The day I landed my job at Google was the day I decided to pay forward all the help I received on reworking my resume.
After going through many resumes, I want to share what I learned in hopes that it helps more people get their dream jobs.
My biggest realization? We don’t think like psychologists. And in doing so, we sell ourselves short.
6 secrets of great resumes, backed by psychology.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could hack into our own brains and rewire them to be happier?
Science has shown we actually can thanks to a phenomenon called experience-dependent neuroplasticity. “It’s a fancy term to say the brain learns from our experiences,” says Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and author of the book Hardwiring Happiness. “As we understand better and better how this brain works, it gives us more power to change our mind for the better.”
Hanson assures he isn’t just talking new-age mumbo jumbo. “This is not just ‘smell the roses,'” he says. “I am talking about positive neuroplasticity. I am talking about learning. … The brain is changing based on what flows through it.”
The bad news: Our brains are wired to be negative. The good news: Happiness doesn’t mean you have to be naive, just think realistically.
For years, offices have been filled with the fresh-faced younger generation who fill the entry-level desks, the established middle who fill the management roles and the older senior executives who are near retirement. But as tech-savvy millennials enter the workforce causing Gen-X-ers and baby boomers to step out of their comfort zones, talk of the generational divide is everywhere.
Recently, national staffing company Spherion released their 2014 Emerging Workforce Study. The study of over 2,000 employees revealed that beyond different communication styles, one’s age also impacts how employees feel about their own career potential and can influence their perception of their coworkers’ and supervisors’ abilities. They found that millennials are more judgemental of the capabilities of their coworkers and more opinionated about their own career opportunities than their older workplace peers.
Your age might influence where you think your career is going and how fast you think you should get there.
Does gender play a role in the type of feedback an employee receives at review time? We had a linguist crunch the numbers.
Not long ago I was talking to an engineering manager who was preparing performance reviews for his team. He had two people he wanted to promote that year, but he was worried that his peers were only going to endorse one of them. “Jessica is really talented,” he said. “But I wish she’d be less abrasive. She comes on too strong.” Her male counterpart? “Steve is an easy case,” he went on. “Smart and great to work with. He needs to learn to be a little more patient, but who doesn’t?”
I don’t know whether Jessica got her promotion, but the exchange got me wondering how often this perception of female abrasiveness undermines women’s careers in technology.
High-achieving men and women are described differently in performance reviews.
The problem with asking for a raise is that there are only a few ways it could go right, and so many ways it could go wrong.
The best outcome would be getting more money than you imagined, but you’d also be happy with getting exactly what you wanted, and if not that, to at least see a bump, even if it’s smaller than what you hoped for.
But in the pick-a-path book of life, it seems many more paths lead to being denied, with the worst paths leading to alienating your superiors, later being passed over for a promotion, and worst of all, having to take a counteroffer from a firm for which you don’t really want to work and burning a bridge in the process.
Want a raise? Then avoid these foolish, self-sabotaging moves.
Employee recognition programs may sound like an unneeded expense, but research shows that a little peer-to-peer recognition goes a long way.
For example, organizations with a strong employee recognition approach are 12 times more likely to have strong business results, according to data cited by OfficeVibe. Companies with strategic recognition programs also report lower turnover rates than companies that don’t.
The infographic below explains why investing in employee recognition is worth it.
Want to keep your best workers? Some strategic employee recognition will help.
A few weeks ago, we talked about why happiness at work matters; this week I’d like to share the flip side of that: the gigantic cost of unhappy employees.
Employee engagement has been a hot topic for several years now, but what does it really mean and how do you know if your employees are engaged at work? And why does it matter?
Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace reported on employee engagement in more than 140 countries and divided employees into 3 categories:
- “Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.
- Not Engaged employees are essentially “checked out.” They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time–but not energy or passion–into their work.
- Actively Disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.
Most business owners know that unhappy employees cost you money, but you’ll be shocked at how high that cost actually is.
When you’re a leader, giving feedback, both positive and negative, comes with the territory. But not everyone is comfortable giving it. Sarah Green, a senior associate editor with the Harvard Business Review, recently scoured HBR’s blog for the site’s best advice for how to give negative feedback. Here are her five tips:
1. Be direct by avoiding the feedback “sandwich.”
Instead of couching criticism with positive feedback (which can dilute the message and sounds insincere), approaching the issue directly and with transparency allows everyone to understand the purpose of the discussion and keep the conversation on track. For example, if a colleague’s presentation style needs improvement, you can approach the conversation by asking if you can provide some feedback. They’ll (most likely) say yes, and will be more open to accepting it.
Step away from the feedback “sandwich,” stick to the facts, and three other tips to giving good feedback.
Maybe you have a newborn at home or maybe it’s that insane week before an impossible deadline. Whatever the ultimate cause of your sleep deprivation, occasionally we all have times in our lives when we can’t heed the sensible advice of experts to get enough sleep.
When these crunch times hit, you might feel like curling up into a little ball under your desk and sleeping away the day, but unfortunately you need to find a way to soldier on. Science can help. New York Magazine’s consistently fascinating Science of Us column recently reached out to sleep researchers to round up advice on what to do when you’ve had a really, really lousy night’s sleep.
All of these scientists stressed that consistently sleeping less than seven or eight hours a night is a truly terrible idea, but they did have tips to offer for these emergency situations, which writer Melissa Dahl organized into a helpful timeline for the sleep deprived. Here are a few of the tips you’ll find in the complete post:
No one manages to get eight hours all the time, so sleep researchers offer advice on powering through your most exhausted days.
In the three decades since Wolfgang Puck opened Spago in West Hollywood, the groundbreaking gourmet has parlayed his food-world stardom into one successful venture after another: packaged foods in grocery stores, a burgeoning line of kitchen appliances, and more than 100 fine dining and express restaurants in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Quality food, it turns out, is only part of Puck’s recipe for building an epicurean empire. Below he reveals the ingredients he has used to spice up his career.
The celebrity chef and master marketer reveals how he cultivates his brand.