I thought I might dip into the archives this week for a this week’s failure Friday but nope. I have a fresh one on deck. [Read more…]
You might get a kick out of this.
I just came across a post from 10pm est on April 15 (aka tax due date) of someone saying “for some reason H&R block is experiencing heavy call volume”, and then proceeding to ask a question about how to answer one of the tax prompts on work location. [Read more…]
So in addition to a less than satisfying season premiere of Game of Thrones yesterday, something else historic happened, something causing speculation that some sort of synchronized onion-cutting had taken place.
Right at the moment when Tiger Woods won the Masters – the most prestigious golf tournament in the world – and celebrated with his son. [Read more…]
I don’t know if you’ve heard… but there’s this show called Game of Thrones, which inspired this post. For the unindoctrinated, a quick google will tell you more than you need to know about the show and all the related conspiracy theories.
Now, on to what I really wanted to talk about.
If you tilt your head about 36 degrees to the left, close your left eye, and slightly squint your right-eye, the corporate world looks frighteningly similar to Westeros (the fictitious where most of the show takes place). [Read more…]
The day was… two days ago.
I had a call set up with a handful of partners and a managing director (all people more senior than myself), only one of which I work with regularly, so naturally this would be the time I would do something goofy.
I scheduled the call a week ago, right before spring break, and knew that was a stretch because we needed to get back to the client, but I was trying to stick to the PTO I was supposed to be taking. But figured as long as we had the call right when I get back, we’d be in good shape.
The only problem is I left off one of the key people. [Read more…]
You shall not pass!
– Gandalf (the gray), Lord of the Rings
Okay – I admit it. I just wanted to try to find a way to refer to another one of the most iconic scenes in movie history. Since spring break I’ve probably added a few
dozen hundred views but who’s counting.
There’s something to this though and I’m going to give a few scenarios where if you’re doing this, your expectation when you’re trying to get promoted should be “you shall not pass!”
And if you’re more of a monopoly fan… do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
So here they are: [Read more…]
Let me put my old person hat on for a second…
I’ll skip the part where I talk about how I walked to school uphill in the snow BOTH WAYS, but… back in my day, I remember debating people which format was best for studying for the cpa exam — live, in-person, online, or self-study (cd-rom at that time).
The same debate goes on and on about the study hacks and all that good stuff but something I read yesterday triggered a thought I haven’t been able to shake. [Read more…]
So much of surviving and thriving in the corporate world is about mindset, particularly when you’re in search of a new job.
I saw this post floating around today on applying for 150 jobs in the last 24 hours. He chalked his results (fee responses) up to race.
Before weighing in on if that’s a reasonable conclusion (which it very well could be because racism is still a thing and I do think people of color have a different experience trying to navigate corporate America), there are some important things to note here.
First, going through the motion of filling in a form on a portal and loading the exact same resume with the exact same cover letter is not a recipe for success. You could write a bot to upload your resume.
Now I don’t know for sure what this person did but those numbers lead me to think this would be a phone it in type of scenario.
Another interesting thing is this person holds himself out as a celebrity manager, CEO, etc so I’m not sure if this was just an experiment or what. Applying for jobs is hard work and you probably aren’t going go all in if you don’t really need/ want the job.
Based on the comments, there are a lot of other people, experienced and inexperienced alike, making the exact same mistake. This is why I tell people my corporate ladder university book isn’t just for new graduates.
Many are talking about how qualified they are and how many positions rejected them but none are talking about how they approached the opportunities. Your qualifications and experience don’t matter of your resume and cover letter are trash.
The truth is even for in-demand skills you’ll typically have more than one person applying for any given position so you need to be memorable and strategic to get your name in front of the right human. Ideally, you’d want to have some sort of relationship to help you get a foot in the door which means start establishing rapport well before you need it.
I get so sad to see job seekers thinking the whole internet owes them something because they’re now looking for a job.
Cut it out.
And if you’re part of an underrepresented group, this rule applies double… but that shouldn’t be a surprise.
The bottom lines is anyone taking a shotgun approach to job search has clearly gotten some bad advice and will only compound any other negative effects in play. That’s cool if that’s what you’re into.
If you prefer your advice cooked well done, Success Factory is here for you:
I was perusing the interwebs as I’m known to do from time to time and came across a post of what appeared to be a newer consultant. The post was asking if this person’s boss had overreacted by saying this person shouldn’t be using the word “sweet” in a client meeting because it validates the client’s assumption that the person is young.
First, I suspect maturity or professionalism may be more of the issue with the client in question than actual age, but there is an bigger lesson in play here.
One of the marketers I read, Ben Settle, always talks about the downside of blindly taking what he does and trying to replicate in your business. And by downside, I mean it can cost you a lot of money, if not your entire business.
The same holds true here.
Let’s go back to one of the foundational rules of business, especially in client service. No matter how hard you want to fight it, perception is reality. The sooner you make your peace with that notion, the easier your life will be.
To that point, until you have better information, be at your most formal communication style if you’re going to lean toward an extreme. Think english literature paper or thesis in college vs. blog post or email to a friend.
I’ll go a step further, that “better information” I referred to needs to be unique to you. Just because you see your boss talk to someone a certain way doesn’t mean you can pull off the same thing.
Some reasons for that might be:
- They may be friends / acquaintances outside of the project
- They may have worked with each other a long time so your boss can be more direct
- Your boss may know how to deliver with a tone that’s just received differently than when you say it (I’m not saying it’s fair… but life’s not fair.)
Knowing your audience (and getting to that point quickly) is one of the key weapons in the savvy consultant’s toolkit. And while it may be equally easy from your perspective to flex up or down on the formality scale, it’s a much better look to have to dial down the formality than turn it up.
If you want to round out your toolkit at a faster pace than one email at a time, click the link below to apply to my Success Factory coaching program:
This idea randomly popped in my head today about the similarities between Dr Pepper, Baskin Robbins, and the world of management consulting.
The answer: flavors. I’ll explain.
Many will recognize Baskin Robbins as having 31 flavors of ice cream but fewer probably are aware that Dr Pepper supposedly has 23 flavors making up that sweet nectar.
Similarly, most people think of consulting as one thing. Those people would be woefully incorrect in that assessment. [Read more…]