down happy hour.

    I’m not telling you to go get wasted with your colleagues, but when the invitation is issued to go to happy hour or lunch, don’t turn it down in the early days. Later you can plead other plans, but in the beginning you should graciously accept invitations to get to know colleagues better or you could be perceived as not being a team player. One word of caution: It’s OK to share a bit of your personal life during such situations, but try to spend more time asking questions and listening rather than sharing too much information about your personal situation that could become fodder for office gossips.

    9.  Talking too much about past successes.

    It is important to establish yourself as a talented individual, but you have to walk a fine line when you’re the new employee. Too much gabbing about how you interned at Apple or started your own business when you were 15 are wonderful accomplishments, but can come off as bragging when others don’t know you well.  Only use examples of how you accomplished a task if it directly applies to a situation, and save your stories about meeting Steve Jobs on the elevator until you’ve established a more solid rapport with others.

    10. Failing to make eye contact and smile.

    It’s such a little thing, but one that can really make or break a new worker from Day 1. Take the time every day to look someone in the eye, smile and say “Good morning” or make some friendly remark. That small gesture will pay off in big ways as you’re seen as friendly, professional and mature.

    What are some common goofs you see from new employees?

    Join the conversation about this story »

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  • 07/02/13--07:49: 9 Ways To Be Happy At Work
  • laughingMany people think happiness, both professional and personal, is based on having a bigger house, nicer car, larger income. It's all about better, faster, higher, more.

    Yet the happiest people I know focus a lot more on what they do, not on what they have.  They see a great outcome as a wonderful by-product of a personal journey and not a primary goal. In short, their perspectives and beliefs are different.

    To live a more joyful life, try adopting a few of those beliefs:

    1. The best success is shared success.

    Solo success is rewarding.

    Achieving something with another person or a team is awesome. Not only do you feel good about yourself, you feel great about other people--and you create a connection that can last a lifetime.

    And if you do fail, you fail together, which makes that failure a lot easier to take and provides the support to help you try again.

    2. Comparisons kill.

    No matter how successful you are there will always be someone who is more successful. No matter how big your business gets, there will always be a bigger business. Unless you're Serena Williams or Stephen Hawking or Bill Gates, there will always someone better or smarter or richer.

    To be happy, only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday--and to the person you hope someday to become. You may never be the best, but you will gain incredible satisfaction from being the best you that you can possibly be.

    That's all you can control--and all that really matters.

    3. A body is a terrible thing to waste.

    When you were a kid you sometimes ran simply for the joy of running. You jumped and rolled and skipped because it felt good. Without thinking, you used your body as a way to celebrate being alive.

    Now you don't.

    Try something for me. Go ride a bike. Or jump on a trampoline. Sure, it's a little awkward now, but it's still really fun. Or swim, or play a game, or take a hike or a long walk.

    You might get a little bummed because you'll realize you're no longer young but you'll also find out you're not as old as you think.

    And you'll realize there's still a kid inside you. That realization alone will make you happier and, in time, will help you see the world and your place in it in a different and better way.

    4. Luck is the worst thing to wish for.

    Why? The things you earn are infinitely more gratifying.

    If you saved up to buy your first car you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you worked and hustled and saved and finally had enough to buy your car, you appreciated it. You took care of it. It was yours, both practically and emotionally.

    If you were given a car, that was pretty cool--but you didn't really feel anything. (Except possibly gratitude.)

    If you want to wish for something, wish for the strength and perseverance to earn the things you want. Don't wait for luck to bring you that enabling client; work your butt off to land that enabling client.

    That way you'll not only enjoy the destination, you'll appreciate and be fulfilled by the journey.

    5. Fear is a sure sign of life.

    Nothing beats how you feel immediately after you put a fear aside and take a plunge. And that feeling lingers for a long time. Think about the speech you dreaded giving; immediately after, even if you bombed, you felt a sense of relief and even exhilaration. You did it!

    Facing a fear makes you feel alive. The more alive you feel, the happier you will be.

    Pick a small fear and stare it down. I promise you'll feel awesome afterward. Keep doing it and in time you'll open yourself up to new experiences, new sensations, new friends--and a richer, more fulfilling life.

    6. Silly and irrelevant makes the life go round.

    You're incredibly focused, consistently on point, and relentlessly efficient. Your life is dialed in.

    Your life is also really, really boring.

    Remember when you were young and followed a stupid idea to an illogical conclusion? Road trips to nowhere, trying to eat six saltine crackers in one minute without water, staying up all night just to see who fell asleep first. You dined out on those stories for years.

    Going on a mission was super pointless and super fun. In fact the more pointless the mission, the more fun you had because missions were all about the ride, not the destination.

    So do something, just once, that you no longer do. Drive eight hours to see a show. Get up really early and buy your seafood at the dock. Ride along with a policeman on a Friday night (easily the king of eye-opening experiences).

    Do something no one else thinks to do. Or pick something that doesn't make sense to do a certain way and do it that way. You'll remember the experience forever.

    The joy of possession comes and goes. The joy of experience, especially an unusual experience, lasts forever.

    7. Good people deserve their just reward.

    Don't wish someone else had gotten the recognition they deserved. Don't someday regret not having let people know how you felt, how you cared, or how much you appreciated them.

    The act of recognition is just as fulfilling as the receipt. Make someone else feel good and you instantly feel good, too.

    Best of all, you can do something good for someone else and the joy you feel will never, ever diminish.

    8. Values create the springboard for actions.

    Few things create greater trauma and stress than when what we do doesn't match what we value.

    Pick three things you value most. You might value pride, or sincerity, or faith, or family, or cooperation, or adventure, or camaraderie, or humility, or independence--the list is endless. Pick three.

    Then determine how much of your time--and how much of your money--is spent on those values. The more time you spend fostering and honoring your values, the happier you will be.

    Live your values and you can't help but be happy and more joyful-- because in those moments, you are exactly who you truly wish to be.

    9. Subtraction creates addition.

    Everyone wears armor: armor that protects but in time also destroys.

    The armor we wear is primarily forged by success. Every accomplishment adds an additional layer of protection from vulnerability. In fact, when we feel particularly insecure we unconsciously strap on more armor so we feel less vulnerable.

    Armor is the guy who joins a pick-up basketball game with younger, better players and feels compelled to say, "Hi, I'm Joe--I'm the CEO of ACME Industries." Armor is driving your Mercedes to a reunion even though taking your other car would be much more practical. Armor is saying, at the start of a presentation, "Look, I'm not very good at speaking to groups... I spend all day running my huge factory."

