Ambition and the Modern Careerist

Somewhere along the way, ambition went out of style, or at least showing it did. Recently, articles about Olympic snowboarder Shaun White reported that he is wildly unpopular among his fellow snowboarders despite the fact that he almost singlehandedly brought the sport to the world stage. Other snowboarders found his ambition to win unseemly. Continue reading

Confident Career Strategies

Stewart says that the first step in preparing for an interview is to conduct a thorough inventory of your skills and accomplishments. A sort of personal SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses in a competitive market can help you prepare to answer tough questions in the interview. These are internal qualities, whereas Opportunities and Threats are environmental qualities. What outside factors might influence the market for your skills? Is your programming language of choice being phased out? Are you an early adopter of some technique or technology? Being aware of industry trends helps you position yourself within a larger context. Continue reading

Guest Post: Grad School Increases your Marketability

The Bachelor’s degree may have slowed down as a a way for a candidate to stand out. With over 30% of adults now holding a Bachelor’s degree, ‘standing-out’ with respect to education may require job applicants to have more sophisticated training. This may be true both at the beginning of a career and as you climb in an organization. In some job environments, experience can only take you so far. To be considered for executive level positions, you may need an advanced degree. Continue reading

This is Not How It’s Done

I was shocked to read about the emails sent by a woman who includes in her email signature “2013 International Association of Business Communicators communicator of the year.” Her name is Kelly Blazek, and she runs a 7,300-subscriber JobBank newsletter based in Cleveland, Ohio. She’s supposed to be helpful (and a great communicator) but after her condescending and downright nasty emails to young careerists became public, she’s doing a lot of damage control. What was she thinking? Continue reading

What’s in a Name?

But names do matter. Your name is linked to first impressions from a very early age. A survey of 30,000 teachers revealed that 49 percent make assumptions about kids based on their names, and that they perceived some names as trouble makers (hint: don’t name your rambunctious boy Jack.) Continue reading