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How Are Dating and Interviewing the Same? Part 4

June 28th, 2010 ::

by Allison Kapner

How are dating and interviewing the same? Let’s examine Step 4: The First Impression.

Congratulations, you made it! You went through the awkward first contact, prepped as much as you possibly could and now it’s show time!

Of course, all that means is that you made it through the awkward initial set-up meeting and now it’s time for the awkward first greeting.

Photo courtesy istolethetv. Flickr Creative Commons.

The interview is easy, shake your interviewer’s hand and mimic their grip. Don’t go in too strong right away… even if you are Superman or Wonder Woman. If your interviewer’s handshake is dainty and delicate and you squeeze too strong, it will work against you. Instead, be firm, quick and confident as you let them lead the way. Two other pieces of advice: 1) As you are shaking hands, make eye contact and smile. 2) Make sure you let the interviewer lead the way to the office if you have to make your way somewhere else in the building, even if you’ve been to this office before.

How about dating? Do you hug, kiss on the cheek, kiss cheek to cheek, shake hands… What do you do? It really depends on your comfort level with the person before the date and how much you’ve spoken. I generally go for the quick cheek-to-cheek kiss or awkward but-trying-to-make-it-not-awkward-hug which turns into a side hug of some sort. Regardless, expect it to be awkward but muscle up a big smile and show enthusiasm. If you are the man, opening your date’s car door will most likely win you some brownie points, and girls, for those of you who are fans of The Bronx Tale, electronic locks make it difficult to pass “the test” so don’t feel pressured. But still pay attention to whether your date doesn’t have the automatic locks or doesn’t use them to unlock his door.

Remember, in both cases, you have only 10 seconds to make a first impression. Your nonverbal communication is imperative during this stage, so make sure you exude confidence and an upbeat spirit. (People like to surround themselves with positive people so this impression will get you off on the right foot.)

No pressure, right? If you fumble during the impression, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. Pick yourself up and go get ’em!

Allison Kapner headshotAllison Kapner is a Relationship Manager in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School where she is responsible for building partnerships with employers to ultimately create job and internship opportunities for students and alumni. She also advises and coaches students on job search techniques and brings a unique corporate expertise to assist candidates, as her past experience was as an Executive Recruiter in financial services in New York City.

How NOT to Write a Cover Letter or Query about a Job

June 16th, 2010 ::

by Robin Ferrier

Photo courtesy openpad. Flickr Creative Commons.

There’s a lot of advice out there about what you should include in your cover letters. Below, I’m providing some advice on what NOT to do.

I received a query from someone the other day who was looking for a job. While I’ll give the person credit for actually addressing his email to me — so many people employ the “Dear Sir/Madam” — the letter was atrocious. Why?

In the first line, he said he was “wondering if there are any employment opportunities” with my organization.

LESSON: Do your homework because I’m not going to do it for you. Find out for yourself if there are any employment opportunities. You did enough homework to find your way to my site and to track down my email address. Don’t just use it. Instead, find your way to the employment section. (Because trust me, nowhere on our site is my name affiliated with job opportunities.) Granted, I don’t have a direct employment link on my site, but that’s because we’re a satellite campus for a major university and we don’t handle hiring here. The main campus does. So if you don’t see an employment link on my site, don’t just stop there. If I’m part of a larger organization, go to the larger organization’s web site and find the employment link there.

Next, he told me who he was — a medical student who has the summer off.

LESSON: Congratulations on having the summer off, but why are you waiting until May to figure out what you’re doing with your summer? I’m not inclined to hire someone who waited until the last minute to look for summer work because I’ll be worrying about what work you’ll put off until the last minute when you’re working for me. Also, telling me what you’re studying doesn’t tell me what you’re qualified to do — or what you want to do or what skills you bring to the table — even if I did have a job opening.

He closed with: “If there is anything available or if you would like me to e-mail a resume then please let me know.”

LESSON: Really? You provide that little information in your cover letter and you didn’t even include your resume?

