‘Referral hiring isn’t great for diversity’

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  ― Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Happy New year! Happy new changes!

New Year’s Day marks a new chapter in many peoples’ lives. For a large number of employees, career related changes are among their top new year’s resolutions.



The title for this post was taken from an article I came across on Bloomberg- “Hiring an Employee’s Buddy Is Fueling a Major Workplace Crisis”

As a job seeker, you’ve probably heard someone explain the importance of networking and why you should network, network and keep on networking!  It’s a fact that nowadays,  getting a job is mostly about who you know and much less about what you know!

But how well does the referral hiring work?- In an article- How do social networks affect labor markets? – Ian Schmutte,  assistant professor of economics at University of Georgia, USA  explains that “Referral networks can help employers find better workers as well as help workers find better jobs. More generally, these networks can speed up the rate at which workers and firms find each other.”

So where’s the catch?  In the article, Ian Schmutte also adds that ” … networks can also be segmented along racial, ethnic, and socio-economic lines, which brings into question the effect they may have on inequality between and within different groups of workers.” Read on the full article here

Other interesting reads-

-Thinking about recommending your friend to your employer?  Here are 12 things to keep in mind. (Forbes) Also, here are tips on  How to Recommend a Friend or Colleague for a Job

-‘Bore out’- a new term i learnt the other day. It’s all about boredom at work. I read a story about a 44-year-old Parisian Frédéric Desnard, who sued a firm for being ‘bored out’ of his job. Although he held a managerial role in a perfume business, he often felt depressed and didn’t like the idea of his former employers giving him menial tasks. He is not alone. According to a BBC article, workplace boredom is a common problem in various organisations and it’s usually a major source of stress for many people.  Can you handle boredom at work? Here are a few tips on how to cope with boredom at work

-The underemployed workforce- “Any job is better than no job at all…” right? Well, yes if it is temporary. And no,  if you’ll have to permanently do certain jobs involuntarily. Who are the ‘underemployed’?  Underemployment among recent college graduates is still a problem on the rise. It’s a fact that a high number of graduates find it difficult to secure well paying jobs right after college. According to sources, many settle for ‘low skilled’ jobs which are usually “non-college” jobs. –  How to get graduate jobs

–  Goal setting and achievement- How to set your goals and how to focus on them? Here’s a concept i watched on Marie Forleo  YouTube channel

Because you’re worth it — how a personal brand helps your career

In the late 1980s and early 1990s social and cultural researchers and thinkers began to articulate how changes in the organization of global capitalism were affecting cultural life.

The shift toward networked forms of “just-in-time” production and the pervasiveness of consumption and market relations in everyday life was articulated in concepts like: “flexible accumulation”, “reflexive production”, “promotional culture” and “immaterial labour”.

One curious product of these changes has been the rise of the “personal brand”, particularly in immaterial and knowledge-based forms of labour.

For professional meaning-makers of all kinds – marketers, advertisers, journalists, political and policy advisors, academics and researchers – success increasingly depends on their ability to “brand” their value (skills, networks and immaterial qualities) as a competitive advantage to potential employers and investors.

The crafting of the personal brand began with what Irving Goffman (1959) termed “impression management”, evident in a more conscious attention to attire and corporate accessories like business cards, personal organizers and mobile phones.

Personal branding evolved alongside the development of post-war corporate culture (famously dramatized at its most excessive in the “business card” scene from American Psycho.)

The arrival of mainstream social networking platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, About.Me and Facebook in the past decade have intensified and expanded personal branding in two ways.

Firstly, aspiring professionals can adapt the techniques of corporate brands in the way they “mediate” their identity. And, secondly, the way we present ourselves as personal brands gets mixed up with our private social lives.

Much public discussion about the private-public nature of social media has focused on the potential negatives. For instance, media have fed panic about drunken photos on Facebook harming future job prospects, and many employers report “googling” and “facebooking” potential employees. This panic has subsided as professionals use social networks to scout for talent, interact with leaders in their industry, and build their personal profile.

Developing a personal brand can be a strategic and savvy activity for aspiring professionals in the cultural industries.

Greens Senator Sarah Hansen-Young advertised for a media advisor solely on Twitter, telling The Australian newspaper that “someone who is not on Twitter probably isn’t going to be the right person for the job”.

