Archives for the month of: April, 2010

You spend hours refining your resume. You get a nice suit. You read up on the company. You do an informational interview with a current employee. You arrive early. You interview great.

And then they don’t hire you. What gives? Couldn’t they tell how much work you poured into it, how badly you wanted the job?

“If I were in their shoes, I would have hired me,” you think. “Look how much work I put into it!” But assuming there were other good candidates, the truth is that you probably wouldn’t have. You’re just having trouble simulating their mindset.

Let’s think of it the other way around.

You have a nice suit jacket, but it needs to be dry-cleaned. Where do you go? Probably to the most convenient place, maybe to the faster dry-cleaners a little further away.

This kid is actually cooler than I was. But he's wearing a suit jacket, and that's what we're talking about. (by drp)

But didn’t you know that the owner of the dry-cleaner on 3rd St has worked so hard, just opened her store last month, and really needs your support? She renovated the store herself, painted the walls, replaced the sign, bought new machines, posted flyers around the neighborhood, and spent good money to advertise in the paper. Now that you know all of that, you might feel for her, but you’re still going to do what works best for you. In other words, you wish her the best, but you don’t care about her.

I say all this not to be negative, but rather to point out how much work you need to put in. Don’t underestimate how much effort it takes to be noticed. Don’t get too upset if you’re not, and just keep moving forward.

by laughlin

Advice and ideas are cheap. Implementation and execution are key. It’s easy to dismiss advice by saying, “That’s common sense. It’s too obvious.” But are you putting it into practice?

Here’s an example. It’s easy to say, “When you get home after a long day of classes, get right to studying.” Everyone knows that. But the trick is to break down barriers in front of studying (have paper and pens on hand, get the books you need out of your bag, study in a room separate from the TV) and set up barriers in front of distractions (go straight to the library rather than going straight home, hide the TV remote control, turn off your computer’s wireless card). Those are tricks that can work, and that’s where the magic is.

When you hear advice and you think it’s not specifically relevant to your own situation, do you react violently? Do you pull a Hulk and yell, “THERE’S NO WAY THIS ADVICE APPLIES TO ME,” and then you stomp off? Well, good luck finding someone who will spoon-feed you the exact advice you need.

by owenbooth

A good principle instead is to ask yourself, “What CAN I glean from this advice? How can I sift through it and apply it to my life?”

Even U.S. presidents don’t need to agree with someone 100% to get something done: “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.”