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Dear Grads: How to Slay Dragons in the Business World
May 20, 2019 | WSJ | by Andy Kessler.

here’s my simple advice: Be a hero. You’ll have a job with a vague description. Sales. Physician assistant. Manager. Business intelligence. Everyone comes in with a task. Don’t let your job description be a straitjacket. Do something above and beyond. That’s what your employers want, whether they admit it or not.

Im-74937
I’ve seen it again and again. I heard from a woman named Carol working in international marketing for a Midwest company. She was asked by a superior working on a board deck for a list of European competitors. She came up with a single PowerPoint slide that visually showed the reach of each competitor overlaid with her company’s distributors and analysis of how it could best compete. The slide was a huge hit. The chief operating officer thanked her. She got a raise and more responsibilities.

On Wall Street, I used to work with a salesman named Steve. A deal to raise money for a paper company was stuck. No one would touch it at $20. It was uglier than Dunder Mifflin. Steve had a new account in Milwaukee and insisted it buy several million shares, but at $18. On hearing someone was willing to buy, other accounts piled in. Steve is still known as the guy who got the ugly deal done—a hero.

Then there’s the coder, Paul. There were long discussions about how his company might get paid for its web service, but no solutions. “On a Friday,” Paul recalls, he sat down and invented one. “It seemed like an interesting problem, so one evening I implemented this content-targeting system, just as a sort of side project, not because I was supposed to.” What became known as AdSense morphed into a $115 billion business. Paul Buchheit was employee No. 23 at Google. He also developed Gmail. Giga-hero.

You don’t have to save a baby from a fire. In Silicon Valley there’s a saying about pain killers versus vitamins: Either save costs or generate revenue. You can be a hero either way.

Another easy route to heroism: Every company has particularly nasty clients. They don’t return calls and they badmouth your products. Everyone avoids them. Instead, go for it. Roll up your sleeves and find something you have in common with them. Better yet, find their weakness. Horse racing. Wilco. Anime. You’ll own them.
advice  Andy_Kessler  Colleges_&_Universities  commencement  first90days  howto  new_graduates  painkillers  pain_points  speeches  Steve_Jobs  vitamins 
july 2019 by jerryking
Six ways to get noticed and get ahead
JUNE 25, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by ROY OSING, SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL.

**INVISIBILITY BEGETS IGNORABILITY
Get noticed in a crowd of people all looking to advance themselves. Be competent in your current role, of course, but stand out.....Develop a “be visible” plan that, in a simple and factual way, presents your achievements and what you do day-in and day-out to execute your organization’s strategy.

**VALUE IS THE END GAME
Create value that people care about. The focus must be on the benefits you create for the organization (and for people), .....Realize that the project or task you’ve been given is just the internal vehicle for adding value. Keep your eyes on your contribution to the marketplace within which your organization operates.

**DIFFERENCES MUST DEFINE YOU
Be the only one that does what you do:

* Invent your own problem-solving method using crowd sourcing, or canvassing others;
* Do more of what was asked;
* Do the opposite of what the pundits preach;
* Use trusted external resources for added credibility;
* Launch additional projects from your original task.

** DOING IT IS 10 TIMES BETTER THAN TALKING ABOUT IT
“A little less conversation, a little more action please.” – Elvis Presley

It’s not about intent; it’s about getting stuff done in the trenches where life is messy and people never behave the way you expect them to.

**FIND A ‘DONE IT’ MENTOR
Find a mentor who has done stuff.....plenty of smart people who have achieved less than their potential because they put all their trust in the way things should work – based on theory – as opposed to pouring their energy into finding a way to make them work in the hard realities of people’s biases and internal politics.

My mentors always had the subliminal tag “master crafter in doing stuff” associated with their name.

** BE OPEN TO ANYTHING
Do anything asked of you and do it with eagerness and an open mind. Don't be too picky.... upwardly mobile people are expected to overreach every once in a while, to go for something that is beyond their capability.
action_plans  advice  differentiation  execution  ignorability  implementation  individual_initiative  internal_politics  invisibility  in_the_real_world  Managing_Your_Career  mentoring  messiness  movingonup  new_graduates  open_mind  overdeliver  overreach  realities  Roy_Osing  sophisticated  torchbearers  urgency  value_creation 
june 2019 by jerryking
The winner’s wisdom of Silicon Valley Stoics
MAY 31, 2019 | Financial Times | Janan Ganesh.

