60 Days Proof

A cool trick to make sure your doodles, notes and jots of information make sense, is to make sure everything you write down is 60 days proof.

What this means is that in 60 days time, if you were to reread your writing, it would still make sense.

How often have you found a scrap of paper, or a written note, or a digital note that simply does not make sense?

For example, let’s say you take some notes on a call to your service provider and you’re busy scribbling numbers, dates, people’s names etc. That same day it makes perfect sense. Then 60 days later when the bill is still wrong you can’t make sense of your notes.

60 days proof is a good concept, because it makes you think about each set of notes.

  • Do I need to add some more context to this?
  • Do I need to link these notes to others I have also made (i.e. a series of notes)?
  • Do I need to include some dates and times with these notes?
  • Will I know what these numbers are in 60 days time?
  • Do I need to know what these notes mean in 60 days time?

Until next time

Use good email addresses when applying for jobs

One thing I see all too often is people using silly email addresses for submitting job applications.

You know, like bigdaddy1978 or bestmummyintheworld1827 or Daz732.

Every time you communicate you send messages and meaning to others. For most hiring managers, using an email like this, sends a very clear message – no effort.

Instead you want to wow them so use an email address that looks neat and tidy.

The best ones to use are clearly firstname.surname. These may often have been taken so no harm in using your middle name if you have one, or using initials. It’s also fine to use numbers on the end, just make sure it’s your full name so it sounds more formal.

I would also advocate using a Gmail or Fastmail address. Hotmail and Yahoo are quite spammy domains so best to stick to Google or Fastmail or something like this.

If you have your own domain then you can also then use your domain as an email.
For example i could use rob@parentbrain.com – which would be a good domain to use for applying for parent related jobs, but not so good for any other industry – hence I have a generic one.

Once you have a decent email address try to only use it for job related emails. This has a number of benefits such as:

  • Keeps spam to a minimum
  • Keeps your work and private life separate
  • Means you don’t get distracted when you log in to check job related emails. (three hours later you’re in the deepest corners of Mumsnet)

Until next time

Drawing isn’t just for kids – draw to explain in an interview

If you feel more comfortable drawing out an idea to explain it then go for it (assuming you have the facilities to).

When I have a candidate who uses visuals, or other techniques rather than verbal explanation, I’m deeply impressed.

I’m impressed because it shows they are able to walk through their thinking and explain it in ways that aren’t typically associated with interviews.

It shows courage to ask to draw, doodle or use other mediums. And isn’t that weird that we should feel embarrassed to ask to deviate from a verbal answer?

What is your personal brand?

We all have a personal brand. It’s who you are and the image you convey.
You could be the hard worker, the complainer, the emotional vampire, the angry customer, the loud and noisy neighbour, the professional, the obnoxious employee or the poor performer. You may be a mix of all of these and more. There are many different aspects to our personal brand.
The key to succeeding in your career is to realise that you can control many elements of your personal brand, and the time to take control is right now. Ideally you’ve been cultivating it for some time, but the if not, start now.
  • How can your authentic self come through in your personal brand?
  • What can of personal brand do you want?
  • How do you want people to refer to you?
What do you want people to say about you when you’re not in the room? That’s the ultimate personal brand. And you own it.
Don’t leave it for other people to cultivated, don’t leave it to chance.
If you haven’t started managing your personal brand yet, then find someone you admire, trust and respect and copy them. Find what works and what resonates then keep adapting.
Don’t force too much though – you need to be comfortable and authentic. You need to be you – but you can change – how would you like to change?
Your personal brand goes with you everywhere. Everything you do contributes to it. So be cautious, but embrace the lifelong journey of growing and nurturing what you can offer to the world.
Until next time.