Dragan's Blog

Accountability and Ownership VS Calendar Entry...

Some of the most common needs mentioned by hiring manager is sense of Ownership and Accountability. What they mean by that is not that you understand the task and have a calendar entry for doing the task. It's about your emotional and mental alertness tied to the ultimate desired outcome wh...

They DO judge the book by its cover (during the first 30 seconds of the interview)...

You only have one chance for the first impression, and, in spite of HR departments' pushes for the structured approach to interviewing, hiring managers tell me they still hire based on the first impression and first 30 seconds of the interview.  The more confident the hiri...

All the silly excuses that make starting the most difficult part...

Starting something (no matter how fun it is) is often challenged by self-propelling, ever growing pile of excuses. Seth Godin in his amazing book, Linchpin, calls it a "lizard brain". The part of our brain that highlights the obstacles (so you will not bother trying) , keeps yous ...

Remarkably Simple Key to Being a Respected Professional...

Successful people make great dinner companions - during the dinner with a CEO of Canada Energy I asked him what is the most important thing for achieving the success. "Do what you said you were going to do, when you said you were going to do it." He continued on explaining that he had plan...

Everyone Stares Yet Nobody Dares - The Power of Asking...

At the gym a great looking person confidently walks. The members of the opposite sex all stare. Yet not one of them comes up and asks for a phone number, or "how are you?", or "how do you use that machine?", or anything else. They just stare and get nothing. Most would like an&am...

Have you screwed up recently? Do these two things and get out of disaster you caused...

In my consulting career (worked with major banks in Canada) I've screwed up on every assignment in at least on one major area - from forgetting to include an important feature, to causing failures in services. Yet I kept getting more and more assignments (and better paid). I've seen people lose thei...

The power of in-person introduction (when job searching)...

Click here to register, fill this form on-line, email your resume here, etc. It seems employees are doing their best to shield themselves from meeting a potential candidate in person. Yet what they really want is a great person. So, assuming that you are qualified, how about you make their life easi...

"Three Times and God Will Help" - Shortcut to Forming a New Good Habit...

How important is it to have good habits - crucial. The first step in achieving success. You want them, but lack discipline. What if I told you that there's a shortcut to building a new useful habit - say to read your professional magazine every evening (instead of watching TV)? In my native country...

Lawyers and Bankers VS High-End Men's Stores Salespeople....

First Canadian Place is Canada's tallest office building and home to many bankers and lawyers as well as to stores catering to such clientele. High-end men's stores abound. If you walk into a coffee shop there, you are bound to be wondering if you've chosen the right tie that morning. Men walk aroun...

Good communication skills (in a job description) - what do they mean? Hint - it's not your English...

Every job description has it and every employer wants it. Almost every candidate thinks they have it. Employers couldn't disagree more - biggest lament of hiring managers for office-type jobs is, "poor communication skills." While you need to command reasonable English - that's just a fi...

Turn the Interview Around...

What if you could take control of the interview, and start asking them questions? What if they loved it and hired you? Managers, like everyone else, love talking about themselves. If you can get them to open up you'd be able to hear not only about their environment, but also about what exactly they...

Professional in the office environment? Be seen as a rising star...

While getting an assignment or a job calls for wearing a suite, once you start working, be sure to still dress a notch higher then your complacent peers - after all, this is just a stepping stone for you, right? But dress too fancy, and people will wonder if you are hiding poor deliverables...

If you are too nice, do you get taken advantage of (at work)?

There is a belief that if you happen to be too nice, people will be taking advantage of you. Person at work that helps other but gets no credit. Or a person who does what others are asking him to but then gets all the blame when things don't go well. How about being too nice and just let others tak...

Are you tired of people telling you how...

Are you tired of people telling you how good they are? My mentor once told me, "if you have to tell me how good you are, you are probably not that good." I've learned a lot from him over the years - but also noticed that for a longest time I knew very little about him (besides wh...

Purist? Do you prefer manual transmission, records over CD's, straight razor VS disposables? What does this tell about your work?

A friend of mine insisted on coding in notepad instead of using tools which enable you to drag-and-drop elements on your page and see the result right-away. Ten years latter, he's a CEO of a leading software firm. Does it mean that if you do math just using computer your are not as good as ...

Good but High-Maintenance? Way to Get Stuck...

A really good software developer makes lots of people happy. Projects move along, she delivers. But she's high maintenance: Wants more work-from home days then anyone else. Complains to HR when that's not granted. Publicly yells at her manager. Doesn't want to contribute to th...

Meet at Their Office or the Cafeteria Downstairs...

You have a coffee meeting - decision maker has agreed to see you - you made a call, asked the right questions and now you get a chance to meet an intrigued prospect. Typically, you can meet either in the person's office, or in the cafeteria downstairs. Here is what you do: 1. In the "...

How Many Rights Makes One Wrong?

I've done consulting for a number of years. I was once made to report (dotted) into a consultant who, I was convinced, has had no idea what she was doing. I proved that I was right (and she was wrong) once in a meeting. I again proved her wrong on a conference call. And in an email to an executive. ...

Could the Ladders be More Stable Then the Platforms?

You did something great. You climbed up the ladder. You have a business, or you run a project, or your work has been published. What now? How do you keep yourself going and challenging when it's comfortable where you are. The answer is obvious - you have to push yourself when you don't have to, so ...

If You Write These Emails - You Are an Amateur

You should email like a pro. Even if you are not; particularly if you are not. You may be new in the office, or inexperienced, or out of school and anxious to get on with making a name for yourself. But before you sent that long email proving that you are right, think it through - ...
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