This email was riddled with errors: His approach, the lack of information… the fact that he was a medical student inquiring about a job at a location that doesn’t have any medical offerings on its campus. It was just all around sloppy… and even though this particular person might be a great employee had we had an opening, the response he merited was basically “thanks for asking but we’ll pass.” How could I have responded otherwise?

So what should/could your cover letter include? Well, we’ll save that for another post… (After all, I have to give you a reason to come back, right?)

Robin Ferrier is the editor of What’s Next, Gen Y? and Communications Manager for the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. She is also the President of the Capital Communicators Group and the co-chair of the Marketing Committee for the Tech Council of Maryland. She has inadvertently become a frequent career / professional / job hunt resource for friends and colleagues due to a career path that has included five jobs in 12 years.

Why I will reject you…

June 2nd, 2010 ::

by Patrick Madsen

Photo courtesy smemon87 / Sean MacEntee. Flickr Creative Commons.

I am a part of what is known as “Generation X.” I am supposed to be your ally, part of the generation in the working world that understands you best. After all, we both come from a time of computers and the internet, and according to everything you read, we share a number of other characteristics and abilities. So why is it that I would reject your application, reject you during the interview, and may not even respond to you at all? Easy… because you are not showing me why I should.

Here are just a few reasons you may get rejected by me:

  1. Professional image: Yes, business attire has changed and business casual has become more of the “norm” in corporate American. BUT that doesn’t mean that you can wear flip-flops to work, not brush your hair, or wear “Saturday night” attire to an interview or to networking occasions. The people that are still in charge and making the hiring decisions will look for the professionally dressed.
  2. Your attitude: Just because I am not standing in front of you does not mean that I will not hear about EVERYTHING you said and did. I remember a student who showed up to our building for an appointment only to discover that I was not in the building. He threw a temper tantrum in front of our reception team, demanded to see my boss, and wrote a two page grievance letter to the dean. While printing this letter, he decided to check his email only to find out that he had mixed up the appointment day/time. He didn’t turn in the letter to the dean. But I still heard the whole story. So be careful about the image you are projecting AT ALL TIMES as it can affect your career opportunities in the future, especially when you don’t yet have a proven track record. No one wants to hire someone with a poor attitude or who cannot act professionally. (Side note: Even had I been wrong and gotten the date messed up, the temper tantrum in the lobby would have immediately put this student in the “no” pile had I been a hiring manager.)
  3. You don’t care: I can quickly pick out those who really care about the job and those who just see it as a means to an end. Find something you are passionate about and go after it. Don’t settle for something that you will hang onto only for a short time and then move on. Your passion, or lack thereof, can be seen on your face, your demeanor, and presentation. That said, I also don’t want you to think that your first job will be your “dream job” and will meet your every criterion. But there is a mid-point between those two extremes.
  4. Spelling and grammar: You’ve heard this before, I’m sure, but it bears repeating: One negative trend that technology has created is the lack of professional writing. With people instant messaging, tweeting, and texting, their ability to coherently develop structured writing based on the “rules” we learned in school has gone by the wayside. Emails that are poorly developed, resumes with one spelling mistake, or even a connection request on LinkedIn that has errors often will land you in the “no” pile vs. the “yes” pile.

People forget that a job interview is a sales call. You need to sell me your “value”! Why should I want to hire you if you cannot sell me on the idea of you? Think about yourself as a product. What would make a consumer purchase that product?

And remember that you are still playing in the world developed by those from the Baby Boomer Generation and Generation X. Learn as much as you can about how they think, how they work, and what motivates them. The more you know, the more it will help you interact with those from the generations doing the hiring.

Patrick Madsen, Director of Programs & Education in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business SchoolPatrick Madsen is the Director of Programs & Education in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. He manages the Programs & Education curriculum to include career advising services, speaker series, brand management training, and other events to help students prepare themselves for the world of work. His background includes a degree in Psychology from North Carolina State University, a masters degree in Counseling from East Carolina University, and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership/Student Affairs from Nova Southeastern University.

