TIME career

3 Things That Change When You Have a Direct Report

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Your tasks are no longer the only thing you’re measured on

When you start out in the working world, you’re just concerned about doing your job. You’re probably at the lower end of the totem pole, just trying to complete all of the tasks that come your way to the best of your ability.

At least, that’s how I was. Until I had a direct report.

1. You second guess a lot of the things you say in one-on-one meetings.

I never realized how much I hung onto every word of good and bad feedback my boss gave me during our one-on-one meetings until I had to host my own one-on-one’s. Sometimes I feel like I provide good feedback, but there are also meetings where I feel like my thoughts were running away from me, and I wasn’t being clear. Do your best to prep for these meetings like you would for a meeting with your own manager. Try to have a few talking points or specific questions you’d like to ask.

2. You and your direct report are partly dependent on each other to progress.

One of the strangest things about having a direct report is that in some ways, you’re now responsible for her future. Sure, her work has to shine and improve, but you have to give her the guidance to make her into that future person. You have to tell her what to work on and where to grow. Most importantly, you become a sponsor for her when it comes to promotion time. Not only do you have to speak to your strengths, but now you have to speak to someone else’s.

As part of this, your ability to manage others also goes into your performance review. Your work is no longer the only thing you’re measured on.

3. Your job is no longer just about the work you produce.

Having a direct report means that your job is no longer just the tasks you have to get done on a daily basis. You can’t just go through your to-do list, but you have to be available if someone else has questions, just like your manager is to you. I’ve had some excellent bosses, and one of the things I love most is their ability to be available and present when I have questions. Most bosses are good at being available, but great bosses can really stop what they’re doing to help talk you through your issues.

This article originally appeared on Levo.com.

TIME career

How to Create a Sense of Purpose at Work

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Employers that can articulate and provide a strong sense of purpose may more effectively recruit and engage millennials

Having a sense of purpose at work can help employees feel more engaged—like they’re part of something bigger. I’ve found that Millennial employees in particular are looking for this level of fulfillment from their jobs. Employers that can articulate and provide a strong sense of purpose may more effectively recruit and engage millennials. This week, I’ve found helpful articles that look at the importance of creating a sense of purpose in the workplace, and how employers can foster fulfillment in their employees.

1. A View From Davos: Putting Purpose to Work via Huffington Post

“Leaders can co-create purpose with employees. First, by offering personal experiences that allow employees to witness first-hand the effects of their products on other people. SAS sends programmers out for two weeks each year to ‘live’ with clients and help clients do their jobs. Roche brings patients in to talk about how drugs allowed them to see their children grow up. Second, leaders can give employees ‘bootleg time’ where some of their work hours are devoted to projects they personally find compelling (like Atlassian software’s FedEx days or 3M’s bootleg time). Third, leaders can talk with employees about ‘the why of their work’ and then help employees spend more time on products and with customers they naturally care about (an Arla Foods employee might spend a year developing a market in Africa to improve nutrition using powdered milk). Finally, leaders can find ways to use existing products to highlight and help solve some world problem (like Unilever investing in sanitation).”

2. Millennials Want To Work At Organizations That Focus On Purpose, Not Just Profit via FastCompany

“The survey polled over 7,800 Millennials with college degrees who also work full-time (defined as having been born after 1982). As in past years, Deloitte found that most respondents said that when they first launched their careers, they looked for companies with a strong sense of purpose beyond a simple profit motive. ‘They believe the business ethos has too short-term a focus. Beyond that, millennials believe companies should spend less time on short-time roles and more time on broadly building contributions to society, more time focusing on their people,’ says Deloitte Global Chairman Steve Almond.”

3. The Growing Business Case For Compassionate Leaders: Jason Garner, Spiritual Entrepreneur via Forbes

“For all executives and for Millennials in particular, the concept of making a meaningful difference, as well as accomplishing work, is one that resonates strongly. ‘When you think about it, business really is a natural place to look for leadership in areas that are affecting our communities,’ Jason Garner says. ‘Executives already know how to identify needs, find solutions, and implement solutions. For them it’s just a matter of expanding their field of vision to include the health of people and the environment to their concern for the health of the business.’”