    Armor protects us when we're unsure, tentative, or at a perceived disadvantage. Armor says, "That's okay. I may not be good at this but I'm really good at that. (So there.)"

    Over time armor also encourages us to narrow our focus to our strengths so we can stay safe. The more armor we build up the more we can hide our weaknesses and failings--from others and from ourselves.

    Take off your armor. Sure, it's scary. But it's also liberating because then you get to be the person you really are and, in time, start to really like the person you really are.

    Which is the surest road to happiness.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    profile picture headshotIn the prehistoric days before social media, job hunters would typically try to withhold the names and contact information of their references until as late in the hiring process as possible.

    And, even if they requested them earlier, employers would typically not contact them until just before making a job offer.

    Then, along came LinkedIn and its Reference feature. Here, you can write something positive about any of your connections. It is forwarded to the person being recommended for approval, before being posted to his or her profile. If he or she would like you to modify what you've written, he or she can suggest alternative language. Anyone can block a reference about him or herself that might be considered unflattering.

    LinkedIn references count in a job hunt for two key reasons:

    1. References are searchable. Recruiters, human resources staffing pros and hiring managers all scour them to find great candidates. Rather than assuring the hiring authority at the end of the process that they are making a good choice, a reference can now bring you to the attention of decision makers at the very beginning. The unspoken message becomes: "You ought to look at this person, because when you do this is what you will find..."

    2. References say more than endorsements. In the last several months, the Reference feature has undergone twists and turns, especially since the introduction of the Endorsement feature. You now have the ability to add Skills to your profile, and your first-degree connections can endorse you for any of them with a simple click. Unlike references, there is no need to say anything about a person, or to obtain permission for an endorsement to show up on his or her profile.

    LinkedIn actively encourages users to endorse connections, and people often abuse the feature by making unfounded endorsements. Given this behavior, it is no surprise that the value of endorsements is diminished, and many rue the day when they came into being.

    Recommendations remain valuable for both giver and receiver. They demonstrate that the person who is making the recommendation cares enough to take the time to actually write one instead of just clicking "Endorse."A well-written reference can convey so much more about the person being recommended than an endorsement. By giving recommendations you show yourself to be a person interested in others and helping them as a part of their team, a key characteristic of any good hire. When you take the time to recommend someone, they are much more likely to be open to recommending you in return, as well as helping you in other ways in your job hunt. You thereby improve the quality of your own personal brand.

    How to create a new reference. With LinkedIn's recent face-lift, the nine old main menu options: Home, Profile, Contacts, Groups, Jobs, Inbox, Companies, News and More have been changed and streamlined, with many features relocated. (More about this in next week's column.) While recommendations that people have made about you are now found easily on your Profile, placed under the relevant position you've held, it has become trickier to figure out how to actually recommend someone.

    Here's how to do it: First you need to select "Edit Profile" in the Profile tab. From that screen, scroll down to the Recommendations section, which is toward the bottom. Click on the little pencil icon, located on the right-hand side, to edit that section, and then click on the "manage visibility" link, also on the right. On the next screen, you have to click on the "Given" tab at the top to give a new recommendation.

    Finally you're able to select from your contacts or enter the name of the contact you want to recommend and then, after all that, you can finally write the recommendation and send it off to the person you are recommending. Whew!

    Elements of a great recommendation. Of course, not all recommendations are equal. Writing simply, "Sally will be great at whatever she sets her mind to. She is a wonderful person and you should hire her" may prove more harmful than helpful. Instead, be specific. Tell: how you know the person, how long you have known him or her, what he or she has done that impressed you, and what value the person has brought to his or her team, department or employer.

    We all like to hear about it when someone thinks we've done a good job. Taking the time to write a well-thought-out recommendation for someone you haven't seen in quite a while, but whose work you respect, can do wonders to rekindle the connection and can show that you are involved with your network to give as well as get. It is one more arrow in your quiver of job-hunting techniques, and when you employ it you can bring yourself closer to your own target of getting your next job.

    Happy hunting!

    Related Articles:

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    planning, brainstorm, thinkingA bad job can be the result of a range of issues. Perhaps it's a lack of growth opportunities for a sales coordinator who's held the same role for four years. Or maybe it's a work/life imbalance for an executive assistant who spends late nights at the office and still has to catch up on projects at home.

    We've all had a bad job at some point along the way. If your list of cons is longer than your list of pros, don't fret. There are tactics you can employ to tip the scales back in your favor. 

    Here are five ways to find the upside no matter how bad a job may seem.

    1. Connect with new people

    The biggest asset at your disposal may be the people you work with. Expanding your circle to cross-departmental colleagues can bring about unexpected benefits.

    For one, they might become sources of support and friendship, helping to improve your job satisfaction. Further, they may be able to expose you to new projects or areas of the company that could hold appeal.

    So be a part of the office dynamic. This makes it easier to reach out to an extended group of people. Take part in hallway chats, attend birthday events and bring a casserole to the monthly potluck or the summer picnic. When new people join the company, welcome them and express your interest in learning from each other.

    Remember not to mention your discontent. You're not looking for others to gripe with. Simply focus on areas of interest. Any shared experiences or knowledge can open up a useful conversation. Follow up later via email and build a continued dialogue over time.

    Bonus tip: In addition to peers, consider connecting with managers and even executives. You can still look upward when networking internally.

    2. Tap your potential

    Ask for projects that allow you to stretch your abilities and develop new skills. You may find that you enjoy whatever it is you begin working on and that your dissatisfaction is not so much with the company but with your current duties. An added benefit: You also can include action verbs, such as "managed,""mentored" or "developed," on your résumé.

    Bonus tip: Ask your supervisors how you're doing with a new assignment. If you get words of appreciation, thank them and keep any glowing emails or reviews for your records. You can use these as a résumé addendum or for your cover letter.

    3. Investigate your industry

    One thing a bad job can still help you do: explore your industry in greater depth. Many companies pay for memberships to industry associations and conferences, making it easier -- and more affordable -- to interact with your peers. By doing so, you can bring added value to your job, expand your professional network and potentially learn about future career paths.

    You may even realize you're not as passionate about your profession as you once were. Instead of pinning your discontent on your current job, it may be the business that's not working for you. Sometimes it's hard to tell.

    Bonus tip: Consider not just attending but speaking at an industry event. It's easier to get accepted as a speaker while employed, and being a featured presenter can boost your credentials in the eyes of future employers.