All good things must come to an end

May 12th, 2010 ::

by Patrick Madsen

Image: CarbonNYC / David Goehring Flickrstream. Creative Commons

Finishing up this stage of your life seems like the easiest thing to do, but many forget to look at what’s involved with the next stage. Life after college can become a real bear if you are not ready for it. Many of you are beginning to feel the pinch of student loans coming soon, to worry about the big move to somewhere new, or even to fret over the lack of a job to transition into. Stress will creep into your mind, this is normal—but there is something you can do to lessen the effects it may have. Prepare yourself as early as possible.

Thinking about the future is always the hardest part because you are never sure what you are leaving out or forgetting. Let’s generally talk about what you are going to need:

  • Budget: No longer can you just spend money on whatever you want at the moment. Bills will begin to fall on your lap – not only for those pesky student loans, but also for rent, utilities, and food… you know, all those things mom and dad used to cover! Create a budget so you can figure out how much money you’ll have left over each month after you pay your bills.
  • Insurance: Make sure you have health insurance, car insurance, renters/home insurance, and even disability insurance. Extras could include vision, dental, and even maternity insurance. If any of these are not included in your benefits package, then you might want to measure the pros and cons of having it.
  • Sharpen the saw: Keep mentally, spiritually, and physically fit. Exercise and proper nutrition, no how busy you are, will assist you in coping with stress and living a healthier life. Remember to use those vacation days! They exist for a reason.
  • Office Politics/Culture: Observe your surroundings and find where you fit in. Do not come in like a gangbuster and expect to change the world. Remember there are formal and informal rules throughout each job. Pick your battles… your job is not your life!
  • Thinking of the future: At some point you are going to want to retire… or will be forced to. Consider your future when planning your budget or career. Start saving now. Think about IRA plans, mutual funds, stocks, and a comprehensive portfolio to make sure you are comfortable as you age. Remember to plan for extras such as family, car breakdowns, moving expenses, sudden illness, or whatever else life throws our way.

Let me leave you with a few things my father liked to bore into my mind. Remember, this is a man who has been in the work world for more than 35 years — most of those years with the same company. He has had many experiences and passes these experiences on to my siblings and myself. So here they are for you:

10 commandments of my dad

  1. When you get done with work, be done.
  2. Be prepared for the working world.
  3. Understand what it is you want from life and take it.
  4. Have a life.
  5. Network, network, network.
  6. Continue to learn new things so that you never get bored or stuck.
  7. Respect your boss, don’t kiss ass.
  8. Don’t be the same as everyone else. Those who are different get seen the most.
  9. Relax… after all, what’s the worst that can happen?
  10. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t like… SOMETIMES

Have a lesson you’ve learned from a parent, professor, friend, or your own working world experience? Add it below in the comments section.

Patrick Madsen, Director of Programs & Education in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business SchoolPatrick Madsen is the Director of Programs & Education in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. He manages the Programs & Education curriculum to include career advising services, speaker series, brand management training, and other events to help students prepare themselves for the world of work. His background includes a degree in Psychology from North Carolina State University, a masters degree in Counseling from East Carolina University, and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership/Student Affairs from Nova Southeastern University.

True Life Tales of Social Media Gone Bad

May 5th, 2010 ::

by Robin Ferrier

Image: jessicafm / Jessica Merz, Flicker Creative Commons

In the category of “great minds think alike,” Patti Nuttycombe Cochran sent in her post about career ending social media moves as I was contemplating a similar post. But I had a slightly different approach to this topic that actually provides a good follow-up to her post.

You may think her warnings were bluster and overblown cautionary tales that don’t apply to you. Others thought that as well… or just didn’t think, as the stories below will show. So, without further ado, I present: True Life Tales of Social Media Gone Bad… Very, Very Bad

Twitter, Memphis and FedEx: In 2009, a PR rep hopped on a flight to Memphis, Tennessee, to give a presentation about digital media to a large group of FedEx executives and staff. As he was landing, the employee tweeted his unflattering feelings about Memphis. A FedEx employee discovered the tweet and shared it with executives at FedEx and the PR agency for which the rep worked.

