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Hiring

Now Is an Unprecedented Opportunity to Hire Great Talent…

From our friends at Harvard Business Review  

By: Claudio Fernández-Aráoz

While the Covid-19 pandemic hits and reshapes companies, industries, national economies, and our society in previously unthinkable ways, business leaders need to think beyond survival to the opportunities this crisis might create, not only for their own organizations but the greater good. Chief among these is a chance to hire talented people at a time when they might have trouble finding or keeping jobs elsewhere.
According to The Economist, four-fifths of CEOs worry about skill shortages — up from half in 2012 — while outside hiring at the top reached record highs, causing business for large global search firms to increase by 9% to 15% last year.
Now, many companies are laying off workers and downsizing. Some sectors are collapsing. It seems an unprecedented number of people, around the world, from new graduates to seasoned veterans, will be looking for employment. At the same time, a major force that had been fueling the intensity of the war for talent — globalization — might recede. As companies revisit their international expansion strategies and cross-border business practices, workers are recalculating their personal purpose and individual and family priorities, with serious implications for their geographic and work preferences and travel habits.
The pool of available talent is suddenly both changing and expanding, and visionary leaders can make the most of it, preparing the ground for post-crisis recovery and growth. As management guru Jim Collins has shown us, making the leap from good to great starts with getting the right people on the bus.

History Lessons

Throughout history, economic hardships have created windows in which exceptional employees and leaders are widely available for a limited time. In the late 1940s, for example, many organizations were struggling. At Hewlett-Packard, the fledgling electronic equipment maker that would eventually become one of America’s best-known technology companies, business was slow and finances strained. But as legions of great engineers streamed out of closing or soon-to-close U.S. military labs, HP’s legendary founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard realized they couldn’t let such an amazing hiring opportunity pass them by. When asked how they could afford to keep taking on new people in those difficult years, their answer was simple: “How could we afford not to!”  Years later, when asked about the biggest contributor to HP’s success over the years, they routinely cited their willingness to invest in talent no matter the external economic climate.
While most of us become short-sighted and irrational during crises, the best leaders and organizations stay calm and use them to their advantage, sprinting away from their competitors and never looking back. To use another analogy, they bring in architects to plan the new building even as the firefighters work to save the old one.
Harvard Business School’s Ranjay Gulati, Nitin Nohria, and Franz Wohlgezogen considered the benefits of this kind of long-term thinking in an analysis of 4,700 companies across the last three recessions. They discovered that 9% were able to come out in much better positions than they entered because of their “progressive” focus. They did cut back, but were extremely selective about when and where they did so and, more importantly, they continued to make strategic investments. Rather than thinking in “either/or” terms — you’re either hiring or you’re downsizing — they, like HP following the war, embraced the “and,” understanding they could do both things if they were smart about it.
Unfortunately, most companies make the mistake of uniformly freezing hiring in downturns. During the 2008 global financial crisis, BCG and the European Association for People Management surveyed 3,400 executives, including 90 senior human resources leaders in more than 30 countries, to see how they were responding. The most frequent action (or reaction) was to scale back recruiting. At the same time, survey participants rated the selective hiring of high-performing employees from competitors as one of the three most effective responses to the previous crisis (from a list of 22) and the one with the best impact on employee commitment. This irrationality is widespread. Those who stay rational can capitalize on it.

Seizing the Opportunity

So, how should visionary leaders go about capturing this once-in-a-century hiring opportunity? Through urgent and disciplined engagement in several initiatives:
Ask your top leaders to list three to five great players they would have liked to have hired over the past five years and then check in with those people.
These will probably be individuals they frequently deal with (as suppliers, advisors, clients), or even assessed as past potential candidates. In your next executive team meeting, discuss everyone’s selections, rank them in terms of attractiveness for and to your company, and agree on who to contact. It’s possible that many will now be open to considering an offer because their circumstances have changed. One of the best staff hires I ever made for Egon Zehnder was a brilliant young executive I’d previously met in Latin America whose career I had tracked closely for more than 10 years. He’d told me he would never consider joining the executive search profession. Yet, two decades ago, at a crucial time in his career as a CEO of a sizable company, the time was right. I asked, and he came on board. He has since become a global partner and office leader in his home country, as well as playing all sorts of key global roles.