    4. Propose process improvement

    Your job dissatisfaction may be the result of barriers to efficiency in your office, such as a complicated approval process that drains your excitement for a project as it drags on. Rather than complain, suggest systems or processes that will alleviate pain points. Chances are you're not the only one who is frustrated.

    You'll earn the goodwill of colleagues, and these individuals could serve as future references. Also keep in mind that spearheading these types of improvements is résumé gold.

    Bonus tip: Create a proposal for your boss that clearly outlines the benefits of any changes you suggest. For example, "If we remove this review step, we can save a week in producing the financial report. Here's why that step is redundant."

    5. Examine your career path

    It's important to assess what you want -- and what you don't want -- from your future job to avoid landing in another unsatisfying position. And it's easier to reflect on your career path while employed; for one thing, you won't have the added financial stress.

    Focus on targeting employers and roles that can offer you what you're looking for. This research phase can take time, so dig in now.

    Bonus tip: Sign up with a staffing firm. A specialized recruiter can do much of the heavy lifting in a job search. These professionals are able to identify opportunities that might interest you and approach companies, confidentially, on your behalf. You don't have to make a move until you're ready.

    Use the above tips to remain positive and productive when you're stuck in a bad job. Even if you can't leave at the moment, there are ways to stay motivated and find the right fit eventually.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    What’s the secret to finding your passion in life?

    What is a passion?

    Researchers found there are two types of passion: harmonious and obsessive. The latter is a bad thing, more like an addiction or being a stalker. We’ll focus on the former, thanks. So what defines harmonious passion?

    Robert Vallerand and colleagues came up with a “Passion Scale.” How many of these are true of an activity you engage in?

    Via Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined:

    1. This activity allows me to live a variety of experiences.

    2. The new things that I discover with this activity allow me to appreciate it even more.

    3. This activity allows me to live memorable experiences.

    4. This activity reflects the qualities I like about myself.

    5. This activity is in harmony with the other activities in my life.

    6. For me it is a passion, which I still manage to control.

    7. I am completely taken with this activity.

    Passion is good for you

    As long as it’s not of the obsessive variety, having a passion can really be a positive.

    Via Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined:

    The positive benefits of harmonious passion can be explained by the repeated engagement in positive emotions. Barbara Frederickson and her colleagues have conducted an impressive amount of research showing that positive emotions lead to an “upward spiral” of adaptive behaviors and better psychological adjustment.


    Via Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined:

    Elderly individuals who were harmoniously passionate scored higher on various indicators of psychological adjustment, such as life satisfaction, meaning in life, and vitality, while they reported lower levels of negative indicators of psychological adjustment such as anxiety and depression. 

    And it wasn’t just inherently “passionate people” who saw these benefits. Given the freedom to choose what they studied and pursue what interested them, otherwise “dispassionate” students saw the benefits of passion in academic subjects as well.

    Passion projects are better projects

    When we do things because of passion, not money, the quality is higher.

    Via Daniel Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

    “Our results were quite startling,” the researchers wrote. “The commissioned works were rated as significantly less creative than the non-commissioned works, yet they were not rated as different in technical quality. Moreover, the artists reported feeling significantly more constrained when doing commissioned works than when doing non-commissioned works.”

    And artists who focus on money over passion are less successful in the long run:

    “The less evidence of extrinsic motivation during art school, the more success in professional art both several years after graduation and nearly twenty years later.” Painters and sculptors who were intrinsically motivated, those for whom the joy of discovery and the challenge of creation were their own rewards, were able to weather the tough times—and the lack of remuneration and recognition—that inevitably accompany artistic careers. And that led to yet another paradox in the Alice in Wonderland world of the third drive. “Those artists who pursued their painting and sculpture more for the pleasure of the activity itself than for extrinsic rewards have produced art that has been socially recognized as superior,” the study said. “It is those who are least motivated to pursue extrinsic rewards who eventually receive them.”

    Can your passion be a career?

    Cal Newport points out a weakness in the “follow your passion” argument.

    Most people’s passions (sports, the arts, etc) are quite difficult to make a living at.

    Via So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love:

    84 percent of the students surveyed were identified as having a passion. This sounds like good news for the supporters of the passion hypothesis — that is, until you dive deeper into the details of these pursuits. Here are the top five identified passions: dance, hockey, (these were Canadian students, mind you), skiing, reading, and swimming. Though dear to the heart of the students, these passions don’t have much to offer when it comes to choosing a job. In fact, less than 4 percent of the total identified passions had any relation to work or education, with the remaining 96 percent describing hobby-style interests such as sports and art.

    In my interview with Cal he explained that career bliss comes from doing what we’re good at, not chasing passions which may be fleeting and unrealistic:

    Long-term career satisfaction requires traits like a real sense of autonomy, a real sense of impact on the world, a sense of mastery that you’re good at what you do, and a sense of connection in relation to other people.

    Now, the key point is those traits are not matched to a specific piece of work and they have nothing to do with matching your job to some sort of ingrained, pre-existing passion.

    What’s interesting is that most often it is passion that leads us to “10,000 hours” of deliberate practice and subsequent expertise.

    Via Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined:

    The researchers also looked at the role of passion among 130 undergraduate students enrolled in a selective psychology course. They found a direct path from harmonious passion to deliberate practice: the students who were more harmoniously passionate about their work were more likely to engage in deliberate practice.

    How to find your passion in life

    Cal Newport is right that we are happiest doing what we’re good at. Many people write to me asking “But how do I find out what I’m good at?

    There are quick ways to find out where your gifts lie. Professor Martin Seligman has a strengths test you can take here. Adam Grant points to other great resources here.

    But I think there’s a far more important element: Trying more things.

    This is deeply obvious yet eludes most people. Want to discover your passion? You need to do new things.

    Why doesn’t this occur to most people? Fear of failure.

    Fear of failure is one of the most powerful feelings.

    Via Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy:

    In a surprising 2008 study, researchers at the University of Bath, UK, found that the fear of failure drives consumers far more than the promise of success; the latter oddly tends to paralyze us, while the former spurs us on (and pries open our wallets). In fact, as the study found, the most powerful persuader of all was giving consumers a glimpse of some future “feared self.”

    You know what the funny thing is? It’s never as bad as you think. Really.

    Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness has studied how long people feel lousy after bad things happen. The answer? Not nearly as long as they guess.

    You anticipate regret will be much more painful than it actually is. Studies show we all consistently overestimate how regret affects us.

    We need to fail to learn. When we fear failure we limit our ability to succeed. 

    So is there a way to fail that isn’t scary?

    What to do now

    Make “little bets.” What’s a little bet?

