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Career, Career Advice

The 3 Most Important Things You Aren't Doing for Your Career

August 20, 2012
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To climb the corporate ladder (or at least snag the corner office) you’ve got to have the best on-the-job-advice, which is why we’ve culled the three most important things you should be doing at work (but probably aren’t).

1. Transfer to an emerging market. You’ve conquered New York, San Francisco and LA — but what about Shanghai or Tokyo? If you’re willing to move a few thousand miles tackling an emerging market could be the ultimate chance to prove your leadership and create new business development opportunities — go where you are needed not where you’ve already shined. Plus, just volunteering for a big office move could provide the opportunity for big salary negotiations.

2. Move to an industry that is growing.

Jobs in the STEM field (science, technology, engineering and math) are growing faster than any other according to the Department for Professional Employees. You don’t have to be a scientist or engineer to snag a job in STEM — creatives like marketers, graphic designers and writers are also needed at engineering firms, research facilities and computer programming companies.

3. Be honest about your goals.

Think about the job your boss does…come on, we’re waiting, really think about it! Would you want that job? Or would you rather be your own boss? If you’re slowly moving up the corporate ladder take the time to step back and think about your trajectory — is this something you really want to do or could entrepreneurship be right for you?
Photo courtesy of Jono Haysom

Career, Career Advice

Mistakes … the Path to Success!

July 11, 2012
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Once again Dan Rockwell of the Leadership Freak has motivated us to share his insights. This time it’s on the art of mistakes in Five Ways to Get Good at Mistake Making! If you’ve been reading our posts long enough (or even yesterday)  you might have seen one or two typos that make it through our very loose editing system (thanks Melanie and Kieran for sending them to our attention asap!).  We loved this message because it reminds us to appreciate mistakes for what they are: valuable lessons. Enjoy this brief and  slightly edited version of Dan’s wise words.

“Too many mistakes and you lose credibility. Too few mistakes and you’re dead in the water, you can’t lead.”


1. Don’t make the mistake of letting your mistakes defeat you
. Churchill wisely said, “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

2. Don’t pretend you know when you don’t. Be honest and enthusiastic instead of pretending you know how to create a rocking Power Point presentation, when your boss asks you to take on the task of making the presentation for the upcoming pitch – perhaps you can say something like, “I’m pretty good at figuring these things out and am up for the challenge.”

3. Celebrate your successes and your mistakes. Stories of your mistakes can be humorous, endearing, and most importantly, educational. Most importantly, explaining a good screw-up before sharing a success prevents you from looking arrogant.

4. It’s a mistake to run from mistakes. After owning a mistake, begin the next sentence, “Next time …” Eli Siegel observed, “If a mistake is not a stepping stone, it is a mistake.”

5. Please don’t be a whining, cry baby. You look weak when you make excuses. It’s better to, “Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them,” Andrew V. Mason.

One more point we’d like to add is Own it!  After working in the same office for five years and again on this blog for a few more -we’ve learned to NEVER try to blame someone for your screw up -the truth always comes out- and who wants to work with their little sister, right?

Have we left anything out?  We’d love to hear your success due to failure stories;)

Career, Career Advice

Great News for Job Seekers: There is No Clear Path

July 9, 2012
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Remember that Fall you spent on the Big Island working at a yoga and meditation retreat? Or the spring you lead eager families through the Montana landscape as a Dude Rancher? Oh, wait that hasn’t happened yet.

For our recent grads and anyone who is looking for a job consider a self imposed diversion from the doom and gloom reported on the current employment numbers. Haven’t been paying attention? Well it goes something like this … “Along with the long-term unemployed, experts say their prospects are the bleakest among all job-seekers.” (thanks Smartmoney.com)

With the creative life path approach in mind, we loved what Michael Landes, founder of Backdoorjobs.com writes about his experience of finding his way via a variety for posts.

As I reflect on a handful of experiences in my lifetime—landing my first internship with Gallo Winery while in college; learning to “think different” as an event marketing intern at Apple; traveling coast-to-coast with MTV; counseling and inspiring college students about the importance of internships and short-term work experiences at California State University, Chico (my alma mater) and Pace University in New York; venturing to Europe on a solo backpacking and cycling adventure (I absolutely loved Switzerland!); experiencing the beauty of Yellowstone National Park while working as a recreation manager; connecting more with the earth as an apprentice at a farm; teaching elementary school children; or working as a graphic designer/illustrator at the American Institute of Wine & Food, Harvard University, and other nonprofits—I realized that all of these experiences, no matter how unrelated they were, have made me the person I am today.

How to find these jobs?  Besides, backdoorjobs.com, a collection of short and long term job options – you can check out aboutjobs.com which is part of a large network including InternJobs.com, OverseasJobs.com, InternationalJobs.com, SummerJobs.com and ResortJobs.com.

Our favorite opportunity we saw on Backdoor.com was working at a retreat on the Big Island.

 Kalani is a well-loved, non-profit, yoga, wellness, and spiritual retreat center where people come to connect with nature, themselves and others. Kalani’s volunteer program presents an incredible opportunity to spend time in a beautiful environment with people from an array of backgrounds and nationalities. Experience life within a vibrant community on Hawaii’s Big Island, enjoy a variety of activities, classes and experiences, and learn and grow while serving guests and visitors in the spirit of Aloha!

Other options were a bit rougher -but if you like to camp – you might consider…

The Northwest Youth Corps is about accepting challenge, getting in shape and being outdoors. It is a life where boots, sleeping bags, mosquito repellent and dips in icy cold lakes replace the usual comforts of home—time where building a campfire, pitching a tent and cooking in a dutch oven becomes second nature. Non-residential Crew Leaders receive a living allowance of $1,210/month and a $2,775 AmeriCorps education award.

Benefits include a living allowance or stipend ranging from $275-$565/week, meals and camping while in the field, an AmeriCorps education award to qualifying individuals, uniform, travel, the ability to live and work in the beautiful Southwest region, and valuable training and field experience. {These types of jobs exist in every region of the country}

Are you currently working a super fabulous short term job? Perhaps teaching windsurfing in Maui or cleaning up plastic in the Bahamas? If so send us a postcard!

Career

People Who Drink Earn More

July 2, 2012
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Just what we needed for a long work week—a study reporting the positive effects of our weekend consumption. Reason Foundation—a public policy think tank—reports in the Journal of Labor Research drinkers earn 10 to 14 percent more money at their jobs than nondrinkers!

Apparently, social drinking builds social capital and those who are drinking are often networking and adding more contacts to their Blackberry.

If you are going to imbibe do it in moderation. Alcohol packs calories, in fact one Long Island Ice Tea has the same number of calories as a Big Mac! Instead, choose calorie-conscious drinks like a glass of Champagne, at only 91 calories per glass it’s a tasty choice!