Set up a task force to source potential candidates from target sectors and companies who may now be either jobless or open to change.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, has repeatedly stated that the company’s high hiring bar is a critical factor in its success. When many years ago I spoke at one of its global recruiting summits, I met an army of hundreds of Amazonians dedicated to exactly that: bringing in the most promising new hires from target sectors and companies. One of them specialized full time in the military sector, in his view one of the best sources of talent in the United States. All companies should bring this level of focus and discipline to sourcing potential candidates, especially during this period. Insist that your senior HR leaders step up their efforts and purposefully assign some of your top-line managers to scout for outstanding people in key functions, particularly ones coming from hard-hit sectors such as airlines, hotels, and recreation, or start-ups that might already be faltering in the face of recession.

Interview and check references remotely with the same rigor you would in person.

Thanks to modern technology, we have the ability to replicate all of our traditional hiring processes and procedures in remote, physically distanced settings. Telephone calls and video conferences are a must. And then follow the same guidelines for great recruitment experts have described for years. Outline the qualities and competencies you’re looking for in a new hire before you start; at this time of flux, I would give heavy weight to soft skills, including inspirational leadership, change management, collaboration, and influencing, as well as the potential to keep growing, learning, and adapting to new circumstances. Such potential will stem from their curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination, on top of the right motivation. Ask behavior-based questions, such as “Could you tell me about a time you led your team through a big transition?” Record your thoughts and observations about how the person measures up to your initial metrics as soon as you’re done. Bring in more than one but not too many interviewers and compare notes with them. And carefully check references. Decades of social research have concluded that third-party opinions are much more accurate than individuals’ own views of themselves, particularly for soft skills.

Go out of your way to motivate the best candidates. 

Once you are convinced that you have the opportunity to bring in someone you really want, arrange to have the person speak to senior leaders who can share their love and passion for your company and describe the value they hope to build with the new colleague. Pay can be important but research shows that what truly motivates knowledge workers is a high level of autonomy, mastery, and purpose. In these trying times, flexible work arrangements will no doubt continue to be key, as will the chance to keep on learning and growing while working to build something larger than ourselves.

 

Careers in Wine

Ladies and Gentlemen Taking Care of Ladies and Gentlemen

Above the door of any serving area in a Ritz Carlton hotel is a sign that reads, ‘Ladies and gentlemen taking care of ladies and gentlemen. ‘This phrase has always served as a dignified and courteous reminder at Benchmark, as it highlights just how far our personal presentation and interactions with others can go. COVID-19 has brought forward a ‘new normal’ in which ZOOM meetings and Skype calls are now our makeshift professional home.

While the quality of your work matters, the conduct and image each of us projects personally and professionally are equally significant. To put it simply, people like to work with other people who are clean, collected, well-mannered, and polite.

COVID-19 has brought forward a ‘new normal’ in which ZOOM meetings and Skype calls are now our makeshift professional home. While this is an adjustment (to put it lightly), this may be our professional reality for the foreseeable future; furthermore, these virtual office spaces be our only opportunity to make an excellent first impression. To prevent the undoing of many days of meticulous upkeep, it’s vital to be consistently courtly, polite, and aware of others during this uncertain time.

So, back to that sign on the Ritz Carlton door, if you can carry yourself like a lady or gentleman in any work-related context, the chances are that you are well on your way to being the sort of worker employers value and coworkers want to be around.

As we all know – in the wine and spirits industry, we are not only called to deliver our expertise but represent the best version of our personal brand both on and off the stage.

Update

Hi Everyone

Hi everyone,

Well, things are changing fast, aren’t they? I hope you are taking good care of yourselves, your loved ones, and your neighbors.

It is quite the paradox, to be called on to support one another while also practicing social distancing.
I’m feeling nervous and unsettled and have turned to my husband, my best friend, and my family for comfort.

Being an entrepreneur, I am pretty well acquainted with the unknown, but this is next-level! I feel sad receiving emails from many of our colleges that are looking for work. I understand and identify with their struggle. The fact is, Benchmark Consulting is a bootstrapped small business.