    Via Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries:

    A small experiment that tests a theory. It’s just big enough to give you the answer you need but not so big that it wastes too much precious time, money or resources.

    A little bet allows you to break out of your comfort zone and try something new knowing that if it doesn’t work out you can quickly recover and try something else.

    In Cal Newport’s book So Good They Can’t Ignore You he recommends little bets for someone trying to develop their skills and create a career:

    The important thing about little bets is that they’re bite-sized. You try one. It takes a few months at most. It either succeeds or fails, but either way you get important feedback to guide your next steps. This approach stands in contrast to the idea of choosing a bold plan and making one big bet on its success.

    The more things you try, the more likely you are to find a fit.

    Failure isn’t that bad. But passion can be that good.

    Join 45K+ readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.

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    young women girls shopping

    Clinical psychologist Dr. Meg Jay doesn't subscribe to the theory that your 20s are a throwaway time to just have fun and decide what you want to be when you grow up.

    While popular media often depicts 20-somethings as aimless wanderers lounging in extended adolescence, the truth, according to Jay, is that your 20s are your defining decade.

    In fact, that's the title of her new book,"The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—and How to Make the Most of Them Now" and the inspiration for her TED talk, which proclaim that 30 is not the new 20, stressing the importance of that crucial time period post-college, especially when it comes to your career.

    We got Jay on the phone to get her advice on nine of the most common myths about your 20s, and what you should do instead. If you've ever considered bailing on your job or your "temporary" barista job has stretched to three years, you're going to want to hear this.

    Myth 1: Your twenties don't count.

    Despite their best efforts, 20-somethings have been hindered by the recession and difficult economic climate. From saving money to borrowing money, Gen Y lags behind their parents and grandparents. But that doesn't mean they get to take a time out.

    “Your 20s are the time to make some moves,” Jay says. “It's a unique, potentially transformative time. It ends up being more important than it feels.”

    If you're putting off starting your life ... don't. It's time to start making deliberate choices in your job, your city and even your love life to set yourself up for the life you want in your thirties. As Jay said to one young woman in her book who said that her choices before age 30 were just practice: "Consider what part you're rehearsing to play."

    Myth 2: You need to know exactly what you want to do.

    Too many 20-somethings think they need to figure out what they want to be when they grow up before landing an actual job. Instead, says Jay, your 20s are the ideal decade to build what she calls "identity capital"—little bits of experience you collect that coalesce into a solid identity over time.

    For example, rather than holding out for your absolute dream job, it's O.K. to take a job that isn’t ideal, as long as there's something about the position that could lead to another, better opportunity down the road. It's also fine if it's something a little unconventional. “I always tell my clients to take the job that's going to make people lean forward and say, ‘Tell me about that!’” she says.

    Long before becoming a successful psychologist, Jay was an Outward Bound instructor, which her future interviewers found cool. “I was actually the only person in my graduate school class at Berkeley who didn't go to an Ivy for undergrad, but with Outward Bound in my pocket, I didn't need the Ivy distinction," she says.

    She too, went through a 20-something period of being "underemployed," but made a point of upping her identity capital by choosing such an interesting part-time gig. If you need to make ends meet as a nanny or barista for a time, fine, but also try to find a way to get more high-profile experiences on your résumé. As she writes in her book, no one will start off an interview with, "So tell me about being a nanny."

    Myth 3: You can do anything you want.

    Before you get stars in your eyes, you should be realistic about your skills and goals. “Sometimes people get in their 20s and hear, ‘Oh my God, you can do anything you want in the whole wide world!’” Jay says. “That's overwhelming, and it's not true."

    In her book, she discusses psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas' idea of "unthought knowns"—things we know about ourselves but forget or suppress, like a childhood dream of working with animals or an aptitude for physics that was abandoned post–high school. To keep from being overwhelmed by "endless" possibilities, put together a handful of concrete plans you could pursue, based on your unthought knowns.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    happy people

    Your relationship with your manager is a key driver of how well you do at work and how happy you are in your job. Love your boss, and a not-so-great job can become more satisfying. Hate your boss, and a great job can become one you're desperate to quit.

    Having a strong relationship with your boss can actually be pretty straightforward if you know how to go about it. Here are eight key levers that can improve the way you interact.

    1. Bring differences in perspective to the surface. Often when you disagree with your boss, it's because you have information or a perspective that she doesn't, or vice versa. When you're in conflict, take that as a sign that one of you knows something that the other doesn't, or that one of you is looking at the situation from a different perspective, and try to bring that difference to the surface. This won't solve every disagreement, but it will solve a lot of them – and if nothing else, it will help you each have a better understanding of where the other is coming from, which can make differences of opinion easier to live with.

    2. Respect your manager's communication preferences. If you're an email person and your boss is an in-person communicator, you'll get frustrated if you try to rely on email for asking questions and getting input, and vice versa. Pay attention to how your boss prefers to communicate – email vs. in person vs. phone, as well as whether there are times of day or days of the week when she's especially available or particularly inaccessible – and adapt accordingly. It can be painful to switch from your own preferred method, but it will often get you what you need faster, and make your boss see you as someone easy to communicate with.

    3. Do what you say you're going to do, or circle back to her if you can't. Most managers are frustrated by how often they can't count on employees to follow through, particularly on small commitments (which employees may think matter less). If your manager learns that she can't trust you to do what you say you're going to do, expect her to check up on you more, which can feel like annoying micromanaging. Of course, there will be times when you won't be able to keep a commitment or meet a deadline you agreed to – or when new information makes you want to change course. In those cases, simply update your boss; if you proceed without looping her in, you'll signal that she can't assume work is unfolding as last agreed to.

    4. Don't complain behind her back. Sure, everyone needs to vent about work sometimes. But if your boss finds out you've been complaining about her or aspects of work without talking to her first, you'll break her trust in you. Pay her the respect of letting her know if something seriously bothers you, and if it's not a serious concern, pay her the respect of not complaining about her to others in your office.

    5. Stay calm and don't cause drama. There's no way to avoid moments of frustration at work; they're part of having a job. But if you let yourself become angry, offended or panicky without very serious provocation, you'll become another headache your boss has to deal with, which will in turn impact your relationship for the worse. Staying calm is an undervalued professional trait that can have a real payoff.

