The biggest UX event of the year is just days away. The 3rd Annual International UX Awards are on Tuesday, May 21 right here in NYC! 10 exceptional submissions will be awarded prizes, so come see their awesome work and meet the winners from all over the globe!
This year’s UX Awards also features a keynote from Mashable CTO Robyn Peterson. Peterson will discuss Mashable’s recent redesign and key UX industry trends. The 2013 jury panel includes Salon.com’s CEO/CTO Cindy Jeffers, Google’s Tomer Sharon, Netflix’s Chris Jaffe from CA, Moment’s John Payne, Agile UX maestro Anders Ramsey, IXDA NY Local leader Lis Hubert, and Cory Lebson from UXPA DC!
The Hired Guns is a proud sponsor and supporter of this important event, and we’ll definitely be there. It’s going to be a very inspiring and enlightening night, so make sure to get your tickets ASAP!
Sign up here. And be sure to use the discount code “TheHiredGuns” for 20% off the ticket price.
Time’s 100 Most Influential People, that venerable annual accounting of who’s who the world over, is in its final stage of voting. We’d like to encourage you to vote for Sara Horowitz, founder of the Freelancers Union and all-around champion for freelancers’ economic rights. As our economy continues to shift to a freelance, distributed model, Sara is a vital voice for the economic and social well-being for countless professionals. Swing by Time and tell them why Sara deserves a place on the Top 100. All it takes is a click.
Unlike virtually every other site on the Internet today, we’re actually NOT going to pull an April Fool’s stunt. No cats, no fake products, no nothing. We promise. Instead, here’s what’s actually useful on the Web for April 1, 2013:
These Days, Recruiters Are Worth the Money
Metal Mafia founder Vanessa Merit Nornberg was always skeptical about using third-party recruiters. Until she tried one. via Inc.com
The 10 Most-Common (and 10 Least-Common) Jobs in America Today
To no one’s surprise, the most common job in the USA is “Retail Salesperson.” But “Prothsodontist?” Not so much. via The Atlantic
Will the Digital Currency Bitcoin Destroy the State?
Can a “peer-to-peer, digitized crypto-currency” destabilize the state and banking institutions? Probably not, but it’s still a good read. via The Spectator (UK)
Professor Deepak Malhotra Teaches HBS Students How to Negotiate a Job Offer
If you didn’t get enough negotiation tips back in February, then check out this video by Professor Deepak Malhotra, author of Negotiation Genius. 15 sage negotiating tips that work at all professional levels. via YouTube
image via TV Guide
Last week, we announced a Game of Thrones contest. The premise is simple: tell us which Game of Thrones character you are at work and why. The winner gets epic swag from HBO’s Game of Thrones store, just in time for the season premier on Sunday, March 31. The game is still afoot — you’ve got until tomorrow afternoon (March 29) to get your submission in. In the meantime, here are a few of our favorite submissions so far:
@featpete: I’m the office Varys. I don’t say too much but I “overhear” all of the gossip that goes around. People also probably think I’m a eunuch. Read More →
This article originally appeared on HBR.org and The Energy Project. It is reprinted here with the kind permission of the author.
For more than a decade now, I’ve struggled to define what fuels the most sustainably productive work environment — not just on behalf of the large corporate clients we serve, but also for my own employees at The Energy Project. Perhaps nothing I’ve uncovered is as important as trust.
Much as employers understandably hunger for one-size-fits-all policies and practices, what motivates human beings remains stubbornly complex, opaque, and difficult to unravel. Perhaps that’s why I felt so viscerally the shortsightedness and futility of Marissa Mayer’s decision to order Yahoo employees who had been working from home to move back to the office, and Hubert Joly’s to do the same at Best Buy. Read More →
HBO’s Game of Thrones has been a constant source of conversation at The Hired Guns office over the last couple of years. Sunday, March 31st, marks the start of the highly anticipated third season, and we couldn’t be more excited. If you haven’t tuned in yet, you should. Pretty much everything you need to know to survive in the modern work world plays out in this medieval fantasy epic, pitting seven kingdoms against each other, all in the name of trying to regain a single throne.
