The Top 6 Actions that Promote Career Success

careersuccessAuthor: Cathy Caprino
Source: Forbes

In the past ten years of coaching and training professional women, entrepreneurs, and emerging leaders, I’ve had a window into the lives of women who are dreaming big and wanting more, and getting it.  Through this lens, I’ve observed several key actions and behaviors that continually pave the way for greater success and expansion.  I’ve also witnessed and experienced behaviors and beliefs that sabotage success, and guarantee failure.

No matter what your professional goals and visions are, there are six core actions that will support you to achieve greater success and fulfillment over the long arch of your professional life.  These actions will help you understand what you truly want to be in life, take the right action to build your desired professional identity, and get the support you need to sustain you through the tough times.

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Technology Tuesday: February 6th


Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.

This week: The Falcon Heavy rocket launched successfully today, deep brain stimulation could combat dementia, a new frequency range which could expand wireless communication, a promising cancer vaccine is ready for human trials, and Star Wars style holograms. Continue reading

How to Answer The Big Question: Why Were You Let Go

tough-questionSource: Career Geek

Every question asked by the hiring manager is considered essential because it’s his way of seeing through the applicant. One popular technique used is by asking the applicant about the reason why he was fired from his recent job.

The method is so old yet it’s effective, simply because it allows the hiring manager to effectively learn about the applicant’s characteristics.

Try to observe responses of applicant A and applicant B towards the question, “why were you fired in your last job?”

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5 Pieces of the Worst Career Advice, and What to Do Instead

They're working together on an exciting projectAuthor: Nida Sea
Source: RiseSmart

When you’re changing careers, or simply changing jobs due to boredom or the desire to move up, where do you turn to for advice? Some people look to family members and friends, while others turn to successful colleagues and network contacts. How has that worked out for you? If you think about it, you’ve probably gotten really bad career advice from a friend, family member, or colleague. While it’s easy to ignore the obviously bad ideas, some of that advice is recirculated year after year, making it seem like a standard job seeking practice.

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Does Cliché Career Advice Actually Work


Author: Morten T. Hansen
Source: Quartz at Work

We’ve all heard advice about how to perform better on the job. Follow your passion. Break down the silos. Think outside the box. Synergize. Move the needle. The customer is king. Network. Manage up. Empower others. A few years ago, I compiled a list of these clichés and wound up with over 100 pieces of advice, few backed up by any real data.

Since then, I’ve performed a quantitative study of the work practices and performance results of 5,000 workers and managers across a wide range of jobs and industries in corporate America. I developed and administered a lengthy survey instrument to gather data from managers and employees on work practices, and then I ran that data through numerous statistical analyses to measure the effects of various practices on individual job performance.

The results overturned a great deal of conventional wisdom about what to do to perform at your best. Here are three especially popular clichés about work that my statistical research soundly disproves.

Cliché #1: Strive for Consensus

When working on teams, people often aim to reach agreement at all costs. Unpleasant conflicts or tensions are counter-productive, they think, and the best performers at work know how to deftly avoid them.

Or do they? In seeking to achieve consensus, people risk killing off productive debate about substantive issues. Team members censor themselves, refraining from airing views that others might find provocative. At the extreme, we wind up with “group think” and an ethic of “going along to get along.”

Rather than seek consensus, high performers in my study did the opposite, embracing a practice I call “fight and unite.” They participated in or lead heated debates about the topic under discussion.

When teams generate a good fight in their meetings, team members debate the issues, consider alternatives, challenge one another, listen to minority views, scrutinize assumptions, and enable every participant to speak up without fear of retribution. They show up 100% prepared and argue strenuously for their positions, yet are willing to let the best arguments and ideas win. Above all, they avoid pursuing consensus for its own sake.

All good fights must come to an end, and top performers in my study were equally good at uniting once they and their colleagues had sufficiently hashed through an issue. They committed to the decision, and they worked hard to implement it without second-guessing or undermining it. One participant in my study, an employee at a pharmaceutical company I’ll call Christine, lost a debate about whether to launch a new product. Once her colleagues decided to go ahead with the launch, she devoured product information, was the first to attend a training course, and called the company’s experts to learn all she could about the new product. She rallied behind the decision and did all she could to make it a success.

To perform at your best, don’t aim for consensus. Aim for a heck of a good debate, followed by real, unwavering commitment to the decision taken, even when you utterly disagree with it.

Cliché #2: The More Collaboration, the Better

Collaboration is one of today’s great workplace buzzwords. Leaders and managers have pushed for more interactions, committees, and joint task forces across units, seeking to break down the silos between units. Inevitably, the ideal of a boundary-less organization has trickled down to employees, leading to a pervasive belief that collaboration is like flossing our teeth: it’s a good thing, and more of it is even better. My research shows otherwise. As I found, people often over-collaborate, getting bogged down in too many unproductive interactions that suck up the team’s limited time and leave them feeling overwhelmed. Karen, a 31-year-old marketing analyst in my study, grumbled that, “people from other business units constantly ask me for help on trivial things, which prevents me from focusing on my task at hand.” That lack of focus in turn caused her to disappoint her bosses.

Top performers in my study instead took a disciplined approach to collaboration, saying no to less attractive partnerships. Brenda, a saleswoman in a retail store, used to contact some of the other stores in her region to obtain sales advice about new products her company was launching. Over time, she realized that such consultations often weren’t worth the trouble. So, she came to say “no” more often when a member of her team suggested reaching out to the other sites. She didn’t isolate herself from her colleagues, but rather actively sought out information and expertise only when her team needed it. She had come to discern when to collaborate and when to decline. It was no accident that she ranked among the top 6 % of performers in our study.

To be disciplined about collaboration is to say “no” to the wrong opportunities, select those few that produce compelling value, and then go all in to make those a success.


Technology Tuesday: January 30th


Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every week The Job Shop Blog will bring you our 5 top science and technology news stories from around the web.

This week: The tiny robot that could be the future of non-invasive medicine, advancements in computers that think like humans, smart contact lenses that can screen your tears for signs of diabetes, Australia’s giant Tesla battery is making huge profits, and for the first time primates have been cloned. Continue reading

Don’t Worry To Much About Your Nervous Ticks in Interviews

ticksAuthor: Alyse Kalish
Source: The Muse

Some of us are so good at dealing with nerve-wracking situations—big presentations, performance reviews, job interviews—that you can’t even tell our hearts are beating a mile a minute. And some of us, well, aren’t so great at hiding our uneasiness.

I’m a hair twirler. One of my friends bites her nails so badly she has to paint them regularly to stop herself. My brother twitches his head when he’s anxious so it looks like he’s constantly shrugging.

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