27 Oct. 2017 | Comments (0)
Simple Ways to Spot Unknown Unknowns
Leaders face complex and uncertain situations every day: What will sales be like next year? Will our new product succeed? What will the competition do? But the most challenging circumstances are often completely unexpected, because we never even knew to look for them. (In the parlance of Donald Rumsfeld, the former U.S. secretary of defense, they’re the unknown unknowns).
24 Oct. 2017 | Comments (0)
Why You Should Charge Clients More Than You Think You’re Worth
One of the most challenging decisions freelancers, solopreneurs, and independent consultants face is how much to charge for their time and expertise. What if people complain that you’re overpriced — or, even worse, walk away from a deal with you entirely? But the answer isn’t swinging to the other extreme and asking a fee so modest you’ll ultimately resent it.
04 Oct. 2017 | Comments (0)
Thinking About a “Work from Anywhere” Arrangement? Ask These Questions First
Overworked professionals have always dreamed of escaping to a quiet beach. But ever since Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek stormed the best-seller charts a decade ago, the fantasy has shifted. Instead of sipping tiki drinks and sunbathing, the new dream is to work from the beach.
15 Sep. 2017 | Comments (0)
Learning How to Collaborate When You’re Self-Employed
When you work for a corporation, you often find yourself collaborating with others as part of your job — when you’re assigned to a new project team, for instance. But when you’re self-employed, collaboration becomes a choice. Working closely with others can open up new opportunities for success and personal fulfillment, but when done wrong, it can damage your relationships and your reputation. Here are five questions to ask yourself in order to determine when collaboration is worthwhile.
08 Aug. 2017 | Comments (0)
3 Small Things Every Person Can Do to Reduce Stress in Their Office
In a world of tight deadlines, it’s no wonder that some of your stress might seep out and affect your colleagues. But — because they’re under pressures of their own — you risk perpetuating a vicious circle, where you mirror and magnify each other’s frenzy. You can’t control their behavior, but you can take charge of your own.
10 Jul. 2017 | Comments (0)
How to Become a Coach or Consultant After You Retire
How can you differentiate yourself in a crowded field filled with your high-level peers (54% of coaches are age 50+)? Here are five things to keep in mind if you’d like to become a consultant or coach after you retire.
15 Jun. 2017 | Comments (0)
Change Your Career Without Having to Start All Over Again
Many experienced professionals would like to make a career transition. But the thought of giving up their hard-earned seniority and starting again at the bottom is simply too demoralizing, so they stay — sometimes unhappily — in place. But as I discovered in researching my book Reinventing You, there are ways you can shift jobs or even careers without giving up your professional status.
11 Jan. 2017 | Comments (0)
How Successful People Network with Each Other
As you advance in your career, you have more experience and more connections to draw on for networking. But chances are you’ve also become a lot busier — as have the really successful people you’re now trying to meet. How do you get the attention of people who get dozens of invitations per week and hundreds of emails per day? And how do you find time to network with potential new clients or to recruit new employees when your calendar is packed?
22 Nov. 2016 | Comments (0)
A Checklist for More Persuasive Presentations
We all know the basics of good presentation skills: don’t read from a script; don’t overwhelm your audience with verbose slides; and the like. But for a particular kind of high-stakes presentation — one in which you’re trying to get buy-in from key decision-makers — those basics aren’t enough.
07 Sep. 2016 | Comments (0)
Change Your Career Without Having to Start All Over Again
Many experienced professionals would like to make a career transition. But the thought of giving up their hard-earned seniority and starting again at the bottom is simply too demoralizing, so they stay — sometimes unhappily — in place.
13 May. 2016 | Comments (0)
Planning Your Post-Retirement Career
Retiring to go play golf in Florida isn’t the draw it used to be. In a 2014 Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey, 72% of employees over age 50 reported that they’d like to continue working in retirement. Partly that’s a response to the Great Recession and a need to compensate for diminished savings; a Conference Board study showed that in the past eight years, nearly two-thirds of 45-60 year-olds experienced a 20% or greater decline in their assets.
18 Jun. 2015 | Comments (0)
Find the Career Coach Who’s Right for You
When you’re in the midst of a mid-career crisis or professional reinvention, the right career coach can be a lifesaver, helping you identify potential future directions and the path to reach them. But how do you find the right one?
06 Mar. 2015 | Comments (0)
Help Your Employees Be Themselves at Work
How can managers create workplace environments where people feel comfortable being themselves? Research has shown that hiding our true identities can cripple professional performance.
23 Jan. 2015 | Comments (0)
How to Change Your Name and Keep Your Professional Identity
Studies have shown that the more professionally established the bride, the more likely she is to retain her own name. One typical example is journalist Julie Donnelly, who told me that because she’d written under that name for more than a decade.
