Get Ramped! Ruminations on Day 34


How can you learn to ramp more quickly in your new role?  Accelerate your career trajectory NOW by identifying the resources and skills you need to develop to ensure your success in a new role or position. 

Excerpt from an interview with B (age 25) on her 34th day of work in a new position.   

SHR: What have you identified as the most valuable resources or skills that have helped you to succeed in your new position? 

(1)Project management skills and (2) my ability to build relationships with people, regardless of their rank.  Soft skills have been more important in my role than I ever thought they would be.  (3) Also, my drive for results. My program partner does not have the same drive to help the business reach its goals.  I was in a meeting when the Instructional Designer mentioned “driving business results” and my colleague actually rolled her eyes.

-B is a Learning and Development Professional at one of Fortune Magazine’s top Best Companies, 2013.  

Notice that nowhere in her response did B mention a technical skill, i.e., one that can be learned or attained through coursework or a textbook.  The soft skills she speaks of – networking, relationship building, project management – come from welcoming new challenges and stepping outside of your comfort zone.  It is immensely difficult to teach these skills.  Rather, you need to lean into your vulnerability, welcoming novel experiences and new challenges.  This is how you stretch, learn and grow. 

As for B’s drive for business results…

It is even more daunting, if even possible, to teach someone to be passionate.  Finding your passion falls on you.  As you enter into your new role, find where you can add value to the organization by identifying business needs that align with your passions.  Find your element.  By identifying these opportunities to add value to the organization and ignite your passion, you can play to your strengths and help to establish short-term wins early on.  This helps to build both self-confidence as well as credibility around the work place. 



‘Pay for Performance’ No Longer a Punchline

‘Pay for Performance’ No Longer a Punchline

Company directors say they pay CEOs based on performance. Now the numbers show
they mean it.

More than half of the compensation awarded to 51 CEOs last year was tied to
their companies’ financial or stock-market performance, according to a
preliminary review of proxy statements by consulting firm Hay Group and The Wall
Street Journal. In most cases, the companies must hit specified targets for the
CEO to receive the promised money or equity.

Top 5 reasons we should play more at work

Top 5 reasons we should play more at work

I love this…

After each candidate goes through his/her well-rehearsed and pre-meditated interviews with HR and management, the entire engineering team (it’s a small company) comes into the room, closes the door, and starts a game of Jenga like it’s no big deal. Meanwhile, we strike up a casual conversation with the candidate and insist he or she play with us.

Without fail, the candidates true colors are almost immediately revealed. Candidate scoffs at the idea of playing a game in an interview? Obviously too uptight for our group and not capable of handling rapidly changing situations. Focusing on Jenga also takes the candidate’s mind off of all of the pre-meditated answers and pages of ‘interview tips’ articles that we’ve all read at one point or another.

Works every time. We end up with engineers who are laid back and easygoing, but who know their stuff, and can think on their feet.

(Excerpt from “Top 5 reasons we should play more at work” by Alexander Kjerulf)

1: Promote Yourself

Image“”Promoting yourself” does not mean self-serving grandstanding or hiring a PR firm.  It means preparing yourself mentally to move into your new role by letting go of the past and embracing the imperatives of the new situation to give yourself a running start”. 

So you were a 4.0 student and president of your student organization…

So you received an award for exceptional sales performance in your prior role that resulted in an all expense paid trip to Puerto Vallarta on the company’s dime…

So you served as VP of Finance at your past firm…

So what? 

Just because you achieved success in a prior role does not your guarantee success in a new role.  Transitions require a change in perspective.  While it’s important to celebrate your successes, when entering a new role, emotions and egos must be checked at the door.  You must strive to identify that which you do not know.  Lean into vulnerability, then learn to control it. The sooner you can mentally prepare for the culture shock of a career transition, the sooner you can begin to identify the resources you need to promote yourself. 

How do you do this?

Well for one, consciously think of letting go of the old job and embracing the new one.  Like a power lifter preparing to max out on the bench press, you need to visualize the goal in your minds eye before lifting the weight.  This is an active process that requires mental energy as well as time to reflect.  Prepare. Take a deep breath. Identify, then focus on the goal before you act.

In the beginning, the specifics of your role may appear unclear.  Instead of spinning your tires, take advantage of the quiet time before the storm and educate yourself about the organization. 

Start planning what you hope to accomplish by specific milestones.  Create SMART goals for yourself.  Own your career development.

Assess your vulnerabilities. Then, compensate for them through self-discipline, team building as well as seeking advise and counsel.  Work hard to account for gaps in your skill set.  Identify team members that may serve as valuable resources.  And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

Decide to learn.  You got to where you are now because you have proven yourself in the past.  Now, it’s time to make the most of the present.  Mentally prepare yourself for your new role by gathering as much information as you can, asking insightful questions to help you better grasp the scope of the role and acknowledging that your past successes alone may not guarantee your future success.  It’s time to start promoting yourself.



Job Interviewing 101: How to Succeed in Different Situations

Job Interviewing 101: How to Succeed in Different Situations

Did you know the average employer may receive upwards of 100 applications per job opening? In addition, even if an applicant does land an interview, it can be difficult to navigate through the process, since every interviewer is different. So, how can job seekers ensure they are reading each situation correctly?

Check out the infographic to help you beat the interview.