Seth Godin on Blogging Every Day

Seth Godin is a best-selling author and a prolific blogger.

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Seth started blogging in January 2002 – and he posts to his blog almost every single day.

He is such a strong proponent of blogging that he has even written:

“…committing to having a point of view and scheduling a time and place to say something is almost certainly going to improve your thinking, your attitude and your trajectory.

A daily blog is one way to achieve this. Not spouting an opinion or retweeting the click of the day. Instead, outlining what you believe and explaining why.

Commit to articulating your point of view on one relevant issue, one news story, one personnel issue. Every day. Online or off, doesn’t matter. Share your taste and your perspective with someone who needs to hear it.

Speak up. Not just tomorrow, but every day.

A worthwhile habit.”

I believe Seth’s advice definitely has merit.

We all tend to spend the bulk of our time consuming information – whether it is the T.V. shows we watch – or the Facebook stream we scroll through on our phone.

We habitually and passively consume content all day every day.

Maybe it is time for all of us to stop spending some much time consuming – and start spending a little more time producing….

 

Switching Jobs Every Three Years

Vivian Giang over at Fast Company magazine has a very interesting article entitled “You Should Plan On Switching Jobs Every Three Years For The Rest Of Your Life”.

You can view the article here.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Mish Sukharev
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Mish Sukharev http://ow.ly/Xre2j

Vivian writes:

Changing jobs every couple of years used to look bad on a resume. It told recruiters you can’t hold down a job, can’t get along with colleagues, or that you’re simply disloyal and can’t commit.

That stigma is fast becoming antiquated—especially as millennials rise in the workplace with expectations to continuously learn, develop, and advance in their careers.

She goes on to say:

There are a lot of arguments for jumping ship every few years. The economy isn’t what it used to be—and never will be again. Workers who stay with a company longer than two years are said to get paid 50% less, and job hoppers are believed to have a higher learning curve, be higher performers, and even to be more loyal, because they care about making a good impression in the short amount of time they know they’ll stay with each employer.

Vivian goes on to quote author & career advisor Penelope Trunk. Penelope tells Vivian:

“In terms of managing your own career, if you don’t change jobs every three years, you don’t develop the skills of getting a job quickly, so then you don’t have any career stability. You’re just completely dependent on the place that you work as if it’s 1950, and you’re going to get a gold watch at the end of a 50-year term at your company.”

My experience as a Recruiter is consistent with what both Vivian and Penelope say.
When I first started as a Recruiter 24 years ago, you never wanted to present a “job-hopper” to your client. Anyone who had a track record of frequent job changes was usually perceived by our clients as being an “inferior” candidate.

However the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. Ironically – if I present a candidate to a client who stayed with their company for an extended period of time – that candidate is frequently viewed as not being ambitious, not wanting to be challenged and unable to adapt to new situations/environments.

It is a different world out there. And while no one is advocating changing jobs simply for the sake of changing jobs, I think it is fair to agree with Vivian when she writes that it is time to abandon “the belief of past generations that you cling to an employer over a lifetime in the hopes that your long-term employer will treat you fairly in the end with a matching 401(k) plan, among other benefits.”

When In Doubt: Hire the Best Writing Skills…

Kris Dunn has a great blog postover at The HR Capitalist entitled “When in Doubt: Hire the Best Writing Skills…”.

In his post, Kris states that a person’s ability to write well is strongly correlated with their ability to communicate verbally.  Kris goes on to write that with the large volume of email communication that occurs in Corporate America, strong writing skills have never been more important.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Peter Lindberg http://ow.ly/UuCS6
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Peter Lindberg http://ow.ly/UuCS6

And Kris clarifies what he means by writing skills:

“When I say hire someone with writing skills, I’m not talking about someone who can write term papers, because let’s face it, no one reads those. I’m talking about the ability to write down some thoughts in an engaging, personable, influencing manner.  You know it when you see it.”

I definitely concur…

Over the years I have noticed an extremely strong correlation between the ability to write well and overall job success. The people who write well tend to speak well, and in turn, tend to do their jobs well.

Like everything else in life – there are exceptions to the rule.

But bottom line –  the connection is definitely there.

 

How Long Should A Job Search Take?

Liz Ryan has a great article over on the Forbes website entitled, “How Long Should A Job Search Take?”.

