Achieve your career goals(or figure them out)

BrightCrowd is the weekly email for people who know they need to “network”, but aren’t always sure where to begin.

December 4 ・ T.J. Duane

Dealing with Difficult Coworkers

Lately, I’ve had a number of folks ask me about how to manage unpleasant coworkers and supervisors. Many of us have had a perfectly good workplace ruined by an unpleasant coworker (or two). I certainly have. Maybe we’ve even been that person for someone else. It’s a fact of working life that you won’t like everyone you work with. But what happens when the unpleasant coworker impinges on your ability to do your job or makes doing it more stressful?

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November 13 ・ T.J. Duane

Your degree doesn’t define you

Going to college is THE thing you have to do to launch your career. But what happens when you come out with a degree that doesn’t help you in the long run? Well, first off, don’t panic. People do this more than you would think, in fact, I did the exact same thing. As the voice of experience, let me submit a few options for those of you graduating with a diploma you’re worried you might regret.

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October 15 ・ T.J. Duane

Early Career Advice

We’ve written before about how to manage your early career, even if you’re not yet in your dream job. You can cope by focusing your efforts outside of work, or by diving in. Committing to make the most of your current role can be tough, especially if you’ve got a fancy degree that doesn’t relate. But in the right conditions, even part-time baristas can work their way up and gain valuable expertise that can set them apart.

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September 24 ・ T.J. Duane

Keep in Touch

Relationships change, but you can keep them strong.

When you graduate or move on from a job, you always tell your friends to keep in touch. They’ve been there day in and day out, they’ve had your back. They know you. But inevitably when you move on to the next phase of life, those relationships start to fade.

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September 18 ・ T.J. Duane

What even is Networking?

It’s less intimidating than you think.

I’m constantly talking to BrightCrowd members about their experiences and struggles with networking. More and more I’ve been hearing the same refrain: they’re not sure what “counts” as networking.

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September 17 ・ BrightCrowd

Ask Me Anything: Nick Zakrasek

BrightCrowd Advice session with the co-founder and product lead of Google for Jobs

Nick Zakrasek is the co-founder and product lead of Google for Jobs. He has spent the past 4 years as a product manager at Google and currently oversees multiple Search vertical domains, including Health, Job Search, Education, Civics, and Crisis Response.

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August 13 ・ T.J. Duane

Networking Myths: Busted

Don’t let these mindsets hold back your career.

So often I hear from people who dread the prospect of networking.

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August 3 ・ T.J. Duane

The Magic of Transferable Skills

And how to make yours shine.

I hear all the time from folks who are worried that they’ll never get a job in their desired field. They may be totally smart and capable, but the same frustrating limitation stands in their way. It’s the classic “you need experience to get a job, and you need a job to get experience” Gordian knot.

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July 31 ・ T.J. Duane

Make the Most of Your Summer: Do Lunch

Meet new people and learn new things.

Summer is in full swing, and that means it’s internship season. If you’re currently doing the internship hustle, congrats! An internship can be a wonderful way to get real-world experience in your field.

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July 23 ・ T.J. Duane

Worst. Networking. Ever.

You’d have to see it to believe it.

We try to keep things positive on BrightCrowd. But sometimes the best way to learn is by observing what NOT to do. A BrightCrowd member shared this painful networking interaction with me, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s exactly the kind of networking interaction I want to prevent.

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July 19 ・ T.J. Duane

Your 5 Most Urgent Resume Questions -- Answered

I’ve hired dozens of employees and reviewed literally thousands of applicants over my career. Let’s just say I’ve looked at a resume or two. Now, as the CEO of the professional networking site BrightCrowd, members often send me their resumes for an expert opinion.

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July 10 ・ T.J. Duane

Networking When You’re Not Job Searching

A friend of mine who was unemployed recently applied for over 500 jobs. He was highly qualified, he treated the application process like a full-time job, and it still took him 6 months of searching to land the right position. He admitted (somewhat sheepishly) that feelings of shame held him back even from asking his good friends for referrals.

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July 1 ・ T.J. Duane

How to Bounce Back When You’re Job Searching

Rejection is Never Fun -- Here’s How to Get Through.

My friend recently got an interview for a life-changing job. She was so excited. She let herself imagine what it would be like to make a truly amazing career leap – one with a new city, new tax bracket, and endless professional development opportunities. But after 5 interviews and weeks of preparation, the final call from her recruiter wasn’t what she had hoped. It was a polite “Thanks…but no thanks”.

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June 24 ・ Tarun Babbar

Networking in a New Country

What I’ve Learned About Networking as an Immigrant

I always knew networking is an essential skill, but I only came to value it seriously when I moved halfway around the world. In my MBA program I learned to present myself well and communicate effectively, but I always felt something was missing from that equation. I needed to do more to be successful.

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June 18 ・ T.J. Duane

The Keys to a Successful Phone Interview

Can you hear me now?

If you’re job hunting you may have noticed that multiple phone screening interviews are par for the course. Often employers will only bring a candidate in for that face-to-face in the final stages of the hiring process, even if they’re local.

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June 11 ・ T.J. Duane

How to reach out to alumni

Get responses from your alumni network with these tips.

