NOTE: This is a book excerpt with minor edits from You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works by Marcy Twete. It was October of 2009 when the idea for You Know Everybody! first came to me. I had been dating a man named Charlie for just a few weeks (he would eventually become my husband). We ventured one October evening to Minneapolis’ newest hot spot, Bar La Grassa. After opening just days before, a friend of a friend made some calls and got me a 7:00 p.m. seating, which thoroughly impressed my new not-quite boyfriend. As the host escorted us to our table in the back corner of the bustling dining room, I scanned the faces of those around me. I smiled, nodded, waved here and there, and, upon sitting down, immediately turned to Charlie and said, “This place is like a who’s who of Minneapolis/St. Paul.” He laughed uncomfortably and asked, “How do you know?” For the next few minutes, I covertly drew my date’s attention to the man across the room to the left in the blue suit. That’s the CEO of one of the Twin Cities’ largest companies. Next, the group of girlfriends dressed to the nines—all members of families with what you’d call “old money” in Minnesota. And at the bar, hoping for a table, was one of the city’s best event planners, sipping a martini with a Star Tribune editor and a fashion designer who was rumored to be cast on Project Runway. Those people weren’t just faces to me. They were my friends, my colleagues, all of whom I could call in a moment’s notice if I needed something. After I gave Charlie the skinny on at least half the room, he turned to me and said the words that would shape the course of my life and, ultimately, inspire this book. He said, “Wow, Marcy. You Know Everybody!” He was right. I had amassed a network in Minneapolis/St. Paul that included everyone from corporate CEOs to chefs, artists, actors, and those you might call socialites. I didn’t know that night, or in the months to come, that my networking abilities would soon be tested beyond any measure I could imagine. I had no idea that the appearance of the You Know Everybody! idea in my life would actually be an invitation to the universe to throw down the gauntlet: Less than a year later, Charlie and I would pick up our furniture and our cat and move to the Windy City of Chicago. Fast forward to December 9, 2010. Around noon, I walked into the Union League Club in downtown Chicago, looked around the room, and experienced one of the most terrifying moments of my life. I scanned the faces of the 200 women gathered for the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago luncheon, and my feelings were the exact opposite of those at Bar La Grassa the year before. Not a soul in the room was familiar to me. I knew nobody. Despite the fact that I would eventually look back on this PWCC luncheon as a success, that evening I sobbed to Charlie. I asked him how would I ever make friends, how would I ever build the kind of network in Chicago I had in Minneapolis? “How,” I asked, “am I ever going to get through this?” I won’t lie to you—there were many more evenings like that one. Evenings when I sobbed and shook and wondered how I would ever get through such a huge transition in my life. But I embarked on a process to create the same kind of network in Chicago that I had in Minneapolis. And between the tears and the fear, I had to believe if I did it once, I could do it again. Fast-forward again to November 16, 2011. That evening, I walked into a room filled with hundreds of Chicago women at the Step Up Women’s Network annual Stepping Up in the City event. I closed my eyes and thought back to that evening in Bar La Grassa and then to that terrifying first luncheon at PWCC, and compared the two. I realized I felt more like the former than the latter. And at one moment in the evening, I was standing next to a new friend who turned to me and exclaimed, “Wow, Marcy. You Know Everybody!” I realized then that my network in Minneapolis wasn’t created accidentally and my new network in Chicago hadn’t been, either. When I moved to Chicago, I attacked networking intentionally, and with a clear, well-thought-out plan. In less than a year, I went from knowing nobody to knowing (again, as well as anyone can) everybody.
August 14, 2013
Getting through to the job interview stage in the hiring process means the employer believes you have the right experience and skills for the job on paper. But now comes the real deal-breaker: whether you can communicate those skills effectively in person and come off as the right fit for the company's workplace culture.
There are typical red flags employers watch for in job interviews. Any one red flag can reduce your chances of getting a job offer, so here's what you need to avoid in your next job interview...
1. Poor Communication
This includes everything from talking too little, talking too much, or simply having poor nonverbal behavior like a lack of eye contact or making the situation uncomfortable with poor body language. When it comes to questions and answers, a job candidate who can't provide effective responses to questions that are necessary to assess their experience and skills is always a problem.
Be prepared to address every point you have on your resume. And when an employer presents a follow-up question like "Tell me more about..." they are trying to dig deeper either because they're curious, or you provided an insufficient response.
An inability to communicate well in a job interview will leave the employer questioning whether you do have the experience and skills you say you have on paper.
