Tagged: LinkedIn

Complicated Past? LinkedIn Can Help. [video]

Let’s say you’re a private equity information specialist. And a dancer. An unlikely pair of professions for one person, yet this is exactly the scenario we addressed recently while giving a talk to dancers about how to develop a wholly representative profile on LinkedIn.

While writing the “headline” on her LinkedIn profile, meaning the space directly under her name, a participant asked if it’s OK to write “Private Equity Information Specialist and Dancer.”

You see, she’s a client of Career Transitions for Dancers, an organization that helps dancers take their first steps toward second careers, because the physical tolls of dancing make it practically impossible to be a lifetime professional dancer.

So how did we respond? We offered that her inquiry really felt like the question “Is it OK to be who I am?” The answer to which would be “Yes, it is. Always.”

A fantastic thing about LinkedIn is the expectation that you’ll have only one profile, because you’re only one person. Also, you’ll synthesize your complicated background into a single headline, and then outline it within the various sections of Summary, Experience, and Education. Creating a profile on the “professional” social network becomes an exercise in identifying the breadth of your achievements and interests, organizing your story, and then revealing yourself in a coherent framework.

Watch how things unfolded, starting at 6:00, below:

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Are Good-Looking People Better at Work?

What we’ve suspected to be true at last has research to support its accuracy. Still, it remains a little hard to believe.

In discussing how basketball star Jeremy Lin almost didn’t get signed to the N.B.A., James Surowiecki at the New Yorker recently unearthed broader truths about how we work with attractive people.

The implications aren’t pretty.

The problems relate to what we do with others’ physical looks. On Lin, Surowiecki concludes:

As a reedy Asian-American (from Harvard, no less), Lin simply didn’t fit anyone’s image of an N.B.A. point guard.

Because many coaches harbor pre-conceived notions of what a star basketball player looks like, they initially overlooked — and missed out on — Lin. Meanwhile, Lin’s agent Roger Montgomery is having the last laugh.

The New Yorker staff writer expounds on the subject:

In the U.S., [economist Daniel Hamermesh] finds, better-looking men earn four per cent more than average-looking men of similar education and experience, and uglier men earn thirteen per cent less.

Whoa, right? It gets worse.

Continue reading

Quit Work, Stay True to Your Self

Staying true to your self includes knowing how you feel about your place of employment and working consciously with those feelings. Your emotions might bring you to spring out of bed some workday mornings, to stay late agreeably, or, in Greg Smith’s case, to quit.

And then write about it in the New York Times.

The former executive director and head of Goldman Sach’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa was mad as hell, and not gonna take it anymore.

Among his criticisms:

The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.

I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.

These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, “How much money did we make off the client?” It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave.

Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore. Continue reading

Yes, Gender Impacts Journalism

Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times, recently said “The idea that women journalists bring a different taste in stories or sensibility isn’t true.”

Really?

These are surprising remarks from the first woman to be placed at the top of the Times masthead. Still, we sympathize with her fantasy that gender doesn’t matter in journalism, and Ken Auletta’s story last year in the New Yorker offers a hint why Abramson would maintain this narrow-minded view. He reports:

When Eileen Shanahan, who went on to become a well-respected economics reporter, arrived for an interview with Clifton Daniel, the assistant managing editor, in 1962, she hid her desire to become an editor. “All I ever want is to be a reporter on the best newspaper in the world,” she told him.

“That’s good,” Daniel responded, as Shanahan told the story, “because I can assure you no woman will ever be an editor at the New York Times.”

You see, @JillAbramson is in a tough spot. She aligns her worldview with that of past senior editors, perhaps to show that as the Times‘ most powerful woman executive ever, she won’t subvert the patriarchy. If she were more frank about the gravity of being the Gray Lady’s first female executive editor, she’d likely pay a tall price. She’d:

  • be attacked by her colleagues
  • need to defend herself
  • feel seduced away from her formal task of leading the newsroom, and ultimately
  • waste her energy and be de-authorized in her role.

An experience none of her predecessors faced on account of their gender.

And in being so politic, she misses the truth. What truth?

Continue reading

Come Out at Work: As Inexperienced

Try to find someone on LinkedIn who acknowledges his inexperience. OK, you can find a few, yet out of 150 million+ users, rare is the individual who openly claims his lack of practical knowledge.

Until now.

Thanks to Sir Richard Branson, we see that a dearth of experience is less of a problem, and more a path to advancement.

In a recent Q & A at Entrepreneur, the chair of the Virgin Group debunks the stigma of inexperience. He writes:

A lack of experience does not have to be a liability — it can be an asset. It is something you should play up when you discuss your ideas with prospective investors, partners and employees.

He drives his point home with a personal story:

I have always used my own and my team’s lack of experience to our advantage. In fact, at our first venture, Student magazine, we used our newcomer status to secure great interviews and generate publicity — people were excited about our new project and wanted to get involved. Our inexperience fed our restless enthusiasm for trying new things, which became part of our core mission.

Don’t you love the way he turns something potentially mortifying into an opportunity, and seizes it outright? Perhaps it’s time for you to come out at work with your inexperience.

As Branson points out, you have nothing to hide, and a lot of business to gain.

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7 Secrets to Center Your Self at Work [video]

It’s one of the most underrated ways of doing work.

In the course of a day, we tend to chase appreciation and approval of our work, and avoid confrontation and criticism. Problem is, it’s almost impossible to feel secure and grounded when these things come from outside of our selves.

We need ways to feel more centered in the workplace. Webster’s dictionary defines being “centered” as being “emotionally stable and secure.”

What does that mean?

Alicia Graf Mack has an answer. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company dancer was recently interviewed by William C. Rhoden about the dancer as athlete (video below), and along with Gia Kourlas’s interview in TimeOut New York, we see an outline of Mack’s insight about how to be more emotionally stable and secure on the job.

Here are the dancer’s 7 secrets to center your self at work:

1. You can tolerate pain. Writes Kourlas:

[Mack] suffers from an autoimmune disorder classified as reactive arthritis, which led to swelling and pain in her joints … [She] began teaching dance… What happens when you start teaching? You start dancing again.

Alicia Graf Mack loves to dance so much, she willfully works through her physical pain to do so. Really, for what kind of work would you accept physical pain?

2. You can’t tolerate pain. Continue reading

Angry Colleague? Here’s How to Respond.

by Susan Shearouse

We’re grateful to be joined by Susan Shearouse, conflict resolution expert and author of Conflict 101: A Manager’s Guide to Solving Problems. In this post she examines a new angle on managing anger in the workplace — when it originates in someone else. -HC

You might not know what started it. Maybe it was something you said.  Or something someone else said.  Or something you didn’t say – and should have.  It might have been a conversation that went from bad to worse.  Maybe it’s been building up for a long time, and you are the last to know.   Whatever it might be, it’s your problem now.

This person is suddenly in your face, angry at you and quite vocal about it. Everybody up and down the corridor knows that you are getting the full dose of their fury.

Or – and sometimes this is even harder to face – they won’t speak to you at all.  They won’t return your calls any more.  If you pass in the hall, they look the other way, even if the other way is nothing but a blank wall.

What can you do?  How do you keep your cool?  You can turn a potential argument into a discussion if you can hold on to your own sense of calm and keep a strong determination not to be sucked into their negative energy.

  • First, know and understand your own responses to anger, your defensiveness, hot buttons. This is the first step in developing empathy for others.  It also helps you to be aware of, and less likely to be caught by, your own triggers.  If you can avoid responding in kind, you have gone a long way in changing direction. Continue reading