An idea that works for an established winner can be utterly ruinous for a mere aspirant.....In common parlance, Stoicism used to mean nothing more specific than a kind of grin-and-bear-it fortitude......The new Stoicism calls for — and here I paraphrase — a virtuous rather than joy-centred life. It often takes the guise of self-denial.............the worst of it is the deception of those who are just starting out in life. Unless “22 Stoic Truth-Bombs From Marcus Aurelius That Will Make You Unf***withable” is pitched at retirees, the internet crawls with bad Stoic advice for the young. The premise is that what answers to the needs of those in the 99th percentile of wealth and power is at all relevant to those trying to break out of, say, the 50th.
advice  cannabis  fads  Greek  Janan_Ganesh  natural_order  new_graduates  relevancy  self_denial  Silicon_Valley  stages_of_life  Stoics  virtues 
june 2019 by jerryking
Hedge funds fight back against tech in the war for talent
August 3, 2018 | | Financial Times | by Lindsay Fortado in London.

Like other industries competing for the top computer science talent, hedge funds are projecting an image that appeals to a new generation. The development is forcing a traditionally secretive industry into an unusual position: having to promote itself, and become cool.

The office revamp is all part of that plan, as hedge funds vie with technology companies for recruits who have expertise in machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data analytics, many of whom are garnering salaries of $150,000 or more straight out of university.

“A lot have gone down the Google route to offer more perks,” said Mr Roussanov, who works for the recruitment firm Selby Jennings in New York. “They’re trying to rebrand themselves as tech firms.”...While quantitative investing funds, which trade using computer algorithms, have been on the forefront of hiring these types of candidates, other hedge funds that rely on humans to make trading decisions are increasingly upping their quantitative capabilities in order to analyze reams of data faster.

The casual work atmosphere and flexible hours at tech firms such as Google have long been a strong draw, and hedge funds are making an effort to 'rebrand themselves' Besides the increasing amount of perks funds are trying to offer, like revamping their workplace and offering services such as free dry-cleaning, they are emphasizing the amount of money they are willing to spend on technology and the complexity of the problems in financial markets to entice recruits.

“The pitch is . . . this is a very data-rich environment, and it’s a phenomenally well-resourced environment,” said Matthew Granade, the chief market intelligence officer at Point72, Steve Cohen’s $13bn hedge fund.

For the people Mr Granade calls “data learning, quant types”, the harder the problem, the better. “The benefit for us is that the markets are one of the hardest problems in the world. You think you’ve found a solution and then everyone else catches up. The markets are always adapting. So you are constantly being presented with new challenges, and the problem is constantly getting harder.”
hedge_funds  recruiting  uWaterloo  war_for_talent  millennials  finance  perks  quantitative  hard_questions  new_graduates  data_scientists 
august 2018 by jerryking
My Advice to Grads: Start Mopping - WSJ
By Tyler Bonin
May 28, 2018

A mop, used for cleaning floors, isn’t a magical tool for success. Rather, it is a reminder that there should be no task considered beneath you.......I had plenty of practice in this area as a former Marine Corps private, so I always volunteered for the job......My managers noticed. They named me employee of the month and promoted me to management for the holiday rush—a small success at a small store. I learned that a sense of entitlement is a burden. ......I volunteered for the necessary task, signaling my work ethic and dedication to the organization.......A successful consultant told me that after graduating from a top-tier university, he spent a year piecing together tedious part-time jobs while volunteering at startups—only to prove himself. As competitive as the U.S. economy is, efforts like this are only becoming more common.....Certainly there is a time to be bold, but there is also a time for humility. A task once considered beneath you could actually be the key to your success. Do the job nobody wants, because, believe it or not, somebody appreciates it. Volunteer to learn and to provide value to others. Find a dream job by first doing the rote tasks in that field, without complaint. Pick up a mop
advice  cleaning  commencement  entitlements  humility  new_graduates  office_housework  speeches  USMC  volunteering  work_ethic  workplaces 
may 2018 by jerryking
Millennials shouldn’t treat their careers like lottery tickets - The Globe and Mail
MARCH 20, 2018 | THE GLOBE AND MAIL | by BRAM BELZBERG.

If you're in your early 20s and just starting your career, you probably shouldn't take a job with a start-up.....joining a startup is attractive. They can be exciting, and the pay can be pretty good. A small percentage of people will pick the right opportunity, collect stock options, and become millionaires before they're 30. It's like winning the lottery.

