The week@work – April 6 – April 12

This week@work included a new book describing how to get a job at Google and magazine articles detailing what you will need to get hired by a non-profit in 2020 and the new etiquette for quitting your job; which will come in handy if you plan to leave to work at Google or a non-profit in the next five years.

‘Work Rules!’ the new book by Laszlo Bock, the SVP of People Operations at Google was received well amidst an impressive media roll-out. However, the Bloomberg Business review was skeptical. Here is a sample:

Take interviewing: Most companies let their managers make decisions on hiring, but Google has a universal system, horrifically called qDroid, that produces algorithmic questions meant to tease out various attributes of applicants. Bock concedes that the questions are often rote, but “it’s the answers that are compelling.” So compelling, in fact, that Google “scores” the responses with “a consistent rubric” it calls Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales. He’s certain this automated process, which takes months for most applicants to complete, brings in the “most superb candidates.” Google does get top employees, but you have to be squinting pretty hard to think this is the right way to find them. The reason it has talented workers is that it’s a multibillion-dollar company that pays extremely well.”

If you are thinking about working at Google, I would recommend David Eggers‘ 2013 novel ‘The Circle’.

What will non-profits be looking for in 2020? A Fast Company article based on interviews with innovative non-profits found opportunities have grown with the market in recent years.

“According to The New York Times’ analysis of data from the American Community Survey of the United States Census Bureau, 11% more young college graduates worked for nonprofit groups in 2009 than in 2008. A 2012 study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that the U.S. nonprofit sector grew an average of 2.1% between 2000 and 2010, while for-profit sector jobs declined by an average of 0.6% a year during the same period.”

Technology, social media and design skills will be needed by non-profits to develop solutions to complex problems. An ability to work across private and public sectors will be key in courting donors and allocating resources to meet global needs.

Whether you are considering a move to a non-profit or a Fortune 100 organization, how you depart your current employer will have long term effects on your career. Social media provides opportunities to create online networks, but the virtual world can be both an asset and a liability in your career advancement. Entertainment, Financial Services and Silicon Valley organizations share information informally, and with mobility increasing in an improved economic environment, there is always the possibility that the boss you just left shows up in a few months as your new leader.

Another Fast Company article offered some basic suggestions including providing enough notice, keeping positive and maintaining momentum on tasks. One piece of advice that resonated is to visit with colleagues before you leave and acknowledge your appreciation for their support and contribution to your career growth.

As with any advice, the culture of your organization drives behavior. You may be in a place that welcomes a professional exit approach, but you may not. Adapt your plans to the reality of your workplace, ensuring your reputation stays intact as you depart.

Finally, this week, ceremonies in Appomattox and Arlington, Virginia marked the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Timothy Egan, visualized Lincoln in the aftermath of surrender in an opinion piece in The New York Times  “Imagine him in the last week of his life, 150 years ago this month. Shuffling, clothes hanging loosely on the 6-foot-4-inch frame, that tinny voice, a face much older than someone of 56. “I am a tired man,” he said. “Sometimes I think I am the tiredest man on earth.” 

This was a President @work, nearing the end of his term. The challenge ahead was to unite the nation and welcome back the soldiers to their places of work now that the war had come to an end. History repeats, as today we once again welcome soldiers returning from war to their modern day workplace.

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