05 Dec. 2014 | Comments (0)
Networking for Introverts
I’ve come to realize that networking is downright enjoyable when you match it to your strengths and interests, rather than forcing yourself to attend what the business world presents as archetypal “networking events.” Here’s how I’ve embraced networking in my own way.
08 Sep. 2014 | Comments (0)
How to Repair a Damaged Professional Relationship
When conflict happens, many of us try to disengage — to avoid the person around the office, or limit our exposure to them. But if it’s your boss or a teammate, ignoring them is a losing strategy. Here’s how to buck up and repair a professional relationship that’s gone off the rails.
06 Jun. 2014 | Comments (0)
How to Adapt to American-Style Self-Promotion
Imagine you’re at a networking event in the United States and you hear your colleague make the following statement to a potential employer: “… Before doing my MBA, I worked at Bain Consulting and then prior to that was an officer in the army…”
27 May. 2014 | Comments (0)
Self-Promotion for Professionals from Countries Where Bragging Is Bad
Almost every culture has its own metaphor about what happens to people who are judged by their peers to be overreaching. In the U.S., known for its embrace of assertive self-confidence, it’s a different story, however.
23 Apr. 2014 | Comments (0)
Take a Step Back to Propel Your Career Forward
For my first real job after graduate school, I earned $26,000 a year as a full-time reporter. It wasn’t a handsome salary — in fact, I could barely live on it — but I was getting paid to write. That’s more than I can say about how I spend much of my time these days.
11 Apr. 2014 | Comments (0)
Three Mistakes to Avoid When Networking
We all know networking has the potential to dramatically enhance our careers; making new connections can introduce us to valuable new information, job opportunities, and more. But despite that fact, many of us are doing it wrong.
27 Mar. 2014 | Comments (0)
Your Weakness May Be Your Competitive Advantage
Midway through the workshop I was teaching on professional reinvention, I gave participants an assignment: create a narrative citing your professional strengths. After the break, a woman named Alison raised her hand.
07 Mar. 2014 | Comments (0)
Why Can’t We Stop Working?
I hadn’t seen Jim in two years. When we reconnected recently, I was shocked. The handsome, dapper professional I knew had gained 30 pounds and started smoking. Bursting with nervous energy, he told me about his business travails.
30 Jan. 2014 | Comments (0)
How to Reinvent Yourself After 50
I was manning a booth at the Harvard Club of New York’s authors’ night when an older woman approached and picked up a copy of my book, Reinventing You. She paged through it for a moment, then put it down. “Too late for me,” she said abruptly, and walked away.
11 Oct. 2013 | Comments (0)
Personal Branding for Introverts
I had just finished a talk at a leading technology company when an engineer approached me. “I liked your ideas about personal branding, and I can see how they’d work,” he told me. “But most of them aren’t for me — I’m an introvert. Is there anything I can do?” What he didn’t realize is that (like an estimated one-third to one-half of the population) I’m one, too.
24 Sep. 2013 | Comments (0)
Don’t Let Them Underestimate You
We all hope our resume and experiences will speak for themselves. But a friend of mine — a 40 year-old former special agent and combat veteran — recently emailed me about a persistent problem. “When I contact leaders in my industry, they almost always agree to talk,” he told me. “But some have been treating me as if I were an undergrad.”
24 Jul. 2013 | Comments (0)
Discover Your Personal Narrative
"Message development" is a process I'm certainly familiar with. But I don't think a top-down process is generally the best way for executives — or candidates, for that matter — to determine what they really stand for.
15 Jul. 2013 | Comments (0)
The Smartest Leaders Make Their Own Opportunities
We all know no one posts the best jobs. What I learned again and again is that the smartest, savviest professionals don't wait for a posting to appear. They make their own opportunities, and get rewarded handsomely for it.
19 Jun. 2013 | Comments (0)
How to Get Others to See Your Potential
These days, we all have thousands of Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections; it's just not realistic to keep up with everyone's latest developments. So how do you get other people to realize, and remember, what you're doing now — and grasp what you're truly capable of?
10 Jun. 2013 | Comments (0)
How to Brand a Useless Degree
The truth is, your subject matter knowledge may be irrelevant to anything going on in the business world today. Expert in ancient Roman politics? Biblical exegesis? South American literature? Anyone will want you at their dinner party — but maybe not working at their company. That's why you need to emphasize your skills, not your content expertise.
28 May. 2013 | Comments (0)
Land an Interview with a Cold Call
I'm a consultant — an expensive, trust-based business. I've never even bothered to cold call potential clients. But in the course of researching my new book, Reinventing You, I gained a newfound understanding of its merits.
22 May. 2013 | Comments (0)
How to Explain Your Career Transition
The most important step in getting others onboard with your career transition is crafting a compelling narrative. It's a tool often overlooked by "professional reinventers," but it can be a critical determinant of success in winning others' support for your professional goals and vision for the future.
