“Most people want to behave in ways that are consistent with their self-image as competent, effective, and honest human beings. Yet, even when they are fully committed to acting according to their best intentions, they often reach outcomes that bear little resemblance to their initial goals.”
Bloomberg’s head of tech Catherine Hui handed out tons of great career tips at a recent Girls in Tech/Facebook meetup. Here, some of the best:
“Acknowledge your mistakes and you’ll be fine.”
“It’s not about making a mistake - it’s about how you handle it.”
“The sky is going to fall at some point. The key is how you handle the post-mortem.”
“Find someone who has your best interest in mind - that’s a true mentor.”
Don’t be shy. People want to help you.
Meet with your mentors/members of your network regularly.
Choose your mentor wisely.
Have at least one or two awesome geeks in your network of mentors.
On who she hires:
What blogs do they follow? What is their favorite news source? Does this person have a natural curiosity for what’s happening?
Can this person learn fast?
People don’t necessarily need to have a tech background- but they should have communication skills, be a team player, and most importantly they should have common sense/strong problem solving skills.
And finally, these gems:
“We [women] need to learn how to ask for things … Men never wait to ask.”
“I didn’t become who I am by accident. I struggled through the whole journey.”
By M. Cecelia Bittner, Jessica Hullinger
“We always seem to view our role models as if they’ve made perfect choices every step of the way. If only that were really true!”
Facebook’s NYC headquarters was packed to the brim Tuesday night with career-minded techies looking to gain insight from a panel of some of the tech industry’s leading ladies. The chat was organized by Girls in Tech, a global organization “focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of powerful, influential women in technology and entrepreneurship,” and was moderated by Kickstarter’s Bethany Sumner.
The conversation originally focused on career mistakes, but veered to cover everything from mentorship to sexism in the workplace, and left guests with a heap of actionable tips.
Who was on the panel:
- AT&T’s Amanda J. Stent
- Facebook’s Goranka Bjedov
- Bloomberg’s Catherine Hui
- Techie/startup founder Nikki Stevens, @drnikki
What they said:
“I didn’t become who I am by accident. I struggled through the whole journey.” -Catherine Hui (Bloomberg)
“Don’t say ‘no’ out of fear. Say ‘yes’ to yourself. Know that you are worth it and that you can do it.” -Amanda J. Stent (AT&T)
“If you’re playing World of Warcraft 25 hours a week, you’re probably hiding from something in your life.” -Goranka Bjedov (Facebook)
“Make mistakes. Just don’t make the same mistake five times.” -Bjedov
“Until I fail empirically, I am good enough to do the job.” -Nikki Stevens (formerly Refinery29)
What’s the biggest career mistake you’ve ever made, and how did you overcome it? Looking back, what piece of advice would you give your younger self? Tell us on Twitter with #FCadvice.
The Takeaway from Warren Buffett’s Office Hours: ”Find the job you would have if you were independently rich. Associate with people you love doing what you love,” Buffett says. “How can it be any better?”
“You’ve gotta keep control of your time, and you can’t unless you say no. You can’t let people set your agenda in life.”
“Remember: CEOs can, and often do, start in the mailroom. You may have to accept a lower position, but you’re better off getting your foot in the door with a job that you are somewhat overqualified for at a company you are passionate about, than biding your time with jobs that have very little upward mobility.”
The Sage live from Omaha as part of the Office Hours series. G’head you know you have a question for him.
How A Little Graciousness Can Do Wonders For Your Career
Tom Chiarella recently wrote an ode to graciousness for Esquire. Any aspiring lady or gentleman would do well to take it to heart:
Do not mistake mere manners for graciousness. Manners are rules. Helpful, yes. But graciousness reflects a state of being; it emanates from your inventory of self. Start with what you already possess. You, for instance, have a job. Live up to that.
Read more about what it means to be gracious here.
Why The Happiest People Have The Hardest Jobs
“The happiest people I know are dedicated to dealing with the most difficult problems,” Rosabeth Moss Kanter writes for HBR. Whether reversing schools’ struggles, making unsafe water potable, or helping the terminally ill, “they face the seemingly worst of the world with a conviction that they can do something about it and serve others.”
Kanter pulls in a number of anecdotes, including that of her friend, the Pulitzer Prize-winner Ellen Goodman. Upset by the care her dying mother received, Goodman left her syndicated columnist gig to start The Conversation Project, which aims to get every family to talk about death and end-of-life care. While Kanter doesn’t quote Goodman in the piece, we can infer that Goodman is doing emotionally fulfilling work—which, as positive psychology tells us, is a key to enduring happiness, as opposed to the fleeting nature of pleasure.
A meaningful, happiness-generating career, then, will include a sense of engagement—or even devotion—to the work one does. And while engagement is a predictor of success on a global level, less than half of American workers have it.
Money isn’t what motivates these high achievers, Kanter writes; instead, engaged people pursue mastery, membership, and meaning. Money was a distant fourth.
Let’s be clear: money matters plenty—if you don’t have enough to feel secure, you’llact like an alligator. But as research suggests, once you clear the income thresholds of $50,000 to $70,000 a year, the cash-to-happiness correlation levels off).
“Money acted as a scorecard, but it did not get people up-and-at ‘em for the daily work,” Kanter observes, “nor did it help people go home every day with a feeling of fulfillment.”
But fulfillment doesn’t have hockey-stick growth. Kanter talks about the corps members of City Year who are working with at-risk students and seeing improvements and problems come in waves. But progress “isn’t linear,” she says—it may only be apparent after many long days, like when a D student raises his hand.
So, in our work, we need to be mindful of cultivating mastery of our skills, give our people a sense of membership, and look for where we can find meaning from what we’re doing.
“It’s as though we all have two jobs,” Kanter says, “our immediate tasks and the chance to make a difference.”
[Image: Flickr user Bob Vonderau]
“Influence is a funny thing. Once it required leaping through certain hoops: Winning political office, say, or starting a large business. But technology democratizes anything it touches, and now, thanks to social media, you can have followers even if you haven’t done the sorts of things (like starting a major religion) that won you “followers” in the past.”
The Four-Year Career
Lessons from the new world of quicksilver work, where “career planning” is an oxymoron.