If you’re navigating a complicated work environment filled with back-stabbing, envy, and mistrust, there is no better way to learn (or just be reminded) of the rules of engagement for getting ahead in a cut-throat workplace. But it’s not all about warfare. Game of Thrones also offers plenty of moral guidance for leaders who want to do right by their people. There are plenty of lessons about beating the pants off your competition, mastering the laws of shifting alliances, and the art of holding your trump card until the right moment. The story lines and the characters are rich, layered, and complex — just like work. It’s the perfect Sunday night ritual for getting your Monday game face on. Read More →
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve received a boatload of requests for a post with all the 28 Days links in one place. Ask and ye shall receive, friends. Here they are! Read More →
Not all internships include a creepy little dude following you. But some do.
by Tyler Bradford
We recently wrote about how to act (and not act) during your entry-level job, but, admittedly, I skipped a small step: actually landing that first job. Gone are the days when companies willingly hired scores of college graduates, paying them a living wage and starting them on the upward professional track. Twenty first-century twenty-somethings can no longer rely on such linear development, faced instead with such ambiguous prospects as scores of unpaid internships which may or may not convert into full-time employment and companies who simply refuse to invest in the emerging work force.
In this weekend’s Style section, the New York Times featured profiles of several such disheartened young professionals, exposing a life defined by nonfat soy lattes and incessant iPhone 5-checking (this is the Style section, after all). If you’re in your 20s (I am) or care about the state of employment at all, the article might just make you cry. Maybe you’ll want to throw your computer against the wall (not going to help your career). But if you take a second to take some deep breaths, there are actually some key points to take away. Besides, you’re never going to be able to beat the odds if you don’t know what you’re up against (that’s what we tell ourselves, anyways). Read More →
February flew by and we can’t believe 28 Days is over. We’ve covered a lot of territory, and all of you should be proud of yourselves with keeping up along the way. The twenty-first century job hunt is definitely manageable, but it also requires hard, consistent work. We’re glad you stuck it out with us, and we hope you’re happy with the results. Before we close the books on an epic month of career navigation, let’s make sure you were diligent to the very end and gave the hiring process the attention it deserves. Read More →
One of the most difficult transitions you’ll make in your career is the switch from sheltered academia life into the dog-eat-dog world of corporate America. The Red Bull-powered all-nighters in university libraries and the professional work environment can seem like two irreconcilable worlds, but surely four years and $200k must be worth something more than one line on the resume. Entry-level jobs are also often hotbeds of user error: they’re where we screw up our work the most.
But entry-level jobs aren’t just for recent grads; often when switching careers, we have to restart at the bottom of the food chain to establish a new professional record. So wherever you are in your career, if you’re planning to enter a new industry, here are a couple tips to bear in mind, courtesy of LifeHacker. Read More →
We’ve gotten a lot of positive response to our 28 Days to a New Job series. After we wrap it all up this Thursday, we’re going to host a few days of Q+A. Maybe you wanted more details about how to network or negotiate. Maybe you wanted some additional resume or cover letter tips. Maybe you’d just like to share an aspect of the 28 Days program that you tried and found successful. Whatever your questions or comments may be, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
We’re certainly aware that some of you may want to keep your job search a secret. If this is you, just give yourself a nickname. Call yourself “Bored of My Boss in Brooklyn,” “Don’t Know Where to Go Next,” or anything else you’d like to use. We’ll be sure to keep your secret identity on the down low.
