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Struggling to Find the Perfect Job Candidate? How to Overcome the Vicious Circle of ‘Experience Inflation’

Even though STEM programs have grown increasingly popular, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are than 700,000 unfilled IT jobs in the U.S.

Partly that’s because over 60 percent of entry-level jobs require more than 3 years of experience. The resulting “experience inflation” creates a vicious circle: New college graduates need experience in order to get hired… but without getting hired, they can’t get the experience necessary to qualify.

That’s a problem Talent Path is working to solve.

Talent Path hires STEM grads who are struggling to land their first gig, identifies the gaps on their resumes, and connects them with technology and IT organizations so they can gain work experience.

But they don’t work for free; during the “consulting” phase grads are paid a salary by Talent Path — and naturally, since the consulting phase is in effect a really long interview, are often hired by the tech company they are working for.

The Talent Path approach is a clever solution to a widespread problem. So I spoke with Jeff Frey, the Managing Director at Talent Path, to find out more — and to learn how you might apply a similar approach to your business.

I’ve worked with staffing companies before, but they always sent resumes for people they felt were “ready.” The idea of helping develop a potential candidate wasn’t on the table.

For higher level positions, that makes sense. But while there is a huge client demand for entry-level talent, there is also a real shortage in terms of what employers look for.

Education only goes so far: Many bright students get bounced out of the hiring process simply because they don’t have experience.

So we’re in the middle: We find those individuals, hire them directly, and pay their full salary and benefits. Then their job is to learn: First we take them through our training program, then place them with a client… and then we stay in their lives for at least six months while we continue to mentor them.

Just throwing them into the pool after some lessons, and hoping they will swim, wouldn’t be such a great idea.

Mentoring is crucial. We can help them navigate workplace dynamics, develop any other skills they need…

Companies love it, if only because it’s extremely low risk: If for some reason they don’t fall in love with one of our folks, they can swap them out. And if they do fall in love with the person they can hire them directly.

It’s very low risk with a potentially high reward.

Explain the business model.

Sometimes the people we train are coming out of school, sometimes they’re career-changers or military veterans. We pay their full salary and benefits at a competitive rate, give them a laptop, provide training… basically, we go into debt. (Laughs.)

Then, when we place them with a firm, we charge the company a bill rate that is slightly more than what we pay the individual. If the client keeps that person long enough to reach the break-even point they can hire them directly. If they hire them earlier, we calculate the difference.

In short, we’re a for-profit company, but we feel a lot like a non-profit. We get to help people launch their careers, and help companies find the talent they need.

But I suppose I could bring in a consultant; then I wouldn’t — at least in theory — have to worry about the learning curve.

Keep in mind the average consultant often makes twice as much as an employee. And if you like that person, their agreement with their consulting firm precludes you from hiring them.

In effect, a company can bring in two of our people for the same cost, invest in their development… and then hire them if they choose.

Clearly it works: Over 90 percent of the companies who take in an individual later ask for at least one more. Nearly every company we work with is a “repeat buyer.”

Also keep in mind many companies aren’t well equipped to deal with entry-level talent, and to help them embrace the company’s culture. Our job is to find the right cultural fit, the right skills, provide the right training to bridge any gaps… that’s something tech and IT organizations, especially smaller ones, may not have the skills — or the time — to effectively do.

Which means your training has to be both core and bespoke.

True. Fortunately we have enough client feedback, we know enough about the marketplace and trends and skills required… we know the foundational skills and attributes.

But then you have to look at what a company considers its ideal candidate: Tech skills, business acumen, soft skills, and emotional intelligence.

All of that creates a clear line of sight from who we get, to what we do, to how we place.

Is emotional intelligence a major gap?

Emotional intelligence is huge. Sometimes that means helping people adapt to the interpersonal dynamics of a particular workplace.  And sometiems that means helping people understand their own wants and needs and how to adapt to a workplace.

I literally just had someone in my office today say, “This is my first real job, and this is what it’s like…” we often provide a shoulder to cry on or a little tough love. (Laughs.)

Plenty of longitudinal studies show emotional intelligence creates better outcomes for a business. So that is definitely part of our curriculum, both for the benefit of the company and the employee.

Unfortunately, none of that gets taught in school. So we place people in different situations so they don’t just learn about it… but can experience it, too.

So if I’m a company that struggles to find entry-level employees?

Find ways to bridge the gap between what candidates can currently offer and what you need.

That’s not a new problem; it’s one staffing and placement agencies constantly struggle with. Sourcing may find an amazing individual… but that person may not align on the client side.

How do you bridge the gap between your needs and employee suitability? In most cases, those gaps won’t be skills-based. Determine what is missing: presentation skills, basic leadership skills, basic business acumen… and create a training plan to provide those skills.

That way you can hire great people who possess the talent you must have — and develop the ancillary skills they also need.

In effect, that’s what you already do — so make it a part of how you run your business.

By Jeff Haden Contributing editor, Inc.@jeff_haden

Source: Struggling to Find the Perfect Job Candidate? How to Overcome the Vicious Circle of ‘Experience Inflation’

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Emma Rosen made the bold decision to give up her job and take a radical sabbatical in pursuit of her perfect career. She spent a year trying 25 careers before turning 25 through short term work experience, shadowing and just giving things a go. She completed the challenge, and finished all 25 placements before her 25th birthday in August 2017. Emma spent a year trying 25 careers before turning 25 through short term work experience, shadowing and just giving things a go. She completed the challenge, and finished all 25 placements before her 25th birthday in August 2017. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

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Strengthen This One Thing Before You Quit Your Job Or Change Careers

As my career coaching work has evolved over the years, I’ve trained my focus on helping mid- to high-level professionals who are at a decisive crossroads in their jobs or careers, and are committed to making the best next move. Most often, these men and women know something critical has to change in their work, but they’re confused as to exactly what needs modification. There’s so much going wrong that it’s hard for them to identify one thing to address first.

I’ve seen continually that when we’re deeply unhappy in our work, and experiencing pain, mistreatment, disillusionment and regret about the focus of our careers and the people we’re working with, we often want to run away as far as we can from the pain, to the opposite end of the working world.

Today In: Leadership

For example, an HR executive who’s fed up with their toxic leadership desperately wants to chuck it all and start an online lifestyle business. Or a Finance VP wants to stop obsessing about the bottom line and turn to working in the non-profit arena to feel he’s making a meaningful difference in the world, and so on.

