From Harvard Business Review: Playing Office Politics Without Selling Your Soul

playing office politics

“Unsurprisingly, research shows that when employees perceive their workplace as more political, they are less engaged, less productive, and more likely to quit. And yet, a more effective way of dealing with office politics is to engage in them — playing the game, instead of complaining about it. Fortunately, not all politics are bad, and there’s a way to play the game without selling your soul.”

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From Forbes: Never Give Up Your Salary Details — Do This, Instead

eazl never give salary details

“It is wonderful to see job-seekers waking up to realize they have more power in the hiring equation than they thought they did.

Employers can’t grow their businesses without great employees on board.

Job-seekers need to know that there are lots of badly-managed organizations that treat job-seekers like dirt. Almost everyone has run into one of those organizations at some point.

The faster you run away from organizations (and recruiters) who treat you badly, the sooner you’ll find the right people to collaborate with!”

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Certificates, Nanodegrees, and the Future of Work

This post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume.

How will certificates, nanodegrees, and badges fit in to the #FutureOfWork? 🤔

Thought Point #1: Decentralized Authority
Everything is trending towards decentralization. We’re seeing small-scale, decentralized energy production, cryptocurrencies and blockchain are decentralizing finance, and globally distributed and globally connected workforces are an example of decentralized production.

Similarly, authority is now becoming decentralized. Here’s an example: today, one of the most respected degrees in artificial intelligence is the Udacity Nanodegree and Udacity is an organization that was launched 5 years ago.

As technology continues to disrupt and force people to re-learn skills, new kinds of educational credits are emerging because we need them. They are certificates, nanodegrees, and badges.

Thought Point #2: The Decline of Loyalty at Companies
Research shows that companies are increasingly disloyal to their employees and that employees are increasingly disengaged from the companies they work for. (For example, see Harvard’s http://hbs.me/2xwSUIC)

In his 2017 book “The End of Loyalty,” Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Rick Wartzman shows that, starting in the 1980s, companies that were already healthy started using layoffs to increase shareholder profits, causing a total destruction of trust between shareholders and the C-suite and employees. (See http://whr.tn/2w1m0Si)

Instead, we’re seeing an overwhelming preference for people to earn their wages from freelance, consulting, and small team arrangements rather than working for large organizations (see Eazl’s recent update on freelancing in the US at http://bit.ly/2w2nQ5p).

In arrangements like this, there is usually no internal training staff, so you have to bring your own skills to work.

What’s New? Eazl Certificates
Enter certificates, badges, and nanodegrees. While they probably won’t replace a traditional bachelor’s degree any time soon, they’re going to play a more important role in demonstrating to clients and partners that you are capable of something.

Recently, Eazl published the Facebook Ads Certification Course and the certificate we’ve designed is meant to give you a tool that you can use to close more deals, demonstrate your skills, and increase the attractiveness of your LinkedIn profile and resume because we’re here to be your partner in success. You can see John’s Facebook Ads certificate at http://bit.ly/johncert.

If you’ve completed 100% of our Facebook Ads Certification Course (see http://bit.ly/fbads10) or or Essentials of Feedback and Performance Management (see http://bit.ly/youtubefb5) course, you can request your certificate at http://bit.ly/eazlcertified and we’ll make one just like John’s for you.

Onward… to the future!

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Why You Should Leverage Volunteer Work on Your Resume

This post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume.

How to Leverage Volunteer Work on Your Resume

A lot of candidates assume volunteerism is a cheesy and disingenuous addition for a resume that only recent grads and students need.

Maybe you have a similar experience to my own senior year of high school when everyone volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and we all arrived to discover we had no skills to offer, taking turns hammering one nail each or unnecessarily holding a ladder for stability on flat, level ground.

Because a lot of us have had experiences with these not-so-meaningful volunteerism efforts that our parents and teachers told us we must have to get into a good school, we’ve come to think they aren’t important -not only for our resumes but for our communities as well.

