Category: Career

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

A one sentence summary of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking: “If you know what information is important and what to ignore, use your experience, recognize any bias you may have, and take a couple extra seconds if you need, then your snap decision could be as good as – or better than – a lengthy analysis.”

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StrengthsFinder 2.0

StrengthsFinder 2.0

I took a StrengthsFinder course through my employer, which presented the information in the first part of the book and then had activities for developing talents.  I bought StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (it’s essentially a companion to the test) after attending the course. The most useful piece of this book is the code to take the StrengthsFinder assessment online for yourself, and most of the other information is available through the Gallup website.  The biggest thing I gleaned from the course and the book was to stop wasting time trying to develop talents that are not innate, and to instead focus on my talents I do have.

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Pushing for Personal Growth

Pushing for Personal Growth

Practice what you preach!  Our work has a leadership development program, and applications come out once per year.  I was not accepted last year (there were only 15 spots for over 80 applicants, and yes, I was completely and utterly crushed), but I’m determined to apply again this year.  It’s a great opportunity to develop my leadership skills and network with peers in a similar situation.  As such, I have spent the weekend working on my application instead of writing a new post.  I wanted to share a snippet, which should clear up some confusion about why I’ve been so busy lately!

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How to Find the Job You Really Want

How to Find the Job You Really Want

“When I grow up, I want to… *crickets.*” This is one of the hardest questions to answer.  It seems like no one is working in the field they earned their degree in anymore.  Who knows how long a career in a certain field will even last?  With all the positions you’ve held, what has your career path even been?  And how do you find the job you really want?

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Put a Plant on Your Desk

Put a Plant on Your Desk

Happy Earth Day (on April 22)!  It was founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970.  His goal was to channel the energy inspired by the student anti-war movement, and 20 million Americans from various backgrounds rallied together in protest of the way the environment was being treated.  In honor of Earth Day and the environment, consider adding a new plant to your desk, whether it’s in an office or in your home.

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Behind the Scenes: Rejection

Behind the Scenes: Rejection

As you advance in your career, the onus will be on you to call the shots.  Sometimes, that involves rejecting perfectly good applicants from a program they are overqualified for.  In these situations, it’s really important to remember how you felt in the past so that you can help them move forward in the future.

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The First 90 Days

The First 90 Days

Michael D. Watkins hit the nail on the head with his book The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter.  When you make a move, the ability to transition and get to the break-even point (where you have contributed the same amount of value you have consumed) as quickly and effectively as possible is critical in your new role.  If you’re taking on a new role, pick up this book.  It’s geared toward those in management, but is great for everyone.  It’s one of the best investments you can make in your growing career.

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Know Your Worth: Negotiate Your Salary

Know Your Worth: Negotiate Your Salary

Always ask for what you are worth.  If you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table that can add up to hundreds of thousands in lost lifetime earnings.  Just a missed $2,500 from not negotiating your first salary means a missed $100,000 over 30 years, excluding bonuses and assuming a 2% annual raise.  It can be intimidating, but there are plenty of tricks to scoring a great pay bump.

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