Liz writes:

“I hate to think about the number of times I’ve sat on a panel and heard a fellow panelist say “As a job-seeker, you have to prepare for the long haul. It could take months and months to find the right job.”

Every time I heard that I kept the fake plastic smile pasted on my face, because I’m an actress. I was raging inside.

I am sick and tired of hearing standard brainless job-search advice repeated like it was gospel, including the line ‘Expect to spend months looking for your next job.’ “

She goes on to say:

“When you teach people to be passive and wait patiently for a broken system to grind its way along, you disempower them.”

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Jan Ramroth http://ow.ly/TVvvF
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Jan Ramroth http://ow.ly/TVvvF

Liz is absolutely right.

It’s funny how we routinely defer to the advice of the so-called ‘experts’ – and often to our own determent.

I learned early in my career not to listen to the ‘experts’.

At the first Recruiting Firm I worked at, I remember returning to the office after the long Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend.  I was surprised that the office lacked its usual buzz.  It seemed like no one was on the phones.  The office was quiet.

I walked over to Dan, one of the Sr. Recruiters and asked him what was going on.  Dan looked up from the newspaper he was reading and said to me, “Kid, it’s the Holiday Season.  No one is going to be hiring between now and New Year’s Day.  Everything is going to be quiet. You’ll just have to sit tight and wait for hiring to pick up again after the Holidays.”

Unfortunately, at that time I was broke and had a young family to support. I did not have the luxury to sit around and wait.  So I did the only thing I knew how to do – I got on the phone and just “smiled & dialed”.  And you know what – that December was my best month billing as a Recruiter.

And – going forward – for every year thereafter – I found that December is always one of my strongest months for the year.

After that experience, I decided that I would ignore the advice of the so-called experts. I wasn’t going to sit around and wait for business to pick up. I was always going to go out and make something happen.

And my experience as a Recruiter mirrors Liz Ryan’s advice to job seekers.

In the article, Liz advises job seekers that they should not just sit around and expect their job search to last a certain predetermined amount of months because some so-called expert claims that is the case.

As Liz writes:

“You have way more influence on your marketability, your job search and your career than you think you have.

Why You Should Work as Though Your Kids Are Watching

Sallie Krawcheck has a great post over on LinkedIn.  You can read it here. It’s a short read – but still is very powerful.

And Sallie’s conclusion is valid.

(Actually – the conclusion Sallie makes not only applies to parents with their children – but it applies equally well to managers and the people who report to them.)

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Jack Salenga http://ow.ly/R5IXU
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Jack Salenga http://ow.ly/R5IXU

While our children won’t always “listen” to us, they are always watching us. They model their behavior based on what they see Mom & Dad doing.
So as parents (and managers) – we better make sure we are actually practicing what we preach.

We need to work as if our children are watching.

As Ben Franklin once wrote: “A good example is a best sermon.”

Humans Are Underrated – Geoff Colvin’s new book

I read an article this morning on Fortune magazine’s website entitled, “Humans Are Underrated”.  The article is adapted from Geoff Colvin’s upcoming book by the same title.

The article discusses Geoff’s premise that technology continues to grow at an incredible pace.  Computers are able to perform increasingly complicated tasks that no one ever anticipated them having the ability to perform.  Computers are beating Grandmasters in Chess.  Computers are starting to drive cars. It seems everywhere we turn – computers are replacing human.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Kumar’s Edit http://ow.ly/Q4ztT
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Kumar’s Edit http://ow.ly/Q4ztT

But there is definitely hope…

According to Geoff – humans should stop trying to beat the machines at the tasks that machines are designed to do. Instead humans should focus on developing the skills and abilities that are distinctly human.

He goes into more detail in the article regarding what are the specific skills and abilities that we need to develop to not only survive but to thrive in the future.

It is an incredible read….

I am waiting to get a copy of the book – and I will blog about it in more detail at a later date.

But if you have time – wander over to Fortune’s website and read the article.

You’ll be glad you did….

Facing Challenges

I was interviewing a candidate of mine recently – and during the course of the interview – it became apparent that she had faced a number of challenges during the course of both her career and her personal life.

I asked her about her approach to facing the various challenges / obstacles that we all inevitably face in life.

She replied simply that; “Challenges are where experiences are born.”

