Psychobabble of the Month
Broken Windows Theory
One of my favorite psychology theories in existence that can boost career potential and enhance your daily life. In essence, broken windows theory claims that epidemics of crime or undesired behavior, stem from small acts of vandalism such as graffiti or broken windows, and exponentially grow from there into their more recognizable forms of 'crime waves' or felony offenses. The idea is that these small instances of vandalism signal to other criminals that it is acceptable to commit crime in that area, increasing crimes of opportunity. Other people also see the criminal actions and then follow suit..."if that guy skips the fare for the subway, why should I have to pay it then?" In theory, a simple broken window can start the ball rolling for major crime. Mayor Giuliani mainly credits this theory in the revitalization of the New York subway systems and the plummet of crime in the 1990s, by being relentless in their eradication of graffiti on subway cars and prosecuting fare jumpers with extreme determination, even though a fare was less than a buck.
Even though the theory has its critics, it has largely been accepted as a viable approach to address complex social problems and eradicate undesired human behaviors, when the genesis is not known. Rather than focus on the large crimes such as murder and assault (don't worry they still prosecuted those too), the efforts to create a better society started with the small crimes that were almost not worth punishment. These small broken windows, paved way for the more serious crimes. If it works with crime, what other social settings will it work with?
Rather than focus on the large roadblocks to your happiness, motivation, or career success, find your personal broken windows. In corporate America, they are referred to as quick wins or low hanging fruit, but it's a bit more than that here. Find the broken windows of your life, that until now you knew needed to be changed, but felt the effort far outweighed the outcome. Sure, it may take you a bit to repair that broken window, when on the surface level it may not bother you that much in its current state, but what larger problems or potential epidemics is that broken window creating within you?
Our career coaching follows that exact path. Uncover your broken windows to discover what is holding back your progression.
I/O Executive Coaching™ @ Profession Progression
Suggested reading - The Tipping Point
by Malcolm Gladwell
According to recent studies, the amount of time in seconds that a recruiter scans a resume. In that time, your resume needs to answer:
who are you?
what do you want?
why are you the best person for the job?
6 seconds...how crazy is that?
You have worked tirelessly in your career to accomplish success and provide unique value. Ensure that the format of your CV or resume promotes your story in a psychologically accessible way by maximizing visual hierarchy.
Employers on Online Education
Many of us would love to go back to school, but between family and career obligations, we don't have the time for anything that isn't online.....
But how will an online degree be viewed compared to a traditional brick and mortar degree?
Is it worth it?
"83 percent of executives in the survey say that an online degree is as credible as one earned through a traditional campus-based program. Employers said such factors as the accreditation of the college or university, the quality of its graduates and the name of the institution awarding the degree were among other things they considered to make an online degree more credible."
9 Productivity Tips From 9 Psychologists
With short breaks, improvement in concentration and productivity soars. Moving around and getting away, even for a moment, sharpens focus.
Close your door
Action precedes motivation, and small steps are needed to kick start productivity. Don't be afraid to close your door.
The George Washington Method
Washington, a former farmer, always carried a sundial with him and moved forward in one hour increments. Its a method the White House cleaning staff still uses today.
Focusing on the large tasks could leave you empty handed if you don't complete them. Start small, get quick wins, feel productive and get on a roll.
The Pomodoro Technique
Set a timer for 25 minutes, then break for 5. Even the most scatterbrained of us can do one thing for 25 minutes at a time. Rinse, repeat, finish.
Free cognitive resources
Handle the minor things that nag us, so we no longer have to think about them. Maximize productivity by freeing up your brain power.
Use an app to cut you off from the internet
How often do sites like Facebook or Profession Progression put a halt to your productivity? Try the Firefox plugin called Freedom, it's awesome!
Put the phone away
This is simple and easy, but none of us do it. The less multitasking the better.
If something bores you, get it done quickly, so you can move onto more interesting stuff. It sounds simple but most people let the boring stuff linger around. Crush it and be done with it!
Shinobi's #1 Ninja
Shinobi's #1 Ninja is about career progression, calculated risk, and achieving success.
<<First Name>>, I would like to introduce you to Andre. Read his story below and connect with him!
"Finishing an active duty enlistment in the US Marine Corps, my first stop on my career path was the US Capitol Police, where I learned a great deal about security operations, but was not satisfied with the slow progression of my career even though the mission itself was appealing. While the agency had a variety of specialties beyond traditional law enforcement, there was little that set me apart from my peers.
I had continued my military career in the Marine Reserve, where I made a lateral move to the intelligence field, which I found challenging and satisfying. The more I learned and experienced, the more I was certain that there had to be a way for me to merge the best aspects of law enforcement and intelligence into a career opportunity.
