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Strengthen Your Network with a Connector, a Maven and a Salesperson

Networking is not equivalent to cold-calling. It is vital for your career and for your next job whether an in-house promotion or for a new employer. It is the no.1 way of securing your promotion or next job. Doing it the wrong way, for instance, is calling somebody you’ve lost touch with only when you need a job. The right way to network involves mutual benefits. It requires that you find out as much as you can about the person before you contact them. It requires that you, at least, go back and say thanks to somebody who has given …

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Hitting it off at Interviews

Most job interviews are infected with confirmation bias. Even trained interviewers “judge the book by its cover”. They make up their minds about the job applicant as he/she enters the room, shakes hands and sits down. We also know that these snap unconscious judgments are useless at predicting how the person will perform on the job. Equally useless are the idiosyncratic questions and brainteasers that are sometimes used. These play to the interviewer’s biases that retrospectively justify their first impressions. If your interview takes this course, you need to have paid very close attention to how you look, your body …

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Target companies that support ongoing learning for their employees

The main reason that knowledge workers leave their job is not for more pay. It is because they are not developing their skills or their career. In fact, pay is not even in the top three reasons for this employee turnover. So, in your job search, you need to target companies that fit for you. Recent PWC research reports that 73% of workers want to develop new skills – but more than half said their employers are not providing them the opportunity. Technology, automation and AI are seen as a threat to their future working life. A third (33%) would take …

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Résumé that gets the interview

The purpose of a résumé is to get an interview. Typically, it accounts for ~10% of the hiring decision. But if you’re not in, you can’t win. Often, you are screened in or out by somebody other than the final decision-maker. So, here is an evidence-based summary of what works: Easy to read – no gimmicks, plenty of white space, 2 pages organised: line spacing right, company names in bold, job details arranged in bullet points, no typos font simple and easy to read contains relevant “key words” name and contact information clear Tells a story of career journey summary bio …

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Are You Visible?

Are You Visible? There are three basic stages in a career. Working as Individual Contributor Manager Executive The performance requirements and flame-out factors are different at each stage. The crucial success competencies are different. Indeed, both performance and flame-out factors increase significantly with career progress. For instance, an individual contributor’s failure will be down to his or her own poor performance. A manager’s failures include poor team building, poor administration or political missteps. An executive’s failures include inability to deal with ambiguity and adapt to differences, lack of ethics, non-strategic. Most people no longer work at the same jobs for forty years with …

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Do You Know the Type of Job Interview you Face?

Do you know the type of job interview you face? And are you prepared? Here are seven types of selection interviews. They include everything from pre-screening to the encounter with the decision-maker(s). Pre-screening can be checking your resume – do you meet the basic criteria? Match key-words (by computer)? Sometimes it may also be by phone, one-way video or Skype call. Third-party pre-screening consists of an interview with a job search firm consultant, employment agency rep or even an independent psychologist. A personality test may be included.  Many companies have internal screening interviews – usually from HR. Behavioural Interviews are the …

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Transferable Skills of PhDs

PhDs have brilliant under-appreciated transferable skills. I’ve had an employer say they didn’t want to consider an applicant with a PhD for their job. Not even for an interview. “Too specialist” was the assumption. Luckily, I convinced them that PhDs have the brilliant transferable skill of specialising.  All sorts of careers require workers to focus upon a specific topic, in great detail, for a specific length of time, in order to achieve a specific goal. Just like any marketing manager, product developer, media producer, business planner. In this case the person got an interview and the job as head of …

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What Matters? – first step towards a meaningful job

My first meeting with a new client (you) starts with a free preliminary half-hour, or so, where we discuss What Matters? and What is the Opportunity? We need to assess where you are now and how I can help. Your greatest success is going to be in four areas : doing what you love, what you’re good at that fulfils a need in the world and that you can be paid for. These are the first four things to find out. Typical questions to ask are – When were you most alive? What is the best thing about you?  What …

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Emotional Intelligence is Crucial for Career Acceleration

Emotional Intelligence is Crucial for Career Acceleration A study of 500 managers over 10 years by Claudio Fernandez-Araoz classified executive hires and promotions as successes or failures. Successes were defined as true stars and top performers in their categories. Failures were defined as average or mediocre performers. The study found that the top performers excelled in two categories: Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Relevant Experience. Managers recruited based on these factors performed at star level 42% of the time. They failed 13% of the time. In management selection processes, the combination of IQ (often characterized as problem solving or analytical skills) …

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Networking is a Contact Sport and it’s Not about You

It’s a small world. The six degrees of separation idea is that anyone can be connected to any other person through a chain of acquaintances with no more than five intermediaries. Networking in Ireland, I find that there are three degrees of separation! Networking is a mystery to most people, which is why they dread it so much and do it so poorly. If you’re one of them, you probably feel awkward asking for help when you’re looking for a job. Because you’ve been advised to do this when job hunting, you call people out of nowhere, even though they …

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