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Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

June 25th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, Networking

Don't Be too Sure of YourselfHow good are you at driving a car? At judging the funniness of jokes? At evaluating the correctness of your own opinions and judgments? At measuring your own skills and knowledge?

Are you sitting down? The answer is: there’s a very good chance your answers to each and every one of those questions are dead wrong. The simple reason: when it comes to gauging our own abilities, most people stink.

In recent years, psychologists have been studying people’s abilities to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, and have found an appalling level of incompetence, right across the board.

One researcher, David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, has completed research showing quite clearly that people are very poor judges of their own abilities, from logical reasoning to emotional intelligence, from sense of humor to skill at playing chess.

Based on the results of this emerging branch of psychological research, it’s clear that whatever specific things you can and can’t do, the chances are very good that you overrate your abilities.

What’s even more interesting is that, while true experts at a specific discipline generally possess a great deal of confidence in their knowledge and abilities - and rightly so, other people who are much less accomplished in that same discipline have nearly as much self-confidence as the experts!
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May 18th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, Job Search, Networking

Getting Back Into Your Field: Re-entering the Workforce and/or Your Previous CareerIn today’s job market, any candidate who has been temporarily out of work (whether for child-rearing, lay off, or any other reason) or who has been working on a different career track for the past few years faces tougher-than-normal scrutiny when looking for work along their previous career path. With so many highly-qualified applicants for every decent job, hiring managers simply don’t want to take the time or trouble to consider anyone whose career history is even slightly off-target from the position they’re seeking to fill.

However, if you use the right strategies, you can usually make this situation work out well. Here are some ways to earn the best chance of being hired for a job that’s not directly in line with your recent career trajectory:

1. Ask your personal contacts, your friends and your family about possible connections that can lead you toward the career specialization, industry, or companies you’re aiming for. When you simply apply to publicly advertised jobs, you’re competing with people who have the straight-line, uninterrupted career path you lack. But when you find out about a position through personal contacts, you have a leg up on most of the other candidates, and your lack of recent career-specific background may cease to be a problem.

2.Prepare your case for overall career relevance. Think long and hard about your off-target history, and develop solid reasons why those recent activities - either the work and goals you have been accomplishing, or the non-work activities you have been pursuing - have a lot of relevance and carry-over to whatever position you’re now hoping to obtain. Put together a simple, clear, compelling story that explains why your off-target background makes you a better candidate than before.
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April 24th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Job Search, Networking

Can Blogging Help Your Job Search?You’ve likely heard about companies firing their employers for complaining about their jobs (or sometimes even just mentioning them) in their personal blogs. What you don’t hear as much about are the success stories. People who attract the attention of employers through their blogging.

Why would blogging make employers think that you’re the person for them? Maintaining a blog requires a certain kind of skillset and can translate into a number of workplace environments.

You have to know how to market… Obviously great for marketing positions, but really in any industry where you might be creating a presentation about something for your bosses (or their bosses), this is a great skill to have.

…and network. The way to get more hits on your blog is that same way you get ahead in the business world: network with the right people who are able and willing to lend a helping hand in exchange for you doing the same.

You have to be able to build and maintain relationships. In other words - people skills. Sure, you’re dealing with your readers virtually, but a lot of the same manners and protocols apply that do in the work place. Good people skills are always a sought-after skill.

You have to be able to clearly communicate. This applies to, oh, just about every job anywhere. Unless you’re working completely alone, you’ll need to talk to coworkers, delegate effectively to people below you, and explain to your superiors why you did or didn’t do what they asked of you. People who communicate well tend to do well.
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April 17th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Networking

5 Most Common Networking MistakesNetworking. Is there a more cringe-inducing word in the English language? Most people are not inherently good at it, and some even find the idea of it distasteful. Unfortunately, your personal connections are the best asset you have in getting a job and moving ahead, so networking - and networking well - is something that all of us have to work on.

That’s why it’s valuable to look at 5 of the most common mistakes people make when trying to network. Avoid these, and you’ll be well on your way to making a positive connection.

Make it all about you. Yes, the point of networking with someone is so that you can get them to help you in some way, but that doesn’t mean that you should ask for their help right away. Most people will find this rude, and even if they do help you, they might do it begrudgingly. At the very least, you want to forge some kind of personal connection before asking for what you want, but it’s even better if you can make yourself useful to them in some way.

Paper the town. When you ask someone for their help, or even just to get to know them, you want them to feel like it’s because they’re special - they are the only one who can help you because of their special knowledge and abilities. But that’s not going to be possible if you take a scattershot approach and put yourself out there to a bunch of people because you want to make sure that someone comes through for you. Do that and you’ll quickly become that annoying person that no one wants to help.
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February 13th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, Networking

Build Trust This WayWhether you work on an occasional basis with people one at a time, or are intensely immersed with the same group for scores of hours each week, there are a great many advantages to building deeper levels of trust.

These include:
  • Improved understanding,
  • Better cooperation,
  • More willingness to compromise,
  • Greater motivation to help each other,
  • More open use of personal resources,
  • and more.
Of course, building trust is a difficult and time-consuming process that flows easily in some relationships and in others may remain thoroughly blocked.

That’s why the following exercise can be helpful. It creates a mechanism and a context in which people can begin to disclose details about themselves and feel accepted, while offering acceptance for others doing the same.

To start this exercise, gather the people with whom you’d like to build more trust, and explain what you’re going to do.

Explain. Begin by drawing a four-quadrant diagram - one long vertical line and one long horizontal line crossing in the middle of a piece of paper. Label the upper left quadrant “What Everyone Knows”. Label the upper right quadrant “What You Know That I Don’t - My Blind Spots”.  Label the lower right quadrant “What No One Knows”. Label the lower left quadrant “What I Know That You Don’t”.


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