A few weeks back I had the pleasure of attending the Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is a big tech conference for folks and companies who use Adobe products to get together and learn more about current tools and see sneak peeks of upcoming ones.
Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT.
“Tommy goes above and beyond to get the job done!”
I feel as though I always see recommendations on LinkedIn or references from job seekers with that catch-all phrase for a high performer: above and beyond.
But outside of over used corporate jargon, what does that epithet really mean? Tommy could do the research I asked him to do and also create an interpretive dance to explain it to me. I just asked for the research, but the interpretive dance is certainly “above and beyond” what I asked him to do.
Many of you have probably seen the Labels Against Women add that Pantene put out recently. It explores how the same action taken by a man is interpreted differently (and sometimes negatively) when taken by a woman. A strong man is “the boss” while a strong woman is “bossy;” a man is “neat” if he takes care of his appearance while a woman is “vain.”
All of our actions at work and in life, regardless of how we intend them to come off, are interpreted by those around us. This is what creates our reputation. Because what is a reputation, really, other than the beliefs or opinions that other people have about is?
Have you ever been at an office holiday party, and as you look across the room, you realize that you know no one in the room?
Or have you gone to a business conference, and during meals and break sessions you sit by yourself, playing on your phone and hoping you look busy so that you don’t have to awkwardly try and meet people?
We’ve all been there, and I’m sure we’ll be there again. But networking is such a critical part of our professional and personal growth, and it’s a skill worth practicing every chance we get.
Looking back on my career so far, I like to think I have a pretty good interviewing track record. I’ve interviewed for seven different positions, and I landed all but one of them. I’m not saying this to claim that I’m some sort of interviewing guru, but I do seem to have a knack for it.
(Note: This assumes that my resume made it past HR and to a hiring manager. I didn’t bother to count the number of jobs I applied to and never heard back about. More on that in a later post, “Your Parents Were Right: It’s not always what you know, but who you know…”).
My first job out of college –
A Safari Driver at Disney World
I hear people say all the time that young professionals only plan to stay in a job for two to three years (Forbes). I’ve even heard HR reps say that Gen Y employees will have seven different careers before they’re 30. And that’s pretty accurate.