It’s simply not true!

Check out some of the reasons to invest in your Volunteerism section on your resume below and head on over to our Career Hacking course to learn the best way to format and present your experiences with our side-by-side videos.

It Gives You an Edge
A lot of employers are specifically looking for candidates with a history of volunteerism and see volunteering as a sign of leadership. Resumes that include a volunteerism section have an edge over other applicants (1).

Since a lot of applicants are thinking it doesn’t matter if they volunteer, that means there is a shortage of applicants that do include these experiences on their resume. Why wouldn’t you want to set yourself apart from the crowd?

It’s Good for More Than Just Your Current Job Search
If you choose your volunteer roles strategically and do something related to your field, you can grow your personal network and create more career opportunities for yourself (2). Volunteering is a great way to meet people and start relationships off on a positive note. You never know when you might meet someone who knows someone…you know?

It Carries More Cred Than You Would Think
Almost half of hiring managers interviewed view volunteer work as equivalent to full-time work experience (3). That’s a serious stat right there!

If you focus on finding a volunteer role that enables you to use your skills, you’ll reap multiple benefits for your do-gooding.

It Gives You the Best Excuse
Volunteering is also a great way to fill employment gaps (4).

When I was living in Sonoma County and new to the area, I needed a way to show that I was professionally active until I could bring on some clients for my freelance marketing practice. I was in the midst of meetings and building my network, but I needed something in between to build my profile and possible connect me to companies in the area.

That’s when I discovered a children’s educational content nonprofit and volunteered to create a social media strategy for them. The founder tried her best to connect me with other people in the area as well.  I ended up volunteering my time to the organization for a couple of years and enjoyed every minute of it. I was actually sad when I became busy with Eazl and needed to part ways with them.

You can’t add volunteer experience retroactively, but remember this next time you’re in-between jobs or clients.

It Build Your References
You can use the people you volunteer for (and with) as references (4), as I mentioned in my previous point. Think about it: some of the nicest and most caring people volunteer in their free time. If you’re genuine, add value, and are kind to others in the organization, you’ll create relationships with people who will support you.

How to Add Volunteer Work to Your Resume

how to leverage volunteer experience on a resume
To create this graphic, we used helpful information from (5).

You might also find these additional resources helpful:
Handling Employment Gaps on Your Resume
How to Use the Template if You Have No Work Experience
Using the VISTA Career Planning Tool
Writing Great Resume Content for a Volunteer Position
Resources
(1) Here’s Why Your Should Put Volunteer Work on Your Resume
(2) 5 ways volunteering can help you find a job and advance your career
(3) 4 Ways Volunteering Can Help You Find a Job
(4) Why Volunteering is a Smart Career Strategy – And 6 Ways to Get Started
(5) Leverage Volunteer Work on Your Resume

6 Project Ideas for Your Resume

This post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume.

project ideas resume

The Projects section might be at the bottom of your resume…but don’t be fooled! It’s still a major selling point of your CV and is becoming more and more relevant in the modern job market as companies look for employees who self-train and walk through the door with something to offer on the first day.

This is why lifelong learning and continuing education is having a moment right now…and the market will continue to grow.

There are a lot of ways that you can demonstrate your initiative and interests as projects on your resume. Here are a few ideas…

  1. Start Your Own Blog
    It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment and you don’t need hundreds of blogs posts to exhibit expertise within your field.

Begin by making a list of topics that someone with your job title would be expected to be knowledgeable on and develop your post ideas from there.  One post per topic will work.

The Big 6 Skills on your resume is a good place to start. We teach you how to determine your Big 6 Skills in our Career Hacking Masterclass.

Make your posts unique by showing your personality and giving a real look into your work history and interests. A generic blog might hurt you instead of help you.

Since the sole purpose of your blog is to demonstrate your skills to potential employers, you can skip worrying about social media integration, SEO, and other typical website concerns. Keep in mind that someone who has already seen your resume or LinkedIn profile is going to be looking at your blog.

