yeahwriters

If you’re a writer (or want to be), read this book!

yeahwriters:

image 

I’ve harped on this before, but Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird has to be my favorite book on writing (and life, as the title notes).

It was recommended to me by a creative writing professor I had in college and it just makes you feel better about being a writer, and how hard it is. Plus it’s full of a zillion awesome tips for being a writerfrom the writer’s lifestyle, to the mental/emotional hardships we face, to the actual writing.

Check it!

fastcompany

fastcompany:

  • "Why don’t you tell me about yourself?"

This question, often the interview opener, has a crucial objective: to see how you handle yourself in unstructured situations. The recruiter wants to see how articulate you are, how confident you are, and generally what type of impression you would make on the people with whom you come into contact on the job. The recruiter also wants to learn about the trajectory of your career and to get a sense of what you think is important and what has caused you to perform well.

There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, “What do you want to know?” You need to develop a good answer to this question, practice it, and be able to deliver it with poise and confidence.

The right response is twofold: focus on what interests the interviewer, and highlight your most important accomplishments.

More tips

fastcompany

fastcompany:

Fast Company’s Quick Guide To Great Questions

·       Don’t ramble on—terminate the sentence at the question mark.

·       Get comfortable with silence.

·       Start with “who, what, when, where, how, or why” for more meaningful answers.

·       Don’t fish for the answer you want.

·       Stop nodding if you don’t understand—ask a follow-up instead.

·       If you get a non-answer, approach it again from a different angle.

·       Rephrase the answer in your own words.

·       Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions.

Here’s more on asking questions. 

fastcompany
fastcompany:

Here is Fast Company’s ultimate guide to navigating conversation in the modern workplace.
       - Turn a bad idea into a good idea by asking “why?”
       - Win the mind game.


To harness the power of others’ unconscious brains, kick off every important dialogue with your pearly whites. “If I smile at someone, mirror neurons mimic that behavior. To some extent, that person smiles inside.”


       - Cut the urgency BS. “High Priority” emails will get you no where.
       - Tackle failure. 
Avoid blame.
Ask questions.
Make failure a regular part of conversation.
       - Understand your quiet colleagues. 
       - Explain an idea. 
              - Keep explanations clear and simple. 
What are some other tips for navigating conversation in the workplace?
Want more from Fast Company on conversations?
How Do You Foster Intelligent Conversation?
Talk Is Cheap. Let’s Have A Conversation
The One Conversational Tool That Will Make You Better At Absolutely Everything
[Image: Marekuliasz via Shutterstock][Post: m.cecelia bittner]

fastcompany:

Here is Fast Company’s ultimate guide to navigating conversation in the modern workplace.

       - Turn a bad idea into a good idea by asking “why?”

       - Win the mind game.

To harness the power of others’ unconscious brains, kick off every important dialogue with your pearly whites. “If I smile at someone, mirror neurons mimic that behavior. To some extent, that person smiles inside.”

       - Cut the urgency BS. “High Priority” emails will get you no where.

       - Tackle failure. 

  • Avoid blame.
  • Ask questions.
  • Make failure a regular part of conversation.

       - Understand your quiet colleagues. 

       - Explain an idea. 

              - Keep explanations clear and simple. 

What are some other tips for navigating conversation in the workplace?

Want more from Fast Company on conversations?

[Image: Marekuliasz via Shutterstock][Post: m.cecelia bittner]

fastcompany
fastcompany:

How SAS Became The World’s Best Place To Work
Current statistics say that over half of Americans hate their job. Not so at the analytics software giant SAS, which was named the 2012 world’s best multinational workplace by The Great Place to Work institute.

More than anything, SAS has found that by being an especially benevolent and respectful organization, they consistently produce the most optimal workplace performance. Their highly nontraditional insight is that workers instinctively and positively respond to an organization that routinely demonstrates that they matter and are individually valued.

Here are four of the unique leadership values that have made SAS an especially great and productive place to work:
1. Value people above all else.
Founder and CEO Dr. Jim Goodnight told Fast Company that,

What makes his organization work are the new ideas that come out of his employee’s brains. Therefore he therefore holds his employees in the highest esteem. 

2. To give is to get.
SAS employees have amazing perks like free access to gyms, health care, and counseling.

Keeping in mind that SAS just as easily could give people more pay and forgo all the unique programs and benefits, Goodnight long ago figured out that perks are symbolic representations of how he and his company values its people. 
According to Jack Poll, a 28-year SAS employee and director of recreation and employee services, “when people are treated as if they’re important and truly make a difference, their loyalty and engagement soar.”


 3. Trust above all things.

“While we say we have a 35-hour workweek,” says CMO Jim Davis, “I don’t know anybody who really works 35 hours. The reality is if you trust people, and you ask them to do something—and you treat them like a human being as opposed to a commodity where you try to squeeze something out—they’re going to work all sorts of hours. But they’re going to enjoy those hours as opposed to ‘slaving in the office.’”

4. Ensure that employees know the significance of their work.

Goodnight intuited that everyone thrived on doing significant things, and from knowing their work had inherent value. And ever since, he’s seen it as his role to ensure his employees take great pride of ownership in all the work they do knowing “what they produce will be used all over the world, by people all over the world.”

 
What other tactics make your company a great place to work?
 