4. Why Working In a Cubicle Is So Demoralizing and Workers Are Demanding More via Main Street

“Many employees are not engaged at work, because they feel a lack of a connection while their bosses continue to ask them to spend more time and energy at the office, said Gretchen Spreitzer, a professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Employees who are thriving believe their work has a purpose. They not only care about it, but the work has meaning in some way, she said.”

5. The 4 Keys to Managing a Happy, Productive Team via The Week

“Nothing is more motivating than progress in meaningful work and nothing more taxing than setbacks. (Via The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work): ‘This pattern is what we call the progress principle: of all the positive events that influence inner work life, the single most powerful is progress in meaningful work; of all the negative events, the single most powerful is the opposite of progress—setbacks in the work…Even when progress happens in small steps, a person’s sense of steady forward movement toward an important goal can make all the difference between a great day and a terrible one.’”

This article originally appeared on Levo.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

Why We Need More Mothers at Work

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I wish I had known five years ago, as a young, childless manager, that mothers are the people you need on your team

I still am embarrassed by this memory. Five years ago I walked into an office on the twenty-fifth floor of the Manhattan headquarters of Time Inc. (which owns Fortune.) I was there to meet with Time.com’s then-managing editor and pitch a partnership idea, but once I took a seat and surveyed the endless photos of her small children spread across the airy space, I decided this editor was too much of a mother to follow up on the idea.

I still went through with my proposal, but I walked out sure I would never talk to her again. She wasn’t the first and only mother whose work ethic I silently slandered. As a manager at The Huffington Post and then The Washington Post in my mid-twenties, I committed a long list of infractions against mothers or said nothing while I saw others do the same.

  • I secretly rolled my eyes at a mother who couldn’t make it to last minute drinks with me and my team. I questioned her “commitment” even though she arrived two hours earlier to work than me and my hungover colleagues the next day.
  • I didn’t disagree when another female editor said we should hurry up and fire another woman before she “got pregnant.”
  • I sat in a job interview where a male boss grilled a mother of three and asked her, “How in the world are you going to be able to commit to this job and all your kids at the same time?” I didn’t give her any visual encouragement when the mother – who was a top cable news producer at the time – looked at him and said, “Believe it or not, I like being away from my kids during the workday… just like you.”
  • I scheduled last minute meetings at 4:30pm all of the time. It didn’t dawn on me that parents might need to pick up their kids at daycare. I was obsessed with the idea of showing my commitment to the job by staying in the office “late” even though I wouldn’t start working until 10:30am while parents would come in at 8:30am.

For mothers in the workplace, it’s death by a thousand cuts – and sometimes it’s other women holding the knives. I didn’t realize this – or how horrible I’d been – until five years later, when I gave birth to a daughter of my own.

Within her first week, I became consumed by the idea that my career was over. It was almost as if my former self was telling me I was worthless because I wouldn’t be able to continue sitting in an office for 10 hours a day. And I certainly wouldn’t be able to get drinks at the last minute.

I was now a woman with two choices: go back to work like before and never see my baby, or pull back on my hours and give up the career I’d built over the last ten years. When I looked at my little girl, I knew I didn’t want her to feel trapped like me.

I read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, thinking it would motivate me. It only depressed me more. To me, the message was clear: put up with the choices made by a male-dominated work culture if you want to succeed. I re-read Anne Marie Slaughter’s piece on “Why Women Can’t Have It All.” It just painted another reality that I had contributed to until it became my own problem.

While I was on maternity leave from NowThis News (a startup funded by members of The Huffington Post team), still wrestling with these thoughts, I was approached by my now co-founder, Milena Berry. She told me she had an idea to launch a company that would match women in technical positions they could do from home. I decided to quit my job and leave journalism, realizing this startup had enormous potential for the one billion women entering the workforce over the next ten years.

