WHY YOU MUST BECOME A COCKROACH

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SHOW DATE: MAY 29, 2013

Cockroaches are generally regarded as the spawn of Satan.  They’re creepy.  They’re crawly. They spread germs and disease.  And even when you’re armed with a hefty shoe, they’re virtually impossible to squish.

So why would we want you to model your behavior after these pests?  Because, as a species, they are virtually indestructible. And that’s how you need to be if you plan on surviving in today’s workplace.

A recent study published by Science found that cockroaches are actually evolving to avoid and become immune to the toxins and poisons that harm them. Every time we come up with a new chemical to kill cockroaches, they simply adapt. Every time a new threat comes along, the cockroaches come up with an antidote. You know that old saying that cockroaches will be the only thing standing after the apocalypse? Looks like it’s true.

While it’s unlikely that your employers are trying to kill you off with poison, traps, or a giant shoe, your job security is still under constant threat. Computers and robots are replacing people. Jobs are being outsourced to China. New, complex software is constantly being introduced into your industry. Change is all around you, and it never waits to make sure you’re ready for it. It just keeps coming, and if you don’t keep up, you’re history.

While it’s easy to feel powerless in such uncertain times. But you’re not. You can survive it.  You just need to become a cockroach.  Here’s how:

Be open to change. Stop resisting. Accept that change happens whether you like it or not. This isn’t about giving in—it’s about developing as mindset that accepts the way things are.  Once you do that, you’ll stop passively cowering whenever change rears its ugly head, and begin to embrace change in a proactive way. Just as vinyl was replaced by cassettes, cassettes were replaced by CDs, and CDs are being replaced by MP3 files, the tools you use at work are going to replaced by new ones. Get over it.

Reinvent yourself constantly. This means learning new technology, software, and skills—not when you absolutely have to, but when they’re still new.  If that means taking a class or doing some research on your own, do it. You can become the person who can train others instead of the person who “needs to get trained”.  In other words, you go from being a liability to being an asset.  And when you learn a new technology, you are creating a new job.

Embrace new people. Don’t just embrace the new technology—embrace the people who come with it. Too often, people distance themselves from the “newbies” and the “kids”.  They see them as the enemy. But that’s a sure-fire way to set yourself up for being replaced. Instead, reach out to the new people. They’ll be eager to gain from your wisdom and experience, and they’ll be happy to teach you what they know. This also means that you should ask for help if you’re struggling to learn new things. You probably shouldn’t ask your boss, but you can ask a co-worker or someone else you trust. Don’t avoid what’s scary—the best defense is a good offense!

Recognize crossover skills. Be aware of what skills you have that are universally applicable to any job.  These days, more and more people have to change industries. Your hard skills might not be able to transcend that gap, but you likely have many great soft skills that can—such as writing, creating consensus, or being a good negotiator. Knowing what they are will allow you to showcase your greatest strengths in your resume and in interviews.

If you’re looking for something more immediate and tangible than the above, here are three things you can start doing right now to adapt within the workplace:

  1. Understand social networking.  If you’re not using it, you’re going to get left behind. And having a Facebook account is not enough. You need to be on Twitter and LinkedIn—and actively managing your online profile!
  2. Keep your Microsoft office skills current. Do you know how to use all the new bells and whistles?
  3. Be willing to toss out #1 and #2.  Remember, it’s about adapting!  In 10 years, there may be no Facebook or Microsoft, so master them while they’re here, but be willing to jump ship to the next technology when it’s time!

 

DO YOU KNOW LINKEDIN’S MOST VALUABLE FEATURE?

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SHOW DATE: MAY 15, 2013

On Facebook, there’s no way to know who’s viewing your photos and how often (bad news if you want to know who’s checking you out, good news for stalkers). But that’s not the case on LinkedIn.  Very few people know that LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to see who has been looking at your profile.

This is a gold mine for you! Why? Because recruiters frequently use LinkedIn like Google; they do searches on job title, functions, companies, etc.  So if a recruiter finds you on LinkedIn, chances are you have something they want! Therefore, do some research on the people viewing your LinkedIn page. If you discover that one of them is a recruiter, that’s an invitation for you to reach out to him/her and let them know you’re looking for a job!  It’s what the experts call “Passive recruiting” and what we call “being smart and proactive.”

THREE STEPS TO TWESUME SUCCESS

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SHOW DATE: May 1, 2013

If you’re in a 21st Century profession like marketing, tech, or social media, you should create a Twesume–a 140-character Twitter resume. Here’s how:

  1. Give one bold sentence to distinguish yourself. For example: “I am the creative engine, senior strategist, content curator, and worker-bee who makes great campaigns happen.” It’s only 98 characters!
  2. Use hashtags to get noticed: #Twesume and #hireme, as well as a city tag (#NYC or #SF)
  3. Put a bitly hyperlink to your LinkedIn page.

That Google+ pic is so inappropriate

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SHOW DATE: August 8, 2012

When you’re looking for a job, make sure your Google+ profile pic is something
you’d want your boss to see. Here’s the deal, when you send gmail to someone else
who has gmail—like a potential employer—your Google+ profile pic is attached to
your email.

I can’t believe some of the pictures I’ve seen attached to resumes—glamour shots,
artsy shots, lots of red Solo cups. Stop it!!! Make sure your Google+ profile pic is
something you would want a potential boss to see while you’re searching for a job.

Don’t be an Over-Poster

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SHOW DATE: July 25, 2012

Don’t be sending junk mail on Facebook while you’re at the office. What does that
mean? No one cares that they forgot your side of honey mustard at McDonald’s.
Or that, “we are low on yellow ink.” Or that Verizon just put up a tower in Calgary.
Simply put: NOBODY CARES. And two things start to happen. One, you look like you
don’t have enough work to do, two, people start to resent you for “slacking off” and
three, you are not concentrating on the work at hand.

A link to your LinkedIn profile does NOT replace a resume

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SHOW DATE: May 16, 2012

As helpful as LinkedIn can be to your job search process, it CANNOT replace a
resume. If a job posting request a resume (and they all do), then—GASP!—you must
actually send them a resume. Not only is it lazy to just link to your LinkedIn page,
but it forces the hiring manager to go to a website, log in, and do research. In short,
you’re giving them extra work, and that is not going to leave a good impression.
Listen to Uncle David and Auntie Evan discuss this below.