While these might be the best moves for these individuals, thousands of times it’s not. Instead, unhappy professionals are engaging in what I call the “Pendulum Effect”–knee-jerking from the pain and trying to escape their chronic career problems. That often leads them to chuck everything they’ve built and start over completely.

I’ve seen (in my own life and hundreds of others) that running away to an entirely new career often doesn’t address or fix the real problem–and that is who you are when you are working. This includes your boundaries, your ego, your way of communicating, how you handle stress, your decision-making process, how you relate to others, how you deal with critique and challenge and so much more.

Those elements of your approach to living and working don’t change just because you’ve quit your job or career. They’ll show up again in the new field or job, unless you do the inner and outer work to become someone who is more confident, self-respecting, powerful and impactful and able to stand up calmly and resolutely for yourself.

Before you make any changes in your job or your career, it’s critical to address this one thing before you make any moves: the way you are operating in the world.

When you do the work to strengthen and grow personally, you elevate yourself and ensure that your career will become more satisfying and aligned with your values. The degree to which you are able to grow and expand yourself to operate at the highest level is what will ensure that you can experience more reward and success in your jobs and professional endeavors.

This strengthening process involves closing the seven damaging power gaps that keep professionals from thriving. And elevating yourself to the highest level involves honing what I’ve seen are the nine essential skills for success and happiness in your career. They all involve strengthening who you are and how you show up in the world.

You simply cannot have a happy, rewarding and successful career if you are seriously lacking in these skills:

  1. Self-Awareness and Emotional Intelligence
  2. Communication Skill
  3. Building Strong Relationships
  4. Decision Making
  5. Leadership
  6. Advocating and Negotiating
  7. Work-Life Balance
  8. Boundary Enforcement
  9. Career Planning and Management

(Here’s more about three of those.)

How can we tell if we’re deficient in these skills and need more development to thrive? Below are some prime indicators that these skills need improvement now:

If you review this list and feel a bit overwhelmed because you feel many of these skills need development, that’s ok, and there’s good news. It means you have the self-awareness to understand that in order to be happier and more successful, some growth is required.

Choose one or two skills from the list above that you feel need the most development, and take proactive measures this month to build these skills. You can do this in many ways, whether it’s taking a leadership training course, working with a coach on your communication style, seeking help from a therapist to address your emotional pain from the past, prioritizing your life outside of work more highly, or deciding how and when you want to negotiate your next raise or promotion. Don’t wait. Take concrete steps now to change how you see yourself and how you interact with the world.

This one small step on the path to your growth and expansion can change everything for you.

To build a happier, more rewarding career, take Kathy Caprino’s Amazing Career Project training course and her new webinar The Most Powerful You: Close Your Power Gaps and Rock Your Career.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I’m a career and  executive coach, writer, speaker, and trainer dedicated to the advancement of women. My career coaching firm—Kathy Caprino, LLC—offers a wide array of programs, training, assessments, videos, and courses that help women “dig deep, discover their right work, and illuminate the world with it.”

Along with contributing to Forbes.com, I write on Thrive Global, LinkedIn, and my own blog at kathycaprino.com/blog and am a frequent media source on careers and women’s issues. My book Breakdown, Breakthrough and my TEDx talk “Time To Brave Up” share critical ways to stand up and speak up for yourself and transform your life.

My new book, The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths To Career Bliss, is due Summer 2020 from HarperCollins Leadership.

For more information, please visit kathycaprino.com, the Amazing Career Project course, and my Finding Brave podcast.

Source: Strengthen This One Thing Before You Quit Your Job Or Change Careers

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It’s said that job-related, or hard skills, may help you land the job. But these days, candidates who also possess strong people and relationship skills have a real edge in getting an offer. Soft Skills for Career Success provides valuable insight on how to get along and get ahead in your job. In this video, explore the top soft skills sought by hiring managers: communication skills, being a team player, a strong work ethic, flexibility, and positive attitude. You’ll also learn some smart tips for using your smart phone in the workplace. It’s part of the Job Genius series, presented by Express Employment Professionals, a staffing company with hundreds of locations and over 35 years of experience in finding great jobs for great people.

The Most Underrated Skill That You Need To Be Successful

This skill is so underrated that you can get pretty far in your career without anyone really noticing that you don’t have it or can’t apply it well. I’m talking about effective decision making. All sorts of people get through years of working; they even make it all the way to the C-suite without anyone ever even discussing this. But lose half a million in a quarter, cause a $50 million disaster, create a major service quality deficit or hire the wrong people for the wrong jobs too many times and people surely start to take notice.

The powers that be will surely notice that decision making – a skill you were likely never evaluated for – is suddenly getting in the way of your success and causing the organization to suffer.

Education Can’t Outrun Poor Decisions.

No amount of education or experience can outrun or outweigh poor decision making in the long run. The costs of bad decisions always surface and find a way to make you and the entire organization look bad. Observe the top ranks in any organization, and you will likely find highly qualified, educated and experienced executives and directors, but you’d be well advised not to assume that they can or will apply effective decision making when the moment requires it or the situation demands it. By the time leaders are exposed as deficient in this area, the organization has already taken huge hits and the culture and employees surely feel it.

Let’s look at what effective decision making is and what it isn’t as well as why it’s a necessary component of career and organizational success.

Effective decision making is a necessary but most underrated skill.

The higher up the career ladder you go, the more responsible you are for decision making. You become responsible for your own ability to make good decisions and accountable for the decision making – or lack thereof – of others on your team. If you find your career progression has struggled or stalled or that you are not getting the respect you seek, consider whether or not your decision-making methods could be hindering your success and how.

Decision making is underrated because people tend to credit others as competent in it without making any meaningful observations or assessments. Yet, a skill deficit in this area can create disastrous results for employees and organizations. Its importance is most appreciated after organizational leaders try to reactively remedy a catastrophe rather than when they should have been proactively trying to prevent one in the first place.

Today In: Leadership

Very smart people can (and do) make very bad decisions.

Some of the smartest – and most accomplished – people in the world have been in rooms when some of the worst decisions have been made (think Enron, the 2008 financial crisis, the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the 2019 Boeing 737 Max FAA disasters). Then there are the decisions that organizational leaders make every day which lead to staggering operational inefficiencies, unnecessary redundancies, poor quality output, ineffective and contradictory policies, bad customer service and flawed hiring. How can this be?

There are myriad reasons for bad, unethical or grossly negligent decisions including poor leadership, the lack of decision-making processes, ego, peer pressure, etc. But the top reasons would be resistance to critical thinking and analysis as well as the lack of an established decision-making process that accounts for human biases and ethical gaps.