If the developer placements worked, then other fields might follow. By enabling women to work from home, women could be valued for their productivity and not time spent sitting in an office or at a bar bonding afterwards. Mothers could have a third option that would allow them to either remain in the workforce or be a part of it even from areas with few job options.

All the tools exist for remote work – Slack, Jira, Skype, Trello, Google Docs. Research shows remote workers can be more productive. Furthermore, millennials – with or without kids – want that flexibility, a Harvard study found.

With the help of an awesome team that’s 50 percent moms from around the world, Milena and I are building PowerToFly around our lives as mothers. We’ve processed over a million dollars in paychecks for women who work from home across five continents and that number is growing fast. The stories we hear are thrilling.

Before we found Nedda, our CTO, she was commuting to London from her home in Bulgaria every week. Nedda’s daughter would hide in her suitcase on Sunday nights in an attempt to be with her mother during the week. Now she gets picked up from kindergarten by her mom everyday. Nedda traded a very expensive 10-hour weekly commute (not including time on the London tube) for a 30-minute walk with her child each afternoon.

I wish I had known five years ago, as a young, childless manager, that mothers are the people you need on your team. There’s a saying that “if you want something done then ask a busy person to do it.” That’s exactly why I like working with mothers now.

Moms tell me when a project can be done and they give me very advanced notice when they have to take time off work. If they work from home, it doesn’t matter if a kid gets sick. Yes, they might not be able to Skype with me as often through that day, but they can still be productive because they can work from home while keeping an eye on their child. (And, like me, many have childcare. There’s no way you can work from home without support, usually from another woman.) Moms work hard to meet deadlines because they have a powerful motivation – they want to be sure they can make dinner, pick a child up from school, and yes, get to the gym for themselves.

But, I know there are still a lot of people like my 28-year-old self – they undervalue mothers’ contributions because they count hours logged in the office and not actual work. Most mothers lose if that’s the barometer for productivity.

It’s time to break that cycle, and it starts with the people doing the hiring. The way I acted in my twenties had a lot to do with denial. If I didn’t embrace or recognize the mothers on my team, then I didn’t have to think about what my future would be like. I see the same behavior in young women I talk to who are in charge of hiring, especially in the tech space. They are hard liners – and passionate lecturers – about women being in the office so they can be part of the company’s “culture”.

They don’t realize how that “culture” pushes women out because it’s too often set up around how men bond. Many of these young women are just toe-ing the company line. I don’t begrudge them. I feel sorry for them.

They’re hurting their future selves. Just like I did.

These women can help pave the path for their future selves if they start acting like allies rather than deniers. Instead of just smiling and saying you’re sorry that a mom can’t join for office drinks, ask her if she’d rather do lunch. If there’s a comment you over hear that disparages a mother because she wasn’t at her desk at 7pm, then speak up and point out that she was their at 8:30am, or completely available on Skype of Slack at 7pm.

There are so many ways we can support each other as women, but it starts with the just recognizing that we’re all in different positions at different times in our lives.

One thing is clear. Motherhood is the future for most women. Over 80 percent of us will become mothers by the age of 44, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. So embrace your future and support it at work!

Now I know who I am. I’m a mother who can manage a large team from my home office or on a business trip, raise money, and build a culture for women to succeed. I’ve never been more productive, satisfied and excited about my future and my daughter’s. I wish I had recognized this years ago.

For that, I’m sorry to all the mothers I used to work with. Which brings me back to that managing editor I dissed at Time. Her name is Cathy and she has three kids. The deal never went through for a variety of reasons that included editorial fit, but we started talking six months ago. Cathy recently joined PowerToFly as our Executive Editor. She has taught me a lot about how to be more productive than I was before motherhood. I’m now looking for more Cathys to join PowerToFly because I know they can manage households, multiple schedules and very high business goals.