    6. Know it's not personal. If you've ever worked with someone who takes every workplace decision personally – from work assignments to who the boss took out to lunch – you know how exhausting they are to be around. Having a reasonably thick skin and not taking your manager's or company's decisions personally will make you easier for everyone to work with – especially your boss. Similarly…

    7. Be open to feedback. It might sound obvious, but an awful lot of people get defensive when they hear critical feedback from a boss. If your first reaction when hearing critical feedback is to think about how to defend yourself, you're probably missing the value of the input, and making it harder for your boss to give you useful feedback in the future. And even if you ultimately disagree with it, it's helpful to know your boss's assessment of your work. (In fact, it can be immensely helpful to request critical feedback. Try asking, "What could I be doing better?" and see what you hear.)

    8. Try giving your boss the benefit of the doubt. In most manager-employee relationships, there will be plenty of opportunities for misreading your boss's intentions – or for giving her the benefit of the doubt. For example, you could feel slighted when your boss gives your co-worker a better assignment than you, or you could conclude that it was just random chance or that your boss had a reason for thinking it suited your co-worker better. You could take it personally when your boss cancels his meeting with you at the last minute, or you could assume that something came up that was legitimately a higher priority and that your boss is juggling everything as best as she can. Of course, if you ever see a pattern that concerns you, speak up! But start by giving your manager the benefit of the doubt, and you might find that you're happier and the relationship is a better one.

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    We would all like to become more creative. Enhancing creativity can impact nearly every corner of our work lives – problem solving, ideation, innovation.

    However, with all we are expected to accomplish on a daily basis, we rarely have time to consider our own creative blueprint — a unique set of "triggers" that can help us harness creative energy. Aligning our creative needs can be a critical step in reaching our potential.

    But, as we become busier and busier, it seems we have limited time to make room for creativity in our day-to-day work lives. We attempt to adapt to the work-life scenario that is presented, and forge on.

    In many cases, work environments simply do not mesh with the "creative core" of an individual. You may work remotely, but feel the need for face-to-face interaction with your colleagues. You may work on a team, but find you are more effective when you have time to process information on your own. There can be a clear "mismatch" between the person and the specific elements of their work environment. At some point you must stop, listen and attempt to make much needed adjustments.

    Even if you find yourself in the right career and the right job — fine tuning certain qualities of your work life may help you to become more creative. There are many things to consider. But at the core of this, are your individual needs – your creative blueprint.

    A few things to consider:

    *Your physical workspace. What makes you feel creative? There is no right or wrong answer to this question – it's a bit like a Rorschach assessment and individual to you – but it should be posed. Look around your work environment and ask yourself: What in your current space enhances your creative energy? For example, consider the aspects of sound, light and color in your environment. Whether listening to music or viewing your favorite painting puts you in the right frame of mind – find a way to incorporate these elements into your work environment.

    *Your "influencer" group. Include people in work life that you consider "creativity accelerators"– those individuals who will explore and develop ideas with you. Don't have access to a group that has these qualities? Develop one. Whether these individuals work within your own organization or are accessible through online channels, build your own "community of creativity." (Learn more about that here.)

    *Look for opportunities to collaborate. Creativity can be enhanced when we are exposed to varying functions and perspectives. Find ways to contribute to teams and projects that are somewhat outside your comfort zone — even if this means organizing dedicated time to do so. Work alone at home? Seek a co-working environment and link up with others outside your realm.

    *Idea management strategies. Do you have a system in place to capture your ideas? If you have skipped this step, you may not maximize your creative potential. Find a method to record and review your moments of inspiration. Mount a vision board in your office — or keep a notebook ever ready. (Even Da Vinci had notebooks.) You'll instantly boost your creative potential.

    *Manage yourself. Do you tend to have a "cluttered" mind that stops you from focusing your creative energy? Do you find you process information better on your own? Try to match your creative blueprint to how you work. If you need "quiet time" to process, seek this out. If you become distracted easily, develop a strategy that set limits and helps you to focus.

    *Don't force it. Consider rest and reflection within your creative blueprint. Stimulating the senses is integral to maximizing creativity, however the benefits of down time – when your brain has the opportunity to process information – is just as critical. Studies have found that your brain requires rest to perform at its peak. Build time into your day to process. Doodle, play a game or take a brief walk around – your brain is still working on a deeper level.

    You have some measure of control over your own "culture of creative." What are your creative strategies? Share them here.

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  • 07/08/13--15:13: 8 Ways To Overcome Anxiety
  • stress manWhen was the last time I was anxious? Hmmm, let me think. Ten minutes ago? We live in anxious times.

    Amidst meeting our daily obligations, managing our career goals, and handling pressures placed on us from the outside, it is no wonder we increasingly accept anxiety as a norm with which we are forced to live.

    However, we do not have to let it silently weigh us down and hamper our ability to deal with issues. I have found that when I am feeling any sort of unease, these tips help return me to a place where feelings of calm and peace ultimately prevail over apprehension.

    1. Distance yourself from “toxic” people and solidify your support group

    Those you spend the majority of your time with undoubtedly have an influence on your mental well-being. If you routinely find yourself feeling more worried, tired, depressed, or anxious after being around a certain person or group of people — take notice. The people you choose to surround yourself with either recharge your batteries and help enforce feelings of self-worth or exhaust your energy and make it easier for anxiety to prevail.

    2. Take a “stay-cation” if you can’t vacation

    No need to worry about lost luggage, expensive airplane tickets, or long layovers. Allowing yourself to take a guilt-free weekend hiatus at home and venture to your “happy place” can ease your emotions and quiet your mind from rushing at a rate of 100 tpm (one hundred thoughts per minute). Even if you don’t have a weekend to devote, forcing yourself to do something you enjoy, whether losing yourself for a few minutes in a compelling novel, busting out your best Beyoncé moves in the privacy of your own room, or singing in the shower, can offer a much needed escape from pressing concerns—real, imagined, or unnecessarily exaggerated. A brief respite is sometimes all it takes to put things in perspective and restore mental order.

    3. Never underestimate the power of humor

    Next time you find yourself overly anxious or worried, ask yourself whether it truly signals the end of the world and, if not, find a way to make light of the situation. When you make time to laugh and take yourself a little less seriously, you liberate yourself from the pressure to be perfect and subsequently become less susceptible to anxiety.

    4. Run towards your fears, not away

    Anxiety often goes hand in hand with the debilitating fear of failure or of the unknown. Instead of running from the things that make us anxious, try attacking them head on. As Gail Fanaro explains, “once you can know the impact of failing on your life, then the fear becomes very manageable.” Exposing ourselves to our fears can lead us to the realization that our worries are often rooted far from reality and, with this realization, feelings of anxiety that typically arise from a specific situation will become far less paralyzing.

