Archive for the ‘Développement personnel’ Category

7 signes qui montrent que tu dois démissionner?

Aujourd’hui, une question primordiale se pose, est-ce le temps pour que je démissionne ou pas? Voilà 7 signes qui montrent en évidence que vous deviez démissionner:

  1. tu vis le statu-quo: rien ne change pour vous, le lundi ressemble au mercredi, et au vendredi. tu te réveilles et peu importe le jour, tu prends le chemin du bureau
  2. aucun retour de ton supérieur direct: des réunions finis, des rapports partagés…et aucun feedback de ton supérieur direct,
  3. tu n’apprends rien: ton quotidien devient de plus en plus ennuyant, aucun apprentissage,
  4. tu quittes fréquemment ta chaise:  tu cherches le maximum possible à quitter ton bureau, aller prendre un café avec collègues, aller les voir dans leurs bureaux…,
  5. trop de réorganisation dans votre entreprise: ceci reflète clairement le manque de vision chez ton top management
  6. les chasseurs de tête te track tout le temps: un signe très fort que ton profil est sollicité dans le marché d’emploi, et qu’ils sont prêts à offrir un pactole pour t’avoir
  7. tu te sens que le temps est venu pour aller vers d’autres horizons: écouter ton sens inné et sois prudents pour ton choix



Why career specialization is like eating too much non-fat frozen yogurt: The Snackwell Effect & the Inverted Long Tail

I used to own several retail business outlets and though the management of them could be difficult and I have long moved on, looking back I feel I got the best education in business, psychology and economics that no university in the world could ever provide. This education helped provide me a valuable perspective when I went back to the corporate world, and ironically, was the impetus to get back out which lead me to having a more fulfilling career at present as an independent professional.

What I would like to discuss specifically, is a phenomenon I witnessed as a co-operator of a frozen yogurt franchise a few years back that has, in my opinion, far reaching implication to how people are over specializing and basically typecasting their careers to obscurity! I suggest you all read about this, but especially those with highly functional or industry specific niches will especially want to pay attention.

As a retail owner or manager, you are always looking for ways to increase sales (while simultaneously reducing costs if possible, something corporate employees either don’t really acknowledge or don’t care in my observations) and with the advent of computerized point of sale (POS) systems, you can track and see sales trends in real time (all this hype recently about « big data » in the corporate world is something even small retail owners have been doing for some time). The yogurt store when we took over it (and the reason for the good price we bought it for) was that it had flat sales for some time. Therefore, like any other good retail owner we experimented with various marketing schemes and rotation of flavors to see if it would increase sales and track them rigorously in real-time.

Here was our strategy: we noticed that many customers would comment that they could not believe how good tasting the non-fat yogurt was and we of course, noticed that the best sellers were non-fat. In addition, we also noticed that people who bought non-fat yogurt put more toppings on them and since we sold yogurt by the ounce, this added to our increased revenue. So we swapped all the yogurt with the non-fat variety and experimented with various flavors and tracked the sales. We also very prominently promoted the health benefits of frozen yogurt over traditional ice-cream and of course, highlighted that our yogurt was non-fat!

Here was some of the interesting results: Initially sales did increase and for some flavors (like red velvet cake) it went up substantially. But over time, some customers complained that they missed some core flavors (like plain old vanilla and chocolate) or that we rotated them too much. Over time, sales flattened out again and ironically, customer demand pushed us back to about where we were prior: a mix of low-fat and non-fat, core staple flavors (vanilla, choc, etc.) and toppings. And though this is only anecdotal, I think people caught on that just because something was non-fat, using this to justify eating more of it and putting more high calorie toppings was not exactly rational. 🙂

So what does this have to do with career specialization? Pretty much everything I believe! Here’s why:

The first has to do with something called the « Snackwell Effect » and as this Wikipedia entryoutlines, it « is a phenomenon that states that dieters will eat more low-calorie cookies, such as SnackWells, than they otherwise would for normal cookies. » As was outlined above, having the moniker « non-fat » emphasized in our marketing, caused people to eat more frozen yogurt than they otherwise would have eaten (as well as putting much more high fat and sugary toppings!). Likewise, due to the extreme competitive forces many full-time employees feel these days and the ease with which one can obtain degrees (many online w/out ever having to step foot on a campus) and specialized certifications, many are following the harmful motto of « the more degrees and certifications I acquire, the more I will differentiate myself and land a better job. »

The problem with this approach is that unless you are already wealthy (which could not be the case since the pursuit of these degrees and certifications indicate that you are doing this for a better job and more wealth), you could end up racking up lots of debt (especially the student kind). It is also of the psychological kind, in that a person can become quite obsessive about getting more and more degrees and certifications. Just go on any LinkedIn discussion board and you will often see people asking « now that I have degree/certification X, should I also get degree/certification Y and/or Z too? ».