Effective decision making is not synonymous with decisiveness.

Organizations go to great pains to recruit and reward decisive leaders when they should, instead, be working harder to secure effective ones. Certainly, decisive leadership has a proper time and place, but decisiveness is not synonymous with effectiveness. Further, when applied improperly or excessively, it can be a detriment to effective leadership and an impediment to effective decision making.

Sometimes being decisive can work against you.

These four perils to decisive leadership can create long-lasting harm to organizational and career success. You’ll want to avoid this kind of decision making whenever possible.

  1. Ready-shoot-aim. A decisive leader could have a shoot-first mentality whereby he will make a decision and ask questions later (if ever) with little regard for short or long-term consequences.
  2. Acting is more important than thinking. A decisive leader could believe that he’ll be rewarded for quick decisions even if those decisions may do greater harm in the long run. The goal becomes to just do something, and do it as fast as possible.
  3. Decisions aren’t connected to data. A decisive leader can become driven to achieve some predefined outcome regardless of whether the data supports the outcome or not. What is best for the outcome overrides what is best for the organization or the internal or external stakeholders.
  4. The ego can get bigger than the organization. A decisive leader may not tolerate or encourage dissent. In the worst cases, people are punished for disagreeing and rewarded for perpetual agreement. Hence, the decider creates – rather than reduces – higher levels of organizational risk.

Effective decision making requires analysis.

The best decision makers understand that regardless of which decision-making model they use, they must be strategic about it. Effective decisions are well-thought decisions with the results or consequences being weighed and considered beforehand.

Effective decision makers are often better strategic thinkers too because their processes start with better questions like these:

  1. Why do I/we need to care about this issue? Or, what prompted the need for this decision to be made?
  2. What happens if I/we don’t decide on this issue? Is the status quo acceptable? Why or why not?
  3. What outcomes are we trying to achieve? Who cares about them and why?
  4. What are my/our biases, prejudices, interests or values? Are they congruent with the defined decision options?
  5. Whom will this decision mostly affect? How?
  6. What are the positive and negative consequences of this decision? What is this based on?
  7. Who are the short-term and long-term beneficiaries? Who gets to define them?
  8. What is the worst result this decision can bring? Can I/we live with that?
  9. What are forces for or against this decision? Do I/we care? Why or why not?
  10. What is the second choice/option or fallback position? Is it viable, and how do I/we know?

Effective decision making is necessary for professional and career success.

Decision making is indeed a skill, and it is critical for personal, professional and career success. It applies to all areas of the business including hiring, operations, marketing, finance, etc. And it is most helpful when contemplating and deciding on your next career moves.

Those who are able and willing to apply effective decision making to their career will better understand which job opportunities to accept and which ones to decline and which career risks to take and which ones to pass. They are better able to gauge which extracurricular projects to accept and which ones to turn down.

Ultimately, by making better decisions, you will take more calculated risks to advance your career, and you will know where to focus your time and efforts for career building and networking so you can realize the greatest benefits over time.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I am a strategist, management consultant, executive coach and international speaker and have delivered meaningful results for executives and leaders in 42 states and 6 countries across 3 continents. I serve as CEO for ARVis Institute, a strategy, change, performance and human capital consulting firm. I have committed my research, education and professional talents to transforming governments, corporations, nonprofits and educational institutions and develop leaders and managers who have the capacity to create high-performing organizations and the competence to affect positive change.

Source: The Most Underrated Skill That You Need To Be Successful

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Paula Golden philanthropist — amalgamator Broadcom Foundation, Executive Director “Successful philanthropy unites good people with the right cause and insures that the relationships are long-term, productive and gratifying.” As executive director of the Broadcom Foundation and director of Broadcom Corporation Community Affairs, Paula Golden is responsible for all aspects of the Broadcom Foundation, which includes funding education and research initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) worldwide. She also oversees the volunteer activities of 13,000 employees at Broadcom, a global Fortune 500 company and leading innovator in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications. Paula earned her undergraduate degree in English and education from Wellesley College and was assistant dean and instructor of law at New England School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude. She also served as executive director of the Engineering Center and Engineering Center Education Trust, director of development for University of California, Los Angeles Neurosciences, and vice president of the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation. She partners with progressive nonprofits, government entities, formal and informal learning programs, and Broadcom employee-volunteers throughout the world to develop STEM learning processes and teacher training that will assist young people from all strata of society to become scientists, engineers and innovators of the future. This work includes developing the Broadcom MASTERS® and the Broadcom MASTERS International, signature programs of Society for Science and the Public. The Broadcom MASTERS® is the premier international middle school science and engineering competition designed to engage students between the ages of 11 and 14 in project-based learning and inspire them to continue studies in math and science through high school in order to achieve college and career goals. Paula also oversees Broadcom Foundation’s university research funding that reaches more than 64 renowned universities worldwide and directs the prestigious Broadcom Foundation University Research Competition. – – – – – – – – – – In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

I’ve Interviewed 300+ Successful Women. Here’s What I’ve Learned About Creating a Career You Love

Over the past few years, I’ve interviewed hundreds of successful women. They have every type of journey you could dream of: There are women who have reached the C-suite in Fortune 500 companies and well-funded startups, women who have started and run their own ventures, and women who have made dramatic career turnarounds.

They’re all extraordinarily unique, of course, but there’s one thing they have in common: They’ve charted the path to work that they love.

That doesn’t just mean big jobs with important tiles and sizable paychecks (though in some cases, that’s true). Instead, these women have thoughtfully built careers around their innate strengths, their personal passions, and the type of work that brings them meaning and purpose.

Yes, creating a career like this may seem like a lofty goal. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from these interviews over the years, it’s this: Every single one of us has the power to find work we love. It’s just a matter of confidently taking steps to get there. As Katie Fogarty, founder of The Reboot Group, shared on my Facebook Watch show, Work It: “Do not wait for people to give you permission. Seize your permission. Seize control of your career.”

Ready to get started? Straight from some of the most successful women in the world, here are five crucial lessons about taking the reins and crafting the professional life of your dreams.

Today In: Leadership

1. Expand Your Idea Of A Dream Job

Often, we have a pretty narrow view of our ultimate goals. We envision achieving a specific job title or working for a particular company. But what happens when we achieve that singular goal, and it doesn’t live up to expectations? That’s all too common—and so the most successful women I’ve interviewed have made it clear that it’s key to widen your perspective.

