It’s a Jungle Out There

Each year, college release nearly two million students into the real world, armed with their diplomas and a healthy dose of overconfidence.

Each year, college release nearly two million students into the real world, armed with their diplomas and a healthy dose of false expectations.

Illustration by Guy Kopsombut, Founder and CEO of Pictaview, for The Young Professional. Story, incoherent mumblings, and critiques while peering over his shoulder completed by John Murdock.

– John Murdock, The Young Professional

The Damn Diploma Dilemma

What Are We Supposed to do With These Things Again?

What Are We Supposed to do With These Things Again?

 

Illustration by Guy Kopsombut, Founder and CEO of Pictaview, for The Young Professional.  Story, incoherent mumblings, and critiques while peering over his shoulder completed by John Murdock.

 

– John Murdock, The Young Professional

Interviewers’ Dirty Little Secret

Selecting a candidate to promote or hire in today’s environment is hard. With so many people fighting for jobs and promotional opportunities, it is really difficult to choose the right person to hire. But from my experience interviewing college graduates and young professionals, and my experience working with other hiring managers, I can let you in on our little secret: we want it to be easy.

We don’t want to have to make a hard decision. We don’t want to have to labor over whom to hire and whom not to. We know that we won’t always get it right. We are afraid to make a mistake.

So we want you to make it easy. We’re rooting for you to wow us. We want you to blow us away. You don’t need to be afraid: we’re hoping you will do such a good job that we will obviously have to choose you.

But if you don’t start doing really well in the early part of the interview, we’re trying to get you out of the pile of mediocrity, the pile we are worried we will have to sift through – difficultly. So we start magnifying the negatives just as we initially did the positives.

You do not want interviewers to be magnifying the negatives.

So prepare, focus, and don’t be scared. You know the interviewer wants you to be great as much as you do, so just give both of you what you want.

– John Murdock, The Young Professional

Smile, You Just Squashed the Frowners!

Did you know that just the act of smiling stimulates blood flow to parts of your brain that trigger happiness? That’s how powerful a smile is.

Which is why it’s so important to other people that you smile.  It might seem pretty obvious that frowning naturally has negative impact on other people’s perceptions of the frowner.  What might be less obvious is that even not smiling, but having a neutral expression, subconsciously triggers a negative reaction in other people.

They wonder what about them is keeping you from smiling, even if you weren’t even thinking about them at all.  We are hardwired to have this response, because back in the day, we had to evaluate quickly if something was going to eat us or not.  Our minds decided it was better to err in favor of worrying we’d be eaten.

So, if you want other people to like you and give you your way, smile more.  Once things start going your way, it will be all you can do to keep it from turning into a big ole s!?t-eating grin.

 

-John Murdock, The Young Professional

Why Specialists Get Better Mates

Michael Burcham, entrepreneur, professor, investor, and well just pretty much all around badass gives this tidbit of advice to college graduates and young professionals: specialize in something.  Specialists get paid.  Generalists are a dime a dozen.

Young professionals who find a way to combine their strengths to get really good at something are worth much more than young professionals who are pretty good (or less) at many things.  This is not the same issue as finding your talents.  This is about applying those talents and acquiring knowledge.

The fewer people there are who can do what a young professional can do, the more what that young professional can do is worth.  What a young professional can do is a function of both ability and experience.

As soon as you start to get an idea of where your strengths are best applied, start pushing hard to increase your understanding of how to apply them, and how to apply them in ways that other people are not good at.  This is the path to generating real value for yourself.

–  John Murdock, The Young Professional