Katharine Zaleski is the Cofounder and President of PowerToFly, the first global platform matching women in highly skilled positions across tech and digital that they can do from home, or in an office, if they choose.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

MONEY

Simple Ways to Master the Art of Networking

Anxious about your next networking event? Follow these steps to get the most from the experience.

You arrive alone. Your heart is beating a little faster than normal and suddenly all of your charisma and charm go out the window. You try to lock eyes with someone so that you can find a temporary home in what can feel like a sea of strangers. But everyone looks happily engaged in conversation.

While this might sound like your experience at a middle school dance, it’s also what many people feel when they enter a networking event. These are completely natural reactions, even for the biggest extroverts. The great news is that people go to these events to meet strangers, so you’re in the same position as everyone else. Here are 17 helpful tips for navigating a networking event and making the most of your time there:

  1. Find the bar! Whether or not you’re drinking, it’s always a great idea to position yourself at the edge of the bar. Many people run for the bar when they get to a networking event in order to get a short respite from an overwhelming entrance. If you position yourself a few steps from the bar, you can easily strike up a conversation as people turn with drink in hand.
  2. Be yourself. Networking events are meant as jumping-off points for relationship building. If you can’t be yourself, you’ll be starting off these new relationships with a lie. Don’t try to be the person you think others want to meet. Be genuine. The people you connect with when you are authentic are the ones you’ll want to stay in touch with.
  3. Set reasonable expectations. When attending an event, understand what you are there to do. Is your goal to feel out a new organization and get to know the vibe? Is it to meet five new people? Is it to meet one or two specific people? These are all reasonable expectations and it takes a little pre-planning to set these goals.
  4. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Start by spreading a large net to test out a handful of organizations and then commit yourself to a only a few as time goes on. You want to become a staple at these events. When you bounce around to too many events where no one knows you, you’re doing yourself a disservice by having to build your brand from scratch in each environment. You’ll also find that networking is a lot more fun when you become a regular. People will sing your praises to new attendees (this is always better than you doing it yourself) and you’ll see lots of familiar faces.
  5. Take notes. When you ask for someone’s card after having a great conversation, take notes on their business card after they walk away or immediately after the event. This will help you to be more specific in your follow-up.
  6. Introduce yourself to the organizer. A great way to get to know more about an organization and who is involved is to seek out the event organizer and introduce yourself. He/she can then help point you in the right direction and can introduce you to other attendees to get you off on the right foot.
  7. Treat people like friends. Would you go to a friend, interrupt his/her conversation, hand over a business card, talk about yourself and then walk away? Of course not. Treat new networking relationships as you’d treat your friendships. Build rapport and trust that business will happen.
  8. Ask great questions. The only way to get to know someone else is to ask them genuine and thoughtful questions. It’s always best to walk away from a conversation having allowed the other person to speak more than you did. Not only will they feel great about the conversation, but you’ll have gotten to know a lot about him/her, helping you plan and execute your follow-up more thoughtfully.
  9. Sharing is caring. This is no less true now than it was in kindergarten. If you are willing to share your contacts and resources, others will be more likely to help you as well. Develop a sincerity in your giving nature without expectation of something in return.
  10. Consider their network. When meeting people, it’s important to remember that even if they can’t help you directly, someone in their network probably can.
  11. Treat connecting like a puzzle. If you’re asking great questions and considering how you can help others, you’ll naturally start to draw connections between who you are talking to and others in your network. Offer to make these connections! Perhaps they are two people who have the same target client industry, or maybe you know that a contact of yours is looking for the service the other provides. Encourage both parties to follow up with you after they meet so that you can hear what came of their interaction. It will not only pay dividends for you, it will also help you hone your matchmaking skills.
  12. Don’t be a card spammer. The closest thing to you throwing all of your business cards away is handing them out to anyone and everyone you meet without them asking. If you haven’t built enough rapport with someone to encourage them to ask for your card, don’t offer one.
  13. Be specific. The more specific you can be about what you do and what others can do to help you (if they ask), the better. Tell them the names of a few specific companies you’re looking to work with.
  14. Ask yourself why they should care. Consider why the person you’re speaking to should care about what you’re saying. Craft your conversations accordingly. You only have a short time to make an impression, so try to make it favorable.
  15. Be engaged. Keep eye contact with your conversation partner. Nod your head and tilt your body towards them when you’re speaking. These small cues go a long way towards making them feel like you care, which helps you to build rapport and trust: the foundation on which you can later do business.
  16. Do NOT “work the room.” Don’t try to meet as many people as possible in a room; focus on making just a few solid connections. People can sense when you’re simply speaking with them to grab their card and go. These short interactions will not be memorable and therefore work against you. Aim to meet a few people and begin a meaningful dialogue.
  17. Don’t be afraid to join in. There is nothing wrong with joining a conversation and waiting for a natural break in the chatter to introduce yourself. In most cases, the people who are already speaking will enjoy the interruption because it gives them a chance to meet someone new. If you sense that you’ve entered into a serious discussion, it’s okay to politely excuse yourself.

