Must Reads

Your Resume Sucks

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Must Reads

Your Resume Sucks

Question:  Would you like your first interactions with prospective hiring managers be through them reading your resume and looking like this:                     Or this:                         Of course not.  So why keep adding to your old, stale resume with each new position you obtain.  Even recent grads who took a resume building class learned from someone not in our business and has probably not read hundreds upon hundreds of resumes, good and bad, and taken the time to really understand the important keys.  Trust me, I’ve seen these pieces of shit.  And I’ve also seen the reformatted, rather than thoughtfully re-written, pretentious resumes done from the so called Professional Resume Writers. You have about 5-7 seconds to get HR recruiters and hiring managers, (and me) to become interested in your resume, and they will typically scan it for only another 25 seconds after that.  UNLESS you have a very well organized, concise, and pleasing to the eye document that tells your story without 78 bullet points, your unrelated skills, and a self proclaimed list of cliche descriptors, you are not going to have a first good impression.  Just like a 58 page deck. . .the more you try to present, the less that gets absorbed.  A well written, to the point resume will get more of it read than one with two pages of small margins, small fonts, and small talk. And yes, many of us are senior and know enough people that our names will be recognized and our resumes be walked in with a, “you gotta see this person,” but you still want to make it easy for the exec on the other side of the table to get a quick understanding of your value.  If you can do their job for them by clearing out all of the bullshit and buzz words (most of them, at least), they will immediately have a better impression of you, not to mention the insight that you can communicate clearly and succinctly. Send me your resume to tomd@mindfulCS.org for a free unadulterated...

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Leadership vs. Management

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Must Reads

Leadership vs. Management

There is an age old argument about what makes a good leader, what’s the definition of leadership, and can someone be both a good leader and a good manager. . .and what the hell determines that?  I think it’s always going to be up for debate and there will be different ways to interpret the meanings, the functions, and the how the two could and should co-exist in a company as well is in one person. I can tell you this much:  Not all good leaders are good at managing and most managers are not born leaders. The trick is for the top brass to be self-aware enough of their own decisions to hire and promote people into said positions, and adjust when needed instead of letting a mistake continue to let the negativity of the situation drag down morale.  Did they hire someone because of their leadership potential?  Should certain managers never be promoted to senior leaders?  Are the leaders and managers performing to their strengths, or are they just as delusional and single minded as the far lefts and rights in our political system?  It takes guts to evaluate your own organization with objectivity and make hard changes, but I personally see it happening in multiple, high profile,  young companies today. So what makes a good leader and a good manager?  Again, always up for debate, but I like the breakout below.  It’s more of a road map for distinguishing strong leadership, but the values of a manager can be derived from it as well. . .or how the two can combine to collaboratively enhance productivity. Managers                                               Leaders Administrative                                        Innovative Imitate                                                     Originate Focus on Systems and Structure          People-focused Rely on Control                                       Inspire, Trust, Empower Emphasize short term                           Visionary, look to the horizon  ...

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Being Direct

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Must Reads

Being Direct

Being direct is often confused with being aggressive, stern, or unfeeling.  It is actually the most respectful way to speak with people, especially in work situations.  Beating around the bush only confuses people as to what the intent of the conversation is and wastes everyone’s time.  Here are a few quotes that I like that I like to incorporate into my conversations when being direct about directness: “I love straight forward people, makes life ten times easier.” “Who does not understand your silence, will probably not understand your words.” “Be simple.  Be direct.  Be clear.  Don’t worry about being correct, worry about being real.” “Say it straight.  Say it Simple.  Say it with a smile” “Intelligence is not expecting people to understand what your intent is; it is anticipating how it will be perceived.” “A gentleman gives direct answers, especially to controversial questions. Being direct, however, is not the same thing as being rude.” “When you straddle a thing it takes a long time to explain it.” “Ironically, people who suppress the mini-confrontations for fear of conflict tend to have huge conflicts later, which can lead to separation, precisely because they let minor problems fester. On the other hand, people who address the mini-conflicts head-on in order to straighten things out tend to have the great, long-lasting relationships.”  ...

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Going BeyondYour Job Description is What Gets You Promoted

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Must Reads

Going BeyondYour Job Description is What Gets You Promoted

Performing job functions outside of your roll and helping your peers, subordinates, and senior management on projects outside of your purview goes a long way in getting earmarked for a promotion. . .as long as you are a pro regarding your own responsibilities. All too often I’ve heard, “that’s not my job!” Well sometimes it’s not and you shouldn’t be involved, but many times the right move is to understand that your actions are always noticed, good or bad. And if you have ambition to move upward, it’s always a good idea to help in creating a collaborative culture beyond what your division’s mission statement claims. For more “Must Reads” go to...

