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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.

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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

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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.

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Turn Strangers Into Friends With 8 Great Questions From Harvard

“So, what do you do?” “Where do you live?” “How do you know [Name of Host]?” are some of my least favorite kind of questions, because they don’t elicit interesting answers.  If you want to get to know someone, you’ll have to do a lot better than this.

As a coach, I’m paid to ask provocative, probing, powerful questions and in social situations, I often wish strangers would ask some of me. Sadly, they don’t. Mainly because it’s considered rude. However, what I’ve found is that if you’re prepared to risk seeming rude by being the first to ask a provocative question, strangers are usually only too happy to follow suit.

Today In: Leadership

Helpfully, the Harvard Business Review has now published 8 great questions to ask at any kind of networking event. They’ve also written up their findings on how colleagues get on better, enjoy work more, and stay connected for longer if they share common experiences outside of work. Sociologists refer to these connections where there is an overlap of roles or affiliations from a different social context as multiplex ties.

So, next time you’re at a social function or networking event and you feel bored by small-talk but fearful of asking profound questions, you can dive right in, backed up by the knowledge that, far from being inappropriately nosy, you’re on the quest of making multiplex ties. What’s more, you’re endorsed by Harvard. Who knows, instead of simply adding a connection, you may actually make a new friend. And that, says the Harvard Business Review, is the whole point. “Research findings from the world of network science and psychology suggests that we tend to prefer and seek out relationships where there is more than one context for connecting with the other person.”

What excites you right now?  I love this question because the answer can be as intimate as you want to make it. You can share your excitement about your upcoming vacation, your boat, your son’s dance competition or your daughter’s soccer game Or you can talk about a book you’re reading or a profound experience you just had.

What are you looking forward to? Having things to look forward is what brings us joy in life See the article I wrote about the pleasure of planning for Forbes Whether it’s a planned vacation, something in your work-life or a personal milestone you choose to share in itself speaks volumes. Finding out about someone’s anticipated joy is a wonderful way to get to know them better. And if they say they are not looking forward to anything, you may want to take this as a cue to move on.

What’s the best thing that happened to you this year?  A wonderful, fresh, open-ended question, similar in some ways to the previous one, but instead of this being about anticipated joy, this question elicits remembered chapters. Sometimes, with the perspective of hindsight, the most difficult events offer the most growth and learning  So, losing my job or suffering an illness could end up having been the best thing that happened all year.

Where did you grow up?  This question reminds me of the usefulness of the pre-fix “I’m curious…” Essentially, this is asking a stranger to share their life story in as much or little detail as they’re willing. However, you could modify this to “I’m curious, WHEN do you think you grew up?”

What do you do for fun?  Unless you’re asking a painter, a poet, a singer a dancer or the odd entrepreneur, most people’s work is not what brings them the most fun. So, this question takes your interlocutor right onto the ski slopes, the golf course, the beaches or oceans where they have the best times.

Who is your favorite superhero? I’m sure that much insight could be gained by understanding the distinctions between a Batman lover and a Wonder Woman aficionado. However, I have a confession: I don’t have a favorite superhero, because I don’t watch superhero movies. To that end, you could, if you wish, modify it to, who is your favorite fictional character  Read my piece for Forbes on Crew mates

Is there a charitable cause you support?  You could tailor this to If you could pick one charitable cause to support, which one would it be? This is a question that will help you understand immediately what they care most about, what their values are. And you’re sure to have some shared affinities.

What’s the most important thing I should know about you? OK This is a big one, and not everyone will feel up to asking (or answering) it. As with all of the questions, the best place to start is with your own answer. If you feel stuck, don’t ask it. However, many people are longing to tell you that they have a hidden side (or hidden qualities) which their appearance or manner belies.

Since I started playing with these questions, I’ve met a Police Chief who told me her 9-year-old daughter frequently reduces her to tears;  a corporate raider who confessed that his favorite fictional character is Mowgli from The Jungle Book and a Catholic priest who does Zumba dancing for fun.  I’ve found I have surprising things in common with people who I’ve only just met.