For example, Kristin Lemkau, Chief Marketing Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., emphasizes that it’s critical to be flexible when thinking about your dream job. If you’re only focused on getting your current boss’ job, for example, you may miss other options—inside or outside of your company. “By staying flexible and open,” she explains, “you might encounter an opportunity that you had never before considered.”

Lindsey Knowles, VP of Marketing at Winc Wines, echoes this sentiment. “Be open. And try different things. There’s so much you can’t know until you do it,” she shares. “Until you’ve been in a few different types of workplaces, you can’t know what your preferred working style is or the types of problems you like to solve.”

2. Pursue What Matters To You—Not To Anyone Else

Similarly, we’re conditioned to believe that the traditional markers of success, like money or a C-level title, will make us happy, too. But for most people, that’s not the full story. Instead, it’s key to dig deep and understand the very personal factors that drive meaning for you—whether that’s constantly learning new skills or being involved in radical social change—and pursue jobs that incorporate those elements.

According to Aditi Javeri Gokhale, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Northwestern Mutual, a good place to start is thinking about the people you want to work with and the issues you’re passionate about. “I have always identified with jobs where I have a good connection with my leaders, with the mission of the company, and with the team that surrounds me.” When you have that connection, it’s easier to excel at—and enjoy—a job, no matter what your title is.

3. Be Intentional About What You Say Yes To

Cathleen Trigg-Jones, journalist and founder of CatScape Productions, once explained to me her strategy for evaluating opportunities. She would yes to the things that would move her closer to her dreams, and she would say no to the things that didn’t serve her. (Even if they looked like good opportunities on paper!)

This simple rule can move you toward a career you love in two important ways. First, it pretty much guarantees that you get to do more of the work you’re excited about. Second, you get to incrementally step further away from the tasks you don’t enjoy and that don’t help you get where you want to go—even if there are certain aspects of them that may be tempting. Keep following this formula, and you will organically move in the right direction.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Take Risks

If you want a meaningful professional life, you have to be willing to take risks. Why? “If you don’t do things because you’re scared to fail, you’re not really getting the best out of yourself,” Sabrina Macias, Senior Director of Global Communications at DraftKings, once told me. “Risk is healthy; it makes you more creative.”

A risky move, of course, doesn’t necessarily spending your life savings to start a company—maybe it’s accepting a position you’re not sure you’re qualified for, asking for more responsibility, or volunteering to head a bigger project than anything you’ve ever tackled.

Maybe it’s simply giving yourself permission to try something wildly different. Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn, explains the concept this way: “Stop and ask yourself what would make you happy, and design that.” That might be advocating for a new offering at your company or working on that creative side project you’ve been thinking about. “Just start doing it,” she said. “You’ll be amazed at how many people will be drawn to somebody who is doing things differently—and enabling other people to do things differently.” But that’s the key: You have to first be willing to do things differently.

5. Know That Change Is Inevitable

Finally, know this about career paths: What you want and what works for you is likely going to change over time. As Carol Lovell, founder and CEO of STOW put it: “The meaning of success for me has altered throughout my life. What you think it means at 25 is very different to what you know it means at 50.” The lesson? Don’t be afraid to adjust course when you realize that you’ve changed.

On a smaller scale, even if you have a specific goal you’re working toward, you’ll undoubtedly encounter new information, opportunities, and roadblocks that make you rethink your course. And that’s OK. “It’s not a matter of creating this rigid plan of like, do this step, do this step, no matter what,” explains former CEO and board director Shellye Archambeau. “And things will happen! There will be roadblocks, things will happen that’ll cause you to change and that’s okay. You have to be open to that.”

The road to a career you love isn’t easy. It requires saying no, taking risks, and sticking to your guns. But as a result, you’ll be doing the work you’re passionate about and building a life that works for you. Take it from hundreds of women: It’s worth it.

Carrie Kerpen is CEO and co-founder of Likeable Media, an award-winning digital agency that achieved Crain’s 6th “Best Place To Work in NYC.” She is the author of WORK IT: Secrets For Success From The Boldest Women In Business and the host of the popular podcast All the Social Ladies. Follow her on Twitter @carriekerpen or visit her at carriekerpen.com.

Source: I’ve Interviewed 300+ Successful Women. Here’s What I’ve Learned About Creating a Career You Love.

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After running through what to wear for a job interview with a friend, I thought it might be fun to run through some options depending on the kind of workplace you’re interviewing for. If you’ve got your own tips on what to wear to a job interview or if you have a go-to piece, I’d love to see it or know what it is! Hope you’re wonderful! X Jodie

John Legend Wants To Improve Job Opportunities For People With Criminal Backgrounds

In Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Grammy-winning musician John Legend announced the second cohort of participants in Unlocked Futures, a 14-month accelerator program for social entrepreneurs who have been incarcerated and urged business leaders to be more inclusive of job applicants with criminal backgrounds.

Unlocked Futures launched in 2017 as a partnership between the philanthropic venture fund New Profit and Legend’s criminal justice reform initiative FreeAmerica, with financial support from Bank of America.

“We started this as a collaboration, saying, ‘Let’s not just tell folks to hire formerly incarcerated individuals, but to invest in their ideas,’” says Legend. “All of the members have business ideas that will help them feed their families, employ others and strengthen our communities.”

Today In: Leadership

In 2007, Teresa Hodge, a member of the inaugural Unlocked Futures class, began a 70-month prison sentence for a nonviolent white-collar crime at Federal Prison Camp in Alderson, West Virginia⁠—the same prison where Martha Stewart famously served her time. After her experience with Unlocked Futures in 2017, Hodge, 56, became the cofounder of R3 Score, a background screening company.

The U.S. is home to 5 million formerly incarcerated people who face severe obstacles when trying to find a job after their release. Returning citizens are unemployed at a rate of more than 27%, nearly seven times higher than the unemployment rate for the general U.S. population.

Unable to secure employment, many formerly incarcerated people turn to entrepreneurship. But they often lack the business skills, social networks and capital needed to launch a successful company.

That’s where Unlocked Futures comes in. Participants receive coaching on leadership skills such as board governance, fundraising, communications and talent strategy. They also undergo an assessment that gauges areas for improvement and team up with mentors from a network of organizations, including Bank of America, which provided $500,000 grants for both cohorts, a total $1 million commitment.

“Six hundred thousand inmates are getting out every year, and if we want to lessen the risk of them recidivating, programs like this are important,” says Andrew Plepler, the environmental, social and governance executive for Bank of America.