The employee was lucky in this case. The client forgave him and he wasn’t fired. But this move could have been a career ender if the circumstances were different — say, if the rep in question was only starting to establish his reputation (like we assume many of our readers are) or if FedEx wasn’t so forgiving and had pulled their business from the PR agency in question. (Read more about this story at Peter Shankman’s blog or ZDNet.)

The moral: Think before you tweet.

Twitter and the CiscoFatty: In 2009, a twitter user received an offer from Cisco. The user responded by sending the following tweet: “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” A “channel partner advocate” for Cisco Alert saw the tweet and responded. And, thus, another internet sensation is born. We’re not sure whether Cisco rescinded the offer or not — we’ve seen it reported both ways — but regardless, the Internet won’t soon forget the CiscoFatty fiasco.

Lesson #1: Put best, perhaps, by Helen A.S. Popkin in her article on MSNBC: “Never post anything you wouldn’t say to your mom, boss and significant other.” (I’ve heard others use “grandma” in place of “mom.” I guess they are assuming grandma isn’t as hip or accepting as mom!)

Lesson #2: You may think what you say won’t get back to your boss because he/she doesn’t follow you. Think again! Viral is the name of the game online, and it doesn’t take much to stir up trouble!

And those are just two that turned high-profile. I’ve heard too many other similar tales from colleagues. Like the one about a person who went to a conference, represented herself as an employee of a company those she was there on her own and not a company rep, got drunk during an official conference event, and tweeted about it. She was fired.

Or the girl who updated her Facebook status to reflect her true feelings about her job and her boss. She, too, was fired.

My point? I’m willing to bet every one of these people thought they were “too smart” to fall victim to social media gone bad. Yet, they all did. And the fact they did so will live on — forever — thanks to the Internet.

So I think a few lessons bear repeating here:

  1. Always be aware of what you’re saying and think before your fingers start flying on the keyboard.
  2. Don’t assume your Facebook status updates won’t go beyond your friends. (Screen grabs are a great – and evil – thing.)
  3. Approach social media with this mantra in mind: Never post anything you wouldn’t say to your mom/grandmom, boss or significant other.

Actually, now that I think about it, these rules probably should apply to not only the social media realm, but also to any (in-person) networking situation as well.

Have your own tales of Social Media Gone Wrong? Share them below.

Robin Ferrier is the editor of What’s Next, Gen Y? and Communications Manager for the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. She is also the President of the Capital Communicators Group; co-chair of the Marketing Committee for the Tech Council of Maryland; and Chair of the PR Committee for the Gaithersburg Book Festival. She has inadvertently become a frequent career / professional / job hunt resource for friends and colleagues due to a career path that has included five jobs in 12 years.

Personal Branding and Your Online Persona

May 4th, 2010 ::

by Patti Nuttycombe Cochran

Image: emdot / marya, Flicker Creative Commons

You need to be vigilant 24/7 on all sites where you have a presence, profile… or where you’re adding “interesting commentary or banter” publicly on friends or colleagues’ sites.

I know it’s cool to engage in “exhibitionist-speak” on Facebook or Twitter. You know what I’m talkin’ about: those self-absorbed status updates that completely don’t matter to anyone but the author?? Or posts from those whom I’m sure feel superior or RELIEVED when they’ve just blasted off on someone on some social media platform.

Stop thinking these are private sites where you can have a one-on-one confidential conversation or exchange. Always assume that whatever you post is visible, viewable, usable and confusable by the entire free world! When you operate under this assumption, your posts will be less hip, cool, clever and funny and boomerang-like…

But a lot more acceptable, safe, generic and worry free. With the fabulous internet, things are out there forever — good or bad. There are no make-goods, “ooops-I-didn’t-mean-its”! It’s forever. Always. Undeniable. Attributable.

So, with that annoying fact out in the open, here are a couple examples of career-ending blunder statements that one can’t recover from. I offer these in the spirit of helpfulness. Translation: DON’T MAKE THESE MISTAKES!