Now you’re prepared to rock your next networking event and hopefully build some meaningful relationships in the process. And remember; do talk to strangers!

Darrah Brustein is a writer, master-networker, and serial entrepreneur with businesses in merchant services, networking, and financial education for kids.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

This article originally appeared on StartupCollective.

MONEY lifehacks

10 Life Hacks That Will Make You Richer

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Sarina Finkelstein (photo illustration)—Mark Anderson/Corbis (woman); Getty Images (buckle)

These clever shortcuts will help you earn more on the job and cut down on needless costs.

Picking up new skills as an adult can be tricky, especially when your energy and free time is precious. But prowess in different areas is not all created equal. Investing in certain abilities can get you big rewards for relatively little effort.

MONEY interviewed dozens of experts in different fields to find out which skills, tricks, and workarounds are most financially worthwhile. Here are 10 moves you can make without much preparation.

1. Master the meeting

The average pay bump from a promotion is about 7%, though it can be even more once you’re a manager, according to Mercer. But how do you get one?

“The meeting room is where we exert leadership and develop credibility,” says corporate trainer Dana Brownlee of Professionalism Matters. Don’t dominate—nudge the group toward concrete goals. If someone can’t let go of a point, try saying, “Good idea! I’m writing it down.” You’ve now freed a room of grateful co-workers to move on.

2. Lend a hand at work

Research by Adam Grant at the Wharton School has shown that successful people do more favors at work, but don’t be afraid to ask for tiny favors too. We may actually feel more warmly toward people after lending them a hand—our brains figure we must have done so because we like that person. It’s been called the Benjamin Franklin effect: The Founding Father recalled winning over a legislative rival after borrowing a book from him.

“Our attitudes often follow our behavior instead of vice versa,” says David McRaney, who writes about such psychological quirks in his book You Are Now Less Dumb.

3. Learn a language

It’s easier than ever to dip a toe into languages with free tools like Duolingo, a site and app that make learning like a game. If you then want to ramp things up, real-world classes run about $300 for 20 hours of instruction.

Invest your time and money wisely: The payoff is in less commonly studied languages. A Wharton/LECG Europe study found that speaking German translated into a higher wage premium than for second languages overall. Ambitious? There’s a big market for Mandarin.

4. Get techy

Computer-science grads earn $700,000 over the average B.A. holder in a career, but those with English and psych degrees aren’t out of luck: There are ways to use technology smarter—and get recognized for it—at all levels.

For example, if there’s any need to quantify your business’s activity, being the office Excel guru makes you valuable. Two skills to focus on: building charts (great for presentations) and pivot tables (to summarize lots of data). The ExcelIsFun YouTube channel is loaded with lessons.

Want to compete with true techies? Codecademy.com can get you started for free learning code for building websites. Expertise in Ruby on Rails—certification testing is $150—snags an average salary of $110,000, says data crunched by qz.com.

