Here is your weekly dose of clarity in the confusing world of career and professional growth.
1 RECENT ARTICLE
I believe that New Year’s Resolutions are overrated. And I used to be the type of person who would obsessively set goals in my personal life. New Years Resolutions were like crack for my self-improvement tendencies.
Noawadays, I write an annual review every December. While it’s still no silver bullet (anyone giving you one is lying), it’s one of my favorite reflection tools.
In this post I share the common objections I hear from people for not doing the exercise, the keystone reason why you should test it out, and four easy steps for putting it into practice.
2 INSIGHTS FROM MY OBSERVATIONS
I. Don’t be afraid to share your enthusiasm with others; it goes a long way to making others feel special.
We recently went on a snorkeling tour in the Galapagos Islands and our guide caught my attention. Out of everyone on our boat, he had the most enthusiastic reaction whenever we encountered a manta ray, turtle, seahorse, or sharks in the water— even though he has probably seen this marine life everyday for years.
Everyone by the end of the tour felt like they were lucky to be a part of something special, partly because of our guide’s contagious excitement.
Imagine if you were to bring this enthusiasm to even your nerdiest interests at work (or your interview). Could you make your colleague or interviewer feel like they were a part of something special? How much more memorable would work be as a result?
II. It’s so easy to go through life without ever deciding on your own measure of success, but everything changes once you do.
Do you know that feeling when the morning fog parts, sunlight strikes your eyes, and there’s a fresh dew scent in the air?
That’s more or less how the first days of spring felt where I grew up in Michigan. It’s also the same feeling I get when I arrive at mental clarity after re-affirming that yes, I’m actually moving towards my own measure of success.
What does “success” mean to you? It’s easy to let your school, your employer, your parents, or Elon Musk tell you what it is.
It’s much harder to decide on your own measure of success. And it is a decision you have to make. Your definition is not just going to bump into you on the street. You have to actively seek it out and grab it by the horns.
3 RESOURCES WORTH VISITING
I. Do You Need a Cover Letter with Your Resume? (CareerSidekick)
This article gives a solid answer to one of my most often-asked questions from job search clients.
Here’s the gist — don’t use a cover letter (and save yourself hours!) unless if 1) you know the name of the person hiring, 2) you know something about the job requirements, 3) you’ve been personally referred.
II. This Is How To Change Someone’s Mind: 6 Secrets From Research (Barking Up the Wrong Tree)
We live in a divisive world and need better tools for navigating our relationships. From dealing with a stubborn co-worker who can’t see the ills of their ways to a family member who clings to their discriminatory beliefs. What’s one to do?
Eric Barker summarizes the strategies he learned from a new book on this very topic, How to Have Impossible Conversations. I particularly like Rapoport’s rules, the unread library effect, and scales.
Ending with a fun one. “The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, reveals that the brain activity patterns of people asked to think about what a mutual friend is like can be remarkably similar to those observed in that friend when they think about themselves.”
I’m curious what patterns we’d find if we applied the same experiment to a group of our colleagues.
As always, thanks for reading.
Career Coach and Writer