Many formerly incarcerated people experience a revolving-prison-door scenario after their release: At least 95% of people incarcerated in state prisons are released into  their communities, yet more than half of them are arrested again within three years.

To be admitted into the Unlocked Futures program, applicants must have fully operational businesses. “We come in when you’ve established your proof point, you have your model built and you’re ready to figure out sustainability, growth, and measurement and expansion,” says Tulaine Montgomery, a managing partner at New Profit.

Participants are each awarded a $50,000 unrestricted grant. Hodge, whose first business venture upon release was Mission:Launch, a nonprofit that helps formerly incarcerated people reenter the workforce, says that many returning citizens are unable to gain access to growth capital because of their criminal history.

She put her $50,000 from Unlocked Futures toward performing user surveys and designing the algorithm for her background screening platform. In July, Hodge participated in the Techstars Impact Accelerator, which backs founders who are building technology aimed at solving social and environmental problems.

Through this program, she was able to raise another $500,000 from the Motley Fool, American Family Life Insurance and others. Now in the seed stage, her goal is to raise $2 million by the end of the first quarter of FY 2020.

“It’s certainly a challenge to be a black woman raising money, not to talk of being formerly incarcerated,” Hodge says. “But we know that we have a solid business model because there’s a strong upside for investors.”

Since January, more than 700 individuals and companies have signed the Society for Human Resource Management’s pledge to give qualified applicants with criminal backgrounds the same opportunities as those who haven’t served time. And just this week, JPMorgan Chase announced an expansion of its efforts to hire people who were formerly incarcerated, continuing the trend of  companies removing questions about criminal history on employment applications and offering opportunities to those with records.

“If we want the full human potential that is contained in our communities to be maximized, we need to include formerly incarcerated people in conversations around hiring and how we develop the workforce,” Legend says. “These folks are valuable and they’re worth reintegrating into our society.”

At the kickoff event for the second Unlocked Futures cohort, participants sat down with Legend and discussed their personal stories, business ideas and aspirations for the future. As business leaders begin to shift their attitude toward hiring and investing in returning citizens, that future may start to look a little rosier.

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a reporter covering the various aspects of diversity and inclusion in business and society at large. Previously, I was a reporter at CNBC, where I focused on leadership and strategic management. I’ve also dabbled in video journalism, working as a breaking news digital producer for New York Daily News, followed by a yearlong stint as a producer at Rolling Stone. My work has been featured on New York Daily News, Yahoo Finance and Time Out. I’m a proud alumna of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, receiving honors for my investigative thesis on the alarming number of physicians dying by suicide. Tweet me @ruthumohnews or send tips to rumoh@forbes.com.

Source: John Legend Wants To Improve Job Opportunities For People With Criminal Backgrounds

1.45M subscribers
Applicants with criminal backgrounds, including those with nonviolent criminal convictions or even arrests, are increasingly being driven into poverty. Even if it has been years since they’ve served time for past criminal infractions, those applying for jobs are often unable to find work — especially in a climate of extreme job competition. NewsHour’s Stephen Fee reports.

How To Best Communicate Your Appreciation In The Workplace

Last week, our fifteen-year-old daughter told me about a “really cool” online quiz* her French teacher had the class take. As it turns out, the quiz had nothing to do with French.

My daughter stated that the quiz was geared around identifying your “love language,” and surprisingly, when she and her classmates and teacher shared their results, it spurred conversation, curiosity, and some a-ha moments.

The quiz was based on Gary Chapman’s classic book, The 5 Love Languageswhich suggests that each of us has a preferred “love language” and that we can improve our relationships by knowing one another’s.

In its broadest sense, “love” can be expanded beyond the romantic variety. For my daughter’s teacher, it became a creative way to get teenagers to think about how to understand their preferred communication styles better.

Today In: Leadership

This concept is so universal that it was later adapted to the work environment, shifting from “love” to “appreciation.”

“Because we don’t normally think in terms of our co-workers loving us — the word appreciation fits much better — but it is meeting that deep need to feel that somebody cares about me, and somebody appreciates me,” says Chapman.

Chapman teamed up with Dr. Paul White to pen The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplacewhich aimed to improve workplace relationships simply by learning your co-workers’ language of appreciation.

“Every person is unique in the way that they feel love or express love in personal relationships, but it’s the same in how they feel appreciated and valued in work relationships,” explains White.

And when leaders, co-workers, and employees feel appreciated, says Chapman and White, you improve staff morale, create a positive workplace, and increase employee engagement.

Here’s a breakdown of the five languages of workplace appreciation, how to effectively communicate using them, actions you can take to support each style, and things to avoid.

1. Words of Affirmation 

How To Communicate

As this language’s name suggests, use words to affirm, encourage, and appreciate people. Employ empathy to understand your colleagues better and actively listen to them to signal your interest.

Actions To Take

Provide verbal praise in front of others—in a team meeting or when you’re with customers, for instance. Regularly send unexpected messages, emails, or texts of encouragement to foster closer work relationships.

Things To Avoid

Offering non-constructive criticism or failing to recognize your workmates’ efforts, which will leave others feeling frustrated and unappreciated.

2. Quality Time 

How To Communicate

The best way to use this language is to give others your undivided attention.

Actions To Take

Schedule time for one-on-one, uninterrupted, and focused conversations. Maintain eye contact. Arrange activities outside of the office to hang out together with colleagues . each of these actions will build trust and deepen team relationships.

Things To Avoid

Four words: put away your phone!

3. Acts of Service 

How To Communicate

With this language, actions speak louder than words.

Actions To Take

Help alleviate a colleague’s workload by offering your assistance, and then perform the service in a way the recipient wants it done. Use phrases like “I’ll help…” to let them know you’re with them and be clear about how much time you have to assist.

Things To Avoid

Not following through on tasks you promised to take care of.

4. Tangible Gifts

How To Communicate

Despite its name, this language is less about the “gift’” and more about the thought behind it.

Actions To Take

Get to know what is important or valued by the recipient and ensure the gift reflects this knowledge. A caffeine junkie would love a gift card to her favorite coffee house, and a team that’s been working around the clock might appreciate spa gift cards to unwind.

Things To Avoid

Forgetting special milestones or a giving a generic gift with no link to its recipient.

5. Appropriate Physical Touch 

How To Communicate

This language uses appropriate physical touch to demonstrate appreciation.

