If it is not evident, I am a huge fan of LinkedIn. And not just because they named me one of the top voices using the platform in 2017. LinkedIn has been the most powerful tool I have been able to use in my career. I truly believe that if you are not using it you are missing out. Here are some things that you may want to rethink when it comes to using the platform to benefit yourself.
My background is in chemistry. For many years, I had been working as a consultant, providing trainings on health and safety to companies and to their workers in Spain. Then I decided to move to Chicago. I didn’t have anything there, but I wanted to start a new life, to learn a new language, and to experience another culture.
There is no question about it: being a college or university president is hard. And, it is getting harder. These deepening challenges mean the time has come to re-think how we view this critical role in educating the next generation. I believe we need to consider the deployment of a different leadership paradigm for some institutions moving forward: co-presidencies.
As a management consultant, I talk about money all day. Since it’s my client’s money—not my own—these conversations are more transactional than emotional; they’re not personal, it’s business. When I talk about my own money (particularly my book money), however, it’s entirely different. Offering even cursory details has the air of confession; I feel exposed, vulnerable and can barely choke out words. I’d rather describe my darkest, dirtiest sexual fantasies than tell you how much I’ve earned writing novels. But this essay is about my corporate career, which means it’s mostly about money; to tell it right I have to come clean.
A few weeks ago, I met a woman (let’s call her Andrea) who doesn’t believe transgender people deserve special protections, either at her company or under the law. She made this clear during an industry conference on discrimination and diversity. The moderator had been explaining how many Fortune 500 firms were adopting policies on restroom usage with the goal of inclusivity, when Andrea suddenly interrupted her.
Two years ago, over Christmas, I was on a beach in the Philippines. It was a deserted beach, and this lady just decorated her beachfront with things made out of natural materials: silver stars wrapped with aluminum foil, straws made of bamboo, bowls made of coconut shell... People were crafty, resourceful. With no money, they were able to make something out of nothing. At the time, my partner was writing a blog. He asked me, if I’d write something, what would it be? I thought, it would be about crafts, and travel. That’s how we came up with the name Crafty Nomad.
It was the end of 1994 and fresh out of college, I was hired for my first UX role as a research consultant. I proudly started out in the workforce as a “human factors engineer.” In today’s parlance, I was neither doing human factors nor anything related to engineering, but the evolution of UX terminology is a story for another day.