But, like the real lottery, most people don't win, and they end up worse off than they were before....The majority of startups are going to go bust.....Large companies – such as banks and consulting firms and established tech outfits – understand how to bring along new graduates. They've been developing the best way to do so for decades. They have full-time employees who only think about developing young staff into future managers. Their programs work. They teach you important skills, they teach you how the professional world operates, and they teach you how to network. It takes a lot of time, energy, and focus to create these programs.....Generally, successful startups need three things: a great idea, a reliable funding network, and strong leadership. Most startups don't have a full management team, and the managers they do have probably won't have time to mentor you. You also won't be building a network of peers who can help finance your startup one day. If you have a great idea, it will still be there when you've learned how to develop it into a business. If you really want to get the experience of working at a startup, do it when you've developed your career and built a safety net in case it fails....Work hard, put in your time, and achieve your goals. But there aren't any shortcuts in building a career. When you're ready to move on from your first job, you should have a clear idea of what you want to do next, with a foundation of skills and experience in place. You don't want to be left holding only a losing lottery ticket.
millennials  Managing_Your_Career  Jason_Isaacs  career_paths  start_ups  large_companies  advice  new_graduates  high-risk 
march 2018 by jerryking
Merck C.E.O. Ken Frazier on Death Row Cases and the Corporate Soul - The New York Times
By David Gelles

March 9, 2018

How do you prioritize your time?

There are three things that the C.E.O. should be focused on. Number one is that sense of purpose and direction that the company needs, making sure that that’s always clear and people know what we’re all about. The second thing is capital allocation. We only have so many resources. Making sure that you’re putting those resources where you have the greatest opportunity. And the third, which I think by far is the most important, is to make sure that you have the right people in the most important jobs inside the company.
African-Americans  capital_allocation  CEOs  death_row  Kenneth_Frazier  HLS  lawyers  Merck  new_graduates  pharmaceutical_industry  priorities  purpose  resource_allocation  talent_acquisition  think_threes  the_right_people 
march 2018 by jerryking
Nice Speech, Mark Zuckerberg! You’re Still a Few Credits Short - WSJ
By Deepa Seetharaman and Sarah E. Needleman
May 26, 2017

Mr. Zuckerberg opened his afternoon commencement speech with a few jokes and then urged graduates to “create a world where every single person has a sense of purpose” at a time when jobs are declining due to automation and social safety nets are wearing thin.

Today’s great struggle, he said, is between the “forces of freedom, openness and global community against the forces of authoritarianism, isolationism and nationalism.”
Mark_Zuckerberg  Harvard  Commencement  speeches  Colleges_&_Universities  dropouts  new_graduates 
may 2017 by jerryking
Goldman breaks tradition with unconventional choice
December 17/ December 18, 2016 | Financial Times | Ben McLannahan.

His promotion to chief information officer in 2013 ― after a stint at Credit Suisse and Kiodex, an energy trading software company ― meant that he sat atop Goldman’s biggest division, accounting for about one-third of global headcount.

A big part of that job has been bringing down the amount the bank spends on maintaining old systems, which consume about one-third of Goldman’s annual $3bn tech budgets, according to estimates by Credit Suisse analysts.

He has also taken a page out of Google and Facebook’s playbook and started giving away some of the bank’s trading technology to clients via open-source software, inviting them to use it and improve it.

What sets Mr Chavez apart is “his ability to take decisive action based on what the world will look like in five to 10 years”, says Tom Farley, president of the New York Stock Exchange, who worked with him at Kiodex. “Other people may have a view of the future but they’re afraid to act on it.”

In an address to Goldman interns this summer, Mr Chavez told them that as a new graduate, he wanted to “get busy and do a bunch of things”. When he landed on Wall Street, he learnt that people called that attitude “optionality”.

“You don’t know that these options are going to be worth something, but if you do the work, pay the premium, own a whole bunch of these options on a lot of different outcomes and you’re diversified enough, probably something will work out,” he said.
Goldman_Sachs  Martin_Chavez  CFOs  appointments  Wall_Street  unconventional  SecDB  databases  generating_strategic_options  forward_looking  CIOs  Hispanics  optionality  new_graduates  legacy_tech  playbooks 
december 2016 by jerryking
Technology and markets are driving employment in the right direction - The Globe and Mail
RICK LASH
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

The best way to achieve higher profits is ensuring maximum flexibility in the workforce so the organization can adapt to rapidly changing market needs. Having a more flexible employee pool that you can hire and furlough depending on business demands is one way to manage risk.

If technology and new finance-driven business models are fundamentally altering the future of jobs and work, what’s a new graduate (or an older worker) to do? All is not hopeless, and in fact there is indeed a silver lining, if one knows where to look.