Check out my youtube channel

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

I coach leaders to play the game of life with purpose, grace, and ease. I specialize in sectors fueled by innovation and creativity, including Arts and Culture, media, television, film, fashion and advertising. My clients include directors of national arts organizations, worldwide ad agencies and a wide range of entrepreneurs. Before training as a coach, I launched my first TV Production company out of my bedroom and sold it eight years later to the world’s largest production company. I have served the creative board of Endemol UK and later the board of ITV Studios where I was the director of Formats I have been a special advisor to TF1, France’s leading commercial broadcaster. I have led creative forums for Cap Gemini University in Les Fontaine and have worked with the London Business School on their programmer for Entrepreneurs. I have created, produced and sold dozens of the world’s most groundbreaking, successful reality TV shows. Often the TV shows I have produced have been about exploring the edges of society. I have twice been ranked in the top twenty most influential gay people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday and have been featured in the New York Times, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, Drum, Broadcast, The Hollywood Reporter, Monocle. I first certified first as a counselor (Institute of Counseling) then as a grief counselor before completing the core curriculum at Landmark Education and subsequently working intensely with three of the world’s pre-eminent leadership coaches. I am qualified as a co-active coach from CTI, the Coaches Training Institute, which is the world’s oldest coach training body.

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Source: Turn Strangers Into Friends With 8 Great Questions From Harvard

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In this fascinating session from Summit LA18, famed relationship therapist and bestselling author Esther Perel digs into the three hidden dynamics governing every relationship, explores the self-imprisoning paradox of social media, and lays out why certainty is always the enemy of change. Interested in attending Summit events? Apply at summit.co/apply Connect with Summit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMGl… http://www.summit.co http://www.instagram.com/summit http://fb.com/summit https://twitter.com/summit

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 Your Junior Employees Clam Up During Meetings–and How to Get Them to Participate

Note: Inc.’s Ask a 20-Something series offers sage advice for navigating all manner of workplace issues, from the perspective of a young employee.

Q: No one likes meetings, but some are necessary. What can I do to make them more tolerable to young staffers?

A: All right. There are a lot of different strategies out there for “fixing” meetings: do them standing (or walking, or even running), nix PowerPoints, institute hard time caps, make them optional, encourage employees to leave if they’re bored, and many more.

I think they’re all ridiculous.

Not because they’re bad suggestions. It’s just a silly premise, to begin with. “No one likes meetings” isn’t true. More accurate: No one likes boring meetings that don’t apply to them.

Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy the majority of meetings I’m in. Team meetings to discuss specific issues? Those affect my day-to-day work, and are worth my attention. All-staff meetings? Rare chances to make my face and voice known to senior leadership (which have directly led to career opportunities). One-on-one meetings with my boss? I’m definitely paying attention, even if my heart rate sometimes spikes.

The boring ones, for me, are the ones that have absolutely nothing to do with me. How egotistical, right? Imagine sitting through yet another meeting that won’t teach you anything new or let you share your thoughts and opinions. Or, the topic is so unrelated to your interests–whether professional or personal–that you can’t even form any relevant thoughts or opinions.

And inevitably, if it’s a two-hour meeting, I end up staying in the office two hours later than usual to get my normal work done. Now I’m feeling both annoyed–probably at you, the person who made me attend this meeting–and unproductive. That’s time I’m never getting back. Ugh.

That’s backed up by research. In a 2017 study published in the Harvard Business Review, more than half of senior managers surveyed said their meetings regularly wasted the time of both the group and each individual involved. Heck, 65 percent of them said meetings kept them from completing their own work.

Now, to be fair, I’m pretty talkative. I’ve been known to have some strong opinions on most topics. You may have employees who are a little more hesitant to speak up.

Your key to encouraging their participation: Regulate the number of participants. Speaking in front of a whole room full of people, especially when that room features your boss (and your boss’s boss), can be really intimidating. Having a candid conversation when there are only three or four other people present–even including your boss’s boss–is much easier.