You probably never thought you would make it through the dreaded interviewing stage, but you did! Hopefully, this week’s posts made you realize that interviewing is a chance to show off your skills and personality, and not just a necessary bullet to dodge. Interviewing mode is difficult for everyone — especially if it’s been a while – but being a star interviewee just take a little prep work so you can present your authentic self in a polished and articulate manner. Before we move into the ever-delicate hiring process, let’s tick off some boxes before we abandon interviewing for the light at the end of the tunnel. Read More →
You’ve reached the halfway point. You’ve gotten your materials in order, and this week you’ve gotten serious about your research. Give yourself a big pat on the back. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve already done much more than the average applicant. Before we move into the glorious land of interviewing, let’s check to make sure you crossed all your t’s and dotted all your i’s during the applying process. Read More →
Here’s a quick list of links help you get where you’re going. We’ll be adding each day’s link to the list below as they’re published. So if you’re stuck, struggling, or just need a little reassurance, drop a comment on our Facebook page or tweet using the hashtag #NewJob28Days. We’ll get right back at you and do our best to help put your job search back on the road to success. Read More →
Week One of our month-long series dedicated to helping you land a bright, shiny new gig is over. It’s only been seven days, but if you’ve been following along and doing your homework, then you’ve already made a lot of progress. You’ve decided you can’t get anything else out of your current job. You’ve had an honest discussion with yourself what jobs you’re really qualified for and where you should be looking. You’ve also spent some serious time on your toolkit. The Core Four (resume, LinkedIn profile, references, and cover letter) are looking good.
Good news: the hard part is over! Everything you’ve worked on thus far will pay huge dividends once you start applying (spoiler alert: next week is all about honing your job application strategy). We’ve got a lot more exciting material for you, but first, let’s just run through a quick list to make sure all your bases are covered. Read More →
Mad Men’s ratings may be higher than ever, but we all know the role of professional women has come a long way since the 60s. We recently sat down with Melissa Weisstuch, Associate Director of Marketing Communications at Somnia Anesthesia and Julie Livingston, Senior Director of Client Development at CarrotNewYork to learn more about the current state of women in marketing. Both Melissa and Julie are members of New York Women in Communications (NYWICI), a 1,500 member organization for communications and marketing professionals. They were kind enough to give us their takes on the dynamic world of marketing, public relations, and communications. Read More →
The Hired Guns are exceedingly proud to reprint this piece by Tony Schwartz, noted author and President and CEO of The Energy Project. The piece below originally appeared in the Harvard Business Review, for which Tony is a popular blogger.
Two years ago, I began hearing the phrase “It isn’t sustainable” over and over from senior executives. They were talking about the everyday demands at work.
The day of reckoning seems to have arrived. During the past month alone, no less than a half dozen senior executives have told me that fatigue, exhaustion and even burnout are the biggest issues they’re facing both for themselves and among their troops.
Sustainable capacity — meaning sufficient fuel in the tank — is what makes it possible to bring one’s skill and talent to life. Not even the most talented and motivated employees can run on empty. Read More →
Oh. It's you.
Welcome back to the land of the living, friends. It’s time to shake off the tryptophan hangover and return to world of digital work. Here are a few items to help you ease the transition from the couch to the office:
We’ve been documenting Carole Murko’s journey from the world of financial services to the development of Heirloom Meals, a storytelling platform that uses multiple channels to explore the connections between food and family. Carole was a part of The Hired Guns network for quite some time during her former career and we’re excited to help get the word out about her Thanksgiving Special.
Those who live here in New York can catch her Heirloom Meals Thanksgiving Special on WNET-13 at 5:00am EST on Thanksgiving Day. Or, check your local listings for more information.
And if your interest isn’t already piqued, Carole will be making cranberry-stuffed acorn squash, brazilian cheese rolls and chipotle-spiced pumpkin pie. And now we’re hungry. Thanks, Carole.
Photo by Brigitte Lacombe
We’ve been watching Marissa Mayer’s executive turn at Yahoo! with interest over the past few months, waiting on the first big piece of news to drop. Yesterday, we got two: the acquisition of the Justin Bieber-endorsed mobile app Stamped and a leaked screenshot of Yahoo’s redesigned homepage.
It’s still unclear how Stamped might integrate within their current offering, but we’re willing to be patient on that one. The screenshot is far more puzzling; it just looks like a slightly shinier version of their anachronistically cluttered mess of a homepage. More puzzling still is how the two might eventually work together. Read More →
Like this, but with more honking and shouting.