If all this sounds like too much work, at least Google better. Seriously. Say, for example, you need stats about a product’s market share: Use “OR” (in caps) to Google for different words that might capture the same thing (like “percent” and “proportion”). And check the image search results: The data you need may be in a chart someone has posted. Go to Google’s help center for more power tips.

5. Write better

A clear, unfussy writing style will get your ideas heard at work. (HR pros ranked writing second, behind only computer aptitude, among skills applicants most often lacked.) Harvard professor Steven Pinker, author of the new book The Sense of Style, gave us these tips for better writing:

Avoid fancy words you don’t need or understand. “Fulsome” (as in “fulsome praise”) does not mean full; it means insincere. If you use hoity-toity words to sound posh, you will look pompous and may say the opposite of what you mean.

Cut unnecessary words. John Kerry once said, “The President is desirous of trying to see how we can make our efforts in order to find a way to facilitate.” What he meant was, “The President wants to help.” Much better.

Revise. And better still, show it to someone. What’s clear to you may not be clear to someone else.

6. Learn social savvy

If you run a business or work in marketing, social media like Twitter seem like a great way to get your message out. But remember that users have zero interest in following companies that clutter their feed with ads. Use social to establish your expertise or spark ideas; then when people are in the market for what you sell, they’ll remember you.

Hannah Morgan, co-author of Social Networking for Business Success, explains that a good tweet is self-contained and has a discrete piece of information worth sharing. What works well is language like, “Baking cookies? Add eggs one at a time so you can mix in evenly. For more tips check out our Baking 101 guide.” Then add a link.

A less effective tweet is something like, “We’re having a sale on tins of our delicious chocolate chip cookies. $19.99 all day Friday” because it reads like an advertisement and is therefore is unlikely to be shared.

7. Take back your workday

If you get paid a flat salary, turning a 10-hour day into nine more-productive hours is like giving yourself an 11% hourly raise.

Try three key moves from former Fidelity president Bob Pozen, author of Extreme Productivity: First, handle each email just once. Reply, file, or trash—don’t come back to it later.

Second, hide that extra chair; you’ll discourage chatty co-workers from lingering. Finally, you might want to consider timing your breaks, since research shows your brain loses focus on a task after about 90 minutes.

8. Sell yourself

“Ten years ago job seekers would write a full-page cover letter,” says executive résumé writer Wendy Enelow. A better approach now is an email designed to cut through the electronic clutter.

Use the subject line to note your key selling points. Instead of “Director of sales position,” write “Director of Sales—10 Years of Exceeding Sales Quotas—MBA.” In the body of the email, spotlight a major accomplishment. Follow up with three big career wins in bullet points.

9. Learn to DIY

Some jobs always require a professional but, with a little prep, tasks like painting a room or replacing your car’s air filters can be a piece of cake—and save you a solid amount of money. A painting pro, for example, could easily charge $1,600 for a big job, vs. up to $400 in materials on your own.

Rich O’Neil of Masterwork Painting & Restoration in Woburn, Mass., explains that to get professional results you must dust surfaces and tape up edges and moldings you don’t want painted. Painting should go in two types of strokes: First apply a thin layer for coverage. Then paint over it to even and smooth.

You can replace your car’s air filters yourself every 12,000 miles on newer cars. You’ll save about $50 in labor costs, says Mike Forsythe of Haynes, an auto-repair guidebook publisher, and pay 25% less for the filter by getting it at a parts store. To change an engine filter, check the housing in the engine compartment; in most cars there’s a cover you can unlatch with your fingers. You’ll typically find the cabin filter inside the car, behind the glove box.

10. Get organized

Everyone hates paying a late fee just because of a forgotten reminder to pay a bill on time. And few tasks are as irritating as foraging for receipts from months and months ago.

The key to never losing track of important papers is to keep just one bin and make sure to empty your pockets and purse into it every night. Then set a regular date on your calendar to empty the bin and organize the receipts. “If you wait too long, you may not even remember your purchase,” says professional organizer Andrew Mellen.

