Best of 2016: Career Management
It’s that time of year again, when we look back and point to some of the best that 2016 had to offer. For my part, I’m going to highlight one great career management article from each of the past 12 months in reverse chronological order.
I’ll provide the essential point of each article — what led me to choose it — so you can determine if you want to read it in full. Of course, don’t take my brief description as a comprehensive summary of the article. If it’s all you read, you’ll likely miss out on valuable nuance, details, and in some cases critical points.
It’s also worth noting that these selections are in addition to the career management articles here on Enterprising Investor, all of which are well worth reviewing if you’re giving your career some specific attention,
Let’s get started.
No one else is going to spend their time contemplating how to make the most of your career, Dorie Clark notes, so you have to do it yourself. Planning your development, committing to deep work, and managing your reputation and your personal brand are important strategic efforts in building your career.
Understanding what talents are sought after by a targeted segment of the industry can help you tailor your resume to improve your chances of getting hired, Dan Butcher observes. Some practices — demonstrating a track record of success and quantifying your past contributions — are good for any financial services role. Others, say highlighting how you work well in small teams or have ties to prestigious institutions, are of particular interest to hedge funds.
When hiring managers say you’re “overqualified,” they rarely think you’re too good for the job, Ruth K. Robbins explains. Rather, they’re saying they have other concerns, most of which you can address with a few key phrases.
Emotional intelligence underlies your ability to network to maximum benefit, and networking is at the heart of your career mobility and in-role success, according to James Runde. This was a hard choice because I also came across this neat piece, also from September, about the science of a perfect nap by Vanessa Van Edwards. Still, while naps may influence general well-being, emotional intelligence is a critical quality for finance professionals to develop. “Wall Street’s Next Frontier Is Hacking into Emotions of Traders” further emphasizes the importance of being tuned in to and comfortable with your emotions.
TED Talks have created a new standard for public speaking. Such presenters as Amy Cuddy, Tony Robbins, and Brené Brown demonstrate some practical steps you can take to improve your presentation skills, like creating suspense, exhibiting passion for your topic, and beginning with an anecdote, Geoffrey James observes. (Strictly speaking this piece was published at the end of July, but I didn’t run across it until August.)
Though well intentioned, much of the advice about how to lead effective teams just doesn’t pan out. So what are the strategies that do work? This article lists several, courtesy of Leigh Thompson, including limiting team size, encouraging a degree of disagreement, and setting ground rules.
Don’t give up or start making excuses if your job search stalls, Robert Hellmann says. Instead, recheck your messaging — including your resume — and communication channels, focus your targeting, reach out to and stay in touch with your network, and keep active.
Leaders need to focus on honing their talents and skills as well as giving those whom they lead every tool and opportunity to do the same. Annette B. Czernik suggests this is a better use of resources than over-addressing deficiencies.
Take advantage of every opportunity you have to communicate and build relationships with those who can give you feedback and guidance, this article maintains. And yes, you should write a thank you letter even if you’ve been rejected.
In today’s working world, the phrase “Knowledge is power” doesn’t refer to just the knowledge you hold close to your chest and offer up sparingly to demonstrate your capabilities, according to networking expert Andy Lopata. Rather you need to build on your fundamental expertise with a knowledge network — a means of continuously gaining, sharing, and applying knowledge.
The Glass Hammer has a great series of posts that feature career lessons and advice from successful women in the finance and technology fields. Men and women both can benefit from these voices of experience. Almost every piece from the series highlights a key career message. In this selection, Margaret Anadu shares how the career advice you get when you are starting out often will hold true throughout your career. There may be nuances that emerge over the years, but the key points usually remain the same for the whole of your professional life.
For all the recent attention given to the four — and soon-to-be five — generations mixing in the workplace, Gretchen Gavett observes, the fundamentals of managing the Y and Z generations well are not much different than what they are for any other generation.
Thanks for reading and here’s wishing you continued career success in 2017.
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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.
Image credit: CFA Institute