Happy Friday, Guns. It’s one of those dreary “Is this London or NYC?” days out there, so let’s skip to the good stuff. Here’s what you may have missed for October 19:
Social media has been around for almost a decade now. There are over a billion users worldwide. 83% of marketers agree it’s important for their business. So why doesn’t anyone know how to measure its ROI? via HubSpot Read More →
We were going to start this post with a clever analogy that linked the arrival of autumn with all the new stuff on our blog. But as it turns out, we were a few weeks late to the leaf-changing party and, frankly, the whole thing just wasn’t that clever. So let’s skip to the good part. Read More →
Happy Friday, Guns. ADP and the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their monthly job numbers for September this week, and the overall outlook continues to improve:
BLS: “The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 114,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care and in transportation and warehousing but changed little in most other major industries.”
ADP: “Employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector increased by 162,000 from August to September, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The estimated gains in previous months were revised lower: The July increase was reduced by 17,000 to an increase of 156,000, while the August increase was reduced by 12,000 to an increase of 189,000.”
In sum, growth is happening, if slowly. We’re seeing the first green shoots emerging from the soil after the spring thaw here. ADP’s hedging on their previous numbers makes this month’s performance all the more noteworthy. It’s also worth noting here that as we move into Q4, we’re likely to see sharp spikes in hiring due to temporary, seasonal jobs being added. That’s why September’s numbers are so crucial: it’s the last true measure of employment statistics that we’ll get for the rest of the year. And it looks promising. Read More →
Last Friday, we sounded the call for your worst presentation horror stories. While we certainly don’t take any pleasure in your pain (okay, maybe one of us does), we do want you to keep submitting them! The winner of our #presentastrophe contest gets to be the Guest of Honor (and Guests of Honor attend for free) at Joel Schwartzberg’s Nail That Presentation! class this Wednesday, October 3. Submit your #presentastrophe by midnight tonight for a chance to win! You can leave it in the comments below or tweet @TheHiredGuns if you can fit your tale into a tweet-sized nugget of presentation horror.
Tomorrow, we’ll ask Joel to pick the winner and we’ll post it, along with the best of the rest, here on the blog.
You know that dream where you have to give a presentation and you’re woefully unprepared? The one where everyone laughs at you? The one that makes you wake up in a cold sweat?
Of course you know that dream. We all do.
That’s where Joel Schwartzberg comes in. Joel, our resident Hall of Fame public speaker, is hosting a class on that very subject this Wednesday, October 3 at The Hired Guns Hive. He’ll rework your sentences, polish your posture, and give you some invaluable tips to warm up, calm down, and get focused before a speaking engagement. Better still, you can go for free. Tell us about your worst #presentastrophe. The Gun who shares the most dire presentation moment will be given a free seat at Joel’s upcoming seminar.
Tweet your story to @TheHiredGuns using #presentastrophe or leave your tale of public speaking woe in the comments below. We’ll round them up, have Joel pick his favorite, and announce our winner on the blog next week. We’ll also share the best of the rest with the Guns’ very sympathetic audience.
We sat down with Larry Smith, our coach for tomorrow’s What’s Your Story? course, to talk about work, life, and presenting it all in just six words.
What is a Six-Word Memoir®?
Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. As the legend goes, he wrote: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” In November 2006, at the online storytelling community I founded called SMITH Magazine, we gave the six-word story a personal twist, calling it a “Six-Word Memoir.” (And partnering with a little-know company called Twitter for what was supposed to be just a one-month contest to win an iPod). The idea is as simple as it sounds: tell the story of your life in exactly six words. Those six words can be an attempt to sum up your whole life — think of it as the title of your autobiography or epitaph on your tombstone, as Mario Batali did when he wrote, “Brought it to a boil often” — or one aspect of your personal life (“According to Facebook we broke up”) or professional life (“I tell amazing stories in PowerPoint”).
How does it help professionals refine their personal brand?