If you need shy employees to speak up at larger meetings, speak with them about it in advance. Help them prepare. Few people enjoy being put on the spot.

So, to revisit your initial question, here’s a two-question litmus test for every meeting:

  1. Will this meeting help these employees do their jobs or grow their careers?

  2. Are these employees likely to actively participate?

If the answer to either question is yes, invite them. If both answers are no, don’t. Instead, consider a third question: Is this meeting worth holding at all?

To submit a question for Ask a 20-Something, email calbertdeitch@inc.com. Your query could be featured in a future installment.

By: Cameron Albert-Deitch

Source: Why Your Junior Employees Clam Up During Meetings–and How to Get Them to Participate | Inc.com

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“Meetings do take work and meetings are actually an a really important team building tool yet they are never treated as such and therefore they become in fact complete energy sucks ” – Claire Hughes Johnson, COO of Stripe, on Running an Effective Staff Meeting at our KV Summit.

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

Ten Things Never, Ever To Do Unless You’re Getting Paid

Dear Liz,

I read your columns, but I still struggle to take your advice.

I left my job in December because they cut my hours.

My boss’s boss reached out to me in January and asked me if I wanted him to introduce me to a guy he knows who has a company here in town.

I said, sure! I was flattered. I got a call from the guy who owns the company, “Martin,” the next day.

Martin wanted to have coffee and talk about his need for a new project manager in his company.

We had coffee. It was a great meeting. We were at the coffee shop for two hours. When we left the coffee shop, Martin said, “Let’s try to put something together next week.”

I sent Martin a thank-you email message right away. Three days later, I heard from his admin “Becky.” She asked me to come to the office the following day. I did.

That was a three-hour meeting with Martin and two of his Project Managers. It was another great meeting. I asked Martin, “Is this a full-time position, or a contract?” and Martin said they weren’t sure yet.

A week went by. I heard from Becky. They said they wanted me to come in and work for half a day. I wrote back to ask, “How does that work in terms of your payroll?”

Becky said, “I don’t know. Just come in on Friday and we’ll figure it out.”

I did. I worked a half day last Friday. There was a planning meeting and I sat in on that, I asked good questions and everybody seemed to be glad I was there.

Around 10:30 in the morning I asked Becky, “How will I get paid for today’s work?” She said, “Let me find out.” She disappeared. After 45 minutes she came back and said, “We’ll pay you for this half day once you’re on the payroll.”

That was two weeks ago. I haven’t heard a word from the company since then.

I’ve left email and voicemail messages. I just got a voicemail message ten minutes ago from Becky. She said they want me to come back next week and work on a “small project.” When will these people hire me? Or are they just stringing me along? What should I do?

Also, Liz, what steps did I miss? I feel that I should have been more assertive, but how?

Thanks!

Malinda

Dear Malinda,

When Becky said she wasn’t sure how you would get paid for your half day of work on Friday, your next step was to ask her to figure that out and get back to you (in writing).

You can’t agree to take a consulting engagement before you’ve settled on the business terms.

You cannot agree to work for free again and let them pay you “once you’re on the payroll.” What if you never get on the payroll?

Now you have a new opportunity to straighten things out. You can call Martin directly, and tell him that you were happy to jump in two weeks ago and participate in the planning meeting. Tell him that you’re looking forward to firming things up so you can come back again next week.

You cannot go back in there without a job offer or a legal contract. Right now, you are working for free. Don’t dig an even deeper hole for yourself (and lower your perceived value) by working for free again!

Here are 10 things never, ever to do for free:

1. Sit in a staff meeting or show up at work like a person who is employed by the company. If they want you to do that, they can either hire you onto the payroll or hire you as a one-day or half-day consultant at an agreed-upon rate.

2. Create a marketing plan, website copy or any other type of deliverable just because you’re a nice person. I understand that you may have to donate some work time to let them see how smart you are. Limit that donation to one hour of your time. No marketing plan ever took just an hour to write!

