Reading List: Who Moved My Cheese?

This book tells the story of 4 characters– Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw– and the different ways they interpret and ultimately deal with change in their environment.  This story of adaptability is parable which makes the story fun and easy to read.  The characters in the story include two mice named Sniff and Scurry and two mice-sized people named Hem and Haw with all of the human traits and flaws (human characteristics).  The four characters live in a maze and search for cheese which represents food and happiness– the ultimate prize.

The story is woven around several key lessons about change: Read more

Best Advice from Leading Executives

Business Insider compiled a list of “best advice” from 22 top executives. I’ve pulled the top 10 bits of advice that apply to new professionals and summarized it here.  The full Business Insider post will provide the context for each quote and reveal who the wise sage is behind each pearl of wisdom.

  1. There’s a finite amount of time you’re going to be doing this. Do this really, really well. – Terry J. Lundgren, CEO, Macy’s
  2. Never to look back in regret but to move on to the next thing. – Richard Branson, founder and chairman, Virgin Group
  3. I see a bunch of good choices, and there’s the one that you pick and make great. – Marissa Mayer, VP, Google
  4. First, it’s good to solicit your people’s opinions before you give them yours. And second, your people will be very influenced by how you carry yourself under stress. – Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs
  5. You’ve gotta learn to listen!” – Maureen Chiquet, Global CEO, Chanel
  6. Follow my instincts and take the risk. I wanted to create a new way of looking at retail – Tory Burch, co-founder and creative director, Tory Burch
  7. Never forget Warren, you can tell a guy to go to hell tomorrow — you don’t give up the right. So just keep your mouth shut today, and see if you feel the same way tomorrow. – Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
  8. Just remember, it’s a small business and a long life. You’re going to see all these people again. – Richard Parsons, former chairman, Citigroup
  9. Always have the courage of your convictions. Always state what’s on your mind. Follow your gut. And observe what other people are doing around you. – Joe Uva, former CEO, Univision
  10. Remember—you’ve got to make your deposits before you can make a withdrawal! – Steve Schwartzman, chairman and CEO, Blackstone Group

Underemployed? Argh! Now what?

You worked hard in college, landed your first job and now you find yourself “underemployed”– working at a job that doesn’t fully utilize your skills. You are bored at work and are looking for additional training from your employer.  Now what?

First, assess your situation compared with the broader market:

  • 41% of college grads Say They are “underemployed”
  • 63% say they need more training
  • 77% of new grads expect their employer to provide formal training
  • 48% received formal training from their employers Read more

READING LIST: The Startup of You

Reid Hoffman is the co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn and knows a thing or two about the power of networking.

The Start-up of You is not a technical “how to” book about the world’s most popular professional networking site, but instead a philosophical discussion about approaching your career with the mindset of entrepreneur.  Hoffman along with his co-author, Ben Casnocha suggest that you consider your career in permanent beta– as a professional, you are never complete, but instead always aiming to grow, expand and improve.

Who should read this book? Read more

Godin Makes the Case for “Career-ology”

In his article, “If You’re An Average Worker, You’re Going Straight To The Bottom,” Seth Godin makes the case for being proactive about your career and professional development which is what Career-ology is all about!

. . . if you’re different somehow and have made yourself unique, people will find you and pay you more, Godin says.

Instead of waiting around for someone to tell you that you matter, take your career into your own hands. In other words, don’t wait for someone else to pick you and pick yourself! If you have a book, you don’t need a publisher to approve you, you can publish it yourself. It’s no longer about waiting for some big corporation to choose you. We’ve arrived at an age where you choose yourself.

Thanks again for the wise words, Seth.

Reading List: “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” – 2nd edition Available for Free Download

Jan Vermeiren and Bert Verdonck have written the second edition of “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” and are making it available for free.  Vermeiren’s first edition is one of my top recommendations on the subject of LinkedIn.

The 2nd Edition has been completely revised and there are 53 extra pages which include:

  • Passive, active and proactive strategies for people who are looking for new customers, new employees or a new job.
  • How to be better prepared for offline events using LinkedIn.
  • A brand new chapter about how organizations can use LinkedIn (versus individuals) including the new LinkedIn Strategy Matrix© for Organizations.

Finally there is the new free “Video & Tools Library” with video tips, assessments, tools and webinar recordings.  The book can be downloaded for free from http://www.how-to-really-use-linkedin.com (the library can also be found on that website).

Learn to Adapt

The only constant is change.

This philosophy dates back to the ancient greeks and has never been more true than it is today.

As a professional, you MUST be able to adapt to change.  Organizations expand and downsize, markets gyrate wildly, partnerships emerge and dissolve.  Adaptability is a key success factor in your career and it is a skill you can practice and develop. Read more

Reading List: Working Identity

Working Identity – Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career by Herminia Ibarra is a must read for those currently in or contemplating a career transition or career reinvention. Ibarra is a Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD.

The book is not a “how to,” but instead offers a summary of Ibarra’s research focused on the question: how do people change careers?  Read more