Actions To Take

Offer a high five, handshake, fist bump, or a pat on the back when acknowledging someone for a great job. These spontaneous displays of celebration help build positive work-based relationships.

Things To Avoid

Personal boundaries are important to keep in mind with this language of appreciation, so avoid unwanted touch.

Bringing It All Together

In the workplace, effectively communicating authentic appreciation and encouragement isn’t one-size-fits-all, nor is it restricted to a single language of appreciation. The best way to express your gratitude in the workplace starts with asking others their preferences so you can better relate to one other and deepen your relationships.

*Curious about your love language? For a fun diversion, take the Buzzfeed quiz here.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I’m a social media ghostwriter who helps leaders craft their stories to communicate and connect better. As a former branding consultant, my role is to make it easier for my clients to share their unique talents and insights on a consistent basis, magnifying both their reach and impact. Throughout my career, I’ve attracted people eager to tell their tales of transformation. I’ve been a professional storyteller who helped my clients share their stories in a clear and engaging manner, and thus better connect with their intended audiences. Or, as my tagline long said, “People tell me things; I write their stories.” I’m also a frequent speaker, and co-author with Bruce Kasanoff of “I Am: Escape Distractions, Unlock Your Imagination & Unleash Your Potential.”

Source: How To Best Communicate Your Appreciation In The Workplace

36.2K subscribers
Clear communication in the workplace is a valuable skill. Get the Free Download pdf Quick Guide to Professional Communication Skills: http://www.communicationskillscoach.c… Full List: 1. Concise Communication: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DLWN… 2. Clear Communication: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCGJv… 3. Listening Skills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWPkH… 4. Positive Relationships: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8Wq6… 5. Collaborative Problem Solving: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0EE… Get the Free Download pdf Quick Guide to Professional Communication Skills: http://www.communicationskillscoach.c… #communicationskills Communication Coach, this channel, helps rising leaders like you increase your impact and lead your teams with more excellence. The channel focuses on communication skills for leaders, presentation skills, group and team skills, and conversation skills. If you’re looking for self-pace communication skills training, this is the channel for you.

 

 

Why These 2 Criteria Will Help You Choose Your Next Job More Wisely

So you finally decided to find a new job. After months of contemplating, you’ve come to the realization you’ve hit one of three specific career roadblocks and the only solution is to find a new employer. But, now what? How do you make sure you don’t, as the saying goes, “jump out of the frying pan and ito the fire.” You’re wise to be worried. As a career growth coach, I’ve worked with hundreds of people who left bad jobs only to end up in worse ones. The result is a massive crisis of confidence that’s tough to bounce back from. So, what can you do to minimize the risk of making a bad career move?

The G.L.O.W. Method for career self-improvement

In my first book, I introduced the four-step methodology I use to help people create career satisfaction on their own terms. The G.L.O.W. Method teaches you a simple process you can use throughout your career to drive professional growth.

  1. Gain Perspective = force yourself to look at your situation from a new point of view.
  2. Luminate the Goal = dial-in tightly on a specific result you want to achieve.
  3. Own Your Actions = map out the specific habits you’ll need to succeed.
  4. Work It Daily = set up systems to build those habits consistently.

Let’s look at how that second step can help identify what your next job should be.

Your next job needs to meet 2 criteria…

To Luminate the Goal, you’ve got to shine a bright light on what you want. Getting clear on what a good job means to you is vital. When it comes to building a satisfying career, no two people want the same things. Unfortunately, many job seekers start looking for work based on the wrong criteria. They make a long list things like the ideal salary, benefits, location, etc. While I think those things are important and should eventually be outlined, the real first step in the process is to define your next job based on the following two criteria:

1. Does the job let you work on solving a problem you care about?

Today, we want our jobs to have purpose. When we believe our jobs have meaning, we feel more satisfied and engaged in the work. This leads to greater productivity and success. If you don’t feel the job will let you contribute to something you care about, you’ll struggle to stay motivated and positive on the job.

Now, I’m not saying that the job needs to change the world. On the contrary! What I’m saying is you need to make a connection between your job and the impact is has.

For example…

I worked with a client who came from a family of dentists and lawyers. She felt incredible pressure to have what she referred to as a “serious” job. However, her real passion in life was make-up. She loved doing her friends’ faces. When I asked her why, she explained the intense joy she felt when she saw their expressions of excitement when they looked in the mirror. In her words, “Each time I feel so much power knowing I made my friend feel better about herself.” That’s when I pointed out to her that this work had deep meaning and purpose to her, which meant she’d be more successful and satisfied working in cosmetics. She took my advice and now is an executive at a make-up company and couldn’t be happier.

2. Will you be using your preferred workplace personas to do the job?

We all have lots of skills and abilities. But, that doesn’t mean we want to use all of them on a daily basis. Understanding how you like to execute tasks and create value for employers is a vital part of the job search process. These are referred to as your “workplace personas” and they are the easiest way to narrow down the type of job you want next.

Let me prove it to you…

If you go to a job board right now and search for open positions with the job title, “Account Manager” you’ll come up with dozens of opportunities. However, as you start to read through them, you’ll see no two are alike. Some companies call salespeople Account Managers. Meanwhile, other companies see that as a customer or vendor support role. Each job would require you to use a different set of skills. If you don’t know the workplace personas you want to leverage, how can you narrow in on the jobs that would suit you?

Create an interview bucket list to help make sense of your criteria.

One of the first exercises I have our clients complete when looking for a new job is an interview bucket list. It’s a list of companies whose products and services you admire. It helps them understand how they feel connected to certain employers so they can map out the two criteria above. When you explore why you’re drawn to a company you reveal key information about yourself that makes defining your criteria easier. Better still, it will actually get you excited about the job search process.

 P.S. – If what I’m explaining makes sense so far, check out my next article which explains how you can Own Your Actions once you decide what type of job you want.