02 May. 2013 | Comments (0)
You're Probably Wrong About How Others Really See You
You may think you already know how others view you — as a skilled communicator, or an incisive numbers guy, or a manager who always brings out the best in her team. But then again, you might be surprised.
30 Apr. 2013 | Comments (0)
Grad School May Not Be the Best Way to Spend $100,000
In a world where the value of even a college education is coming under increased scrutiny (see Andrew McAfee's recent HBR post, Michael Ellsberg's book The Education of Millionaires, and entrepreneur Peter Thiel's controversial fellowship that pays a cadre of teenage overachievers to skip college), it's worth asking: what about grad school?
07 Jan. 2013 | Comments (0)
Social Media Is Making You a Smarter Leader
Any tool is only as good as the person operating it. Of course you can fritter away time on Facebook, or descend into a rabbit hole of clicking Wikipedia links. But I'm convinced the very structure of social media — the skills it requires — is prompting us to develop valuable leadership strengths.
20 Dec. 2012 | Comments (0)
Build Your Reputation the Rachael Ray Way
Broad public exposure won't do you much good if your ideas and skills aren't sharp. In fact, it would probably be harmful for you to be under the searing klieg lights too early in your professional trajectory. You need a period of time to hone your skills without public scrutiny.
22 Nov. 2012 | Comments (0)
What You Can Learn from Your Professional Rivals
Professional rivalries often seem like the ultimate waste of time. Why is she spending so much time worrying about what someone else is doing? Why doesn't she focus on her own business? Doesn't she have anything better to do? It's true that obsessing about a competitor isn't the healthiest long-term activity
29 Oct. 2012 | Comments (0)
The Truth Behind the 4-Hour Workweek Fantasy
In a frenetic, overscheduled world, the fastest path to success is promising the masses a way out. It worked for Tim Ferriss, whose book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich became a worldwide blockbuster, and it's a winning formula for a bevy of globe-trotting pundits who muse about visiting Benedictine monasteries and rocket to the top of The New York Times' "most emailed."
10 Oct. 2012 | Comments (0)
Are You Hurting Your Own Cause?
Even if your certitude is warranted, you may want to think twice before applying more pressure or turning up the volume: it's remarkably easy to hurt your own cause. Here are five traps even the best of us can fall into.
23 Aug. 2012 | Comments (0)
Paul Ryan, and Mitt Romney's Rebranding Challenge
've watched Mitt Romney's branding (and rebranding) up close for more than a decade, since I was the Press Secretary for one of his rivals, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, in the 2002 race for Massachusetts governor. During the race, we — like Romney's presidential rivals this year — blasted him as an untrustworthy flip-flopper, though the context back then was whether Romney was as liberal as he claimed to be. I strongly doubted it.
08 Aug. 2012 | Comments (0)
Marissa Mayer Is the Right Kind of Game-Changer
Is Marissa Mayer's appointment a savvy move, or the last way-station on the road to irrelevance for Yahoo? As a marketing strategist who's worked on turnarounds for both businesses and elected officials, I think it's the former.
16 Jul. 2012 | Comments (0)
Come Out of the Closet at Work, Whether You're Gay or Not
When CNN reporter Anderson Cooper recently announced that he's gay, making him the most famous out newsman in the country, it generated enormous media attention — and praise. The boundaries are breaking down, and we're stuck in a world where you're expected, and required, to be yourself.
09 Jul. 2012 | Comments (0)
You Are Not a Failure
Success sells. Everybody loves a winner. These clichés are reaffirmed every day in our business and media culture, especially if the winners are young or "emerging."
05 Jun. 2012 | Comments (0)
Leaving a Mark That Matters
The tools of today have created a new responsibility. Not just in terms of job descriptions (though plenty of executives grouse about social media expectations). It's a responsibility to yourself, your company — and your legacy.
24 Apr. 2012 | Comments (0)
Transparency is the New Leadership Imperative
Steve Jobs — mysterious, charismatic, intriguing — is often cited as one of the recent greats, and there are clearly benefits to his style. A recent study showed that leaders like him are seen as visionary. But that kind of leadership also has its limitations.
17 Apr. 2012 | Comments (0)
It's Not a Job Search, It's a Permanent Campaign
Political campaigns used to be short, frenzied run-ups to an election — after which the winning candidate would turn to the stately task of governing. But over the past few decades, politics and policy began to mingle.
02 Mar. 2012 | Comments (0)
How To Take A Month Off
It's an elusive dream twinkling in executives' eyes: what if I could take an entire month off? The lure is obvious: the chance to truly unwind, to recharge your creativity, and to visit faraway places you can't reach on a week-long jaunt.