What Matters in Doing Your Best Work

27 10 2014

Hello Everyone,

I’m sharing this blog post by Sally Thornton that offers a different way of looking at your passions versus your skills in finding your path to meaningful work.

Warmly,

Sue

What Matters in Doing Your Best Work

By Sally Thornton, CEO and Founder of Forshay

We hear it so often: Follow your passions. Do what you love and the money will follow. But then we keep listening for more specific advice and, not surprisingly, it often conflicts.

Recently, Jeffrey Katzenberg surprised a crowd by suggesting that young people follow not their dreams, but their skills: “I believe every human being does something great. Follow that thing you’re actually really good at and that may become your passion.” In the parlance of the diagram above, he’s suggesting that the joy of doing something well, something you’re suited for, can turn a job into a career.

Meanwhile, in a speech to Stanford business school students, Oprah Winfrey suggests two keys to finding your “power base,” following your instincts and connecting your skills with your values: “Align your personality with your purpose, and no one can touch you.” In the language of the diagram above: when what you do well meets what the world needs, you turn a talent into a career.

I love Oprah more than I do Disney (although with Frozen maybe I can love both). But the thing Winfrey and Katzenberg have in common here is the assumption that both success and fulfillment require that we look consciously at our lives, taking into account both practical needs and less rational – but equally crucial – issues of fulfillment.

20141027-163719.jpgSo how do we apply all this to our actual lives-in-progress?

When I talk to people about finding satisfying work, the conversation often turns to deeper issues – what they like and don’t like doing day to day, and how that syncs (or doesn’t) with the effect they want to have on the world. The question underlying these conversations is a big one: “Does what I’m working on really matter?”

I often talk with people at crossroads in their careers. So many of them have succeeded by societal standards but, in the midst of that success, they feel something is missing – call it heart or impact. They’ve been heads down, working hard for so long, and finally they realize some part of their diagram of “doing your best work” is missing. And sometimes they conclude that, to find passion or meaning in work, they must make an enormous change. Give it all up. Do something entirely different.

For some people – the ones who should have been artists, activists, explorers all along – taking such a leap is a lifesaving move. But for many more, the changes they might want to make are more subtle, more of a recalibration. I ask these people to envision ways they could use their talents not to start anew but to expand what is possible. Which of their current skills can they offer the world, and in what capacities might exercising those skills bring them fulfillment? How can they use those skills in new ways? If the company where they work isn’t aligned with their values, can they find one that is or go freelance? What aspects of their current work take them away from what they value, and how can they shift their focus to give the world what they’re made to offer?

In short, for each of us, the diagram of “doing your best work” is a work in progress, one that continues to shift across our working lives. When we start to engage with the questions it represents, we move closer to work that we feel matters.

What does your diagram look like? What shifts do you need to make? Tell us what you think – join the conversation here.

About the Author:
Sally Thornton is Founder of Forshay (www.Forshay.com). Sally has extensive experience addressing the unique talent needs of the Bay Area’s most remarkable companies, including national business leaders such as Genentech and Levi Strauss, and rapid-growth startups.





Shutterfly Recruiting Open House – Tuesday, Sept 23 in Santa Clara

18 09 2014

Hello Everyone,

Shutterfly is hosting a Job Fair on 9/23. the details are in their invitation below!

Warmly,

Sue

Shutterfly Recruiting Open House – Job Fair

Tuesday, September 23rd
5:00pm – 7:00pm

Santa Clara Marriott
2700 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054

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Shutterfly Inc. invites you to join us at our Recruiting Open House to learn more about our career opportunities!

Join us on Tuesday, September 23rd where you will have the opportunity to meet our hiring managers, employees, and recruiting team for all of the Shutterfly Inc. brands: Shutterfly, Tiny Prints, Wedding Paper Divas and Treat.

We are hiring in the following departments:

- Accounting
– Business Development
– Creative Services
– Engineering
– Finance
– Marketing
– Merchandising

For a complete list of available positions, please view our available positions here: http://www.shutterfly.com/jobs

*Please indicate which roles you may be interested in learning more about in the Cover Letter section of the application.

Before you arrive at the event, be sure to Pre-Register by applying online.

http://hire.jobvite.com/j/?cj=ooavZfwM&s=KIT_List

Be sure to take a look at our Available Positions to see if there is a job that matches your interests and experience (http://www.shutterfly.com/about/positions.jsp?esch=1).