Career Ending Social Media Status Updates…

  • “I hate my client” – Never use the word HATE! Anywhere… but certainly not on a Social Media site! And, HATE and CLIENT in the same sentence???? What are you thinking? Goodbye direct deposit from your paying gig…
  • “I don’t want to deal with anymore STUPID customers” — Okay, this is only SLIGHTLY less incendiary than the example above! Goodbye direct deposit from that paying gig, AND you’ll never work for any of those clients, either!
  • “Supposed to be working” — now THIS ONE seems benign, right? I hope you answered No. Yet, Twitter is riddled with this dumb comment! Clients, bosses and others who might be depending on you read this and think, “Wait a minute… we’ve got a project to finish… he/she’s on our dime…”
  • Updating Facebook when you’re supposedly ill. This one’s particularly stupid, too, when the person has “friended” their Boss on FB! Nice. So all through the day that you’re “illin’”, the boss is watching your updates about the fun stuff you’re doing. Makes the next day at work interesting!

Remember: don’t put your brand AND your relationships at risk. Be extremely self-aware and DEFENSIVE of your image: In the flesh AND online!

Patti Nuttycombe Cochran is Vice President-Client Services Consultant at Right Management, a global provider of Career Transition services and consulting expertise on Talent Management, Leadership Development, and Organizational Effectiveness. Patti is an avid networker interested in building the region’s business and philanthropic communities.

How Are Dating and Interviewing the Same? Part 2

April 26th, 2010 ::

by Allison Kapner

What's in Your Bag? Know the Company. Know Yourself. http://www.flickr.com/photos/joi/ / CC BY 2.0

How are dating and interviewing the same? Let’s examine Step 3: Prepping for the interview or date, otherwise known as: Doing Your Research!

Research, research, research!!
I cannot stress this enough: Before any interview, do your homework. (I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it still bears repeating. You can’t imagine how many people ignore this advice.)

Know the company inside and out. Look at their press releases. Read their annual reports. Find out who works there. (You can use a little thing called social media/social networking to do this.)

Why is this so important? There are hundreds of applicants for every job, and you have to prove that you did your homework on the company and the position if you want to make it to round two.

Be able to answer the question: Why do you want to work at XYZ Company? If you give a generic answer to this question, you’re done. Focusing on the culture shows that you understand the type of people that work there and that you believe you would be a good fit. As someone who interviews candidates for our team, if someone doesn’t tell me something unique about Carey Business School, and instead says “I want to work here because it’s Johns Hopkins,” they are automatically disqualified in my eyes.

Using LinkedIn and Google can also help you lean about the people with whom you are interviewing. For all you know, you can might share an alma mater with the hiring manager… but you’ll never know that unless you look.

So how does research play into dating?
Well, let’s be honest. In dating, research can be a bit stickier. But if you’re anxious to get a head’s up on the person before you go on a date there is always Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. You’d be lying if you said you never Google-stalked someone before going out or hanging out with them. Here’s a hint for you: Make sure to clear your internet browser history when you’re done, because if things go well, this new special someone may be on your computer before you know it and see you’ve been doing your “research.” (Trust me I learned this the hard way!)

Know yourself
In an earlier post knowing your brand and who you are is stressed. This is 100% true!

Before going on an interview, understand who you are as a person, what you want, what your strengths and weaknesses are and what value proposition you provide to a company. For example, are you someone that will bring energy and enthusiasm to a job? If so, how do you articulate that? It’s not enough to just say you bring energy and enthusiasm. You have to show how. With concrete examples, preferably.

Likewise for dating, know what your goals and objectives are and the type of person with which you could see yourself. (I’m not advising to pick out the person down to their eye color but know what your “must haves” and “can’t stands” are.) Why is this so important? Everyone is in their own unique place in life. Knowing what you are looking for will be a great compass in pointing you in the direction of someone who is looking for the same things, meaning (hopefully) less disappointment.

If you’re unclear of what I mean by this, I’ll give you a personal example. When I was living in NYC and accepted the job offer to come to JHU, I wasn’t going to be leaving New York for a few months. I didn’t actively seek out dates during this time. I had dated someone long distance for a year and didn’t want to get back into that situation again. However, if I met someone cool, I also wasn’t about to turn down dinner! Instead, I would enjoy the time with the person while knowing in my head – and heart – that I wasn’t about to jump into a relationship. On the flip side, now that I’m here and settled, my expectations have shifted and a relationship is the goal.