    5. Get enough sleep, fuel your body, and break a sweat

    There are a number of studies that cite the beneficial effects of a healthy lifestyle in combating anxiety. Remind yourself that caring for your body does not take crucial time away from your work or other obligations; it is not a form of self-centered pampering. In fact, it will energize you, making you more productive in the long run. By physically taking care of yourself, you equip your body and mind to better handle day-to-day concerns.

    6. Be where you are

    We will never get back the time and energy we waste agonizing over circumstances we cannot change. When you feel the grips of anxiety taking hold, acknowledge that these emotions are generally not coming from the immediate present, but rather concerns over the past or future. Repeat a mantra (it doesn’t have to be fancy) to ground yourself when you find your mind wandering to any place but the here and now. Try meditating on this thought: “I am here, and I am okay.”

    7. Pride yourself on your adaptability

    Mental flexibility is key to overcoming anxiety. Coupled with fear of the unknown, it is tempting to try and control every minute detail of our lives and get discouraged when things do not go exactly as planned. Make a conscious decision to give yourself a break and gracefully accept the fluidity and unpredictability of life, rather than drain your energy obsessing over minor details.

    8. Pick up an inspirational book

    Anxiety can affect even the strongest and wisest among us. Engaging in self-help is an act of personal empowerment, not weakness. Books like Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, Brett Blumenthal’s A Whole New You: Six Steps to Ignite Change for Your Best Life, and Christine Hassler’s Twenty Something, Twenty Everything put matters in perspective, reassure you there are others experiencing similar travails, and are naturally calming.

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    thumbs up

    Oh, I'm a gold star junkie. I always want to see those gold stars stuck to the top of my homework. I crave praise, appreciation, recognition.

    I've done a lot to combat my craving for gold stars. I also try hard to give other people the gold stars they deserve.

    But it's not always easy to dole out those gold stars in an effective way. Here are seven ideas:

    1. Be specific. Vague praise doesn't make much of an impression.

    2. Find a way to praise sincerely. It's a rare situation where you can't identify something that you honestly find praiseworthy. "Striking" is one of my favorite fudge adjectives.

    3. Never offer praise and ask for a favor in the same conversation. It makes the praise seem like a set-up.

    4. Praise process, not outcome.This is particularly relevant with children. It's more helpful to praise effort, diligence, persistence, and imagination than a grade or milestone.

    5. Look for something less obvious to praise – a more obscure accomplishment or quality that a person hasn't heard praised many times before; help people identify strengths they didn't realize they had. Or praise a person for something that he or she does day after day, without recognition. Show that you appreciate the fact that the coffee's always made, that the report is never late. It's a sad fact of human nature: those who are the most reliable are the most easily taken for granted.

    6. Don't hesitate to praise people who get a lot of praise already. Perhaps counter-intuitively, even people who get constant praise – or perhaps especially people who get constant praise – crave praise. Is this because praiseworthy people are often insecure? Does getting praise lead to an addiction to more praise? Or – and this is my current hypothesis – does constant praise indicate constant evaluation, and constant evaluation leads to a craving for praise?

    7. Praise people behind their backs. The praised person usually hears about the praise, and behind-the-back praise seems more sincere than face-to-face praise. Also, always pass along the behind-the-back praise that you hear. This is one of my favorite things to do.

    Also, because the way we feel is very much influenced by the way we act, by acting in a way that shows appreciation, discernment, and thoughtfulness, we make ourselves feel more appreciative, discerning, and thoughtful. And that boosts happiness.

    Have you thought of any other good ways for giving people praise? Are you a gold-star junkie, yourself?

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    Ping Pong

    I'll never forget the first time a famous entrepreneur put his hand on my shoulder, looked me right in the eye, and said, "Steve, you don't want to miss out on this opportunity. You'll see; it'll be great. Once you get equity, you never look back."

    He couldn't have been more wrong. The start-up he founded would eventually crash and burn. By that time I was long gone and begging for my old job back. Luckily, I didn't get it. It wasn't long before I landed at another start-up and experienced my first IPO.

    That CEO was right about one thing, though. Equity. It's not the only reason to join a start-up, but it's definitely in the top three. There's nothing like having a piece of the pie.

    You should all have the good fortune to join a hot startup once in your life. The excitement, the energy, the equity--you can't beat it. If you can find a way in and you know what to look for, that is.

    Luckily, I've been in and around Silicon Valley's high-tech industry ever since that fateful day in 1989 and I've got three tips to help you land a cool job in a hot start-up.

    1. Start local. It's easy enough to find all the mini-Silicon Valleys and the hottest start-ups in your area of expertise, but more important than their location is yours. If you're a hotshot developer in high demand, that's one thing. I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding a great opportunity. If not, you know how competitive it is out there. Your chances are far better if you're local. Recruiters will rarely admit that, but it's true.

    Still, you don't have to be in Silicon Valley, Boston, or the Big Apple. Start-ups are everywhere these days, from L.A. to London, from Austin to Atlanta, from Des Moines to Denver. And the good news is, at least in general, the more remote the location, the less the competition. So start local and, if you want to move somewhere, try to get out there and at least "appear" local.

    2. Look for the smart money. While not every successful company was backed by top-tier VCs, checking out the quality of the investors is a pretty good idea for a lot of reasons. Top notch angels and VCs provide start-ups with a lot more than just capital. They mentor founders, help fill in gaps in the management team, make key customer introductions, and help bring in new investors for subsequent rounds.

    How do you know if the investors are top tier? Several ways. If you search around sites like VentureBeat, Gigaom, and Mashable, you'll see the same names pop up again and again: Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia, New Enterprise Associates, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, August Capital, among others. If not, go to the VC firm's website and look for lists of companies they've invested in that have had successful "exits," meaning IPOs or acquisitions.

    If the start-up doesn't list its investors, then search online using the company name and terms like "Series A" or "round of funding." You'll find them.

    3. Connect with real people in the real world. If you're smart, you already know that just applying for jobs online isn't likely to get you anywhere. Also, pretty much everyone's figured out how to try to connect with people through LinkedIn, so that's not a very good strategy, either.

    So what does work? The same thing that's worked for decades: Real networking with real people in real time. That's how I found my way into startups back in the day and that's still the most effective way to do it. Sure, it takes real work. Welcome to the real world.

    Failing that, here's a pretty good trick that actually works. Believe it or not, most venture capital firms provide contact information, even for their partners. Emails and phone calls are usually filtered by assistants, but in my experience, they tend to be very helpful. People are very nice at VC firms.