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Daniel Wetzel http://ow.ly/OSCHj
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Daniel Wetzel http://ow.ly/OSCHj

What a great answer – and what a great approach to life. Most of us prefer to take the “easy road” and prefer a path where we are most likely to avoid any obstacles.  And when we are faced with an obstacle – we mutter and curse our “bad luck”.

However, the person I had interviewed has a much different approach. She does not shy away from obstacles – in fact she relishes them.  She saw the various challenges she encounters not as a negative or a thing to avoid. Rather she sees them as opportunities to learn, grow and get better.

With a philosophy like that – it is easy to see why she has been so successful.

Refuse to Fail

Last week I was speaking to a VP R&D who I have known for over 20 years.

We were discussing a search that I was working on for him.  One of the things that he stressed was that he preferred someone with direct experience in his specific industry segment as opposed to someone coming from outside of the industry.

I thought this was an interesting request especially because he himself had actually made a similar type of transition years ago.  I asked him why he was reluctant to hire someone from the outside – especially given the fact that he himself had made the exact same transition.

He replied that his own industry transition had been extremely difficult.  No one thought he would make it. (He said that he found out years later that his own co-workers had started an office pool betting that he would not make the transition and be fired.  The question to his co-workers wasn’t if he would be fired – it was simply a matter of when.)

So I asked him to what reasons did he attribute his successful transition.  Was it a helpful mentor reaching out to him? Was it his co-workers pitching in to show him the ropes?

He simply replied: “I refused to fail.”

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by ©Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs http://ow.ly/O5cwe
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by ©Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs http://ow.ly/O5cwe

He went on to say: “I would stay late – often to 10pm at night.  I would work weekends.  I knew that I would only get one good nights sleep during the course of a week – on Saturday night – because every other night I was either at work late – or thinking about work.  I had decided that failure was not an option and I would do whatever it took to be successful.”

Refusing to fail.

How many of us make that same level of commitment in our own lives?  How many of us are willing to “burn the proverbial bridges” and leave no way to turn back when we embark on a new career, new project etc.

Many times it takes that type of drive – that level of commitment to achieve any degree of success in life.

We are powerful when we decide that some goal is so important to us that no matter what we have to do – we will accomplish that goal.

We are powerful when simply refuse to fail.

 

 

 

People Without Facebook Accounts Are ‘Suspicious’

I had written an earlier post about How To Clean Up Your Social Media During The Job Search.

And this is still a good idea…

But while cleaning up those ‘crazy party photos’, some job seekers may be tempted to take their clean-up to the next level and simply delete their Facebook account and shut down their entire social media presence.

That however, may not be such a good idea….

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Marco Paköeningrat http://ow.ly/MZBVs
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Marco Paköeningrat http://ow.ly/MZBVs

According to author Kashmir Hill in her Forbes magazine article entitled, Beware, Tech Abandoners. People Without Facebook Accounts Are ‘Suspicious’.

In the article, Kashmir writes:

Anecdotally, I’ve heard both job seekers and employers wonder aloud about what it means if a job candidate doesn’t have a Facebook account. Does it mean they deactivated it because it was full of red flags? Are they hiding something?

While she admits that people may be avoiding social media for any number of valid reasons (e.g. the person finds social media too addictive and prefers to avoid it), she goes on to write:

But it does seem that increasingly, it’s expected that everyone is on Facebook in some capacity, and that a negative assumption is starting to arise about those who reject the Big Blue Giant’s siren call. Continuing to navigate life without having this digital form of identification may be like trying to get into a bar without a driver’s license.

So job seekers not only should not shut down their Social Media presence – they should continue to maintain their various Social Media accounts.

And in fact – in this day and age – not having a Social Media presence may actually hinder you during your job search.

 

The Perfect LinkedIn Profile

Neil Patel is an expert in Online Marketing.  His blogs and websites are wildly successful.  But not only is he successful, but Neil routinely provides a wealth of information for anyone looking to market themselves online.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Sheila Scarborough http://ow.ly/MAU1H
Image Courtesy of Creative Commons by © Sheila Scarborough http://ow.ly/MAU1H

He wrote a brief blog post on How to Structure a Perfect LinkedIn Profile.  While the post is targeted towards people who are building on-line businesses, the principles of building and maintaining a strong LinkedIn profile apply to anyone in business, including job seekers.

You can read the post here.