Solid work experience and a great education don’t guaranty a successful career. You have to have a lot more going for you, according to executive coach Beverly Jones, author of “Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act like a CEO.”
Jones said that professional success now depends on the ability to adapt. “Agility, resilience, a willingness to adjust professional expectations and responding quickly to opportunities and threats as they arise are now vital job and workplace skills,” Jones said.
Jones offers what she considers 50 “indispensable tips” to help career builders snare a company’s top job or to become a successful entrepreneur. Here are a few of them:
Make leadership part of your brand. That means you must always keep growing. “The best leaders are constantly learning something new,” Jones said. And it doesn’t have to be job related. Our development as a leader is tied to our development as a person, and the growth areas we pursue in our free time can impact the way we show up on the job.
Leadership expert Daniel Goleman feels that strong leaders are distinguished from mediocre ones by their level of emotional intelligence. That means you have self-awareness, like
Leaders also understand the link between positivity and productivity. “Most people do their best work in an environment that’s predominantly positive,” Jones said.
Learning how to give positive feedback is also essential for effective and productive leadership. To master delivering positive feedback, Jones offers the following tips:
Be sincere. “Get in touch with your sense of gratitude when you express thanks, and speak honestly about how you feel,” said Jones.
Be specific. A casual thank you isn’t as effective as a detailed comment. “Precise comments not only carry more impact,” they also provide powerful reinforcement for the performance you want to encourage,” Jones said.
Fully engage. Jones said that “part of the power of saying ‘thank you’ comes from the fact that you care enough to focus on another person.”
This is just a brief sampling of Jones’s book. The important takeaway is that it takes a lot more than most people realize to be a successful leader or entrepreneur.
There is no question that internships pay off for college graduates. In fact, most employers expect job candidates to have at least one internship experience.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that improving economic conditions have finally caught up to millennials, providing them with a brighter job market.
Yet not all internships are the same. A recent Federal Reserve Bank of New York report said that the devil is in the details. Not all new college graduates are doing equally well. The kind of degree they earned is an enormous factor in the job hunt.
“There’s no question that your field of study significantly alters your prospects,” said Matt Stewart, co-founder of College Works Painting (www.collegeworks.com), an internship program that provides practical business experience for college students.
But even choosing the right field is no guarantee, Stewart said. “How you approach your field,” such as taking advantage of an internship, can boost your professional prospects tremendously.
Stewart said that interns with College Works Painting operate their own house-painting business with hands-on guidance from mentors. They learn valuable leadership skills by functioning as leaders in a business. He went on to say that “unemployment for our alumni has remained at less than 4 percent, including when youth unemployment exceeded 16 percent a few years ago. “This kind of challenging yet fun student experience helps ensure a good career for college graduates right out of the gate,” Stewart added.
What should students look for in an internship so they can gain the professional experience they need to land a job after graduation?
• Know what you will actually be doing. While simply being in a company’s culture has value, many businesses assign students to their lowest-level work. Grunt work, to some extent, is a fact of life in most professions. But that kind of work won’t propel a student’s career. Consider an internship that gives you real responsibility and provides experiences that will definitely come in handy in your future career.
Regardless of how the economy is doing, put forth your best effort,” Stewart advised. “As we’ve seen, the market can take a nosedive at any time.”
We’ve all heard the expression, “Less is more.” It has many meanings. Generally, it can be applied to practically everything we write, such as memos, emails, reports and presentations. It’s a cardinal rule for journalists and advertising copywriters. But it’s also an important commandment when writing résumés, according to Tina Nicolai, founder of RésumésWriters’ Ink.
"I realized people simply did not know how to market themselves or their achievements," Nicolai tells Business Insider. "And that's how I knew there was a market to educate job candidates at all levels and in all industries."
Since launching her company in 2010, she’s read over 40,000 résumés. "And this is what most people get wrong,” she said. “They think a 'buffet résumé' is the best way to go."
With all the books and articles written about résumés, you’d think job hunters would have gotten it right by now.
Not so. Recruiters and hiring managers still complain about the quality of the résumés they receive.
An article published on Salary.com said a “great résumé can open a door, but an inferior one can just as quickly close one.” The career website listed the following fatal résumé mistakes:
Experts agree that it’s unwise to talk about politics with your colleagues. Yet it’s almost impossible to escape talking and arguing about the hotly debated issues triggered by this contentious and unprecedented upcoming presidential election, according to
Beverly Jones, executive coach and author of “Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO.”
Jones advises workers to avoid engaging in political discussions. For many, this is easier said than done, because it’s hard to keep our opinions to ourselves about this explosive and device election. As difficult as it is, Jones advises staying neutral and calm, and then to shifting the topic to something else.
Jones offers the following advice about what we can do to avoid being sucked into heated political discussions about this upcoming election:
Ask coworkers to stop talking about the election. “It’s easy to ignore the occasional reference to politicians, but if co-workers won’t stop talking about them it’s OK to ask them to cease,” Jones said. “Be polite but direct, and say, ‘I don’t like to talk about politics at work.’”
If they talk too much about everything. We are in the midst of a highly political season so it’s not surprising the topic keeps coming up. Your problem, however, may be co-workers who talk too much about anything in the news. While you don’t want to be rude, you can set boundaries.
Set boundaries, but don’t be rude. You can politely say, “I can’t take the time to talk now because I’ve got a deadline.” To keep the conversation on track during meetings, always propose an agenda, and stick to it.
What do you say if you disagree with what people are saying?
Restrain your kneejerk reaction to respond to outrageous comments. Some people relish arguing about politics. If you want to avoid these discussions, don’t take the bait. “If you stop rising to their taunts, you will ruin their fun and they may stop bothering you,” Jones said.
If it’s over the top. There’s a difference between annoying political dialogue and hate speech, Jones said. “If colleagues describe your favorite candidate as an idiot, that’s not about you and it’s best to let it go,” she said. But if they make comments that are racist, homophobic, misogynous or otherwise demeaning to an entire class of people, that can feel like it’s directed at you. Sweeping dismissive comments can create a hostile, unproductive workplace, and you don’t have to put up with it. Jones advised speaking to your boss or the human resources department and let them know about the situation.
Jones said that the best way to escape a political diatribe can be to walk away or tune it out. But if we find ourselves drawn into the conversation, don’t make it worse. Maintain a matter-of-fact, analytical tone and stick to the issues.