3. Interview candidates or sit in on interviews.

4. Visit clients or prospective clients, work the booth at a trade show or participate in a virtual client meeting.

5. Travel on behalf of the company.

6. Develop a training program, Power Point presentation (beyond the one-hour limit) or otherwise teach what you know. They may never hire you or anyone else. They may schedule a whole week of dog-and-pony shows just to get free ideas from job candidates.

7. Interview more than three times.

8. Solve the company’s biggest problem in detail. If they ask you do this, tell them, “I’d love to dive into that project if you’re ready to formalize our relationship with an offer letter or consulting agreement.” Tell them how you would step into the project — not what your conclusions are likely to be.

9. Give up your personal contacts.

10. Take phone calls from your hiring manager or others in the company who simply want to pick your brain. Politely guide them back to the topic at hand, which is the current job opening they are interviewing you for (and the status of your candidacy).

Here’s a script to guide you:

RRRRRRING!

You: Malinda Smith!

Them: Hi, Malinda! This is Greg from Itchy Systems. We met last week. I wanted to talk with you for just a minute about your thoughts on a client issue, if you have a second.

You: Hi, Greg! That sounds great. Listen, where are we in the recruiting pipeline? I’ve lost track. Is there an offer letter on its way to me? I’d love to help you, of course. If we’re coworkers, then we’re in great shape.

Them: I, uh, umm, I don’t know. I think you still have to meet with a few more people here.

You: Oh, OK — thanks for that info! That sounds good. I’ll wait to hear from HR in that case. Maybe you and I can talk once that’s all settled.

Them: I just need a little of your time now —

You: I understand Greg and I’d love to talk, but it’s not appropriate — I don’t work for the company yet. Maybe there are wires crossed somewhere or the process is just winding its way through. If you want to find out and have somebody contact me, I could even call you back once everything is official.

Them: Er — OK.

Nobody ever got a great job by hoping against hope that the company would do the right thing while keeping their mouth shut and tolerating every type of disrespect thrown at them.

The only way you will clarify whether they really need you or whether they’re just taking advantage of you is to call them on it. Set a boundary. You are a professional. It’s time to speak up!

Mother Nature desperately wants you to learn this lesson now. You’re ready for it. Go ahead and take the next step!

Yours,

Liz

Follow me on LinkedIn.

I was a Fortune 500 HR SVP for 10 million years, but I was an opera singer before I ever heard the term HR. The higher I got in the corporate world, the more operatic the action became. I started writing about the workplace for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1997. Now I write for LinkedIn and Forbes.com and lead the worldwide Human Workplace movement to reinvent work for people. My book Reinvention Roadmap: Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want and Career You Deserve is here: amzn.to/2gK7BR7

Source: Ten Things Never, Ever To Do — Unless You’re Getting Paid

https://www.sbmoneytips.com/

If Your Work Lacks Purpose, Make It More Meaningful Through Job Crafting

We spend the vast majority of our waking hours at work. Given just how much time, energy and effort we expend in our jobs, it’s reasonable to want to hold one that offers us a sense of purpose and meaning.

You should strive to pursue a job or career that offers the chance to be challenged. Pursue work that is meaningful, intellectually challenging and spiritually rewarding. Find a job that enables you to help others, promotes positive change and serves a higher purpose. You want to ensure that your work is aligned with your core values and principles and could possibly make the world a better place.

I understand that these are lofty, aspirational goals. It is rare to find work that offers a sense of purpose. In fact, it’s more likely that your job won’t offer intrinsic, meaningful rewards. You may enjoy the fact that your job is associated with a social status that people find impressive or that it helps you earn a nice living, but somehow, you still feel that something is missing.

If you feel that there is a lack of purpose in your career, you can choose to make a change.