You’ll be driving traffic there directly so you don’t need to focus on any of the “pull” mechanisms of marketing.

What you should focus on is uniqueness and quality of writing. If you’ve never blogged before, take a look at some blog posts for ideas on how to structure them. Find a talented writer to edit before publishing if writing isn’t in your skill set.

If you’re better at being on camera than you are writing, make the content video-based.

You’ll also need to focus on making the blog attractive because studies have shown that people ultimately judge that content of a site based on its appearance.

  1. Make Something
    Is there some way you can bring your skills and interests into the physical world?

For those already who are already “makers” by trade or product-centric, this will be easy, but there are opportunities for desk workers as well.

Let me use myself as an example. Most of my work experience is related to marketing and operations, most recently in the educational content world, and my next career move is to focus more on content within the consumer behavior, business ethics, and psychology of happiness realms. If I were to make a career move in that direction through traditional employment, I would probably put together something like a book or magazine that contains content on one of these topics. I would maybe even bring in a couple of people to work on this with me so we can all use it on our resumes.

You don’t have to use an expensive printing solution either. In fact, you could skip printing altogether because you’ll be linking the pdf version on your resume.

Your project will have to make sense for your role and industry, but get creative and find something you’ll enjoy working on. If you need help with ideas, Tweet at me and we’ll chat about it.

  1. Team Up
    A big selling point for employers is an applicant who demonstrates an ability to thrive as a part of a team. There are some exceptions, of course, but most of us have to work with others in some way or another.

eazl teamwork

Think of ways you can team up with someone to work on industry research, something creative, etc.

Demonstrating teamwork through a project is especially a good idea if you are wanting to move into a role that will require teamwork but have mostly solo work in your work history.

4. School Projects
Especially if you are a recent grad, the projects you completed during your studies can be included in the Projects section of your resume. Try to include only the most relevant projects you worked on -you don’t want this to be a list of every paper you wrote all throughout college.

What projects have the most crossover with the work you would performing if hired?

5. Start a Meetup Group
Meetup group leadership will show employers that you are a person who will take initiative to create something useful for others.

eazl meetup group

It will also brand you as a person who is interested in people, which is actually really hard to come by these days.

As a bonus, you’ll also meet lots of new and interesting people who have connections to companies and jobs and build your social and organization skills.

6. Play Pretend
Create a make-believe work scenario and assign yourself a project that will demonstrate the skills that you would be performing if someone hired you.

In my early days of digital marketing, I would created logos, websites, and marketing strategies for pretend companies so I could show potential clients what my work looks like in addition to the work for clients I already had.

This is also helpful if you are looking to change industries but use the same skill set.

Have something in mind that I’ve forgotten here? Comment below and let’s talk about it!

The End of Jobs and Bosses

This post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume. After watching this video, you should be thinking about ways to display and prove your skills as the world of work changes.

No “jobs.” No bosses. I think the future of work is going to be decentralized, “bring your own skills to work,” about shared ownership, and will favor people who can effectively self-manage… themselves.

The “Pop Up Organization”
The future will probably involve fewer bosses. Recently, a group of American freelancers got together to create True Story (a card game and mobile app) and there’s one striking thing about the company. It isn’t a company. There are no bosses, no managers, and no official titles. It was a collaboration between a group of freelancers who met, created, signed revenue sharing agreements, and walked away. See http://nyti.ms/2v613SJ.

This is becoming an important way of working — and not just for bands of freelancers. Jody Miller, the founder of the Business Talent Group (see http://bit.ly/2x97CFq), makes a living assembling teams of freelancers for short-term projects for Fortune 500 companies.

Algorithmic Managers
Increasingly, software algorithms are being used to allocate, optimize, and evaluate human workers and business processes. Sound familiar? That’s what managers used to do. At companies like Uber and Lyft, there are 500 and even sometimes 1000 drivers for every 1 person who does traditional “management” functions.