We’re going to continue to do the best we can, but no matter how strong we are, I admit there are some things out of my control and this pandemic is one of them. Benchmark Consulting is powering through these challenging times. Our team is working from home, together with their roommates, kids, partners, pets, and in-laws, and following guidelines from the WHO on how to stay safe and protect the community.

I’m really proud of them for rallying. Benchmark Consulting exists for all of us in the wine industry who do it all – well now we’re doing at all at home, aren’t we?
We got this!

Please know that Benchmark Consulting is in business. Benchmarkhr.com is open.

We’re doing our best to keep the lights on for our team, and we thank you for your continued support. We aim to be a source of good cheer, inspiration, and practical advice.  I’ll also share my startup story and notes on what continues to keep me motivated to persevere through uncertainty.

Follow along with us on email and LinkedIn.

I’m figuring this out day by day, just like you, so please share and don’t be a stranger.

– Benchmark Team

Update

Covid-19 Update – Open for Business

These are certainly challenging and unprecedented times we are facing, with many unknowns ahead.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we’ve been extremely attentive to announcements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as our suppliers in the industry and taking into consideration the recommendations being made.

Currently, Benchmark Consulting is open and fully operational to service our customers. We are taking necessary measures to practice social distancing, so all Benchmark Consulting employees will be working remotely for the next two weeks. We will be available by phone, by email and/or by text messaging through our cell phones.

We will meet you, virtually!

Please continue to reach out for any of your future employment needs. We will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation closely and will provide prompt updates to you, our valued customers, as circumstances dictate.

Until then, stay safe and healthy and we look forward to working together again soon!

Thank you,

Dawn Bardessono
Managing Partner, Benchmark Consulting & Team

Careers in Wine

Perception Vs. Reality

Today we here at Benchmark Consulting decided to use this moment to remind you that every day is an opportunity to bring your ideas and dreams to life. Is it too late?

Many men and women in their 40s and 50s have been raised to believe they should be “winding down” with work and careers at this point.
That the ability to succeed is inversely proportionate to age. The reality is that men and women over 45 are at their most confident, resilient, and creative.

So whatever that dream, go for it!

getreadyforthenextbigthingbetterlanguagelessemojislife
Friendly Advice

Want To Make Better Decisions? Do This

From our friend:  Darius Fourox

Do you ever look back on your decisions and think, “Why I on earth did I do that?”

We all make bad decisions.
  • Buying an SUV that sucks up all your cash
  • Starting a relationship without being in love
  • Saying yes to a job that you’re not passionate about
  • Creating products that no one needs
S*&% happens (the above examples are all about me). But the funny thing is that bad decisions never seem like bad decisions in the moment.
I’ve been reading about the decision-making process of Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger, two of the most successful investors of all time.
In Alice Schroeder’s biography of Warren Buffett, I read that Buffet and Munger have a learning strategy that’s based on what you should avoid doing. They identify mistakes and do their best to avoid those mistakes.
But as Charlie Munger says:
“Smart people do dumb things.”
You can never avoid making a mistake. However, you can do your best to avoid making dumb decisions.
Plus, by learning from other people’s mistakes, you can make their mistakes your own. You’ll learn faster that way.

Don’t Overthink.

Smart people are way too preoccupied with doing the right things. They want to have the perfect life, career, house, business, car, holiday, etc.
When you put too much pressure on yourself to make the right decisions, you get analysis paralysis.
I recently spoke to a friend who wanted to make a career move. I asked him to walk me through his thinking process:
“I like the company I work for, but my job isn’t engaging anymore. I’ve been doing this work for four years. And sure, I’ve been promoted twice, but it’s still the same work. So I’ve been looking at other companies. But what if I go somewhere else and that doesn’t work out? I’ll have to move on quickly. And that won’t look good on my resume.”
I remained silent.
“Just hearing myself talk leads me to another thing: Overthinking it.”
We both laughed our assess off. I can do the same with overthinking. And I bet you’ve been there too.
When you overanalyze every single decision, you become paralyzed. Result? Nothing. Now, that’s a bad outcome!
That’s how people end up wasting their lives.
The only way you can stop overthinking is by making yourself aware of your thinking process. When I asked my friend about his thinking, he became aware of how irrational his process was.
You can’t control the future. So stop thinking about it.

Do This Instead: Make Small Decisions. Decide Often.

I recently read Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin. It’s about the way Charlie Munger thinks. One of his decision-making strategies is to avoid mistakes. But that can be interpreted in different ways.
You can fear decisions altogether because you might make mistakes. What happens is that you don’t make decisions at all. As Munger says:
“The difference between a good business and a bad business is that good businesses throw up one easy decision after another. The bad businesses throw up painful decisions time after time.”
You can interpret that Munger quote in different ways. I interpret it as follows:
When you make small decisions early, before they become big — it’s easy. When you put off decisions, they become big — and painful.
For example, I’m not happy with the email provider I use to send out my newsletter. Their support is slow, there’s no good integration with my online courses platform, and readers have complained about not getting my newsletter.
This is something that’s on my radar for more than 1.5 years. At the time my list was less than half of the size it’s today. I also had only one online course. Now, I have three.
The hassle of moving to another provider gets bigger every day. Had I moved early, it was easy. By now, it’s a painful process. In life, it’s exactly the same. The longer you stay in a bad relationship, the harder it gets to leave. It’s also true for your job.

Earlier Decisions Lead To Better Decisions

The earlier and more you decide, the more chance that you make better decisions.
I often say that there are no right or wrong decisions — only decisions. That’s not entirely accurate. Of course, there’s a difference in the quality of our choices. That’s the topic of another article.
But here’s the thing: NOT making a decision is also a decision. It’s a choice to put things off until “another time.”
So in effect, you’re making decisions all the time. Instead of making fewer decisions, we need to make them earlier.
Because all you need are a few good choices in your lifetime anyway. What will be your best? You only find out after, you guessed it, you’ve made a decision.
Career Insights

If you can’t keep your best employees engaged, you…

8 Bad Mistakes That Make Good Employees Leave

If you can’t keep your best employees engaged, you can’t keep your best employees. While this should be common sense, it isn’t common enough. A survey by CEB found that one-third of star employees feel disengaged from their employer and are already looking for a new job. When you lose good employees, they don’t disengage all at once. Instead, their interest in their jobs slowly dissipates. Michael Kibler, who has spent much of his career studying this phenomenon, refers to it as brownout. Like dying stars, star employees slowly lose their fire for their jobs.
“Brownout is different from burnout because workers afflicted by it are not in obvious crisis,” Kibler said. “They seem to be performing fine: putting in massive hours, grinding out work while contributing to teams, and saying all the right things in meetings. However, they are operating in a silent state of continual overwhelm, and the predictable consequence is disengagement.”In order to prevent brownout and to retain top talent, companies and managers must understand what they’re doing that contributes to this slow fade. The following practices are the worst offenders, and they must be abolished if you’re going to hang on to good employees.

They make a lot of stupid rules.

Companies need to have rules—that’s a given—but they don’t have to be shortsighted and lazy attempts at creating order. Whether it’s an overzealous attendance policy or taking employees’ frequent flier miles, even a couple of unnecessary rules can drive people crazy. When good employees feel like big brother is watching, they’ll find someplace else to work.

They treat everyone equally.

While this tactic works with school children, the workplace ought to function differently. Treating everyone equally shows your top performers that no matter how high they perform (and, typically, top performers are workhorses), they will be treated the same as the bozo who does nothing more than punch the clock.

They tolerate poor performance.

It’s said that in jazz bands, the band is only as good as the worst player; no matter how great some members may be, everyone hears the worst player. The same goes for a company. When you permit weak links to exist without consequence, they drag everyone else down, especially your top performers.

They don’t recognize accomplishments.

It’s easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially with top performers who are intrinsically motivated. Everyone likes kudos, none more so than those who work hard and give their all. Rewarding individual accomplishments shows that you’re paying attention. Managers need to communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good (for some, it’s a raise; for others, it’s public recognition) and then to reward them for a job well done. With top performers, this will happen often if you’re doing it right.

They don’t care about people.

More than half the people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain that their managers know how to balance being professional with being human. These are the bosses who celebrate their employees’ successes, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge them, even when it hurts. Bosses who fail to really care will always have high turnover rates. It’s impossible to work for someone for eight-plus hours a day when they aren’t personally involved and don’t care about anything other than your output.

They don’t show people the big picture.

It may seem efficient to simply send employees assignments and move on, but leaving out the big picture is a deal-breaker for star performers. Star performers shoulder heavier loads because they genuinely care about their work, so their work must have a purpose. When they don’t know what that is, they feel alienated and aimless. When they aren’t given a purpose, they find one elsewhere.

They don’t let people pursue their passions.

Google mandates that employees spend at least 20% of their time doing “what they believe will benefit Google most.” While these passion projects make major contributions to marquis Google products, such as Gmail and AdSense, their biggest impact is in creating highly engaged Googlers. Talented employees are passionate. Providing opportunities for them to pursue their passions improves their productivity and job satisfaction, but many managers want people to work within a little box. These managers fear that productivity will decline if they let people expand their focus and pursue their passions. This fear is unfounded. Studies have shown that people who are able to pursue their passions at work experience flow, a euphoric state of mind that is five times more productive than the norm.

They don’t make things fun.

If people aren’t having fun at work, then you’re doing it wrong. People don’t give their all if they aren’t having fun, and fun is a major protector against brownout. The best companies to work for know the importance of letting employees loosen up a little. Google, for example, does just about everything it can to make work fun—free meals, bowling allies, and fitness classes, to name a few. The idea is simple: if work is fun, you’ll not only perform better, but you’ll stick around for longer hours and an even longer career.

Bringing It All Together

Managers tend to blame their turnover problems on everything under the sun while ignoring the crux of the matter: people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers.

[accordion title=”Career Insights from…” opened=”yes”]Dr. Travis Bradberry:   is an award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, TIME, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review[/accordion]

Careers in Wine

You probably know to ask yourself, “What do I…

Think about what you want. Photo by: (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay/Foundry)
Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room.

Everyone would like that—it’s easy to like that.

If I ask you, “What do you want out of life?” and you say something like, “I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like,” it’s so ubiquitous that it doesn’t even mean anything.

A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence—but not everyone wants to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell. People want to be rich without the risk, without the sacrifice, without the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth.

Everybody wants to have great sex and an awesome relationship—but not everyone is willing to go through the tough conversations, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings and the emotional psychodrama to get there. And so they settle. They settle and wonder “What if?” for years and years and until the question morphs from “What if?” into “Was that it?” And when the lawyers go home and the alimony check is in the mail they say, “What was that for?” if not for their lowered standards and expectations 20 years prior, then what for?

Because happiness requires struggle. The positive is the side effect of handling the negative. You can only avoid negative experiences for so long before they come roaring back to life.

At the core of all human behavior, our needs are more or less similar. Positive experience is easy to handle. It’s negative experience that we all, by definition, struggle with. Therefore, what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we’re willing and able to sustain to get us to those good feelings.

People want an amazing physique. But you don’t end up with one unless you legitimately appreciate the pain and physical stress that comes with living inside a gym for hour upon hour, unless you love calculating and calibrating the food you eat, planning your life out in tiny plate-sized portions.

People want to start their own business or become financially independent. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, and working insane hours on something you have no idea whether will be successful or not.

People want a partner, a spouse. But you don’t end up attracting someone amazing without appreciating the emotional turbulence that comes with weathering rejections, building the sexual tension that never gets released, and staring blankly at a phone that never rings. It’s part of the game of love. You can’t win if you don’t play.

What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.

There’s a lot of crappy advice out there that says, “You’ve just got to want it enough!”

Everybody wants something. And everybody wants something enough. They just aren’t aware of what it is they want, or rather, what they want “enough.”

Because if you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. If you want the beach body, you have to want the sweat, the soreness, the early mornings, and the hunger pangs. If you want the yacht, you have to also want the late nights, the risky business moves, and the possibility of pissing off a person or ten thousand.

If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.

Sometimes I ask people, “How do you choose to suffer?” These people tilt their heads and look at me like I have twelve noses. But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. And ultimately that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?

That answer will actually get you somewhere. It’s the question that can change your life. It’s what makes me me and you you. It’s what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.

For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician — a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling. This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end. The fantasizing continued up through college, even after I dropped out of music school and stopped playing seriously. But even then it was never a question of if I’d ever be up playing in front of screaming crowds, but when. I was biding my time before I could invest the proper amount of time and effort into getting out there and making it work. First, I needed to finish school. Then, I needed to make money. Then, I needed to find the time. Then … and then nothing.

Despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. And it took me a long time and a lot of negative experiences to finally figure out why: I didn’t actually want it.

I was in love with the result—the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, pouring my heart into what I’m playing—but I wasn’t in love with the process. And because of that, I failed at it. Repeatedly. Hell, I didn’t even try hard enough to fail at it. I hardly tried at all.

The daily drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a group and rehearsing, the pain of finding gigs and actually getting people to show up and give a shit. The broken strings, the blown tube amp, hauling 40 pounds of gear to and from rehearsals with no car. It’s a mountain of a dream and a mile-high climb to the top. And what it took me a long time to discover is that I didn’t like to climb much. I just liked to imagine the top.

Our culture would tell me that I’ve somehow failed myself, that I’m a quitter or a loser. Self-help would say that I either wasn’t courageous enough, determined enough or I didn’t believe in myself enough. The entrepreneurial/start-up crowd would tell me that I chickened out on my dream and gave in to my conventional social conditioning. I’d be told to do affirmations or join a mastermind group or manifest or something.

But the truth is far less interesting than that: I thought I wanted something, but it turns out I didn’t. End of story.

I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.

Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.

This is not a call for willpower or “grit.” This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.”

This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes. So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.

This post originally appeared on MarkManson.net. Follow @iammarkmanson on Twitter.

Careers in Wine

California Waves Goodbye to Salary History

 

image of  man and woman sitting across from each other at a tableOn October 12, 2017, California joined a growing trend of jurisdictions attempting to address pay disparities by enacting a law that bans employers from seeking salary history information, including compensation and benefit information, from job applicants.  This includes the concern that relying upon salary history may perpetuate existing pay disparities.

 

 

To address this issue, California’s new law:

  • Prohibits employers from seeking salary history information, including compensation and benefits, about an applicant for employment;
  • Prohibits employers from relying on salary history when deciding whether to offer employment;
  • Prohibits employers from relying on salary history when deciding what salary to offer; and
  • Requires employers to provide a pay scale for the position to an applicant upon “reasonable request.”

Notably, although employers may not seek salary history information, if an applicant “voluntarily and without prompting” discloses salary history information, the employer may consider it in determining what salary to offer the applicant.   Unique to California, however, is the requirement that employers provide a pay scale upon reasonable request—a requirement that may force employers to create such a scale for positions.

The new law, which becomes effective January 1, 2018, will be codified at California Labor Code section 432.3, and applies to “all employers,” both private and public.

Employers in California should begin reviewing their hiring policies and practices, including employment applications and recruiting inquiries, to determine what changes may be necessary to ensure compliance with this new law.

 

 

Careers in Wine

Scientific Proof That Your Gut Is Best At Making…

image of a sketched brainThere are two over-arching kinds of decision making. One requires research and careful thought as to probable outcomes. The other simply goes with the gut.

It may make sense to stick with the latter in matters of the heart, but a number of recent scientific studies show that in business, the inner voice working in concert with cold, hard information could lead to better decision making.The Gut is Faster Than the Mind

The Gut is Faster Than the Mind

Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio of the University of Southern California tells us that it is important to pay attention to “somatic markers.” Originating in the insula (the island in the brain responsible for social emotions like pride or guilt) and the amygdala (which cues our response to threats), they send messages that something just feels right—or it doesn’t. The more you pay attention to the outcome of trusting your intuition in combination with facts, the better your future decision-making can become.

Further Questions

For those still on the fence about a current decision, Angela Jia Kim, cofounder of women entrepreneurs’ network Savor The Success, broke down her thought process for dissecting gut feelings in a previous interview:

  • “Do I feel good around this person or choice?”
  • “Does this person or situation give me or take my energy?”
  • “Do I feel empowered or disempowered?”
  • “Am I going toward an adventure or running from fear?”
  • “Am I listening to my lessons learned from the past?”
  • “Would I make the same choice if I had a million dollars in my pocket now?”
  • “Do I feel respected and valued?”
  • “Am I trying to control the situation or am I leaving room for expansion?”

From here, it’s just a matter of trusting both cognitive and emotional responses to figure out the right way to go.

About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.