This is a great opportunity to learn more about Shutterfly Inc. and meet our wonderful teams.

Please feel free to share this invite with others that you would like to join the event. All are welcome!

We hope to see you at the event on Tuesday, September 23rd at the Santa Clara Marriott!





Our SGI Reunion is this Monday, 9/22, in Palo Alto! Please RSVP.

18 09 2014

Hello Everyone,

For those of you who know the story of the KIT List, it started as my personal “Keep in Touch” (the meaning of the KIT name!) email list of my friends at Silicon Graphics. It grew simply by word-of-mouth to what I jokingly call 71,000 of my closest friends!

But for those of you who are present and last SGI employees or consultants (like me!), I wanted to make sure you knew about this year’s SGI reunion I’m organizing.

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Here are the details:

SGI Reunion
Monday, Sept. 22
The Patio
412 Emerson, Palo Alto
5:30 – 9:00

Please RSVP via the Evite at:
http://www.evite.com/event/020CXOF6IQI7M4WTSEPEGRT2ZVCOAU

It’s no-host, so it’s free to attend and you just buy your own drinks and food — or you can be a hero and buy some friends a drink!

We’ll be meeting on the back patio…and the weather is promising to be warm and balmy that evening.

Please pass the word to other SGIers so we don’t miss anyone!

I’m sorry, but this is for SGI folks only, though I will organize a KIT List networking event at another time. I’m just rushing to get this in while the weather is good!

Take care, everyone,

Sue





Can You Help Identify Internships for Worthy Teens?

3 09 2014

Hello Everyone,

I’d like to enlist your help to connect underserved high school students to internship opportunities in your company — or other companies in which you have friends.

I recently became aware of Genesys Works, a unique non-profit that marries workforce development with college prep.

The remarkable thing is that this program has been quite successful getting underserved teens onto a college and career track – while providing part-time tech-savvy resources for local companies.

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They transform underserved high schoolers into young professionals through technical training and afterschool internships during their senior year.

This program differs significantly from traditional high school internships, as the training enables these students to do real work in backoffice operations, rather than just fetch coffee or copies. And since it’s a yearlong engagement (not a quick summer job) both the company and the student gain deeper rewards overall.

Here’s the best part: over 12 years of operation, 96% of their students go on to college after graduating high school
– an option most had not even considered possible prior to the program.

Their partners include many Bay Area leaders such as PG&E, Accenture, McKesson, and Salesforce. They’ve also received some nice media coverage lately from ABC7 News and the SF Business Times.

They still looking for a few more positions this Fall for deserving students, so I’m hoping you can help.

If you think your company could benefit from this double bottom line approach, please contact their executive director (and longtime KITlist member!) Peter Katz at pkatz@genesysworks.org​

You can like Genesys Works – Bay Area on Facebook: www.facebook.com/genesysworksbayarea

Or check out their website:
www.genesysworks.org/bayarea

Let’s use the power of friends helping friends to create internship opportunities for these worthy teens — and give them a real shot at college and a promising future!

Thanks so much,

Sue





Forbes’ Pick of the Best Career Web Sites

30 08 2014

Hello Everyone,

I just ran across this great list this morning. I think Forbes will likely update it next month, but I suspect the majority of those on this list will remain!

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Since there’s no time like the present to learn about smarter ways to conduct a successful job search, I wanted to share this with you now.

The list of 100 resources may seem daunting…but if you just incorporate ONE change, that may prove to be the tipping point in your career!

I encourage you to make a commitment to try just one thing today. Here’s the link to the Forbes list:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/09/18/the-top-100-websites-for-your-career/2/

Here’s to your finding a job you’ll love,

Sue





“How to Get the Job When You Don’t Have the Experience” on LinkedIn

18 08 2014

Hello Everyone,

I saw this great article on my LinkedIn feed last week, and James Citrin makes some really good points on what to do if you are a recent graduate — or an experienced professional who wants to pursue new a career direction or go after your passion.

Now, I encourage you to go out and GO FOR IT and find a job you’ll love!

Warmly,

Sue

Article link:
https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140811235043-203184238-how-to-overcome-the-permission-paradox-you-can-t-get-the-job-without-the-experience-but-you-can-t-get-the-experience-without-the-job

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How to Get the Job When You Don’t Have the Experience
By James Citrin (posted on LinkedIn)

“The Permission Paradox” – You can’t get the job without the experience but you can’t get the experience without the job – is one of the great career Catch-22s. This challenge will confront you over the lifetime of your career, whether you’re trying to break into the work force or you’re to become a CEO for the first time. While the phenomenon can be frustrating no matter what your level, the Permission Paradox is especially challenging for today’s aspiring young professional and recent graduates.