If you find it hard to even check your calendar on a routine basis, pair a daily check with your morning coffee—or any other routine you already have.

TIME career

10 Ways an Interviewer Prepares to Meet a Potential Employee

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A successful interview requires completed homework from both sides

Answer by Auren Hoffman, CEO of LiveRamp, on Quora.

Preparation by the interviewer is the key to successful interview. While you are evaluating the candidate, they are evaluating you. Just like you’d ding the candidate for not doing homework on your company, the candidate will ding you if you do not do your interview homework.

Here are ten tips for how to best interview a potential employee:

  1. Review the resume and thoroughly prepare your questions before the interview. You should never walk into an interview without first spending 5-15 minutes thinking about the person and the questions you ask.
  2. Set an agenda for the interview. “We only have 30 minutes for our meeting and here is what I’d like to cover.” Give the person a clear understanding of what you want to get out of the interview. Leave ample time for questions because most mid-career candidates (and 100% of good executives) will come prepared with questions for you.
  3. Do a problem solving exercise with them. Give them a scenario from your work and ask for their input and advice. For instance, you can ask a potential sales executive: “I’m putting together the sales comp for our different salespeople, how have you designed sales comps in the past? Given what you know about our company, help me design a better sales comp.”
  4. General bio questions are not great. No need to just ask a question that can be answered from their resume. You can instead ask a probing question about the business metrics in their last company. One question I like to ask about: what a past company they were at could have done differently to be more successful. You might also want to ask the candidates about why they left a particular job.
  5. Dive into their technical knowledge and learn something. Dive really deep into an expertise area of the candidate. Get them talking about something they are passionate about. Get them to teach you about a new area — have them explain something really complex to you so you learn the basics. I once interviewed a sales guy who was also a chess master — he clearly taught me the core strategy of chess [we hired him]. Even in the scenario where you determine the candidate is not right for the job, at least you learned something.
  6. Know the flow of who at your company interviewed the candidate before you and who is coming after you. This will give you a sense of how the candidate understands the company and what questions have already been asked.
  7. Make sure they have a good experience. A surprising number of referrals for other candidates and for customers will come from the candidates you interview. Make sure they have a really good experience.
  8. Let them do the talking. While you want to clearly answer their questions, make sure the interviewee is doing at least two-thirds of the talking guided by your questions.
  9. If the candidate is not right, end the interview early. You’re not helping the candidates by wasting their time. If the person is clearly not the right fit, end the interview early so they can use the saved time to pursue other awesome companies.
  10. Afterwards, input your feedback into your shared hiring system. So that you can gather all the feedback on the interviewee in one place for quick reference and decision-making.

This question originally appeared on Quora: What are important keys to remember when preparing as an interviewer?

More from Quora:

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME career

10 Behaviors to Avoid if You Want To Be Successful

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Success is not just about you

Answer by Brandon Lee on Quora.

These aren’t hard and fast rules, there are always exceptions, caveats, and nuances to lists like these, but here are a few things:

  1. Don’t take advice from people who do not have the results you are looking for (e.g. Asking Michael Jordan for tennis advice or getting financial advice from your broke friend). Study those who have the results you are looking for.
  2. Don’t instantly believe everything you hear. Trust but validate.
  3. Don’t feel like you need do everything by yourself; you don’t have to be the best or the smartest. It’s far better to have the support of a team, mentors, and friends who will watch your back.
  4. Don’t underestimate the power of rest, play, and fun in the midst of all the hours you spend working — there is a place for both.
  5. Don’t neglect your physical, emotional, and spiritual health in your pursuit of financial wealth.
  6. Don’t be a bridge burner — don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t circumvent, don’t backstab, don’t take advantage of, don’t deceive, don’t steal credit — unless you want your future bridges to come pre-burned because of your reputation. Build and continually build bridges and others will help build them for you.
  7. Don’t build a reputation of overpromising and underdelivering. Underpromise and overdeliver.
  8. Don’t focus on having the biggest slice of the pie. Focus on growing the pie so everybody wins.
  9. Don’t rush yourself. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Think decades, not month by month.
  10. Don’t forget to thank those that have helped you along the way.

