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 →
- 28 Days to a New Job
- Career management
- community news
- Community Profiles
- Finding Success
- future of work
- human resources
- job hunting
- Number Crunching
- personal branding
- Product Management
- Reader Poll
- Salary Negotiation
- What We're Reading
- work politics
- work/life balance
- workplace mental health
Working parents, I invite you to add another resolution to your list this year: do more networking. While networking is important for everyone’s career, I’m aiming this post specifically toward working moms and dads. Why? Because it’s something we often let slip. We working parents are often so focused on being efficient at work so we can get home to little Oliver or Sophie as early as possible that networking get pushed to the back burner.
Adding a little bit more networking to your routine, however, — or simply having a networking mindset — can add a lot to your career and personal happiness this year. Read More →
Is there any other time of year that’s more festive and fun than the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years? The twinkling lights, the aroma of evergreen in the air, the promise of prezzies under the tree, and if you’re lucky, plenty of parties.
The youngsters reading this probably don’t remember, but back in the old days, companies used to splurge on holiday parties. They’d rent out entire clubs or restaurants, hire a caterer, give you a bonus, the whole nine. These days, most have cut back a little (or a lot). Many won’t let you bring a partner, and some even feature that most heinous innovation, the cash bar. Regardless of whether your company’s going all out or just throwing a potluck at the boss’s house, here are a few rules to ensure you’ll still have your job come Monday morning. Read More →
Like many offices in Silicon Alley and lower Manhattan, The Hired Guns was closed all last week due to Hurricane #Sandy. The good news is that even through rain, dark of night, and a near total lack of connectivity, our clients kept calling and emailing. We were lucky, because as a team we could work completely remotely (those of us who had power or didn’t have trees falling on our houses, that is). We were also very, very busy. Read More →
Joel Scwhartzberg is the Michael Jordan of public speaking. Sure, that’s a cliche that gets thrown around a lot these days (“My uncle is pretty much the Michael Jordan of dishwasher repair”), but in this case the comparison is apt. He won the U.S. National Championship in after-dinner speaking. He won the Massachusetts State Championship in persuasive speaking. He was ranked among the top ten public speakers overall in the US. The man is in the National Forensic Association’s Hall of Fame for his public speaking.
Let that sink in for a moment.
We asked Joel to share his thoughts on the upcoming presidential debates (the first of which occurs the night of his Guns Academy class) and what the Guns’ audience can learn from them. Below is the first of several posts on the debates and career management.
The upcoming presidential debates aren’t real debates at all, of course, but a series of well-rehearsed, carefully-worded, tiny speeches written by committee. (So much for candid truths). But while not much new can be learned at this point about Obama and Romney’s policy positions, a lot can be learned from their public speaking styles. 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 email@example.com, 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 →
SXSW voting is upon us and we need your help! The Guns’ panel, “Corporate Alums: Why Big Companies Invest in Ex-Employees” is up for voting over at SXSW.com and we’d really appreciate your support. Our panel, headed up by yours truly, is all about the increasing role that corporate alumni relations is playing and will play in the future of professional networking. My fellow panelists are amazing (and humbling) and head up the corporate alumni networks at companies like Morgan Stanley and IBM. Find out more after the jump. 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 →
Check it out—here’s a complete list of the 25 panels that Hired Guns are proposing for the next SXSW. Last year, seven of the eleven proposals that Guns floated ended up being presented at the actual event. Given the cool ideas below, we’re hoping to manage to even improve on that ratio this time around.
Please have a look, and vote for all those that you’d like to see become a reality at SXSWi next spring—SXSW weights public voting at 30% for the purposes of deciding which panels are accepted. You have to register and sign in to vote (you can do so using your Facebook or Twitter login); the voting deadline is the Friday before Labor Day, September 2.
Bullet Points: How to Sink That IT Job Interview; Google Worker #59; Should Women Bother with Tech Conferences?
- Susannah Breslin’s experiences at TechWeek made her wonder if women should even make the effort to go to tech conferences at all: bottom line, “it makes them depressed.” As you’d except, lots of discussion about this….
- Mashable celebrates its six-year anniversary with an infographic of the developments in tech during that time.
- Lying and being unprepared—they’re but a few of the ways you can 86 yourself from the IT job you’re after. [InfoWorld]
- “… college graduates who enter the labor force during a recession make significantly less money—in their first year and over the course of their careers—than grads who walk into an economic boom.” [NationalJournal]
- Douglas Edwards’s book about being Google brand manager—the 59th employee to be hired—is shaping up to be one of the major tech reads of the summer. The WSJ recently ran an excerpt from “I’m Feeling Lucky.”