[Image: Flickr user Justin Hogue][Post: m.cecelia bittner]

fastcompany:

How SAS Became The World’s Best Place To Work

Current statistics say that over half of Americans hate their job. Not so at the analytics software giant SAS, which was named the 2012 world’s best multinational workplace by The Great Place to Work institute.

More than anything, SAS has found that by being an especially benevolent and respectful organization, they consistently produce the most optimal workplace performance. Their highly nontraditional insight is that workers instinctively and positively respond to an organization that routinely demonstrates that they matter and are individually valued.

Here are four of the unique leadership values that have made SAS an especially great and productive place to work:

1. Value people above all else.

Founder and CEO Dr. Jim Goodnight told Fast Company that,

What makes his organization work are the new ideas that come out of his employee’s brains. Therefore he therefore holds his employees in the highest esteem. 

2. To give is to get.

SAS employees have amazing perks like free access to gyms, health care, and counseling.

Keeping in mind that SAS just as easily could give people more pay and forgo all the unique programs and benefits, Goodnight long ago figured out that perks are symbolic representations of how he and his company values its people. 

According to Jack Poll, a 28-year SAS employee and director of recreation and employee services, “when people are treated as if they’re important and truly make a difference, their loyalty and engagement soar.”

 3. Trust above all things.

“While we say we have a 35-hour workweek,” says CMO Jim Davis, “I don’t know anybody who really works 35 hours. The reality is if you trust people, and you ask them to do something—and you treat them like a human being as opposed to a commodity where you try to squeeze something out—they’re going to work all sorts of hours. But they’re going to enjoy those hours as opposed to ‘slaving in the office.’”

4. Ensure that employees know the significance of their work.

Goodnight intuited that everyone thrived on doing significant things, and from knowing their work had inherent value. And ever since, he’s seen it as his role to ensure his employees take great pride of ownership in all the work they do knowing “what they produce will be used all over the world, by people all over the world.”

 

What other tactics make your company a great place to work?

 

[Image: Flickr user Justin Hogue][Post: m.cecelia bittner]

fastcompany
fastcompany:

Here are 3 ways to make the most out of getting the ax from Amy Shouse’s Lose Your Job, Find Yourself
Get the emotions out
Shouse recommends a solid, out-loud “I Got Fired” to jumpstart the processing, followed by cascades of journaling.
Dream big
Call it a “blue sky” moment: Make a list of everywhere you’d want to work. Regardless of of pre-requisites, catalog the gigs that would “make your heart sing.” 
Be Mercilessly Authentic
Shouse recommends a bout of career-focused self-inquiry: “Who am I? What do I want to do? Initially, these questions bounced off the walls, but after creating and following my plan, I got clarity.”
Want more? Check out Moving On: How I Found Happiness After Getting Fired.
[Image: Flickr user Rick Harris]

fastcompany:

Here are 3 ways to make the most out of getting the ax from Amy Shouse’s Lose Your Job, Find Yourself

Get the emotions out

Shouse recommends a solid, out-loud “I Got Fired” to jumpstart the processing, followed by cascades of journaling.

Dream big

Call it a “blue sky” moment: Make a list of everywhere you’d want to work. Regardless of of pre-requisites, catalog the gigs that would “make your heart sing.” 

Be Mercilessly Authentic

Shouse recommends a bout of career-focused self-inquiry: “Who am I? What do I want to do? Initially, these questions bounced off the walls, but after creating and following my plan, I got clarity.”

Want more? Check out Moving On: How I Found Happiness After Getting Fired.

[Image: Flickr user Rick Harris]

fastcompany

fastcompany:

"Vagueness is the opposite of useful," Geoffrey James writes for Inc. “The clearer the goal, the more convincing your e-mail will be.”

  1. Start by writing what you think you are trying to say
  2. Discover that the first few lines are wholehearted hogwash
  3. Rejoice in your determination to write something well
  4. Keep your hands on the keyboard, look for the conclusion when it appears
  5. THEN move that conclusion to the top of the message

Here are more tips. 

fastcompany
fastcompany:

5 Stupid Reasons You’re Underpaid- And How To Fix Them 
You are not being out-earned because you are being out-skilled.  People often have blindspots about getting paid— so pull back the veil and start earning what you’re worth. 
Dave Fecak knows whywe aren’t making enough. Fecak has had long exposure to technologists’ salaries: He’s been a part of software recruiting since 1998. And while his points are directly intended for programmers, they carry currency beyond coders.
These are the reasons you aren’t making enough.
Image consciousness
The first negotiation
Know the market (and your place in it)
Profit or cost?
Skill scarcity
Here’s the story.
Why are you underpaid?

fastcompany:

5 Stupid Reasons You’re Underpaid- And How To Fix Them 

You are not being out-earned because you are being out-skilled.  People often have blindspots about getting paid— so pull back the veil and start earning what you’re worth. 

Dave Fecak knows whywe aren’t making enough. Fecak has had long exposure to technologists’ salaries: He’s been a part of software recruiting since 1998. And while his points are directly intended for programmers, they carry currency beyond coders.

These are the reasons you aren’t making enough.

  • Image consciousness
  • The first negotiation
  • Know the market (and your place in it)
  • Profit or cost?
  • Skill scarcity

Here’s the story.

Why are you underpaid?