By: J.T. O’Donnell

 

 

Source: Why These 2 Criteria Will Help You Choose Your Next Job More Wisely

898K subscribers
The majority of working people, by their own admission, do not feel fully challenged by their current jobs. If you find yourself in that position, you may want to consider a new career path. It can be scary, but hopefully, with some guidance, that decision will become more within your reach. Discover the 5 Reasons Why Most Don’t Become Wealthy: http://bit.ly/2bd24Re “Selecting your major definite purpose in life is the starting point of personal greatness.” @BrianTracy (Tweet this: http://ctt.ec/Q7YW4) ___________________ Learn more: Subscribe to my channel for free offers, tips and more! YouTube: http://ow.ly/ScHSb Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrianTracyPage Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrianTracy Google+: +BrianTracyOfficialPage Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BrianTracy Instagram: @TheBrianTracy Blog: http://bit.ly/1rc4hlg

Why These 2 Criteria Will Help You Choose Your Next Job More Wisely | Inc.com

So you finally decided to find a new job. After months of contemplating, you’ve come to the realization you’ve hit one of three specific career roadblocks and the only solution is to find a new employer. But, now what? How do you make sure you don’t, as the saying goes, “jump out of the frying pan and ito the fire.” You’re wise to be worried. As a career growth coach, I’ve worked with hundreds of people who left bad jobs only to end up in worse ones. The result is a massive crisis of confidence that’s tough to bounce back from. So, what can you do to minimize the risk of making a bad career move?

The G.L.O.W. Method for career self-improvement

In my first book, I introduced the four-step methodology I use to help people create career satisfaction on their own terms. The G.L.O.W. Method teaches you a simple process you can use throughout your career to drive professional growth.

  1. Gain Perspective = force yourself to look at your situation from a new point of view.
  2. Luminate the Goal = dial-in tightly on a specific result you want to achieve.
  3. Own Your Actions = map out the specific habits you’ll need to succeed.
  4. Work It Daily = set up systems to build those habits consistently.

Let’s look at how that second step can help identify what your next job should be.

Your next job needs to meet 2 criteria…

To Luminate the Goal, you’ve got to shine a bright light on what you want. Getting clear on what a good job means to you is vital. When it comes to building a satisfying career, no two people want the same things. Unfortunately, many job seekers start looking for work based on the wrong criteria. They make a long list things like the ideal salary, benefits, location, etc. While I think those things are important and should eventually be outlined, the real first step in the process is to define your next job based on the following two criteria:

1. Does the job let you work on solving a problem you care about?

Today, we want our jobs to have purpose. When we believe our jobs have meaning, we feel more satisfied and engaged in the work. This leads to greater productivity and success. If you don’t feel the job will let you contribute to something you care about, you’ll struggle to stay motivated and positive on the job.

Now, I’m not saying that the job needs to change the world. On the contrary! What I’m saying is you need to make a connection between your job and the impact is has.

For example…

I worked with a client who came from a family of dentists and lawyers. She felt incredible pressure to have what she referred to as a “serious” job. However, her real passion in life was make-up. She loved doing her friends’ faces. When I asked her why, she explained the intense joy she felt when she saw their expressions of excitement when they looked in the mirror. In her words, “Each time I feel so much power knowing I made my friend feel better about herself.” That’s when I pointed out to her that this work had deep meaning and purpose to her, which meant she’d be more successful and satisfied working in cosmetics. She took my advice and now is an executive at a make-up company and couldn’t be happier.

2. Will you be using your preferred workplace personas to do the job?

We all have lots of skills and abilities. But, that doesn’t mean we want to use all of them on a daily basis. Understanding how you like to execute tasks and create value for employers is a vital part of the job search process. These are referred to as your “workplace personas” and they are the easiest way to narrow down the type of job you want next.

Let me prove it to you…

If you go to a job board right now and search for open positions with the job title, “Account Manager” you’ll come up with dozens of opportunities. However, as you start to read through them, you’ll see no two are alike. Some companies call salespeople Account Managers. Meanwhile, other companies see that as a customer or vendor support role. Each job would require you to use a different set of skills. If you don’t know the workplace personas you want to leverage, how can you narrow in on the jobs that would suit you?

Create an interview bucket list to help make sense of your criteria.

One of the first exercises I have our clients complete when looking for a new job is an interview bucket list. It’s a list of companies whose products and services you admire. It helps them understand how they feel connected to certain employers so they can map out the two criteria above. When you explore why you’re drawn to a company you reveal key information about yourself that makes defining your criteria easier. Better still, it will actually get you excited about the job search process.

 P.S. – If what I’m explaining makes sense so far, check out my next article which explains how you can Own Your Actions once you decide what type of job you want.

By: J.T. O’Donnell

Source: Why These 2 Criteria Will Help You Choose Your Next Job More Wisely | Inc.com

Scott Dinsmore’s mission is to change the world by helping people find what excites them and build a career around the work only they are capable of doing. He is a career change strategist whose demoralizing experience at a Fortune 500 job launched his quest to understand why 80% of adults hate the work they do, and more importantly, to identify what the other 20% were doing differently. His research led to experiences with thousands of employees and entrepreneurs from 158 countries. Scott distilled the results down to his Passionate Work Framework – three surprisingly simple practices for finding and doing work you love, that all happen to be completely within our control. He makes his career tools available free to the public through his community at http://LiveYourLegend.net In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations) This talk was shot shot and edited in stereoscopic 3D by Golden Gate 3D and Area 5. http://gg3d.com http://area5.tv To view in 3D, click here: http://youtu.be/5o1nCKGk5Bs

What Not To Do After A Job Interview

The waiting period after a job interview can be one of the most stressful times. You’ve done everything in your power, now it’s out of your control. All you can do is wait, try to be patient, and do things to keep yourself on track for success. Just like preparing for and going on a job interview, there are things you should and shouldn’t do. Here are five of those things you shouldn’t do after an interview.

Don’t replay the interview over and over.

It’s easy to focus on what you didn’t do well in an interview and rehash those scenarios over and over in your head. This is actually a terrible thing to do. Not only does it put you in a negative frame of mind, it’s also a completely inaccurate view of how the interview went. Your interview could have gone spectacularly overall, but focusing on one or two things you could have done better will cause you to feel like the whole thing was a failure.

Analyze the interview once or twice, highlighting both the good points and the negatives. Make notes of what you’d do again in a future interview and give yourself a couple of pointers on what you’d change. After you’ve done those two things, leave it at that. Going over it more will only cause additional and unnecessary stress.

Don’t harass the hiring manager.

Send your thank you message within 24-48 hours of the interview, then don’t reach out again until the date the hiring manager told you they’d be in touch. Unless you have a very urgent question or something major comes up, there’s no reason for you to contact the hiring manager.

Emailing or calling them and asking for a status update or to let them know you’re still very interested will only harm your chances of getting the job. Hiring managers are inundated with messages already, and they told you when you’d be hearing from them, so respect them by honoring that date. Once it’s a few days past that date you can reach out again.

Don’t stop your job search process or quit your job.