Bottom line, research yourself and the players and you’ll be successful!

Allison Kapner headshotAllison Kapner is a Relationship Manager in Career Services at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School where she is responsible for building partnerships with employers to ultimately create job and internship opportunities for students and alumni. She also advises and coaches students on job search techniques and brings a unique corporate expertise to assist candidates, as her past experience was as an Executive Recruiter in financial services in New York City.

Your Personal Brand: An Individual Evaluation

April 16th, 2010 ::

by Patti Nuttycombe Cochran

As a result of my recent offer, several courageous readers requested a Personal Brand Evaluation and the process was interesting and happily very positive!

Let’s take the example of Glen Montgomery, a passionate video editor from Ohio who submitted himself and his online persona for a Brand Evaluation. After googling, twittering, yahoo-ing, myspacing, facebooking and Linking-In…here’s my evaluation:

Glen’s image is consistent and passionate. There’s a terrific alignment within his multiple profiles.

His Twitter following is impressive and he incorporates multimedia links which give his profiles depth. His passion for filmmaking, editing and the world of film is palpable on all sites. I came away really admiring his drive, passion and interest in his profession!

His photo image on Google and Yahoo and LinkedIn is a wonderfully happy photo. Facebook, while a different photo image, shows someone fun-loving yet is “safe” from judgment or scrutiny by recruiters or employers. He’s used filters well, so that what he chooses to keep private is kept private. Smart!

A couple thoughts:

  • Glen’s LinkedIn page was updated one month ago… perhaps more regular updates would keep his name active in LinkedIn’s status updates thereby creating a more prolific impression.
  • He also describes himself as “trying to find himself in the world of post-production.” This description is wistful, but suggests desperation or someone who’s seeking. A bolder description that claims his ability and passion would be stronger as an overall description.

But, generally, Glen’s done a terrific job of presenting himself to the world as a focused, passionate individual with clear direction.

I hope Glen will stay in touch with us — and perhaps even submit some blog posts for us talking about his quest to “find himself in the world of post-production” so we can see if he’s successful.

Patti Nuttycombe Cochran is Vice President-Client Services Consultant at Right Management, a global provider of Career Transition services and consulting expertise on Talent Management, Leadership Development, and Organizational Effectiveness. Patti is an avid networker interested in building the region’s business and philanthropic communities.

A Reality Check for Soon-to-be-Grads

April 6th, 2010 ::

by Sarah Morgan

http://www.flickr.com/photos/18425359@N03/ / CC BY 2.0

One of the What’s Next, Gen Y? bloggers, Thomas Madrecki, recently posted about trying to figure out what to do upon graduation.

Few things are more obnoxious than hearing from someone older that you’re mistaken because of your youth, so it’s with misgivings that I set out to do exactly that, especially because it’s obvious that Thomas is both intelligent and successful and I don’t want to take issue with him in particular. But what struck me in his post was this:

“The idea, of course, is that work-place competition and increased selectivity in turn engenders more successful paid hires in a tightly budgeted and relatively small industry. All of that is well and good, but even for the most confident of applicants, the idea of heading to a new city with no guarantee of long-term growth or a permanent job is a potentially worrisome hurdle to overcome.”

This started the wheels turning for me. Yes, competition and selectivity IS well and good. And “worrisome” is, often, a fact of life. The thing is, the system is not set up to care about the feelings of new entrants to it.

What bothers me is that frequently, undergrads are called out for having unrealistic expectations or for being entitled — and nobody fixes it. There are increasingly job-specific undergrad offerings, but still, no Reality 101. Sometimes parents or internships explain what you’ll need to wrap your head around, but many times, graduating seniors are in for a woeful shock.

So here I am to shock you. You don’t have to like what I’m going to say. I didn’t. But please believe that the sooner you accept it, the sooner you get through it.

