Defining Success

Measure Your Own Success

How do you define success? Is it the size of your paycheck or having the corner office? Is it the feeling you get when you know you did a great job on a project (praise from the boss doesn’t hurt) or the one you get when you know you helped someone? Perhaps you feel successful after putting in a day at work and coming home at a reasonable hour to spend time with your family. Since each of us measures success differently, you are the only one who can decide what it means to you. Your satisfaction with your career is strongly linked to whether you feel you have met your own, and not anyone else’s, definition of it.

Email bogging you down

  1. Only check email at specific times during the day, and try to limit it to only 4-5 times a day. If you don’t have nearly this much self control, use a tool like Inbox Pause to keep emails from showing up in your inbox until you’re ready for them.
  2. If email’s really getting you down, try Time Management Ninja’s system for only checking it twice a day.
  3. Need to answer emails in a hurry? Add the perfunctory “Sent from my iPhone” signature at the bottom of the page—even if you’re emailing from your computer. While you shouldn’t do this all the time, it’s a quick way to bang out some one-sentence replies without people thinking you’re being rude.

If You’re Overwhelmed by Work

1. Make sure your to do list is up to date, and do a quick gut check to make sure that you’ve been spending your time on what’s most important.

2. Knock out a few emails. If you don’t already, try using a “quick answer” tag that you add to any email that will take you 60 seconds or less but isn’t urgent. When you have five minutes, clear out as many of these as possible.

3. Check your upcoming meetings for the week, and send any emails necessary to confirm them.

4. Unsubscribe from any newsletters that aren’t helping you achieve your goals using unroll.me.

5. Identify one thing that you can delegate, and to whom you can delegate it. Send this person an email, and get it off your plate.

Social Media and Your Career

It’s not just your current employer you have to worry about. According to a 2013 study by CareerBuilder, more employers are finding reasons not to hire candidates because of their social media presence. Some said they took candidates out of the running after finding various concerning content online. The top two negative behaviors mentioned by employers were 1) provocative/inappropriate photos and/or information (50%) and 2) information about candidate drinking or using drugs (48%). Remember that old adage about not saying anything bad –even if your boss is a first-class jerk? Many employers said candidates were crossed off the list for badmouthing a previous employer (33%).

No Shortcuts to finding the right job in Seattle

There’s no true shortcut to securing a new job. Always make the extra effort. Whether it’s tailoring your resume for a job or sending a thank you message after an interview…the extra work you invest shows your interest and professionalism. Most importantly, it helps you stand out.

Interview Tips for the “Tell me more about yourself” question

1. Work History in a Nutshell

Start by briefly introducing your professional story. Outline your experience, showing a trajectory from early career until now. Keep the focus on your current or most recent position—where you can speak directly to your proficiency as a leader– and stay away from personal details.

2. Your Unique Selling Points (USPs)

Of course, you will have done your homework before showing up for an interview, reading up on the company’s history and current business model. In a sentence or two, outline the hard and soft skills (USPs) that make you uniquely positioned to bring solutions to the organization. That means referencing not only your technical or subject-area expertise necessary for the job, but also your people and leadership skills; for instance, mention your knack for mentoring, communicating well at all levels, problem-solving, or turning around sagging team morale.

3. Make the Connection

Now it’s time to unite your experience and skills with the needs of the employer. Briefly address how you see yourself contributing to the company’s mission. Is the organization expanding? Describe how you’ve screened and identified talent in previous leadership roles, or how you’ve built a team from the ground up. Will the new hire be responsible for reorganizing or changing the status quo? Recount an experience when you’ve led subordinates during uncertain times, or ways in which you’ve managed delicate personnel situations, like shifting responsibilities among team members or letting go underperforming staff.

Give yourself permission to fail

The only way you’ll ever take a risk in life is if you’re permitted to fail. And though many leaders give their employees permission to fail because they understand the critical nature of failure in success, human beings are much less likely to give themselves the same room they give others.

Allowing yourself to be wrong, to mess up, and to fail from time to time obliterates crippling defensiveness and opens your mind to new perspectives and wisdom. Additionally, it allows you to take career- or life-changing risks.

Share advice at a workshop or a event

Donate time to share your insights at an industry or career workshop or a for a student club. While it can take time (and a little courage) to prepare a talk, move your butt to the event and speak to a crowd, it’s an awesome way to shed light on questions about your industry or professional development and help others take important next steps in their career.

Just starting your career?

Set clear goals

The very first step is goal determination: What exactly does “career” mean for you? Is this associated with a certain amount of money? Do you want to reach a particular position?

Only when you have a clear idea of what it means for you to “make a career” can you also work towards this purpose. Many people do not take the time to become aware of their own career goals consciously and systematically. Do it! Write down for yourself what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. Imagine what it will be like when you reach your destination. Work out a very concrete and detailed plan of action to get you where you want to go. Take your career goal actively in hand.

How to leverage LinkedIn Company Profiles

Use LinkedIn Company Profiles to Learn About Employers

LinkedIn company profiles are a good way to glean at-a-glance information on a company in which you’re interested. Company profiles provide an excellent window to your connections at the company, past, current and future projects, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies, and company statistics. What’s more, LinkedIn company profiles often provide solid insight into a company’s culture — events they celebrate, causes they espouse and the ways in which they support them, goals they set for themselves as a company and for their employees; and the paths they take to achieve them.

Consider following your dream companies on LinkedIn. This will allow you to keep up with their achievements (which will be useful to bring up in a cover letter or interview), and will help you spot any job openings.​