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8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8am

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Must Reads

8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8am

I practice some of this, have attempted others. . .it seems daunting (my thoughts exactly as a father of a 3-month old!) but it’s pretty attainable and it really does make all the difference in the world.  I read this post by Benjamin Hardy, a columnist at The Huffington Post.  Enjoy. . . Life is busy. It can feel impossible to move toward your dreams. If you have a full-time job and kids, it’s even harder. How do you move forward? If you don’t purposefully carve time out every day to progress and improve — without question, your time will get lost in the vacuum of our increasingly crowded lives. Before you know it, you’ll be old and withered — wondering where all that time went. As Professor Harold Hill has said — “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.” Rethinking Your Life and Getting Out of Survival Mode This article is intended to challenge you to rethink your entire approach to life. The purpose is to help you simplify and get back to the fundamentals. Sadly, most people’s lives are filled to the brim with the nonessential and trivial. They don’t have time to build toward anything meaningful. They are in survival mode. Are you in survival mode? Like Bilbo, most of us are like butter scraped over too much bread. Unfortunately, the bread is not even our own, but someone else’s. Very few have taken the time to take their lives into their own hands. It was social and cultural to live our lives on other people’s terms just one generation ago. And many millennials are perpetuating this process simply because it’s the only worldview we’ve been taught. However, there is a growing collective-consciousness that with a lot of work and intention — you can live every moment of your life on your own terms. You are the designer of your destiny. You are responsible. You get to decide. You must decide — because if you don’t, someone else will. Indecision is a bad decision. With this short morning routine, your life will quickly change. It may seem like a long list. But in short, it’s really quite simple: Wake up Get in the zone Get moving Put the right food in your body Get ready Get inspired Get perspective Do something to move you forward Let’s begin: 1. Get A Healthy 7+ Hours of Sleep Let’s face it — Sleep is just as important as eating and drinking water. Despite this, millions of people do not sleep enough and experience insane problems as a result. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) conducted surveys revealing that at least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders. Not only that, 60 percent of adults, and 69 percent of children, experience one or more sleep problems a few nights or more during a week. In addition, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month — with 20 percent reporting problem sleepiness a few days a week or more. On the flipside, getting a healthy amount of sleep is linked to: Increased memory Longer life Decreased inflammation Increased creativity Increased attention and focus Decreased fat and increased muscle mass with exercise Lower stress Decreased dependence on stimulants like caffeine Decreased risk of getting into accidents Decreased risk of depression And tons more… google it. The rest of this blog post is worthless if you don’t make sleep a priority. Who cares if you wake up at 5 o’clock A.M. if you went to bed three hours earlier?...

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Time Management a Bitch?

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in Must Reads

Time Management a Bitch?

I think we’ve all gone thru times where we thought we had it down and other times where we just can’t manage our days.  The few perfect people out there who manage their schedules perfectly all the time, well, it’s like what Ronald Reagan said about Jimmy Carter, and I paraphrase: “Anyone who says they like taking cold showers is probably lying about other things as well.” Time management is one of those things that is both an art and a science at the same time.  We need a system in place to handle it, but we also need to paint some large trees in front of what looks like a spot that doesn’t need any large trees (that Bob Ross metaphor was wasted on 75% of my audience!).  The point is, no matter how much we plan our day out, something always gets in the way and we need to adjust our priority list.  There are some things we can do to help prepare before having to make those decisions. – First off, try recording a time log of your day to see where you are actually spending your precious moments.  You’ll be surprised at how much you can easily adjust or eliminate.  Do this for a week and see if there are any patterns. – Secondly think of your tasks in quadrants: Important + Urgent = PRIORITIES.  Try to pull some time from quadrants 3 and 4 to work on quadrant 2 when you have some time.  Every piece of paper on your desk or email in your inbox is a decision to be made – eliminate clutter and be smart about those decisions.  Remember to include political implications and risk factors in re-prioritizing but be sure keep that quadrant in mind. – Planning – VERY IMPORTANT.  Plan 60% of your week and leave holes for unexpected interruptions.  Even block off time for those interruptions so when they don’t come, you can catch up on important tasks.  And schedule those important tasks FIRST.  Remember to EAT THAT FROG and reward yourself for doing so with a nice break, a snack, a stroll. . .Your MIP#1 (Most Important Project) should be at 9a – NOT AFTER EMAILS.  Catch up after MIP#1.  Then to MIP#2.  If you can get these out of the way early, your day will be much more stress free and productive. – 55/5 to work more efficiently.  Do not plan full hours or half hours.  Even meetings.  Plan 55 minutes and use the other 5 to grab a few emails or decompress in case you have back to backs. – And for crying out loud, take a lunch, talk to a colleague, go for a walk.  There are those days where you will be non-stop, literally from the time you walk in to the time you leave, but leave those stress filled days to the CEO – and hell, even they need to follow this advice or stocks will fall!  (Luckily they have private planes and executive assistants to aid in their juggling). For more “Must Reads” go to http://www.mindfulcareersolutions.com/category/blog/...

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