You will be lonely at first. Your career so far has been education, in the company of a peer group that was growing together. You won’t have that company in the same way again, and it’ll be a jarring difference in life.

  • You will be the butt of jokes about your youth. These include, but are not limited to, references about musical acts, fashion trends, and which president was in office when you were born.
  • You will make friends with whom you have far less in common than your friends to this point. The work force makes college — yes, every college — look like a military school of conformity.
  • You will not understand where your coworkers are coming from.

You will have to do what your elders will refer to as paying your dues. This will be maddening. You’ll have a thousand very good reasons why it’s nonsense. It will happen anyway.

  • You will lose out on something due to office politics, outside relationships or tenure.
  • You will have to work later than your boss.
  • You will have to do stuff that is boring.
  • You will not get paid as much as you want.

You won’t know anything. Yes, despite all that you just went through to learn all that.

  • You will only use about 15% of your degree. The rest of what you find yourself doing will come from your experience with clubs, roommates, activities and internships.
  • You will want to use the theory that you learned. Nobody has the money or the support to work on those theories.
  • You will do things because that’s how your boss wants them, even when you have a better idea.

You will have to fight to be taken seriously.

  • You will get the same reaction as a precocious child at the grown-ups’ table when you first begin to try to contribute. Keep doing it anyway.
  • You will learn to get to the point faster. There aren’t any more assignments where you have to hit a maximum. Cut everything you want to explain in half.
  • You will, in five years’ time, either laugh or cringe about 90% of what is upsets you right now (just think about five years ago). Keep this in mind before unburdening yourself on your coworkers. They’ll be understanding, but you want to be taken seriously, not just understood.

Please don’t despair. I’m only telling you the bad parts on purpose. You’ll see them coming and they won’t sting as much. And you can enjoy the rest of it that much more. The good parts are fun and surprising and there’s no need to prepare for them. Congratulations and have fun!

Sarah Morgan has a decade of experience working in and with the top pharmaceutical companies in the world. She educates corporations, organizations, universities and media about social media; blogs at sarah-morgan.com; Twitters at twitter.com/sarahmorgan; appears professionally at linkedin.com/sarahmorgan, informally at facebook.com/profile.php?id=10908629, and in real life in the glorious state of New Jersey. (Yes, New Jersey.)

Building Your Personal Brand, Part 2

March 18th, 2010 ::

by Patti Nuttycombe Cochran

branding irons

http://www.flickr.com/photos/simonbleasdale/ / CC BY-ND 2.0

Welcome back! Where did we leave off? Oh, yeah, I was driving home the Power of Your Personal Brand and the importance of your Personal Brand’s messaging being clear and consistent, and positive.

Why? Check out this YouTube video. There are some mind-blowing statistics included in this video that one cannot ignore.

Forget “Big Brother”… the WORLD is watching you! One must be vigilant … even militant … about protecting one’s Personal Brand. But don’t get paranoid; get PROACTIVE! Having a constant awareness of one’s Personal Brand offers an on-going opportunity to:

  • define ourselves…
  • redefine or reinvent ourselves…
  • evolve…
  • enhance…
  • add value…

All these actions are POSITIVE and allow us to be nimble and involved in the development of our Public Image. Taking control of your Personal Brand involves identifying the qualities or characteristics that make you distinctive! Ask yourself: What makes me stand out? What’s my greatest strength? What’s my most noteworthy quality?

Then, reflect on this list of qualities and ask the legacy question:

What do I WANT to be known for?

This should take some serious contemplation…good luck and enjoy the powerful introspection and reflection!

NOTE: Want some advice on what I see when I look at the brand you’ve created for yourself online? Email your name and links to your online presence to our editor. She’ll forward the information to me and I’ll choose one or two of you and do a Personal Brand evaluation for you in an upcoming blog post.

Patti Nuttycombe Cochran is Vice President-Client Services Consultant at Right Management, a global provider of Career Transition services and consulting expertise on Talent Management, Leadership Development, and Organizational Effectiveness. Patti is an avid networker interested in building the region’s business and philanthropic communities.