The parameters of just six words help you get to the essence of who you are and what you do best. Ever notice that the higher up you get on the ladder, the shorter your emails and meetings can be? Being brief, precise and very much in tight control of your own personal story is a boon for anyone in any part of their life — from your online dating profile to your resume. Read More →
As impossible as it may seem, summer’s already over. It’s time to put away the board shorts and flip flops and start thinking seriously about honing your professional skills. But unlike your kids, your fall schedule has something to look forward to. This fall, The Hired Guns Academy offers four distinct courses to help you take the next step in your career.
First off is What’s Your Story? Master the Art of the Elevator Pitch and Harness the Power of Short-Storytelling. On Wednesday, September 19, Larry Smith, founder of SMITH magazine and author of It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, helps you hone your “elevator pitch” and teaches you how to make it “flex” depending on the audience you’re speaking to and the stage of your career you’re in, so people remember your name and what you do best. Sign up here.
But wait – there’s more (yes, we just went there.) We want you to take a crack at crafting your own six-word CV. Make them funny, make them heart-wrenching, make them suit-and-tie serious — just make sure they sell you in just six words. Tweet them @TheHiredGuns using #6wordCV, email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just leave them in the comments below. The best six-word CV, as determined by our eminently qualified and highly vetted panel of celebrity judges, wins free admission to Larry’s September 19 class. We’ll share the best submissions on our blog, but only the best six words will win. Read More →
Last week, we told you about our very own Allison Hemming’s SXSW panel “Corporate Alums: Why Big Companies Invest in Ex-Employees.” The panel is an in-depth look at the future of corporate alumni networks and features some of the best minds in the field. This week, we find ourselves in the home stretch as voting at SXSW.com ends at midnight tonight! (Friday, August 31) We’d love your support! If our panel interests you, vote! (With only hours left, there’s no time for subtlety.) Read More →
This week’s Economist ran a more-than-a-little nostalgic piece about the disappearance of the wet workplace. The article wastes no time in establishing historical precedent for workplace tippling, noting that workers on America’s earliest government buildings were often paid in brandy and that 19th-century railroad laborers apparently drank like crazy. Of course, there’s an obligatory Mad Men reference. But has the tradition of the three-martini lunch really gone the way of the dodo? Don’t be so sure. Read More →
Last week, news outlets reported an odd set of seemingly contradictory statistics: 163,000 jobs were added in the private sector, while 1.2 million jobs were lost. While the latter figure certainly sounds dire, it’s actually not. As WaPo scribe Brad Plummer explains, most of the jobs shed were “seasonal adjustments.” Read More →
Senator Chuck Schumer, a longtime ally of the New York tech crowd, recently called on the MTA to create a “Nerd Bus” route — yes, that’s actually what he called it — to connect all points along New York’s dot-com frontier. His statement followed the MTA’s announcement of a proposed “Brooklyn Tech Triangle” connecting DUMBO, the Navy Yard, and Downtown Brooklyn. Read More →
Just because you don’t hit every bullet point in a job ad that sounds like a great fit for you, don’t let that deter you from applying. Harvard Business Review notes that 4 in 10 employers have at least one position for which they cannot find an “ideal candidate.” Quite frankly, that sounds on the low side to us. Companies have gotten so accustomed to finding excuses not to hire over the past four years, they’ve forgotten that when you actually need to hire someone, you don’t get the luxury of waiting for perfection. So take a risk! Read More →
According to a recent Careerbuilder survey, some companies believe that job cuts have left their organization a little too lean and mean.
Some 34% of employers believe that unfilled jobs have left the remaining staff overworked, resulting in lower-quality work. Roughly the same number of employers surveyed believed that the job vacancies caused a loss in morale; 17% thought the vacancies led to higher turnover.
And 23% of employers also believe that their companies suffered a loss in revenue because of those vacancies.
You know the one we’re talking about: “What’s your greatest weakness?” If you’re at a job interview and you’re not ready to say what your greatest weakness is, then your greatest weakness is being unprepared.