2. Question Of Permanency
When an employer puts out a job offer, it's going to be to someone they believe is committed to the job—not to someone who's simply looking to fill in an employment gap until a more fitting job comes along. Any reasonable job seeker wouldn't present such a front, but sometimes casual conversation can lead you to say things that are better off unsaid.
Avoid talking about challenges in your job search or how you were looking for a job in fashion marketing, but somehow you're now applying for this job in healthcare marketing. It brings to question if you're really interested in the job the employer has to offer.
Also, avoid talking about any long-distance relationships and try not to mention that your spouse and kids remain in another state. The employer will question if your personal situation may impact your job loyalty down the road if a relocation package is not going to be a part of the offer. And if they ask where you want to be in three years, answer with a position that corresponds with their growth opportunities.
3. Bad Talk
The purpose of the interview is to demonstrate why you're a great candidate for the job and effectively convey what you have to offer. It's not about letting your frustrations out about a boss you don't like or people you don't like working with. Any bad-mouthing simply sends a negative message about your character. It'll also make the employer question if you can manage workplace relationships professionally.
Often, bad-mouthing occurs when employers ask questions like, "Why are you leaving your current job?" Stay focused on answering with a positive response that relates back to the goal of improving yourself and utilizing what you're capable of offering.
4. Not Dressing The Part
Yes, it's wrong to judge a book by its cover. But in a job interview, this is what happens. If you're not dressed the part to look like you suit the job, it's going to be hard for the employer to see that, too.
It might also make the employer think that if you can't even manage to present a well-groomed appearance for a job interview that you'll be a slacker when on the job—and that's not going to work, especially if this is a position where you may have interface with customers or business partners that require a professional appearance.
5. It's All About The Money
Salary is a factor in determining whether the job offer is ultimately right for you, but bringing it up too early in the interview process comes off as though you're only in it for the money. And when you're the one to bring it up, it puts you at a disadvantage. You create a situation where you need to reveal your desired salary before the employer offers insight to what they're considering, which may end up being much lower or much higher from what the employer has budgeted.
The point is to first make the most impressive mark you can. If you're the one they want, they'll bring up the topic of salary and you'll have an idea of what they're offering, which you can then further negotiate so it meets your expectations.
Employers take into account many factors during the job interview. It's not just about the experience and skills you put on paper. Now, you can avoid all the typical red flags to keep yourself in the running.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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For years now, I have seen hustle-culture being glorified, and it frustrates me. The idea of earning respect by overworking yourself isn't healthy. It just isn't. As a small business owner, I fully understand the word hustle. I grind daily. But as human beings, we have limits, so I suggest that we must be intentional with how we hustle.
I like to think about it in running terms. Hustle culture would have you believe that you can sprint forever. But that isn't possible. At some point, your legs are simply going to give out and hurl you face-first into the ground. Intentional hustle, on the other hand, is like doing a 100-yard dash a few times. You have a goal, you meet it, and then you have a bit of time to rest and reset. The important thing here: it's sustainable.
If you are working too much, not only are you not spending enough time with friends and family, but you are also robbing yourself of opportunities to take on projects that will benefit your career in the long run. Burnout is real and so is your body's need for sleep and self-care.
Sleep is a magical thing. A study done in 2018 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found those who reported getting 5 to 6 hours experienced 19 percent more productivity loss, and those who got less than 5 hours of sleep experienced 29 percent more productivity loss when compared with those who regularly got 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
To see the full results of the study click here.
Discover Your Flow
You'll notice that there are different levels of stress and flow in your work and life. It's not about finding a perfect balance between the two, but rather finding the sweet spot for you. You need to understand what makes you flourish and what drains you, so you can plan your days and projects and accordingly.
Planning well and taking notice of what you enjoy will allow you to steer your free time and career towards projects and learnings that light you up. Hustle on things that make you happy. It is harder to burn out doing things that you truly enjoy.
When you work too hard, you miss out on the nuances of the world that matter the most to you. You can see a beautiful sunset and not even notice it if you're racing to get done with a project at work. Conversely, when you stop working so hard, you have time to enjoy life's little pleasures, recharge, and be present for the people in your life.
There are so many awe-inspiring things and people out in the world, but you have to look up from your screen to see it all. As a creative, I know without a doubt that my work gets stronger when I take the time to meander and explore the world around me.
Being intentional with how you choose to hustle is the key. A strong work ethic is incredibly valuable, but the idea of ambition as a lifestyle, not so much.
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