The new conversation being had by next-generation management scientists isn’t how humans can be better managers, it’s how algorithms can be better human managers. For example, see the paper “Working with Machines” at http://bit.ly/2i9oclV. For more information about the DAO see http://bit.ly/25RWicG.

Also, watch Senator Ben Sasse being interviewed about the future of work at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. I believe he’s correct about much of his view on the future of work (and he’s definitely going to run for President, so he’s worth learning about). Here’s the link with the timecode embedded: http://bit.ly/2uV835l

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We’re Obsessed with Ambition in all the Wrong Ways

This post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume…and think differently about your job search!

ambition

What is ambition and how do we qualify an action or lifestyle as ambitious or not?

Typically, how we think and feel about ourselves is greatly influenced by what others (our parents, our peers, leaders in our industry) think of us. It’s dangerous to assess ourselves in this way because it leads to making decisions that aren’t right for our needs, our values, our experiences, our personalities, etc.

I believe it makes us watered down versions of ourselves and actually impedes the positive impact that we are capable of having; we do things for the wrong reasons because our focus is on the image of ourselves that the public reflects back to us instead of the reality of who we actually are.

Lately, I’ve been working on breaking the approval seeking part of myself and thinking of ambition as dependent on the individual and what their goals, values, and interests are because ambition means different things to different people. And the same goes for achievement and success.

As you think about your career trajectory and, over the years, prepare your resume and keep your career profile up-to-date, I encourage you to stay connected with what YOUR true ambitious self looks like vs. what you see on the cover of Fortune, what your parents’ ambitions are for you, or what you see your peers doing.

Are you overcoming obstacles and doing the hard work to get to where you want to be and achieve what you set out to achieve? Are your goals based on what you actually want for yourself and do you let your values and ethics guide you in the right direction?

Following the Mainstream Can Cause Us Harm
The pressure for making certain “acceptable” decisions doesn’t stop with our friends and family. Norms are pushed on us through the media as well, as Alain de Botton so aptly describes in Status Anxiety:

“Ideology is released into society like a colourless, odourless gas. It is embedded in newspapers, advertisements, televisions programmes, and textbooks -where it makes light of its partial, perhaps illogical or unjust take on the world; where it meekly implies that it is simply stating age-old truths with which only a fool or a maniac would disagree.”

eazl jeff bezos

This includes ideology about the economy and who qualifies as a useful person within that economy.

Now, you still have to possess skills, interests, and talents in an area where there is clear need in order to be employable or create a career for yourself. In general, being people-centric will help set you on the right path.

But prioritizing money and praise is NOT the only way to be an ambitious person. Ambition is possible without either of these foci.

If you perform some kind of action that greatly influences your community in a positive way but there is not necessarily any kind of monetary reward or public recognition for it, are you not ambitious in your efforts and are you not successful?

What we see reflected back to us often in these cases is that it doesn’t qualify as ambition but we shouldn’t be assessing our ambition based on someone else’s judgement of us. Our limit should not be where the paycheck and the praise ends.

Get comfortable with the idea that what other people think about you does NOT matter and is most often a distraction from being a real leader!

Traditional Views on Ambition
For too long –in my opinion and based on the findings of researchers in the fields of the science of happiness, sociology, consumer behavior, and many other areas of study– we have measured ambition based on the amount of money and/or public recognition that an individual receives or seeks.

We conflate the feeling of love (however disingenuous it may be) that we get from strangers based on money rewards and attention with real success and love.

eazl paparazzi

If you aren’t bringing home a fat paycheck or on your way to getting one, you aren’t all that ambitious.

If you aren’t being featured in publications as an expert in your field (or if your don’t care to be), ambition simply isn’t part of your personality or something that you prioritize.

We, as a society, are confusing monetary gain as a measurement of an individual’s value in the world and we are being told what it means to be ambitious instead of deciding what it means for us and what WE want to contribute to the world.

