Notes from HBR’s Podcast Episode with Gorick Ng

Photo by Muhammad Faiz Zulkeflee on Unsplash

I was listening to ‘The Career Rules You Didn’t Learn in School’, a HBR podcast episode featuring Harvard career advisor Gorick Ng.

While the episode was a broad discussion of his new book, The Unspoken Rules (which I’m definitely buying!), there were some specific nuggets of career wisdom weaved in.

Here are some of the takeaways which I found especially important from the episode, especially for adults like us who are early into our careers.

TLDR:


Communication

Communicate better in 5 minutes.

What is this: A lecture on spontaneous communication (when you don’t have time in advance to plan a speech) conducted by Matt Abrahams, a Strategic Communication lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Introductory Ideas

  • Spontaneous speaking is more common than planned speaking. (Introductions, feedback, toasts, Q&A etc.) But it is also more challenging than presentations.
  • Majority of us are not as effective as we can be in spontaneous thinking and speaking, especially in public speaking. But we have in our ability the tools and approaches to communicate effectively.
  • We become effective communicators by actually communicating (doing).
  • Secrets to effective communication…


How a Founder apologised to 4 million people over email

Let’s face it.

Nobody really enjoys apologising.

Apologies are a sign that something’s gone awry, and we’re responsible for it.

It could likely diminish our trust and credibility in the eyes of people who matter most, be it our customers, partners or our bosses.

Yet, life isn’t perfect. Things can, will and do go wrong, and we need to take responsibility.

In such situations, how do you apologise genuinely and take ownership while maintaining credibility and trust?

Notion Founder Ivan Zhao did exactly that.

When Notion’s server had been interrupted, over 4 million users could not access the platform. For…


Stand out from other jobseekers with an attention-grabbing Resume Objective. Here’s how.

Call it what you will — resume objective, professional summary or executive summary, but we can all agree on one thing:

Most of them are written like how terrible college professors teach: Pretentious, stuffed with fluffy words, and communicate little value.

Case in point:

“Passionate, goal-oriented professional with a relentless zeal to learn and a drive to excel in all tasks assigned to me.”

How do you feel reading that? Are you interested to know more about the candidate? Or do those words feel… a bit empty?

We think “All jobseekers write resume objectives, so we should do it too.”


Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Workscopes, also known as job descriptions, are the meat of your resume.

They describe your professional work experience. Employers infer what you can and cannot do by reading the workscopes in your CV.

Everyone can write them, but few write workscopes with impact.

Impact leaves an impression on your reader. An impressed reader calls you in for a job interview.

So, how do you write impactful and effective workscopes?

By following three simple rules.

1. Use Power Verbs

Begin every bulletpoint with a power verb.

Power verbs are strong and emotionally-charged.

This adds impact to your…


“I don’t know what I want to do in the future.”

Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

“I don’t know what I want to do in the future.”

You may know someone who feels this way. You might even be facing this issue yourself.

You aren’t alone.

According to a study, 9 in 10 employees are willing to earn less money to do more meaningful work. This implies two things:

If meaning drives us, why are so few of us pursuing meaning in our careers?

Because we don’t know how.

We likely also think meaning and money involve trade-offs: Pursuing one…


Entrepreneurship

Source: Neil Patel

Today, I had the opportunity to participate in Google Day 2020, a Recruitment Event where we students had the chance to interact with real Googlers. The event was virtual due to COVID-19, but it was so phenomenally well-executed that I had to write about it.

Google is a great company. But why? What makes Google great?

I got my answer just 20 minutes after the event started. I believe their success lies in getting 3 factors right:

Throughout the event, all the Googlers stressed how people formed the core of the company. This was evident the moment…


Entrepreneurship

How to Start and Crowdfund an Ethical Fashion Label, with Paradigm Shift Label Founder Audris Quek

If there is a word to describe 2020 so far, it would be this:

Change.

Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, people are starting to focus on what matters most: The health and lives of our families, friends and loved ones. The archaic fashion calendar is evolving. Rapid consumerism of fast fashion and material goods is dwindling, and more emphasis is placed around empathy and care for humanity. In some perverse way, we are all starting to live more simpler, albeit difficult, lives.

This makes Audris Quek a futurist. …


Entrepreneurship

Insights from my conversation with B Human Founder Yeeli Lee

Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash

Yeeli Lee is a self-professed serial entrepreneur — a “rainmaker” and an “armadillo”, in her own words. Having started and is running three beauty and skincare companies simultaneously — including a regional beauty brand incubator, she is a doyen at building beauty brands from the ground up. During our interview about her newest venture B Human, she shares 6 tips for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their own beauty business.

Understand the Problem You Want to Address

From the outset, Yeeli’s problem was clear. Global skincare brands have been participating in the clean beauty conversation to create safer and more transparent products. …


Entrepreneurship

Discussing Sustainability, Tech and Entrepreneurship with Serial Beautytech Entrepreneur Yeeli Lee

Yeeli Lee, Founder of B Human

“Rainmaker” and “Armadillo” are uncommon words to describe a person. But, few other descriptors are more apt at depicting self-professed serial entrepreneur Yeeli Lee. And, as I later learn, these traits also capture her ethos of design thinking and passion for devising creative solutions, amidst her quest to heal the world.

We had initially met at a Menswear trunk show organised by Textile and Fashion Federation (TAFF) Singapore, where she had been promoting her latest venture B Human. “What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions climate change?” The elegantly-dressed Yeeli quips. …

Thaddeus Han

Digital Marketer, Tech Recruitment and Professional CV Consultant at a leading CV Writing firm in Asia.

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