Last week I sat down with a senior marketing professional who had just completed an executive MBA program. She was frustrated by all the flaky people in her network who were “preventing” her from scoring interviews at companies she desperately wanted to work at. This woman had all the right stuff, but she was getting stonewalled by contacts who over-promised and under-delivered when it came to hooking her up with employees they knew at these companies. She was starting to get jaded: networking was a joke, she thought. She never considered for a second that it might something she was doing that was holding her back.
After we’d talked a bit, she told me that she didn’t know her so-called network very well: they couldn’t vouch for her experience or her work ethic, or say what she was best in the world at. She was spending the majority of time she had allocated to networking by trolling LinkedIn—trying to use contacts she didn’t know very well to get to people that they didn’t know very well. And most importantly, she had regularly and systematically broken the cardinal rule of networking: she’d been reaching out and asking for favors before she had earned the trust of the people in her network. Folks, networking isn’t a turnkey operation by a long shot. It’s hard, time-consuming, and something you need to practice daily for it to pan out for you. In fact, it’s pretty easy to suck at it. Read More →
- “For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.” Ira Glass talks about being creative and reaching the point where your work is “as good as your ambitions.”
- This Saturday is the deadline for nominations to Inc. magazine’s 500|5000, its annual list of America’s fastest-growing private companies. Qualifying businesses get a free one-year subscription just for applying.
- Earlier this month NPR reported on how “many companies and organizations are encouraging employees to be on the lookout for talent and are offering cash bonuses for referrals that lead to a hire.” As always, it pays to keep your network robust.
- The polls are still open (til noon tomorrow!) for voting on the worst possible interview question.
Higher education has been taking it on the chin lately. Maybe with good reason. People are finally asking whether or not students are getting truly prepared for the work world with that high-priced admission ticket called college. Over the last few weeks, there have been several pieces poking at the issue, including USA Today’s Are Ivy Diplomas Still Worth the Price of Admission? and the New York Times’ For Law School Graduates, Debts if Not Job Offers.
Ae we training our students in a way that will pay off for them and America as a whole in the future? You don’t need these articles to guess … but read them anyhow. All of this chatter is good. As someone who sits across the desk from a lot of recent college grads earnestly looking for jobs and then failing to land them (often due to “user error”), I’m more than a little bit obsessed with this topic. It’s clear that many students–regardless of where they went to school–are missing “invaluable higher order thinking and reasoning skills,” as Bob Herbert pointed out in a NYT op-ed.
True, many students have taken the initiative by following the advice of Job Interviews for Dummies and other sources in advance (it’s actually a good book, by the way). But I’ve been struck by how many interviews unravel when taken slightly off course. It’s not entirely the college students’ fault, either. These kids aren’t only stressed-out about failing job prospects (college unemployment is at an all-time high)–they are also feeling completely duped by the higher-ed “system.” A cushy college experience is not translating to a cushy job. And they know it.
Right now, the best universities are starting to integrate career management curriculum into classes so that their students get the skills while in college to go out and find multiple jobs over decades. Others are starting to add in alumni career services. Initiatives like this are good, but they are not nearly enough, both in quality and quantity.
Job-hunting programs should start at freshman orientation and be brought through all four years of college. Networking skills shouldn’t be hived off to the Greek system, because that skill is and will continue to be the number-one way to land a job. Unfortunately, it will take the giant sucking sound of cash endowments shriveling up before most colleges make real change happen. In the not-too-distant future. I imagine many college-educated alumni across the country will wake up and realize that they got ahead in their careers not because of their degree but because of their own hard work and ingenuity. And the checkbooks will close.
Many of you out there interview recent college grads and hire interns. How do you feel about this subject? What can colleges do to prepare students better for the workforce and for longer careers–where delayed retirement and job-change velocity is sure to affect them?
[Photo by Dave Herholz/flickr]
Headed to SXSWi and feeling a little overwhelmed? A little advice….
- An amazingly handy-looking scheduler to stay on top of all the events.
[via 17 dots]
- 6 successful SXSW Startup launch stories and SXSW for startups [Mashable]
- Geekdad’s 20 Tips for Surviving and Thriving SXSWi
- And finally, epic advice from writer-comedian Alex Blagg on Dominating the SXSW Party Scene