As a career coach to mid- and senior-level professionals, and in my former work as a therapist, I’ve come into contact with thousands of questions, concerns, mistakes and crossroads that emerge in people’s personal and professional lives. Observing the long arc of many careers, I’ve noticed that the worst missteps – the ones that make us feel deep pain, regret, sorrow and remorse – are mistakes reflecting what people have chosen to compromise on or to give up in order to be “successful.” These compromises don’t feel like “choices” at the time, but they are, and they lead to common crises and challenges that are disastrous for the individual.
Below are the top five things you should never compromise on while building your career (or you’ll regret it deeply):
Your Standards of Integrity
I view “standards of integrity” as core principles and values that guide our behavior. Integrity is a choice, and while it is influenced by a myriad of factors (your culture, upbringing, peer influences, etc.), it can’t be forced. (If it is, you have played a part in that.) One who has strong and well-defined standards of integrity behaves with wholeness, integration, honesty, and does right by himself/herself and by others. Standards of integrity involve values and virtues such as honesty, kindness, trust, wisdom, loyalty, transparency, objectivity, acceptance, openness, empathy, and graciousness. Continue reading “What You Should Never Compromise On While Building Your Career” »
Employment discrimination based on age is illegal but the fact is that it exits. It’s it impossible to completely eradicate the problem with legislation. It therefore becomes the responsibility of the job applicant to avoid placing him or herself in harm’s way. Below are some steps to avoid being a victim of ageism.
- Remove the date when you graduated from college or high school from your resume, especially those of you in your upper 40s and 50s. These dates don’t add anything to your accomplishments and only make you look old in the eyes of the hiring manager or interviewers.
- Focus on job experience over the past 10 years, unless it’s really necessary to go back over 2 decade of experience. Why go back 25 years of experience unless you‘re the architect of the Yamuna Expressway.
- Show that you’re up-to-date with technology, which a common stereotype associated with ageism.
You obviously wished discrimination based on age didn’t exist but we don’t live in perfect world. However Continue reading “How to Avoid Age Discrimination in Job Search” »
Categories: Career Tools, Interviews, Multicultural Social and Professional Etiquettes, Personal Branding, Resume & Cover Letters, Student Center Tags: age descrimination, ageism, Employment discrimination based on age
In the NLF (National Football League) draft, a player may be labeled as a risky pick for a particular team, while another player is rated as ‘High Value’ pick for another team. As I wrote in my earlier post, great General Managers don’t make decisions based solely on analysts’ ratings.
Analyst and pundits may call a player ‘too risky’ for a team based on circumstances at theme. Again, note that a player may be too risky for a 1st round pick, but if that same player is available for a 6th round, he may be a bargain. Sometimes, the breakthrough to success comes by simply grabbing the opportunity to take something which has become dirt cheap because of perceived risk. Continue reading “Take Risk on The Cheap: A Lesson on Decision Making” »
The key point in this essay is that in making tough choices in life, sometimes it’s best to look under the radar, because the best things, in most cases, are not found in the hype.
If you live in the US or follow US sports news, you will know that period leading to the NFL (National Football League) draft is one of the most exciting times for sports fans in the US. As sports analyst and experts present personal attributes (height, weight, reach, etc) of players and playing statistics, the general public is invited into a passionate debate around who should make the first round pick and who should wait until the third or 6th.
Pick Like a GM
Make decisions like a GM a football team at draft night. A Good General Manager of a football team does not make a pick based on the recommendation by pundit on TV, hearsay, print media or rudimentary evidence of a player’s ability. He does his homework because he knows that at the end of the day, it’s not only the height and weight, 40-yard dash and yards-per-carry that matter. He knows there are intangibles that determine the success of a team. Continue reading “Look Under the Radar, Make Smart Choices” »
Chances are a few times in a year, you will have an invite to a birthday or send off party, a retirement dinner, an after-graduation ceremony or a corporate executive meet and greet ritual. Before you delve deeper into this essay, I would like to point out that in today’s world if you know how the ‘system’ works, you should know that it’s not about the food.
‘It’s all about whom you know’ has become a cliche and to some of you, it’s a negative one. Unfortunately, it is the reality, like or not.
We’re so interconnected and interdependent that in order to take full advantage of all that’s available to you, you need to artfully and purposely network using every opportunity that’s offered to you. Continue reading “Get More From Networking Events Beyond the Wine and Cheese” »
Categories: Career Tools, Multicultural Social and Professional Etiquettes, Personal Branding, Personal Growth, Professional Networking, Student Center Tags: personal branding, personal growth, professional networking
Interviewing is a process, during which you and your potential new employer are getting to know each other. First, the company is interested in your skills (can you do the job?). During later stages, they will be more interested in your motivations (will you love the job?) and personality (will we enjoy working with you?). You want to learn about the job, and the corporate culture. At each step, thorough preparation is your key to success.
Do Your Due Diligence
Before any interview, learn as much about the organization as possible. Read their web site, know their products, learn about the industry and their competitors, read recent press releases and current stockholder information (if a public company). Learn what sets them apart from their competitors (low-cost?, high quality?, personal service?). Read their web site, and explore other information sources including recent news reports, financial industry reports (Standard and Poor’s, Hoovers, Google Finance), and recent patent filings. Continue reading “Interviewing: Have you set the stage?” »
This essay is about entrepreneurs. Some of us reading this article may be entrepreneurs or at least call ourselves so. The fact is, many may qualify to be called entrepreneurs but few can be described remarkable – the folks who turn the world around and make a real difference. These people have some qualities in them that the rest of don’t have.
One of these qualities in remarkable entrepreneurs is that they uncompromisingly hunt for new experiences continually. They never get stuck in something regardless of how exciting or comforting it might be. You may pause for a moment and write down the names of a few well-known ground-breaking entrepreneurs and check whether they pass this test. Chances are that they will all past the ‘novelty –seeking’ test.
I assume that these folks ask themselves while on a current task is ‘what would the future be if I tried something new’ and ‘is it possible I could make a greater impact by doing something else (may be in addition to what I’m doing now)’
When you get bored or have less to do, do you fill in with drugs, excessive alcohols and other destructive activities? You can learn from these remarkable entrepreneurs. Find something new and challenging to do. Ask about how that will make the future better for you and your community. If you can practice that, you’re on your way to be like one of them.
Do you know of a guy who blows his own horn so much that you just wish he was not going to show up at the party or group meeting? Sometimes we call them obnoxious, self-seeking or self-absorbed or narcissist.
Well according to a study to be published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, this trait which is considered unbearable in most circumstances, actually pays off a great deal in the immediate perspective of a job interview.
The researchers found that self-absorbed individuals or narcissists scored much higher in simulated job interviews than non-narcissists. They pointed to narcissists’ innate tendency to promote themselves, in part by engaging and speaking at length, which implied confidence and expertise even when they were held to account by expert interviewers.
If you were brought up with the theory that humility is a virtue, that theory is still valid today, so hold on to it. Nevertheless, learning how to talk with confidence about what you’ve accomplished and how you did it is admirable and is not considered pride. In fact, you’re expected to know how to do that if you want to stay competitive in today’s job market and economy. Continue reading “A little Bit of Bragging Can Pay Off, Researchers Say” »