At a networking event, you will meet people for the first time and you want to give them the maximum opportunity to remember your name. Attach your nametag very high on your right lapel. Do this because you are usually extending your right hand to shake, so that side of your body will also be slightly extended forward. This makes it easier for the person to read your nametag without having to look across your body.
LinkedIn is a very powerful tool for building and maintaining your professional network. I’ve blogged about LinkedIn often. Check out Getting Started on LinkedIn for College Students and LinkedIn Maps to Visualize Your Network.
I currently have 500+ people in my LinkedIn network. I did not add these people randomly, but instead chose to add them to my network. For the LinkedIn requests I receive, I use my own LinkedIn protocol to determine with whom I will connect. My guidelines are not complicated, are infinitely flexible and work for me very well.
For everyone on LinkedIn considering a “Connect” request, the most important question is: Read more
This is a great experiment by SoulPancake showing the personal benefits of expressing gratitude. Gratitude is not only for your family and friends. . . tell you colleagues, peers, boss and customers what it is about them that you appreciate.
Who in your career has been influential? Who did something really amazing for your career? Remember professional relationships are the key to your success. By expressing your gratitude, you’ll improve the quality of those important relationships and feel good yourself. Everybody wins! Check out this 7 minute video.
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.
- 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
- Never to look back in regret but to move on to the next thing. – Richard Branson, founder and chairman, Virgin Group
- I see a bunch of good choices, and there’s the one that you pick and make great. – Marissa Mayer, VP, Google
- 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
- You’ve gotta learn to listen!” – Maureen Chiquet, Global CEO, Chanel
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Remember—you’ve got to make your deposits before you can make a withdrawal! – Steve Schwartzman, chairman and CEO, Blackstone Group
Last week, we discussed the importance of understanding your organization’s culture. In this post, we are going to provide some specific tactics for discovering the culture of an organization:
- What is the history of the organization? Is it at start-up or a long-established company? Learn how the organization began and the path it followed to get to where it is today.
- What significant events impacted the organization such as a merger, bankruptcy or initial public offering? Was there a scandal involving a leader of the organization? What about a major world event such as 9/11? These significant events may shape or even change the culture of an organization. Read more
There is never a better time to get started using LinkedIn than while you are still in college. Unlike Facebook, which you’ve probably used primarily for your social life, LinkedIn should be reserved for your professional life. And even though you are a couple of years away from your first professional job, now is the time to start building your LinkedIn profile and network. LinkedIn is a very powerful business tool and a “must have” for all professionals. For more insight on the use of LinkedIn among recruiters, check out this article, “20 Reasons Why LinkedIn Will Be the #1 Recruiting Portal of the Future.” Read more
Executive presence refers to one’s ability to look and act like an executive or a leader. Think of an actor auditioning for the leading role in a movie– he has to look like and act like the character in order to be credible and convince the director. Even if you are not an executive today, this is an important skill to master.
“Executive presence” is a broad term that includes your body language, personal appearance and dress, your mannerisms and gestures, the way you speak and the way you shake hands when greeting someone. If you are not convinced that having an executive presence is important, you should consider that companies such as Intel and Morgan Stanley have launched training programs focused on these skills for their employees. And these days, large companies don’t invest money in teaching their employees skills unless it is important.
Executive coaches can be helpful by providing a non-biased assessment of your executive presence and methods to improve these skills. Start by observing your co-workers, managers and other business leaders in your organization. Can you identify a few people with an executive presence that you admire and want to imitate?
Read “How to Look and Act Like a Leader” by Joann S. Lublin on the WSJ.com for additional resources.
Many top MBA programs are increasing their focus on ‘soft skills.’ Why?
These are critical skills for all professional. Whether you currently manage a team of 2, 20 or 200 people, skills such as speaking respectfully to subordinates, teamwork, and managing your own stress are all very important and will have a major impact on your success as a manager and a leader.
Traditionally, MBA programs have focused on the technical or ‘hard skills’ such as economics, finance and accounting. There are a number of reasons for this including the fact that grading students in these subjects is more straightforward and lack of respect for ‘soft skills’ courses on the part of students and employers. Also, many of the jobs that are filled by new MBAs do require these technical skills, so it becomes a Catch-22. How far one advances beyond that first job will be largely determined by the ‘soft skills’ or ‘people skills.’
There is good news here for professionals without a business school background. . . many of the interpersonal skills needed to be a successful business manager and a leader of people are not learned in the classroom.
Read the full WSJ.com article by Mellissa Korn and Joe Light.
About Jeff Chapski
Jeff Chapski has coached and mentored hundreds of college students and recent graduates as they started their first jobs and launched their careers. Recalling the important skills and lessons he learned early in his own career, Jeff started writing a blog at Career-ology.com to help new professionals succeed at work. Read more...