I’ve written before about how valuable your university network can be. Alumni can be your secret career weapon, especially when you’re just starting out. After all, before you have any real-life professional contacts, you’ve got a whole network of folks associated with your school. And let’s be real – they probably all remember how tough it was starting out.

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June 4 ・ T.J. Duane

Life-Saving Questions for the Awkward Networker

Move beyond, “So…what do you do?”

If networking events make you break out in hives…I feel you. You don’t have to be an introvert to panic when you’re plopped in the middle of a professional mixer. Most people would consider me a total extrovert, but even I have trouble getting into the groove at networking events. Finding commonalities in a room full of strangers is an art.

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May 29 ・ T.J. Duane

3 Reasons Why Your University Network is Crazy Valuable.

Don’t leave it behind when you get your degree.

After graduation, the world can feel overwhelming. You’ve got the credentials, but no experience. Perhaps you’ve moved to a new city where you don’t know anybody. Maybe you’re awash in debt, with no clear idea of how you’ll pay it back.

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May 21 ・ T.J. Duane

The Best Question To Ask Your Interviewer

It's bold, it works wonders, and you should use it.

You’re in the final interview for a coveted new job (the home stretch!) You’ve aced the interviewer’s questions…you think. You’ve started to breathe again. But you know that one more thing is coming. The meta-question.

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April 23 ・ T.J. Duane

The smart way to get out of a bad job

Breathe. Take your time. Find the right alternative.

I heard from a BrightCrowd member recently who was in the wrong job. She had only been there 6 months and already she knew the fit was bad. She needed to begin planning her exit, but was feeling trapped. She thought her network was already tapped out, and that there was no clear next step.

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April 7 ・ T.J. Duane

How to survive (and thrive) in your early career

There’s nothing glamorous about a person’s early career. Seriously, I worked at McDonalds for 7 years – it remains my longest gig ever. No matter what fancy school you went to, most people end up in a couple of bad or boring jobs when they’re just out of college. You’re not alone.

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April 3 ・ T.J. Duane

How apologizing can be your best professional asset.

It’s not weakness. It’s a strength.

We’ve all made mistakes. Whether that’s saying something insensitive, forgetting an appointment, or failing to put your dishes in the office dishwasher, screwing up is inevitable from time to time.

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March 26 ・ Zoe Schwartz

Building a Mentor Relationship

A Practical Guide in 5 Easy Steps

Why is it that so many women want professional mentors, but only a handful actually have one? It may be as simple as knowing how to ask: I hear from women frequently that they don’t know how to approach asking for a mentor.

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March 9 ・ T.J. Duane

Are you super helpful?

Why helpfulness should be the real measure of success.

Networking isn’t necessarily about scoring a sexy new job (or a cubicle with a window). It’s about being human, and helping people out. It’s just basic decency in the professional sphere.

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March 5 ・ T.J. Duane

Job searching is more about relationships than resumes

BrightCrowd has always been about the human side of networking. It’s a no-judgement zone where you can get career advice, or offer your expertise. BrightCrowd is, quite simply, a community of professionals helping each other get ahead.

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January 23 ・ T.J. Duane

Embrace Your Imposter Syndrome

Everybody feels it.

Imposter syndrome can be a beast. At the beginning of the school year I got an email from an incoming freshman at Stanford, who was suffering from a classic case. She had decided to pursue a Computer Science major, but was feeling afraid of approaching professors and research groups to ask for work.

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December 20 ・ T.J. Duane

Welcome to your Crowd!

All the helpful people you actually know and care about.

Think for a second - how many people do you know well enough that you would help them if they asked? It’s probably quite a few!

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December 18 ・ T.J. Duane

When things are tough - reach out.

Your community’s wisdom can help you overcome challenges.

Sometimes life can seem like an endless string of problems. If you’ve ever been laid off, endured a breakup, struggled in school - or all 3 at once! - you’ll know what I mean.

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November 28 ・ T.J. Duane

Networking like cavemen (really)

Building quality connections with micro-consults

When I think of the heyday of professional networking, I go all the way back to the Stone Age.

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November 11 ・ T.J. Duane

Make an offer they can’t refuse

Say what you will do, not what you’ve done

I think we can all agree that job searching is no fun. It’s demoralizing to scour job boards, put hours into each application, and still…crickets. I’ve been there before, and recently I chatted with another member of the BrightCrowd community who was in that very spot.

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October 30 ・ T.J. Duane

The Art of the Ask

Make it an experience, not a transaction

It can be tough to get a person’s attention nowadays. After all, your email is invariably buried in a pile of a hundred unread messages, which are hastily checked (and deleted) in between meetings. Yikes.

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October 13 ・ T.J. Duane

Teamwork Makes The Dreamwork

It’s about showing up, not showing off

Social media gets a bad rap these days, and it’s not hard to understand why. There’s a platform for every self-promotional purpose, from big career moves to the smoothie you had for breakfast. Scrolling through someone’s “perfect” Instagram feed can feel demoralizing, and the pressure to measure up seems to be growing. We want to break out of the self-promotion arms race. That’s why BrightCrowd was born.

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