This change does not require you to seek out an entirely new role at a different company, especially given the current job climate. Although the U.S. has record-high employment, the trends that we are seeing play out in hiring now are not conducive to favorable outcomes for prospective job seekers. In fact, badly mistreating job seekers has become commonplace 

Instead of taking grave risks by walking away from your current employer, you can simply make waves by crafting your job to find optimal meaningfulness—the degree of significance an employee believes their work possesses. Job crafting is the process of redefining and reimagining your job design—tasks and relationships assigned to one person in an organization—to foster job satisfaction and bolster employee engagement and performance.

As you aim to redefine your purpose within the company, you should focus on your motives, strengths and passions to help you get there. What energizes you? What exhausts you? To add personal touches to your work, visualize your job, lay out its components and reframe them to better suit you.

You can start your journey with small incremental changes that add up over time. Here is what you should do now to start.

1. Recognize that, with any job, there will be monotonous unglamorous tasks. Even the CEO has to deal with canceled flights, late Ubers and surly underlings.

2. Accept that there will always be a certain percentage of responsibilities that may not change and focus on the things that you do have the power to change.

3. Ask to speak with your boss to discuss your goal of  job crafting, with respect to your responsibilities.

4. Work with your manager to create new responsibilities that provide you with purpose and meaning. Take proactive steps to redesign elements of what you do at work. For example:

  • If you are an accountant, you could suggest starting a unit that caters to charitable organizations.
  • If you are an attorney, you could request to do pro bono work to help immigrants.
  • If you are a stock broker, you could offer discounted advice to parents with college-bound students.

5. Offer to mentor junior staffers, or seek out a manager-level role to unlock your untapped potential.

6. Ask to attend meet-ups for people who are unemployed or seeking work, as you could offer career advice—or maybe you have a job for them.

7. Change your mindset regarding your responsibilities. If you are a janitor at a hospital, for example, try and see yourself in playing a role in curing people’s illnesses.

8. Delegate certain responsibilities that don’t fit your skill set and rob you of your enthusiasm, and ask for assignments that you feel are a better match.

9. If you are at a desk all day long and desire interaction with others, ask about opportunities to get out in front of clients.

10. If you feel overloaded with small tasks that take you away from the more important matters you enjoy, request to shift this work to a more junior-level staffer. You may have mastered your job and require more challenging assignments.

Companies stand to gain a lot by enabling job crafting within an organization. Employees are empowered by being awarded the reins to steer their own careers. Job crafting ensures employee retention and will elevate even the weakest of links by molding tasks to their strengths and passions.

Employees who execute job crafting often end up more engaged and fulfilled in their work lives, achieve higher levels of performance in their companies and obtain unrivaled personal gratification.

You will be viewed in a positive light—seen as engaged, re-energized, loyal and dedicated. Your boss will respect your desire to pursue new meaningful work. In a hot job market, management will welcome a person who desires to stay with the company and improve themselves. You could serve as an example for others to follow, thereby making additional employees feel empowered and dedicated to the company.

Ready for the next challenge? Tune in on August 7 for Day 8.

Miss a challenge? Click here for Day 6: Understand how you fit.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.

Source: If Your Work Lacks Purpose, Make It More Meaningful Through Job Crafting

If You Understand How You Fit, You’re Five Times More Likely To Be Inspired At Work

Few work experiences are as demoralizing as not knowing how your work fits into your company’s larger strategy or goals. It’s hard to thrive when the day-to-day feels meaningless, and I’ve got the data to prove it.

My firm recently conducted a study of 13,771 employees and asked them whether their bosses have explained how their work fits into the department or organization’s strategy or goals. As you can see, a paltry 21% of bosses are “always” connecting their employees’ work to some larger strategy or goal.

But there’s an even bigger twist: We also discovered that people whose bosses “always” tie their work to a larger strategy are nearly five times more likely to be inspired at work than those whose bosses “never” does.

While it might be momentarily satisfying to blame all the bosses for not doing a better job at connecting employees’ work to something bigger, the truth is that individual employees also have some responsibility.

In this same study, we asked people to rate the statement: “When I get an assignment, I find out how it fits into our organization’s strategy and goals.” And here again, we found that a minuscule 18% are “always” taking the extra step to find out for themselves how their work fits into their organizations’ goals.