In a recent “Dear Lucy” column, Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times looked at the right way to go about concocting an answer that will pass muster with the interviewer.
She says it’s dumb to name something that’s obviously a strength, e.g., “I’m too demanding,” “I’m too hardworking.” At best, you’re not fooling anyone, and at worst, your interviewer might think you’re “insufferably smug, deceitful, or [have] no self-knowledge.” (And it might even prompt the interviewer to ask the same thing all over again, in a slightly different way.) Read More →
There are still lots of unemployed or underemployed workers out there, but many companies say they just can’t find the right employees to fill openings. What’s behind this seeming paradox?
To get some answers, The Wall Street Journal talked with Peter Cappelli, a professor of management and human resources at Wharton, who just wrote the book Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs. He argues that some companies are obsessed with getting people with the perfect experience and stats, so they end up with no one: “for every story about an employer who can’t find qualified applicants, there’s a counterbalancing tale about an employer with ridiculous hiring requirements.”
Cappelli also lays the blame on overly rigid screening software, which is rejecting people who might actually be qualified: “applicants rarely talk to anyone, even by email, during the hiring process,” so there’s no way to clear up confusion over experience, job titles, job-history gaps, or anything else.
Whatever you may be doing at the moment, we doubt it’s quite as unpleasant as the job of the woman in this ad, who’s stuck hand-scrubbing other people’s clothes from within the stifling interior of a … washing machine. It’s one of series of clever ads from Jobsintown.de, a German job board.
You can check out the rest of the series at The Collared Sheep.
Ousted Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is only the latest high-profile example of an employee let go because of lies or inaccuracies on his resume or CV. Telling whoppers is risky business: a survey by Findlaw.com found that a full 25% of those who lied on their resume got fired because of it.
But if you’ve been less-than-accurate on your resume, how can you remove those ticking time bombs without causing more problems for yourself? The HR Capitalist has a game plan for setting the record straight — and doing it without getting fired.
Mammalfish is a Williamsburg, Brooklyn–based digital agency focusing on family and education. They’re hoping to land a $250K grant from Chase Bank and LivingSocial, which they plan to use for a new project: App Lab. It will feature a traveling lab that will provide intensive, three-day app-development workshops for students in lower-income areas. The kids will get a solid intro to the design, development, and business of making apps.
Here’s how to vote for Mammalfish and App Lab:
1) Go to Mission: Small Business and click on “Log in & Support.” By logging in via Facebook, you add $5 to the general grant pool — Chase puts in the $5, not you!
2) School down and search for “Mammalfish” under the “Vote Local” heading. Click “Vote,” and you’re done.
Thanks for helping them out!
Are you thinking about taking the freelance plunge yourself? Or are you already freelancing, and looking for strategies to grow the number of your clients — and your bank account? Our Hired Gun Coach, the digital strategist Beth Temple, will be teaching a class this Wednesday, May 16, for freelancers at all stages of their career: Freelance Success: Independence, Not Insecurity.
Previous freelancing tips from Beth:
A quick reminder that tonight at 6:00 we’ll be hosting “How Does She Do It?” — a panel set up by and for working moms. It will be a forum to discuss working-mom challenges and successes around career management.
Becoming a mom is a pivot point in many women’s careers. We believe that through great coaching, mentorship, and community, career missteps can be averted in favor of successful work/life balance. At tonight’s event, we’re hoping that our panelists will help unlock some smart strategies for getting ahead — at whatever stage you are on on your working-mom journey.
To find out about the event panelists and the full agenda, and to register yourself, head here:
Hired Guns Panel: How Does She Do It? Hope to see you there!
Nobody likes emails that basically say “thanks but no thanks.” But what do you do when you get them? Do you just trash them, or do you write back?
Chances are that whatever you’re doing is a lot better than Ask A Manager’s examples of what NOT to write, such as “You’re making a mistake; I’d be a great candidate.” Or the equally pushy “I’d think I’m at least worth an interview.” Read More →