Companies like Uber are figuring it out, at least for now. The same technology that is replacing workers with intelligent robots (on the shop floor or as an app on your smartphone) is also being used to create new models of generating wealth. Whether you are a bank driving growth through new on-line channels, a streaming music company designing creative new ways for consumers to subscribe, or an entrepreneur raising capital online for a new invention, key skills stand out as differentiators for success.
automation  technology  artificial_Intelligence  risk-management  data_driven  silver_linings  skills  new_graduates  job_search  business_models  rapid_change  workforce  flexibility  Uber  on-demand  streaming 
october 2016 by jerryking
The One Question You Should Ask About Every New Job - The New York Times
Adam Grant DEC. 19, 2015

The culture of a workplace — an organization’s values, norms and practices — has a huge impact on our happiness and success.....
But how do you figure out the culture of a company you’ve never worked for? As Nicole tried to evaluate company cultures, she kept asking the Passover question: “How is this organization different from all other organizations?” And, as with Passover, I told Nicole, the answer should come in the form of a story. Ask people to tell you a story about something that happened at their organization but wouldn’t elsewhere....If you’re still unsure where to work, start asking for stories about one practice that says a lot about a culture — a practice that consumes more than half of the time in big organizations. When people find it productive and enjoyable, that’s a good sign.
new_graduates  job_search  storytelling  organizational_culture  Managing_Your_Career  questions  Adam_Grant 
january 2016 by jerryking
David Politis of BetterCloud: Start by Working Beyond Your Résumé - The New York Times
This interview with David Politis, chief executive of BetterCloud, a maker of cloud-based software, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
new_graduates  advice  CEOs 
july 2015 by jerryking
Law Firm Imposes Ban on Hiring Ivy League Graduates - Law Blog - WSJ
Jul 15, 2015 LAWYERS & LAW FIRMS
Law Firm Imposes Ban on Hiring Ivy League Graduates
ARTICLE
COMMENTS (23)
ADAM LEITMAN BAILEY
IVY LEAGUE
4.3k 157
By JACOB GERSHMAN
law  law_schools  Ivy_League  new_graduates 
july 2015 by jerryking
The greatest piece of career advice you will ever get - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN MCALLISTER, MIKE MARRINER AND NATHAN GEBHARD
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jun. 08, 2015
advice  Managing_Your_Career  new_graduates  passions 
june 2015 by jerryking
What to Learn in College to Stay One Step Ahead of Computers - NYTimes.com
MAY 22, 2015 | NYT | By ROBERT J. SHILLER.

The successful occupations, by this measure, shared certain characteristics: People who practiced them needed complex communication skills and expert knowledge. Such skills included an ability to convey “not just information but a particular interpretation of information.” They said that expert knowledge was broad, deep and practical, allowing the solution of “uncharted problems.”

These attributes may not be as beneficial in the future. But the study certainly suggests that a college education needs to be broad and general, and not defined primarily by the traditional structure of separate departments staffed by professors who want, most of all, to be at the forefront of their own narrow disciplines.....In a separate May 5 statement, Prof. Sean D. Kelly, chairman of the General Education Review Committee, said a Harvard education should give students “an art of living in the world.”

But how should professors do this? Perhaps we should prepare students for entrepreneurial opportunities suggested by our own disciplines. Even departments entirely divorced from business could do this by suggesting enterprises, nonprofits and activities in which students can later use their specialized knowledge....I continue to update the course, thinking about how I can integrate its lessons into an “art of living in the world.” I have tried to enhance my students’ sense that finance should be the art of financing important human activities, of getting people (and robots someday) working together to accomplish things that we really want done.
21st._century  automation  Colleges_&_Universities  college-educated  Communicating_&_Connecting  continuing_education  continuous_learning  curriculum  education  entrepreneurship  expertise  finance  future-proofing  generalists  Harvard  indispensable  interdisciplinary  interpretation  machine_learning  Managing_Your_Career  new_graduates  Robert_Shiller  skills  students  syllabus  uncharted_problems  Yale 
may 2015 by jerryking
How to Avoid Commencement Clichés - NYTimes.com
MAY 12, 2015 | NYT | Arthur C. Brooks
NATIONWIDE, commencement speakers are preparing remarks to deliver to this year’s crop of college graduates. I was one, and frankly I was a little worried. I wanted to inspire and uplift, but I was well aware that, more often than not, graduation addresses are met with blank stares and tepid
speeches  Colleges_&_Universities  new_graduates  career_paths  commencement  clichés 
may 2015 by jerryking

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