Overcoming this conundrum is fundamental both to launching your career successfully and thriving over the long term. You are confident in your abilities if only you’re given the chance. The hard part is getting the shot to show what you can do.

The Permission Paradox can be a paralyzing obstacle and can often be a self-fulfilling prophecy. A distinguishing characteristic of the most successful professionals – at every stage – is that they find ways to gain access to attractive opportunities. And when they do, they deliver and make good on that leap of faith that someone took on them. One of the keys to overcoming the Permission Paradox is recognizing that when you apply for any job you will be evaluated along two different dimensions: your potential to add value in the future and your track record in the area most central to the job. Depending on the seniority of the position, these two sources of value – your potential and your experience – will be weighted in different proportions, like the scales of justice. As a general rule, the earlier you are in your career, the greater the importance of your potential value.

Your potential value is best demonstrated by your attitude, enthusiasm, work ethic, communications skills, curiosity/quality of your questions, willingness to learn, and your knowledge of the company and role. Beyond showing your potential, however, here are five specific strategies you can deploy to overcome the Permission Paradox in the early days of your career.

Five Permission Strategies

1. Get Credentials.
One of the most logical ways to gain permission is to obtain relevant credentials. This can be in the form of a specialized degree or targeted training. One of the hottest areas in the economy right now, no surprise, is computer programming. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020, there will be a gigantic demand-supply gap, with one million computer programming jobs going unfilled. Traditional computer science programs will not be able to meet this need. It turns out that many companies seeking programmers actually don’t require degrees in computer science to get a job. At Google, for example, according to The Wall Street Journal, nearly 15 percent of the team members who work in programming don’t have a college degree. With training at places such as Codeacademy, which reportedly has had 24 million people around the world take one or more of its courses, you can develop proficiency in a period of months. With this credential, you’ll have enough experience to break in for a first job and then you’ll be in the same position as other entry-level programmers to perform and thrive. So go ahead, pick your field of interest, whether it be coding, finance, aviation, or the business of art, and find a respected credential-granting school or organization and pursue it. One effective finance program that promises to deliver “knowledge, experience, and opportunity” over the course of a summer, for example, is the Tuck Business Bridge Program at Dartmouth College. If you want to break into a career in art, check out Christie’s Education, which offers degree and non-degree programs in both the business of art and art itself. And if you dream of flying airplanes for a living, take a look at ATP Flight School’s Airline Career Pilot Program, which provides airline-oriented flight training at a fixed cost in the shortest time frame.

2. Get Creative.
Laura Chambers has run University Programs at eBay where her team of 40 was responsible for setting and hitting aggressive recruitment goals, and ensuring that the interns and new college graduates have high-quality experiences. She therefore speaks with expertise and practical experience on the topic of breaking into companies after college. Laura’s advice, especially if you don’t have a technical or specialized degree, is to get creative so that you can stand out from the crowd. “Volunteer at a start-up,” she suggests and “get your hands dirty. You will have the opportunity to do a wide variety of activities which will help you find what you love and build some skills at the same time.” This will also enable you to talk about your experience, not just your potential. She also advises to develop a customized approach for companies you target. “If you want to work at eBay, Inc., for example,” she says, “start a small business buying and selling on eBay or using PayPal, and be prepared to talk about the pros and cons of that experience.” It doesn’t cost have to cost too much, other than your time and initiative, to create a few video or blog posts about your experience. Maybe these can get picked up by media. At the very least they will give you something to show to complement your resume.

3. Be Willing to Start at the Bottom.
If you are a college graduate, you may feel (and frankly be) overqualified for many entry-level jobs. But you have to start somewhere. Or, as Lao Tzu famously said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”.* Chad Dickerson, CEO of the rapidly growing online marketplace, Etsy.com, suggests that the best positions to “get a foot in the door” are often as a member of a company’s support team. “A number of Etsy support people have learned our business really well and turned into very capable product managers,” he said. Chad also admits to having a special place in his heart for this approach because it worked for him personally. “I took the lowest-paid clerical job at a newspaper in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1993 and it happened to be the first daily newspaper on the web in the United States. I ended up learning how to build websites just by being there!” Whether it’s in the Internet industry, financial services, retail, hospitality, or any other business that touches large numbers of people, starting at the point of customer interface, whether in customer support, behind the cash register, on the sales floor, or at the concierge desk, will give you a valuable opportunity to learn what’s really going on in the market. You’ll be able to use this when you seek to work your way up the ladder internally or interview elsewhere.

