Have you ever wanted to interview a super-successful person and ask them how they got to where they are? Me too. In fact, I have a wish list. One of the people I’d love to speak with is Barbara Corcoran from television’s Shark Tank (the American version of Dragon’s Den for all my fellow Canadians out there). What? Barbara over Mark Cuban? Yes! Barbara just seems human and approachable. The kind of person you would want as your mentor if you’re trying to figure out what you’re doing or how to get ahead. Thanks to technology, I got the chance to hear Barbara tell her story and share her best advice, and so can you. Here are some of the major lessons I learned:
In 2014 I changed positions at the university. My new job is my dream, a role I’ve wanted for years. I love my department, colleagues, and my direct supervisor is absolutely awesome. So when the offer finally came through, you would assume that I just jumped at it. Nope. As a career professional, I felt a sense of duty to all of my clients to negotiate the offer. You’d think it would be easy for me, right? Ha! Like many women out there, just the thought of negotiating made me nauseous, and actually doing it was terribly hard. What if he’d rescinded the offer? Decided that I was greedy, or a b-----? Of course he didn't, but the point isn’t what he actually thought but the wild paranoia that ran through my mind. Women don’t tend to negotiate on our own behalf. We negotiate for others, advocate for them, and place others’ best interests first, but when it comes to our own benefits packages we falter.
It’s winter. The holidays have just passed, and people are happily or unhappily reflecting on the year that has ended with thoughts of making 2015 better. Within a few weeks or months, people will be planning winter getaways to escape the cold and dark, so they can refresh their batteries. Here’s a better tip: don’t take a break, take a MOOC.
It isn’t a new coffee, though you can never have too many of those. No, a MOOC is a massive online open course. They’ve been around for years, but they are far too often overlooked as a source for professional development or personal fulfilment. Whether you’re looking to advance your career, change tracks, or looking to do something for yourself, you are likely to find a MOOC that suits your needs.
This may seem like really weird advice, but trust me, it will make sense. I’m not talking about offering to make the key presentation for your team when you have a deathly fear of public speaking. That would be career suicide. No, what I’m talking about is adding in some measured doses of expected failure. If it’s fun and low-risk, hopefully they will be spectacular and memorable. Think really bad karaoke in a roomful of strangers, joining a baseball league when you have absolutely no intrinsic talent for the sport, or anything else you can think of. You see, Eleanor Roosevelt was spot on when she encouraged us to do one thing every day that scares us.
Changes to technology affect the way that we find our jobs, and how we do them. It can also affect where you do your work. Telecommuting is one of the most popular perks that you may be able to negotiate. While working from home has some serious advantages (cutting commuting time and costs, comfortable work space, ability to schedule the cable guy) it can become a massive drain on your energy and job satisfaction. Here are 4 tips for surviving your telecommute: