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Career, Career Advice

A New Boss Survival Guide

December 5, 2011

Is there anything more unsettling than having to prove yourself to a new boss? And for good reason…researchers at New York University Stern School of Business found it takes less than 30 seconds for first impressions to form and the average American worker will encounter 10 new bosses in her career. In just a few moments your new boss can size up what he or she believes to be your competence, likability and trustworthiness. And once a first impression is made, it’s hard to fix: the phenomenon is called the “confirmation bias” — meaning every interaction after the first impression is used to justify your boss’s original opinion of you, whether true or not.

So what should you do if confronted with a new person in charge?

1. Within a few days of her arrival make a short appointment to introduce yourself and your job role.

2. Ask the new boss how she prefers to be communicated with: e-mail, phone or in-person.

3. Be open to new managing styles. Ask your new boss if she prefers to be abreast of all the nuances of the projects you’re working on or only when there’s a problem.

4. About 90 days after your new boss has taken the helm, ask for a review to see where you are on track and where you may need improvement. You could be surprised at the critiques a new boss has for you and catching them early enough will allow you to turn them around.

5. Leave the comparisons behind. Whatever you do – don’t mention your old bosses management style (good or bad) to your new boss.

Career, Career Advice

Feeling Isolated? Try Co-working.

August 8, 2011

Looking for a coworker? If you are sick of the ‘home office’ concept you may want to test co-working — a concept described in the Workstation column in the New York Times.

The Rules:

1. Figure out what type of space will work best for you. Searching for a workspace that caters to people in your industry? One for creative professionals? One that doubles as event space? If yes — it may be best to try a workspace location with a specific niche like Green Desk in New York, known for its “environmentally responsible” office space, or the Summit SF in San Francisco, geared to entrepreneurs.

2. If you want shared space where you’ll be able to interact with ‘coworkers’ (even if they are in different industries) try websites like: and

3. Keep in mind what your daily needs are — like the ability to make private phone calls, access to computer or copying equipment, a nearby Starbucks? If you’ll have clients visiting you the ‘professionalism’ of the office is also important.

4. Once you have a shared office space you like — remember to ‘test’ specific areas in the office. You don’t want to be stuck with space near the restrooms (foot traffic) or by the break room/office kitchen (way too much conversation).

5. What does it cost to give up your (free) home office and take up a shared situation? The New York Times reports that “on average, co-workers pay $275 to $375 a month to work in an open environment that usually includes Wi-Fi, and can also include coffee, snacks and office supplies.”

6. Our suggestion? See if you can negotiate a free ‘test day’ to spend working in the space before you sign any contracts. See if you like the other people there and most importantly — if you can really get any work done.


Career, Career Advice

Seriously…success is this simple?

May 9, 2011
Reid Hoffman is Co-Founder and Chairman at LinkedIn and a partner at Greylock Partners. He is a member of the founding team at PayPal and has been an angel investor and adviser to dozens of organizations including Facebook, Zynga, Flickr and Last.FM. He currently serves on the boards of LinkedIn, Zynga, Shopkick, and Mozilla. His complete profile can be found at

Reid Hoffman is Co-Founder and Chairman at LinkedIn and a partner at Greylock Partners. He is a member of the founding team at PayPal and has been an angel investor and adviser to dozens of organizations including Facebook, Zynga, Flickr and Last.FM. He currently serves on the boards of LinkedIn, Zynga, Shopkick, and Mozilla. His complete profile can be found at

Even if you don’t have aspirations to create the next big idea…this advice from Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn will make motivate you! Here are his ten rules for building a being a successful entrepreneur – click on the link for the entire article -it’s worth the eight minutes: we promise!

Read, absorb, move on;)

Rule #1: Look for disruptive change. If you’re about to start on a new venture, ask yourself: What is becoming possible or necessary that wasn’t possible before?

Rule #2: Aim big. Regardless of whether a start-up is targeting a big idea or a small one, it will still require the same amount of blood, sweat and tears—so aim big!

Rule #3: Build a network to magnify your company. The most successful entrepreneurs bring in advisors, investors, collaborators and early customer relationships.

Rule #4: Plan for good luck and bad luck. (We LOVE this one) Good luck is when you discover a great opportunity and can quickly shift to go after it. Bad luck is what happens when your first idea doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean failure; it means you need to pursue plan B.

Rule #5: Maintain flexible persistence. The challenge is to know which advice is most appropriate for which situation.

Rule #6: Launch early enough that you are embarrassed by your first product release. From that I learned, if you are not embarrassed by your first release, you’ve launched too late!

Rule #7: Aspire, but don’t drink your own Kool-Aid. Maintain your aspiration but always look for good perspective on how you are doing. It is very easy for creative innovators to get caught up in their own story rather than learning where they should be headed.

Rule #8: Having a great product is important but having great product distribution is more important. What a lot of people fail to realize is that without great distribution, the product dies.

Rule #9: Pay close attention to culture and hires from the very beginning. Your first hires set your culture, so make them good ones. What you really need are people who can learn fast.

Rule #10: Rules of entrepreneurship are guidelines, not laws of nature. Entrepreneurs sometimes just make new rules.

Read the whole article here:  Ten Entrepreneurship Rules for Building Massive Companies « Greylock VC.

Career, Career Advice

Job Interview Prep!

February 4, 2010

Sloan Klein our career coach extrodinaire offers her take on the basic job interview tips offered by the US Department of Labor.  It’s all great advice she says -her comments are in plum.


* Learn about the organization.

* Have a specific job or jobs in mind.

* Review your qualifications for the job.

* Be ready to briefly describe your experience, showing how it relates it the job.

* Be ready to answer broad questions, such as “Why should I hire you?” “Why do you want this job?” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” What accomplishment are you most proud of?, describe a challenge you have encountered and how you dealt with it

* Practice an interview with a friend or relative.

Personal appearance:

* Be well groomed.

* Dress appropriately.

* Do not chew gum or smoke.

The interview:

* Be early.

* Learn the name of your interviewer and greet him or her with a firm handshake.

* Use good manners with everyone you meet.

Be extremely nice to all assistants!

* Relax and answer each question concisely. Listen to what is being asked!

* Use proper English—avoid slang.

Sit up straight, don’t fidget.  Maintain eye contact with your interviewer when answering questions.

* Be cooperative and enthusiastic.

* Use body language to show interest—use eye contact and don’t slouch.

Make sure you make a personal connection with the interviewer.  Find a way to connect on a personal level—a picture on the desk, a common hobby, common geography, etc.

* Ask questions about the position and the organization, but avoid questions whose answers can easily be found on the company Web site. Questions are your chance to show how smart you are.  Take notes!

* Also avoid asking questions about salary and benefits unless a job offer is made.

* Thank the interviewer when you leave and shake hands. Reiterate your interest

* Send a short thank you note following the interview.   Reference something specific from the interview in your note.

Information to bring to an interview:

* Social Security card.

* Government-issued identification (driver’s license).

* Resume or application. Although not all employers require a resume, you should be able to furnish the interviewer information about your education, training, and previous employment.

* References. Employers typically require three references. Get permission before using anyone as a reference. Make sure that they will give you a good reference. Try to avoid using relatives as references.

* Transcripts. Employers may require an official copy of transcripts to verify grades, coursework, dates of attendance, and highest grade completed or degree awarded.