4. Barter.
You may not yet have a job. But if you don’t, by definition you have something else of enormous value, which you may not be fully considering. Time. Treat your time as the precious asset it is. If you are creative and package your time with energy, enthusiasm, and initiative, you can barter your way to opportunity and break the Permission Paradox. Earlier this summer, a new college graduate networked her way into an informational interview with a real estate brokerage firm. She had a degree in history. As she was talking to the executive, who seemed overwhelmingly busy, a light bulb went off. “You seem incredibly stretched right now,” she observed and then asked the $64,000 question. “What would you do to grow your business if you had an extra day in your week?” He paused and said he’d do a market research study for the young urban rental market. She offered to do that for free and was able to communicate quickly how her analysis and writing skills developed for her thesis would give her the ability to execute the project. He took her up on her offer and paid her $10 an hour for her work. After a few weeks, she presented her findings. The real estate executive was blown away by the quality of her report, the clarity of her thinking, and the creativity with which she packaged her analysis. She was offered and has now accepted an entry-level job as a market researcher in the firm.

5. Re-imagine Your Experience.
You’ve decided the general direction you’d like to take and have built up a target list of companies to research and pursue. You’ve followed your target list rigorously by visiting the career pages for each company to see what jobs are actually available. All good. But, at this point in the process, you may find that you just don’t have the experience sought for a position you’d like to pursue. You can either exit the website then and there and move on to the next company. Or you can try to re-imagine your experience and pursue this very opening. Here’s how one aspiring young professional did just that. For an entry-level position in a food company, it listed “project management” experience as a critical requirement. Initially this put off the energetic, enthusiastic graduate who was otherwise a great fit with the company and who resonated with the mission of providing customers with only the highest-quality organic food. In discussing the dilemma, we walked through this individual’s experiences and were able to find something that fit the bill – when thought of and described in a different way. A geography major who loves travel, he told how he worked with a group of his friends to “project manage” their recent three week trip across Eastern Europe – doing research into itineraries, finding the lowest fares and cheapest hostels, executing the reservations and bookings, collecting the money from his friends, and acting as “treasurer” for the journey. In so doing, he was able to demonstrate the capabilities that the company was looking for – even though he was drawing on a completely non-professional experience. The key lesson is that you may actually have more-relevant experience than you think.

* Brainy.com





Some spots open for ProMatch career services this Weds. 6/25 and Weds. 7/2

19 06 2014

Hello Everyone,

I’ve received rave reviews from KIT List members about ProMatch, a free service from the California EDD, that has many features to help professionals with career growth.

ProMatch has some openings for its orientations this Wednesday and next, 6/25 and 7/2.

Please show up on time since it’s a first-come, first-served basis.

ProMatch is impressive and many of our KIT List members vouch for how the program focuses professionals on getting back into great jobs.

ProMatch is offered at no charge — it is part of America’s Job Center of California collaboration between the state’s EDD Experience Unlimited program and the NOVA Workforce Investment Board.

I encourage you to attend the Wednesday orientation and benefit from ProMatch’s excellent array of tools, workshops, success teams, professional career coaches and speakers to help you conduct a smarter job search.

Warmly,

Sue

*****************
ProMatch Career Resource Center

You are a professional. You realize that you need to be on the inside track to land the next job in your career.

But to tap the hidden jobs, you need support. The kind you get from a strong network.

When you join ProMatch, you get all the networking support you need at no charge:

- Professional networking opportunities to tap into the hidden job market

- Small group success teams who hold you accountable and support you in your search

- Workshops where you hone your resume, practiceyour interviewing and grow your network

- No-fee sessions with professional career coaches and guest speakers waive their high fees for you

Get started at one of these ProMatch orientations:

Wednesdays
8:15 to 11am

No reservation needed. Just show up (on time!) at:
ProMatch Career Resource Center
505 W. Olive Ave. Suite 737
Sunnyvale, CA 94086

http://www.promatch.org

Phone: (408) 730-7671








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