This is causing much confusion in the world of professionals as college graduates leave programs that were never right for them for jobs that aren’t right for them. These big decisions that we later (sometimes much later) realize are mistakes that can often be traced back to status anxiety and our narrow view of what ambition is because we followed the path that others told us was the right one.

What Makes a Person Ambitious?
The problem with the public attention and financial success mindset surrounding ambition is that we are leaving out the numerous other approaches to ambition that one might argue are far more important than a salary or public praise and, in the end, do more good for society and future generations.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that those who receive the praise and the money are the ones who deserve it; we buy into the idea that we live in a meritocracy. So those who fall into the category of wealthy and/or public figures stake claim over the adjective “ambitious”, leaving out the many others who are striving to be change makers or make progress in their fields; the ones who haven’t prioritized public recognition and most likely made sacrifices regarding their paychecks….or simply have their noses down in their work.

So what makes a person ambitious? There isn’t a definition that I can give you because there is no model to follow. You are going to have to create your own model.

That might initially sound scary to you….but what it should sound like is FREEDOM.

You have to decide what your ambitions are for yourself. What is it that you love and enjoy? What do you feel are your innate talents and how can you work hard at delivering those talents as a service to those around you? What is ripe for disruption?

Once you’re on that path -on YOUR path- you can feel comfortable in your ambition and won’t need to look for approval.

 

Self Discipline is Underrated

📿 How are you challenging yourself to be more disciplined? 📿

Could self-discipline hold the key to a healthier, happier, more successful future?

The Books Mentioned in this Video:
• Siddhartha by Herman Hesse – http://amzn.to/2u3P48y
• Hooked by Nir Eyal – http://bit.ly/2fbUmw2
• Nudge by Richard Thaler – http://amzn.to/2v2txhO

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The Importance of Learning How a Language is Really Spoken

This guest post is part of our Augment Your Resume series. We’re creating content that will help you upgrade the language, certifications, volunteerism, and projects sections of your resume. You can find a coupon for 25% off Charlie’s course, Zero to French: A Complete Guide to Spoken French, here.

charlie-street-french

street french

When we learn a foreign language in high school or college, it’s usually not really how native speakers use the language in everyday life. We learn the language in a very proper and academic way, but that tends to not be very useful in real life situations. So you end up with people who might have studied a foreign language for several years, but can hardly use what they’ve learned at all.

It’s pretty sad right? Why else would you learn a language?

I definitely understand why academic institutions teach languages like that. They want people to learn proper grammar and in a way, sort of protect the language, but it just seems like a giant waste of time that so many people spend all this time studying something and end up being unsuccessful at it in the end.

So if you’re studying a foreign language with the intent of actually being able to apply what you’ve learned, studying in a classroom is not nearly enough! You have to go out and use what you’ve learned in order to be proficient at it. There’s really no other way.

street french

The problem with how most people currently learn languages is that they’re limited to textbooks, exercises, and tests, which can be helpful, but they don’t spend enough time using the language to become proficient at it. If you want to have beautiful, flowing conversations in French, you’re going to have to practice having beautiful flowing conversations in French with other people.

It’s a lot like driving a car. You can read a book about driving and learn the rules of the road, but unless you actually get behind the wheel of a car and spend a decent amount of time practicing, you’ll never be a very good driver. There are some things that you would just never be able to learn in a classroom.

street french

So for those of you who would like to speak a foreign language proficiently one day, I highly suggest you get out of this “classroom” mentality and focus on using the language as much as possible. Sure you can learn the basics and even take a couple of entry level classes to get your feet wet, but get out there and start using what you’ve learned as soon as possible.

There are sites like couchsurfing.com and meetup.com where you can easily find some friends who speak the language you’d like to learn and practice with them. Don’t overthink it! Just have a good time with your new friends and remember, the only way to get good at something is to practice doing it.

Get started learning French today with Zero to French: A Complete Guide to Spoken French (25% off) and start developing an invaluable skill to add to your resume!