This becomes a vicious circle of people getting more degrees and certifications creating a kind of « arms race » among professionals all looking to differentiate themselves, when all they are doing is specializing themselves to death in a world that needs more holistic and what I refer to as « deep generalist » thinkers.

There’s another paradoxical effect as well, which I like to refer to as the « inverted long tail ». It inverts a concept made popular by Chris Anderson in a 2004 Wired magazine article. The concept basically is that due to the internet, products with low demand and low sales can collectively equal or even surpass popular best sellers due to large distribution sellers like Amazon, eBay, etc. that can sell them to anyone and anywhere. Many people, including myself, have interpreted and extended this concept to mean that any individual can through the internet (and/or social media as is now popularly hyped) dominate a niche in the long tail that collectively can be bigger than mainstream outlets.

For example, to use a professional field that I’m heavily in, namely project management, you now see many individuals on blogs, social media (LinkedIn especially), etc. and even offline engagements such as speaking and providing workshops, seminars etc. at professional events explode in the last decade. I see this same phenomenon in other professional specialties whether it’s IT, accounting, law, etc. I outlined this phenomenon in a previous article on the « signal-to-noise » of social media where so much of this is making it hard to be heard in a growing sea of social media noise.

But the paradox has a corollary in that it inverts the whole idea of the long tail. In a critique outlined in a 2008 Harvard Business Review article by Anita Elberse, she outlines data that shows how as the long tail grows, it actually works the reverse of what Chris Anderson proposed in that blockbuster hits become more popular. In other words, in accordance with my signal-to-noise paradox theory, as the noise of all these long tail specialist grows, more and more people gravitate towards things that are more simpler, popular and familiar.

So for all of you out there obsessively getting more and more degrees and certifications to differentiate yourselves and those professionals clamoring to build a platform in your specialty niche profession, you may be helping to only amplify the desires of organizations, hiring managers and recruiters to seek individuals who are already well known and established that have a simple, yet compelling and consistent narrative brand. At some point there will have to be a diminishing return for posting degree and certification acronyms on your resume and LinkedIn profile, posting yet another industry specific « ho-hum » or « me too » article and building a brand platform that is indistinguishable from the sea of others.

So what’s the solution? It’s pretty simple, before you invest time and energy to obtaining another degree or certification, post « yet another article » about something mundane in your specialty niche, think carefully about who it really benefits. To be honest, I’m not sure who this article benefits but it beats writing yet another article on « how to lead a project » or worse, another « how to create a project communication plan »… yuck, what a snorefest!

9 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happier

These minor changes in your daily routine will make a major difference in your life and career.

Happiness is the only true measure of personal success. Making other people happy is the highest expression of success, but it’s almost impossible to make others happy if you’re not happy yourself.

With that in mind, here are nine small changes that you can make to your daily routine that, if you’re like most people, will immediately increase the amount of happiness in your life:

1. Start each day with expectation.

If there’s any big truth about life, it’s that it usually lives up to (or down to) your expectations. Therefore, when you rise from bed, make your first thought: « something wonderful is going to happen today. » Guess what? You’re probably right.

2. Take time to plan and prioritize.

The most common source of stress is the perception that you’ve got too much work to do.  Rather than obsess about it, pick one thing that, if you get it done today, will move you closer to your highest goal and purpose in life. Then do that first.

3. Give a gift to everyone you meet.

I’m not talking about a formal, wrapped-up present. Your gift can be your smile, a word of thanks or encouragement, a gesture of politeness, even a friendly nod. And never pass beggars without leaving them something. Peace of mind is worth the spare change.

4. Deflect partisan conversations.

Arguments about politics and religion never have a « right » answer but they definitely get people all riled up over things they can’t control. When such topics surface, bow out by saying something like: « Thinking about that stuff makes my head hurt. »

5. Assume people have good intentions.

Since you can’t read minds, you don’t really know the « why » behind the « what » that people do. Imputing evil motives to other people’s weird behaviors adds extra misery to life, while assuming good intentions leaves you open to reconciliation.

6. Eat high quality food slowly.

Sometimes we can’t avoid scarfing something quick to keep us up and running. Even so, at least once a day try to eat something really delicious, like a small chunk of fine cheese or an imported chocolate. Focus on it; taste it; savor it.

7. Let go of your results.

The big enemy of happiness is worry, which comes from focusing on events that are outside your control. Once you’ve taken action, there’s usually nothing more you can do. Focus on the job at hand rather than some weird fantasy of what might happen.

8. Turn off « background » TV.

Many households leave their TVs on as « background noise » while they’re doing other things. The entire point of broadcast TV is to make you dissatisfied with your life so that you’ll buy more stuff. Why subliminally program yourself to be a mindless consumer?

9. End each day with gratitude.

Just before you go to bed, write down at least one wonderful thing that happened. It might be something as small as a making a child laugh or something as huge as a million dollar deal. Whatever it is, be grateful for that day because it will never come again.

Source: Inc.Com

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