    If you're a fast talker or you can write a good paragraph and have a good resume that gets their attention, it behooves them to pass you along to the start-up you're targeting. And believe me, companies pay attention to leads they get from their VCs. That's for sure.

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    Business Insider, filtered by FlickrBusiness Insider is looking for an Editor to oversee our Strategy and Careers sections.

    Our coverage brings together insights and data on major issues for employers and employees alike.

    Some of these issues include:

    • How is technology changing hiring, production, and everything else?
    • Can women have it all?
    • Is college worth it?
    • How do millennials fit into the workforce?
    • What does retirement look like today?

    The ideal candidate has these characteristics:

    • You're passionate about the types of debates listed above
    • You dream about story ideas and can't wait to get them assigned
    • You're an efficient and thoughtful editor
    • You like seeing your byline, too, and would love to write often
    • You're obsessed with the internet and Twitter and keep up to date with the latest buzz in corporate America 
    • You've managed at least one or two writers in the past, and everyone loves working for you

    If this sounds like your dream job, send a brief email to me at jliebman [at]

    No resumes accepted. Instead, provide a link to your LinkedIn profile, as well as 3 links to online writing clips you're most proud of. 

    In your email, please explain in one paragraph why you're the one for the job. 

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    girls sitting

    At the core of your LinkedIn experience is your profile. As you complete it, you are prompted to include information for all of your educational background as well as companies and positions that you've held over the course of your career.

    Sounds pretty much like a résumé, right?

    Not so much.

    LinkedIn is evolving and if you are a savvy job hunter, you will seize the opportunity to utilize its new features to your advantage.

    When looking for a new job, you might be tempted to choose the "easy" way of simply cutting one section of a résumé after another and pasting them in turn into the corresponding spot on your profile. However, doing this demonstrates a failure to understand what social media is all about, and limits the information about yourself that you can convey. Both your résumé and LinkedIn profile speak about you, but they do so in at least seven different ways:

    1. Résumés are limited in length to a page or two. Meanwhile, on LinkedIn you can use a personal branding statement that’s up to 2000 characters in your profile summary. Plus there is no overall constraint for the total length of your profile.

    2. The etiquette of how you present yourself in these two media sharply differs. Résumés are formal documents — for instance, you would never see the pronoun "I" in a well-written résumé. While you should view LinkedIn as a business site, it is social. Rather than you conveying information to your reader, social media is about two-way communication. It is beneficial to be personable, if not personal, and that includes commonly speaking about yourself in the first person.

    3. A well-crafted résumé will be tightly worded, conveying a story in just a very few lines. STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) bulleted points, or something close to them, is the expected norm. Although you might include a link to something online, your résumé remains simply a text document.

    On LinkedIn, your language should be much less formal, and you can ditch the STAR format. Demonstrate your accomplishments by including multiple forms of media both in your profile summary and tied to any relevant position you list. Depending on your profession, you might include a PowerPoint financial presentation, a portfolio of your art, pictures of your work product, a PDF eBook, videos or links with an explanation to whatever you wish.

    4. Typically you send your résumé out on a targeted basis to recruiters or companies at which you want to be considered. On LinkedIn, your profile is searchable and thereby becomes bait, making you "findable" by anyone seeking to develop a targeted candidate pool of people like you. Positions which you had no idea existed can thereby be brought to your attention. Rather than trying to create a document appropriate for a job, online you can provide a more rounded view of your interests, knowledge and activities.

    5. Once you complete your résumé, you will continue to tailor it to mirror the priorities of any particular position. Still, it is a completely finished document for whomever you submit it to whenever you hit "send."

    By comparison, your LinkedIn profile grows organically each time you include a new skill, accomplishment, share information or engage in various other types of LinkedIn activities. When someone comes back to your profile time after time, what he or she sees will be somewhat different if you take care to keep it up to date.

    6. Generally, you shouldn't include a picture on a résumé. But a close in headshot is now expected for an optimized LinkedIn profile. Again, LinkedIn is about building relationships with real people with real faces.

    7. Your résumé is about the past. Your profile, while also conveying your prior professional history and accomplishments, is ultimately about the present and future.

    The status updates that you post become a part of your profile. They need not be limited to accomplishments, but can include articles you find of interest, references to events you plan to attend, and more. Also, LinkedIn now allows hashtags, which makes your updates easier for others to find. You can also include rich media such as pictures, e-Books, links to other articles or sites, etc.

    When you send a résumé into an employer, it might just sit there until someone happens on it. But each time you post an update on LinkedIn, it is shared with all your first-degree connections, plus you can also opt to have them appear on your Twitter feed and more. You can thereby put yourself in front of your audience repeatedly.

    Often, even if a recruiter or human resources professional has your résumé in hand, they will still check out your profile to learn more about you to determine if they would like to initiate a conversation with you. LinkedIn's new features enable your profile to shine in ways far beyond a résumé's capabilities. When you take advantage of them, you'll be able to demonstrate very clearly the value you bring to any employer lucky enough to find and woo you.

    Happy hunting!

    Related Articles:

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    Ben Lerer of Thrillist

    Today's advice comes from Ben Lerer, founder and Chief Executive of Thrillist, via The New York Times:

    "One thing that we preach at work all day long is 'don’t hope.' What that means is don’t wait for somebody to do something for you. Don’t do something 90%  well and hope that it’ll slide through. Don’t rely on luck."

    Lerer says you have to make your own luck. You can't leave anything up to chance because if you depend on the 10%  to "just work," it never will. Lerer's advice is to simply always do your absolute best.

    "The only time when you can have real regret is when you didn’t do everything you could do. I want to never hope, even though I hope just like everybody else. It’s just important to know that you’re giving as close as you can to 100 percent, dedicated effort, and you’re being thoughtful about it."

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    older workers

    Anyone over the age of 50 who claims to be hard hit by the recession isn't wrong: According to recent data, people born between 1946 and 1964 have lost the most earning power following the recession.

    But the 50-year-old who claims that “no one wants to hire someone my age” would be wrong.

    If you're 50-plus and have experienced a job loss, or you're simply looking to switch gigs, take heart in the fact that your career isn't over. We spoke to two experts—as well as a few people who've been there themselves—for dos and don'ts advice on how older workers can better market themselves in today's job search ... and get hired.

    Don't ... try harder.

    You read that right. Don't.

    If you've been on the job hunt for a while, with little or no success, you may have heard this platitude: Just try harder! But according to Bob Sullivan, co-author of "The Plateau Effect: Getting From Stuck to Success," it's actually the worst thing that you can do in this situation.