Latika Bourke was recruited from Fairfax to the ABC largely because of the Twitter profile and following she developed covering Federal politics.

In each of these cases a strong personal brand was the basis of career opportunities. For an exceptional few personal brands can also be commercialized. Mia Freedman has created a valuable personal brand through her Mamamia blog, attracting a lucrative audience of middle-class Australian women.

Natalie Tran, a 20-something media graduate, makes money from the shared ad-revenue of her CommunityChannel on YouTube and has been recently partnered with Lonely Planet to make a series of travel documentaries targeted at her young and educated audience. In each case, online presence, profile and connectedness are valuable commodities deployed by these individuals to enhance their professional profile or to make money.

Far from the panic of keeping everything online “private”, for aspiring professionals in the knowledge and creative industries, making themselves more “public” in a strategic and managed way cultivates a valuable self, visible and strategically positioned for future opportunities.

Aspiring professionals can use platforms like Twitter to follow the conversation within their industry, establish a presence, and interact with industry leaders. Employment in these industries has “always” revolved around personal connections and who you know.

Social media adds another layer to this process of image and impression management. The development of advertising in the 20th century was accompanied by increasingly sophisticated forms of market research.

One sign personal branding has become embedded in our work cultures is the emergence of online tools and services that track personal brand value.

In the field of personal branding, the emerging market leader is a service called Klout (others include Twitalyzer, Backtype and PostRank) which will give your personal brand value a “score” and a profile based on the size and quality of your online networks. Services like Klout encourage individuals to more self-consciously evaluate their online presence and how they can strategically improve it.

Personal branding is part of branding becoming a ubiquitous platform for social communication. On Twitter, Facebook and other social networking platforms, young creative folk both interact with brands, incorporate brands into their identity and present themselves using the codes and logics of branding.

Branding provides a model for imagining our self, constructing our identity, and our place in the world. As middle class individuals imagine and present themselves using platforms and techniques once exclusive to governments and corporations, are they becoming more empowered participants in economic and political processes?

Or, is this further evidence of daily life becoming more intensively plugged into a global infrastructure of cultural production where individuals are pushed into more competitive, and perhaps alienated, relations with each other?

Personal branding might make individuals “richer” within the current system of cultural production, but that doesn’t mean it enriches our social, cultural and political life. The “value-added” presentation of the self might make us more interested in out-manoeuvring our fellow competitor in the game of life rather than contributing to meaningful public conversations.

There are both utopian and dystopian views of personal branding. The challenge for media, cultural and political researchers is to assess the limits and possibilities of branding as a platform for social communication.

The Conversation

Nicholas Carah, , The University of Queensland

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

“Does Donald Trump’s election as United States president mean that globalization is dead, or are reports of the process’ demise greatly exaggerated?”

The title of this post is from Project Syndicate with Barry Eichengreen, a Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, who wrote an interesting article on the condition of globalization and the world trade growth even without Trump in office- Globalization’s Last Gasp.

So what’s the deal with globalization? Is it here to stay?

I’ve personally come across articles with claims and opinions citing experts about why globalization is said to be dead. Other experts  have a different opinion on the matter. See for example- Globalization is alive and well.

Weekend Reads

  • Meet the marketing genius behind Snap’s new Spectacles-(Read on Recode)
  • Truth be told- Many companies still struggle with the idea of dealing and responding to a cyber attack. However, industry leaders such as  IBM, wants to train corporate security teams, CEOs, and PR departments to handle Cyber Attacks- (Read on Bloomberg)
  • How is the driverless car a great opportunity for healthcare? You guessed it right! The autonomous car is not just here to carry you to your destination. It can do more than that. For example the future Mercedes Benz– (Read on LinkedIn)
  • What is Zara’s secret recipe to success? In an article by Bloomberg, “Zara’s culture isn’t as easily copied as the latest fashion trends.” This is one of the reasons why Inditex, its parent company, is more successful than it’s competitors such as American Apparel, Gap and  H&M. (Read on Bloomberg)
  • Thinking about quitting your job? Here are 10 things you need to keep in mind about quitting your job- (Read on Forbes)

And how about you? What are you currently reading? Please share in the comments section below. I’d love to read from you.

Have a nice weekend!