Taking a leap of faith, I left the relative security of federal employment to become a defense contractor in support of a strategic intelligence program; this furthered my education in tradecraft and available assets in the intelligence community. Concurrently, I had been accepted for a joint service billet in the reserves, which enhanced my skill sets and provided exposure to the best practices and strengths of the other services.
With the loss of a contract vehicle, I was briefly unemployed as the specter of sequestration loomed. I took a position with a different defense contractor as a requirements analyst for acquisitions, and while this was not optimal, it was an opportunity for education and experience. It also allowed me time to reflect on the best possible way to realize my goal of merging my experience in law enforcement and intelligence.
The perfect opportunity finally appeared, but it involved a cross country move, and would require a significant amount of effort and risk just to be considered for the position. I made the most of personal contacts, which enabled me to speak to people that had held the same position I coveted; this not only let me know that this was the job I was looking for, but gave me intelligence needed to tailor my resume to ensure consideration.
This became an all-or-nothing endeavor. In order to guarantee success, I needed a bullet proof resume, the most up to date industry information, and some career coaching. Having worked with Dan Green in the past, I was confident that his insight would only strengthen my chances and highlight certain aspects that I may have obscured.
The resume got me in the door, which allowed my experience and confidence to land the job. The position was exactly what I had been searching for, and I have the career satisfaction that I have been seeking. By taking acceptable risks and using setbacks to create opportunity, I have achieved a long term goal."
You can find Andre on LinkedIn, reach out to congratulate him, or to network!
News & Free Stuff
New videos, free resources, and cool stuff added to the site this month!
Client Success Stories
Teaser....The IRS is about to go digital with their audit process.
The first 10 people after this newsletter that need a resume progression, will get 20% off and one free I/O Executive Coaching™ session.
A $700 dollar value!
2013 Salary Guide
A summation of job reports, salary trends, & current hiring practices
Unemployment rates in areas of accounting, finance, and auditing are well below the national average, and there is currently an increase in entry-level hiring.
Current Skills, Designations, and Certifications in demand
The CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, remains the most frequently requested credential, as it inspires confidence in employers.
Other designations like:
CISA (certified information systems auditor)
CFA (chartered financial analyst)
CIA (certified internal auditor)
PMP (project management professional)
ITILv3 (IT infrastructure library)
still rank in the top percentage of pay and demand. As more financial and accounting roles morph into consulting roles, employers are looking for candidates to have strong technology and interpersonal skills. The days of the accountant or financial analyst sitting in the back office having to not speak to clients is over. The skill of crafting the financial story into professional communications that stakeholders can understand is quickly becoming a necessary skill.
Positions in highest demand
Executive Coaches & Consultants
Financial Analysts with an MBA
Mobile Applications Developers
Process Engineers with Lean
Business Analysts with IT skills
Accountants with CPA
Certified Ethical Hackers
Project Managers with PMP
Wireless Network Engineers
Highest National Pay Scales by Area
Percentage compared to national average
San Francisco 135.5%
Washington DC 130%
Stamford, Conn 131%
Lowest National Pay Scales by Area
Percentage compared to national average
Duluth MN 79.6%
Lincoln NE 78.2%
Sioux City IA 78.1%
Savannah GA 82.5%
As more companies allow telecommuting and employees are allowed to keep their original salaries, many employees are moving from higher cost of living areas to lower cost areas, and we expect that trend to ramp up as more and more companies allow this practice (except for Yahoo! of course). My personal take on this trend is that it is dangerous. Imagine the unfortunate event that you lose your job after you move to your new city, and your cost of living matches your San Francisco salary, but locally you can only find a Duluth salary..
My advice - whatever city you move to, construct your living situation to match that of what your job would pay if you had the local salary, that way if you ever did need to find local work, you would be set up for success and not bankruptcy. Also, you can put that extra money you have each month back into your 401k.
Skill shortages becomes a rising concern
Companies are starting to worry about a shortage of skills, mainly due to the complexity and pace of the global economy. Candidates that have work experience in addition to degrees coming out of college are noticing hiring rates faster than those with only work experience or only a degree. Candidates that also possess technology, financial and interpersonal abilities are rising to management ranks at a faster pace.
70% of companies are worried about employee retention, and are investing in programs for employee motivation and loyalty.
Top Oddball Interview Questions of 2013
(and what I would say if asked)
“How many cows are in Canada?”
- Asked at Google
- Less than California, since we know all happy cows move to California
“What song best describes your work ethic?”
- Asked at Dell
- Let the bodies hit the floor, by Drowning Pool
“Have you ever stolen a pen from work?”
- Asked at Jiffy Software
- No, I plan on returning them eventually, which means they are borrowed
“What kitchen utensil would you be?”
- Asked at Bandwidth.com
- A cheese grater, or its less popular name, a sponge ruiner
“If you were to get rid of one state in the US, which would it be and why?”
- Asked at Forrester
- A state in the middle, like Colorado, so we could invade them easily and take it back if we changed our minds