    "When you find yourself putting more and more effort into something that’s getting less and less results, it's not a sign that you should keep trying — it’s just the opposite," says Sullivan. Of course, this isn't to say that you should stop putting in effort altogether. Rather, you should try something different, whether it's re-vamping your LinkedIn profile, networking more consistently or working with a career coach to more effectively bust through a job-hunt rut.

    Do ... make your resume ageless.

    Lisa Johnson Mandell was in her late 40s when she suddenly found herself without a job. Although she made sure to show off her 20-plus years of experience as an entertainment reporter on her résumé, after countless job applications went unanswered, her husband gave her the hard truth. "He said, 'Lisa, don't hate me, but you really look kind of old on paper,' " she recalls.

    So Mandell removed key age indicators from her resume, such as the year she graduated from college and the lengths of time that she was employed. "As soon as I sent out this new résumé that wouldn't tell anybody how old I was, I started getting responses—I'm not kidding you—within 20 minutes," she says. "And, in two weeks, I had three full-time job offers."

    The result wasn't just a new gig, either—she also wrote a book, "Career Comeback: Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want," in which she shares strategies for giving a resume a more youthful spin. "Somebody in their 20s looks at 20-plus years of experience and puts you in the same age group as a mother or grandmother," she says. Of course, in an ideal world, experience should trump age, but Mandell adds that "if you're really intent on getting a job, you have to make concessions."

    Do ... brush up on your interviewing skills.

    If you haven't interviewed in a long time, you could probably use some practice. Instead of role-playing with a too-comfortable friend, try going on a few interviews for jobs that you aren't as jazzed about "because what you don't want is to go on an interview for the job that you most want and screw up," explains Art Koff, founder of, which connects older workers with employers. "Every interview is a learning process."

    You may also want to record yourself speaking. It's a tip that David Welbourn received while making a career switch at the age of 59 from a fundraising post at a hospital to a director role at a nonprofit. His advice: "Listen to your own voice, and ask yourself: Do I have enough emotion? Do I sound like I care?"

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Scott Belsky, Founder Behance

    Today's advice comes from Scott Belsky, founder of Behance, via LinkedIn:

    "Knowing which feedback to embrace and which to discard is perhaps the most important instinct for a creative leader to possess. Nearly every innovation is initially misunderstood by the so-called 'experts.' In truth, scrutiny and doubt are just part of the toll we pay to take the path less traveled."

    A key to discerning feedback is knowing the difference between criticism and cynicism. Belsky says that criticism is doubt informed by knowledge. Cynicism, on the other hand, is doubt informed by ignorance. It arises from an ingrained muscle memory of past experiences that lead you to shun something simply because it is foreign. Unlike criticism, it does not come from curiosity or information.

    "Learn to savor criticism and shun cynicism by developing an instinct for the difference between thoughtful insights and short-sightedness. This instinct comes straight from the gut."

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    frank gehry architect thinkingFigures released last month by the National Endowment for the Arts offer telling insight into the architecture profession across the US, with a helpful breakdown of the representation of various demographic groups.

    The data, collected between 2006-2010, reports the number of architects in each state and their race, gender, age and income. The data reveals which states have the highest/lowest income, the best/worst gender discrepancies, and also offer insights into the average age and races of architects, per state.  

    The commonly held view that New York and California are the twin epicenters of US architecture is reinforced by the statistics, with the states sharing over a quarter of the nation’s architects between them (9.81% and 15.51% respectively). However, the survey also compares the number of architects in relation to population size, which uncovers a few surprises; while New York and California are ranked 4th and 10th in this category, Hawaii actually comes in at number 2, with Massachusetts at number 3.

    The District of Columbia, included as its own data set, is also an interesting point of comparison as it is the only entirely urban entry. The number of architects in comparison to the population size is almost four times the national average, putting DC way out in first for this category. DC architects are also younger, better paid and more racially diverse than states which cover larger areas and contain a greater portion of rural communities.

    Nationally, one in every four architects is female. While this is fractionally better than in the UK, it can hardly be considered progressive. Some states, though, are ahead of the curve: in Massachusetts, MarylandMontana, and Delaware this number is around one in three. At the other end of the spectrum, ArkansasWyoming and West Virginia have one female architect in about every ten; Arkansas sets the low-tide mark for inequality at around one in fifteen (6.5% women).

    A similar pattern emerges in the racial demographics – nationally around 80% of architects are white, and, with the notable exception of Hawaii (48.5% Asian and only 32.1% White), at least two architects in every three are White in each state. In fact 38 of the US’s 50 states are less equal than the national average of 80%; if it weren’t for the more diverse, populous states (California, FloridaTexas and New York), then the average might be much higher. Once again Arkansas and Wyoming take the spotlight as least equal, this time along with both North and South Dakota: 100% of architects in all four states are white.

    In some places, the statistics describing the age of architects give a further dimension to the equality statistics: in Wyoming, for example, a third of architects are in their Sixties, with only 8.3% under the age of 40. In North Dakota a different pattern is emerging: 40% of its architects are under 40, in line with the national average, but there is not a single architect between 40-49. At the other end of the age range, an impressive 11.4% of North Dakotan architects are 70 or older.

    Finally, the statistics on wages may prove useful to any architects considering a relocation. Interestingly, Mississippi seems a good state in which to start a young career, with not a single architect earning less than $25,000. Those wishing to earn big money might consider New Jersey, Hawaii, California, or Connecticut and avoid Vermont, Montana and West Virginia.


    Cite: Stott, Rory. "Study Reveals US States with Highest Pay, Most Equality" 10 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 10 Jul 2013. <>

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    guy kawasaki

    Today's advice comes from Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple and current advisor to Motorola, via LinkedIn:

    "There's an [additional] piece to becoming truly likeable that I'd like to share: default to a "yes" attitude. This means that your default response to requests is “yes.” This doesn’t mean lying, and it’s not a risky practice because most requests at the beginning of a relationship are simple and easy ... A "yes" buys time, enables you to see more options, and builds rapport."

    Kawasaki defines good networking as always thinking "yes." This means thinking about how you can help people when you meet them. By contrast, a "no" response means there’s nowhere to go, and nothing to build on. Better than no, at least, is "not yet." But "yes", according to Kawasaki, is always best.

    "To make a default 'yes' work, you must assume that people are reasonable, honest, and grateful. While everyone isn‘t always reasonable, honest, and grateful, the majority are, and you can live your life in one of two ways: thinking that people are bad until proven good or good until proven bad."

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