But as you might expect, the people who do take that extra step are 5.7 times more likely to be inspired at work than those who “never” do.

If we want to enjoy and succeed at our jobs, the implication of this study seems obvious—we’ve got to proactively learn how our work fits into our organizations’ strategies and goals. This is accomplished with a four-part conversation, which, when done right, can also teach your boss how to share this information in the future without being asked.

But a word of caution before I give you the script: This conversation cannot feel like an attack on, or an end-run around, your boss. If your boss suspects that you’re looking for ways to usurp or chastise them for poor leadership, they’re likely to respond defensively (or worse).

There’s also a chance that your boss may not always know how your work ties into a larger strategy (your boss may actually feel in-the-dark about his or her own work). So always approach this conversation with caring, genuine curiosity and the mindset that you may not get every question answered.

Here’s the four-part script for talking to your boss about how your work connects to the organization’s (or department’s) larger strategy or goals.

Step 1: Find an agreeable time to have deep conversation by asking your boss, “Would you be willing to have a conversation with me about this new assignment? I find it really interesting and I’d love to learn more.”

It’s always a good idea to start the conversation by asking permission (i.e. “would you be willing”). Your boss will be instantly disarmed because you’ve made it clear that you’re approaching the conversation as an opportunity to learn, not to accuse. Additionally, the phrase “I find it really interesting” alleviates a common and understandable fear among bosses that employees only want face-time in order to gripe about something.

Step 2: Having opened the conversation, now say, “I appreciate you taking the time to give me your advice and thoughts on this project because I’d love to learn more about it and I really want to knock it out-of-the-park. So the first thing I’m curious about is whether there was some kind of strategic initiative or goal that sparked the need for this project?”

It’s important to reinforce your genuine interest and curiosity in the project before you ask about the impetus for the project. Don’t skip this step unless you have a sufficiently deep relationship with your boss that allows you to approach this conversation more forcefully. In general, it’s better to err on the side of tact and caution in these conversations.

Step 3: Ask, “Is there anything you’d like me to know about how this will get used (or incorporated into a larger project or initiative)?”

You don’t want to come right out and demand to know what the boss really intends to do with your work on this project. While there are certainly bosses who will appropriate employee work as their own, it’s awfully accusatory for a conversation like this. Instead, give them the choice to share or not share. This actually increases the odds that they will share, telling you a great deal about how this project connects to larger strategic initiatives.

Step 4: Finally, ask “Do you envision more projects like this coming in the future?”

If this is the only project of its kind, there’s a good chance there isn’t a grand strategy or goal underneath. But if this is just one of many similar projects, that’s a big clue as to the shape of your organization’s larger strategy and goals.

You probably noticed that this conversation is focused on specific assignments, rather than on your job as a whole. The reason for that is simple: If you directly ask your boss “How does my job fit into the company’s larger strategy?” there’s a very good chance you won’t get a coherent answer. That’s a big, abstract question, and most leaders won’t have a prepared response.

Instead, by gently probing for information about your current or latest project, you’re can tease out and piece together how your work connects to a larger strategy.

You may have to conduct this conversation a few times to fully glean how your work relates to a bigger strategy. But with enough repetition, you’ll typically find that your boss will start to proactively offer these insights.

Ready for the next challenge? Tune in on August 6 for Day 7.

Miss a challenge? Click here for Day 5: Take stock of your days.

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

I’m the founder of www.LeadershipIQ.com, a New York Times bestselling author and I teach the leadership course What Great Managers Do Differently I am the author of five books, including “Hundred Percenters: Challenge Your People to Give It Their All and They’ll Give You Even More.” Some of my research studies include “Are SMART Goals Dumb?,” “Why CEO’s Get Fired,” “Why New Hires Fail,” “High Performers Can Be Less Engaged,” and “Don’t Expect Layoff Survivors to Be Grateful.” I’ve lectured at The United Nations, Harvard Business School, Microsoft, Merck, MasterCard, Charles Schwab and Aflac, among others.

