From Kargo's Director Of People Operations: "Five Little Words"
Below is an article originally written by Katherine Merrill, the Director of People Operations at PowerToFly Partner Kargo, and published on May 30, 2018. Go to Kargo's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
If someone were to ask you to describe yourself at work in five words, what would you choose? If you were to ask your colleagues to describe you in five words, do you think their choices would match yours? Which words are you the most confident others would select? Which words are you not the most confident in?
I call this exercise "building your brand" and I often utilize it in my People Operations role to help people enhance their professional self-awareness and intentionality. At work, do you intentionally set the behaviors in which you want to act and the ways you want people to describe you? Do you sometimes allow external factors and stressors influence the way you communicate and work with people? In 2018, there are so many stimulants that come at us every day, and it can be easy for us to allow that office drive by, text message, or phone call to throw us off course and behave in a way that's not "our brand."
There are technical skills required to perform many jobs: computer software, a higher degree, or industry knowledge. However when it comes down to it, the "soft skills" that many people refer to that you don't learn through a college course have the potential to be the most critical factors that bring career growth to the highest levels. These are behaviors like: clear communication, collaboration, trustworthiness, doing what you say you're going to do, and acting calm under pressure. The most successful leaders I've worked with are ones who intentionally set their professional brand. They know the way they want to be perceived by others, consistently ground themselves in a set of behaviors aligned to those goals, and ask for regular feedback along the way to know where to make ongoing improvements.
I encourage you to try it: Pick five words you want colleagues to use describing you and think about where the alignment and gaps might be. Then, pick some trusted colleagues to give it a try. Stayed tuned for additional professional tips for how to take this a step further!
For the boss you loved, the coworker you hated, and everyone in between
Two things are inevitable when someone leaves your team at work: there will be an abundance of sweet treats (I'm partial to those giant cookie cakes from the mall) and there will be a card passed around for everyone to scrawl the professional version of sweet nothings in. Depending on the "importance" of the person, you may get the bonus activities of farewell gifts and/or an all-team champagne toast.
If you are a New York based tech professional and you'd like to attend this event, please email your name and LinkedIn URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you are a software engineer, fitness enthusiast or both, you won't want to miss PowerToFly's evening of product demos and networking with the women tech leaders and allies at Peloton.
Founded in 2012, Peloton brought top talent together in its Silicon Alley headquarters to create a new concept in fitness. In their words, "We loved cycling but had a hard time finding a workout that consistently fit our schedules, and our at-home workouts never felt quite up to par. So, we set out to create a world-class indoor cycling studio experience on your time, and in the comfort of your own home."
This event is your chance to hear directly from the women tech leaders and allies who make their revolutionary products like the Peloton Bike, Peloton Tread and Peloton App possible. We'll be devoting a large portion of the event to taking your questions and I know the Peloton team wants to hear from you!
The unique evening will take place on Wednesday, February 12th from 6pm to 8:30pm at 125 W 25th Street.
There's a lot more to building an inclusive company than just hiring more people from diverse backgrounds. So, how can you build an inclusive culture that will help you attract and retain a diverse group of employees?