Until you have a signed contract, nothing is official. While you may have given the best interview of your life and the hiring manager was gushing over you, there’s still no guarantee the job is yours. You don’t know if another candidate could come in and be an even better fit for the role, the job could go to someone internally, or a whole myriad of factors could be at play. Until you have that contract in your hands, keep working at your current job and continue your job search efforts.

Don’t post anything about the interview on social media.

It can be tempting to brag about a great interview or to post about how you’re excited for the opportunity and then tag the company or the hiring manager. You don’t know what the company’s social media policy is, so by posting you might actually be violating their standards unknowingly. Play it safe and keep your thoughts private, and brag to your friends and family offline.

Don’t ghost the hiring manager.

If you’ve decided to accept another job offer or if you’ve decided you don’t actually want this job for any reason, send an email to the hiring manager to let them know. Thank them for their time and the opportunity then explain that you’ve chosen to pursue another opportunity. They will be incredibly appreciative of this and they’ll certainly remember your actions. The business world is smaller than you think, so it’s very possible that you’ll cross paths again at some point, so don’t risk burning bridges.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Ashira is a Millennial and Gen Z Engagement expert helping organizations manage, engage, attract, and retain the next generation of talent and bridge the gap between generations. Learn more at www.ashiraprossack.com

Source: What Not To Do After A Job Interview

Three Tools To Find And Fuel Your Purpose At Work

“I just want to quit work and be a bartender!” Sarah blurted at a workshop I was leading. We were talking about career aspirations. When we were done chuckling at her unexpected words, I asked her what she loved about being a bartender. “You mean other than the drinks and tips?” she shot back, recovering nicely.

She paused for a few moments before saying, “I love lending a helpful ear to others.” As we explored further, Sarah discovered she was energized by creating a safe space where others could open up, be heard and feel better. As we dug deeper, she realized that it would be really energizing for her to be an evangelist for creating a culture of psychological safety in her workplace. She started to explore how she could broaden her role in human resources. Until that time, Sarah hadn’t connected the dots of how she can have the “bartender experience” at work.

Like Sarah, many of us dream of quitting our day jobs in search of fulfillment. “What am I even doing here?” many of us ponder, depleted of energy at the end of a very long day. We postpone finding meaningful work until we are just a little bit more financially secure. Maybe we think work is for a paycheck, and we look for fulfillment elsewhere.

This leaves many of us disengaged and costs organizations billions of dollars. Latest Gallup data on U.S. workplaces suggests that nearly 70% of us are not fully engaged at work and 16% are actively disengaged. Perhaps more importantly, our disengagement impacts the people we care about, as many of us drag our depleted selves home.

Beyond personal fulfillment, though, our workplaces need our full engagement, resilience and creativity to solve the toughest challenges of our time. The breakthrough for Sarah (and for each of us looking for fulfillment) came when she dug inside to know herself better. Here are three tools to help you dig deeper, too.

The first tool is your energy map. It helps you take stock of the tasks that energize you and those that deplete you. I use it with my executive coaching clients to help them determine where they should spend their time for optimal effectiveness and to stave off burnout (see below).

 

You can create this map or (download here) and fill this out for yourself. Look at activities based on whether they energize or deplete you and their impact on advancing your goals. The quadrant on the top right is where we should spend much of our time. Consider dumping any activities in the bottom left. I have found that mindfulness helps me to notice my energy throughout the day so try simple mindfulness practices here.

The second tool is your personal purpose statement. There are three steps to do this. First, list stakeholders important to you and ask them the unique value you create for them. This helps you learn how you best serve others. Second, discover the activities where you feel most energized. Third, find the overlap between how you serve others and what you find most energizing.

Your purpose is simply the way in which you serve the world that truly inspires you. For example, my purpose statement is: I connect deeply with others to help them become transformational leaders who make the world better for all. This course has more detailed templates that may be useful to you. Look for opportunities to bring this purpose to life at work and in life.

The third tool is your dream-job definition. Here are three questions to ask yourself:

  • What kind of work activities energize me (see the tool above)?
  • What contribution do I make for others that inspires me?
  • What strengths do I enjoy exercising?

Once you are clear on these answers, find a friend and brainstorm what sets of experiences you’d like to add to your work portfolio. Don’t focus exclusively on the next role in your career path, but rather the experiences or projects (or even volunteer activities) at work that are energizing where you can contribute with skill sets you enjoy exercising.

When you volunteer for a project or take on a stretch assignment that gives you a sense of fulfillment, that positive energy will spill over into your day job. Others will notice your positive contributions. You can even choose to share this insight with your boss, mentors and sponsors inside your organization to align your projects closer to your best contributions.

More and more enlightened organizations are focusing on their own purpose and helping people inside those organizations connect with work that is meaningful for them. Brighthouse, a Boston Consulting Group company, helps organizations excavate their purpose. CEO Ashley Grice talks about how organizations can find purpose and then use it to make an impact. “Purpose has impact emotionally and it has impact financially,” she says. “The bar has gone up a lot in terms of what employees expect from employers in making a difference in the world.”

In fact, institutional investors like Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, are pushing organizations to think long-term about their focus on purpose. As Grice says, the key in actualizing purpose is not just coming up with a great statement (e.g. BCG’s statement is “Unlocking potential to advance the world”), but actually coming up with a set of principles that act like guard rails and help employees bring purpose to life in every day decisions and behaviors. As leaders in organizations large and small, I see it as our responsibility to create workplaces where people can thrive and make their best contributions, so engage others in a purpose conversation.

Now, let’s turn back to the individual level. The poet Mary Oliver asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” The work is ours. The time is now. We all need to be fully engaged in our purpose so we can solve the issues that matter to us.

Ready for the next challenge? Tune in on August 5 for Day 6.

Miss a challenge? Click here for Day 4: Put purpose in perspective.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am the CEO of Transformational Leadership Inc. and the author of “Wired for Authenticity.” I have lived/worked in seven countries across four continents. My clients are purpose-driven C-level leaders in Fortune 500 companies who are passionate about creating transformational impact within and around them. My grandmother used to say that I would be philosopher when I grew up. I would spend hours staring outside the window. Admittedly, this was in Pakistan in the 1970s and there was nothing good on TV. Somewhere along the way to a brilliant career as a philosopher I got lost and went to business school instead. After an MBA from Wharton, I spent 20 years in leadership positions in P&G and Novartis including Region President and global Chief Marketing Officer. I have lived/worked in seven countries across four continents.

Source: Three Tools To Find And Fuel Your Purpose At Work

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