Source: If You Understand How You Fit, You’re Five Times More Likely To Be Inspired At Work

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

5 Career Paths That Are Perfect For Introverts

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“Everyone shines. Given the right type of lighting.”- Susan Cain

You walk into a networking event, or a team meeting and head straight to the back row. From here, you can observe everything uninterrupted. And when called upon, you cringe inside before you smile and speak.

If this sounds close to home, you are likely introverted.

Introverts makeup 16-50% of the population and find energy from being alone. You consider yourself more of a wallflower than a social butterfly.

And hey, that is okay!

You have a set of skills that are quite unique and can be used well in certain industries. You are likely independent, creative, a good listener and have a strong ability to stay focused. On top of that, introverts brains are wired differently and have a lower threshold for dopamine, this means, it takes less stimulation to feel a sense of reward, joy and euphoria.

But in the working world where collaboration and open office environments are on the rise, you likely struggle to find a role that fits for you. Here are five career paths to consider when on the hunt for an introvert-friendly job.

1. Lab Technician

With strong attention to detail and open-mindedness, introverts make great detectives. If you prefer the behind the scenes action, a forensic science technician is a good career to investigate…no pun intended.

You collect and analyze evidence in a laboratory setting and on occasion may travel based on the crime. This job does require a bachelors in a science related field but will be well worth it if you enjoy the daily tasks.

If going back to school isn’t in the stars for you, a lab technician is a great fit. You will stay behind the scenes in work to diagnose patients and the majority of your day will be spent in a lab environment running tests on samples.

2. Creative Artist

Do you have an eye for photography, an ear for music or knack at crafting? You can capitalize on these creative skill sets and build out your own business. The options here are quite broad, as you can work either independently as a freelancer, start your own company or contract your services out to larger organizations.

If you have a creative skill set, begin to search online for jobs that match what you can offer. As a photographer, you can cover anything from stock photos to real estate photography and corporate events. If you enjoy building installations look for events such as store openings, weddings or special events that require a creative eye.

3. Writer

Introverts usually enjoy solitude and time with their thoughts, and a writer will channel these thoughts into a creative storyline. Consider creative writing, ghostwriting or copywriting career paths, all of which lend well to your independent mind and require a great deal of detail and focus.

If you come from a very technical background in a niche field, technical writing may be a great opportunity to break into the writing world. A technical writer will conduct research on a specific area and then produce documentation in the form of manuals or supporting documents for products or services.

You can begin by joining freelance platforms such as UpWork or Copify to offer your writing services for a broad range of clients and from here build out a business of your own.

4. Accountant

Through the use of strong math and organizational skills, an accountant will spend the majority of the day working with numbers, not people.  You can work for a corporation or open your own accounting firm where you decide who to work with.

In order to become an accountant, you will need a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field. If you aim to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)  you will need to pass the certification process. This is a strong career choice if you are looking for the long haul since jobs in accounting are projected to grow 10% by 2026, which is more than any other job available.

5. Animal Care Giver or Veterinarian

You might not enjoy spending time with large groups of people, but you may enjoy spending time with animals. An animal care manager or vet will spend the majority of their time working with animals in zoos, shelters, clinics or animal sanctuaries. Here they will diagnose, train and examine animals.

If the thought of student loan debt to become a veterinarian is overwhelming, research states that offer student loan forgiveness for veterinarians, as locations with vet shortages are likely to offer this plan.

Understand your skill sets and seek jobs that cater to what you do best. Once you step into a career that fits your mold you will be surprised to find how quickly you excel.

The next time you cuddle up on the couch when you avoid going out to a loud and rowdy party, check out the TED talk by Susan Cain The Power of Introverts for some introverted inspiration.

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

I’m a career coach who helps job seekers via online programs and one-on-one coaching in finding their purpose, landing more job offers and launching their dream business

Source: 5 Career Paths That Are Perfect For Introverts

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