Bonus: When you make it, give back and help those that want to follow in your footsteps.

This question originally appeared on Quora: What are some universal things we should not do to become successful?

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TIME career

6 Reasons Professional Partnerships Are Powerful for Women

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Female partnerships are an underutilized and effective tool

I’ll ask you the same question Betsy Polk and Maggie Ellis Chotas ask readers at the beginning of their book: Who comes to mind when you think of male partnerships? Surely you’ll think of successful duos like Ben and Jerry, Lewis and Clark, Penn and Teller, Watson and Crick, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the list goes on and on.

But what about famous female partnerships? Personally I can come up with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, Mary Kate and Ashley, Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer from Broad City, and….I’m out. In Power Through Partnership: How Women Lead Better Together, Polk and Chotas investigate the lack of female power duos, and demolish many of the myths that keep women from going into business together. Drawing from their own 12-year partnership and interviews with 125 female business partners, Polk and Chotas prove that women can and do work together successfully. Female partnerships, in fact, are an underutilized and effective tool for female power. Here’s why.

1. Flexibility

Considering that 66 percent of family caregivers are female, most women need workplace flexibility in a unique way. “Whether it’s balancing a job share, adjusting dynamics in a client meeting, or filling in for each other when a sick child is at home, women in partnership know how to step up or step back depending on what’s needed in the moment,” Polk and Chotas write.

2. Confidence

As experienced leadership coaches, Polk and Chotas have studied self-doubt and the dreaded imposter syndrome up close, and know that they tend to affect women more deeply than their male counterparts. They think that female partnership can be the antidote: “When you say yes to combining your skills with those of a respected peer, you need to first acknowledge that you’re bringing valuable skills and perspectives to the partnership: after all, your partner is choosing you for good reasons.” Even by deciding to partner, you’re beginning to build confidence.

3. Freedom

By this, Polk and Chotas mean the freedom that comes from being allowed to bring all aspects of yourself to work. By partnering with a woman, there’s less pressure to act a certain way: namely, not too harsh that you’re at risk of being called a B, but not too emotional, God forbid. You can simply be yourself.

4. Support

“Support, the secret sauce of partnership, is often difficult to ask for,” Pol and Chotas write. “This can be especially true for women, who may feel that by needing to ask for help, they are falling short of the giant expectations they’ve set for themselves.” Sound familiar? Me too. “But the beauty of a partnership is that reciprocal support must exist for the partnership to work. Partners know that to achieve their goals, they must be there for each other, each of them giving and receiving support.”

5. Mutual Accountability

The only way I ever started a project early in school was if I had a friend depending on me: wanting to work on it together, asking me for help, or otherwise motivating me to get going. Partnership means having that accountability to fall back on when you don’t feel like doing something or are simply tired. You may not do it for yourself, but you’re certainly not going to let your partner down.

6. Happiness

It’s so heartening to read that one of the most consistently cited benefits of partnership is the happiness that comes from the partners’ personal relationship. “We’ve found in our interviews that it’s the relationship at the center of women’s collaborations that makes them tick,” Polk and Chotas write. “When the connection between the partners is healthy, the overall entity is healthy; and when the relationship is suffering, results often suffer as well. Generally speaking, the same is not true for male partners, who tend to measure success by revenue and results.”

Convinced that female partnership works? Pick up a copy of Power Through Partnership for more fascinating information on finding the right partner, preparing for risk, dealing with conflict, and most importantly, to watch Polk and Chotas destroy those ridiculous myths about women working together.

This article originally appeared on Levo.com.

TIME relationships

How to Deal With an Office Romance

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Keep it professional at all times at the office and on the road

If you’re currently crushing on, seeing, secretly dating, or hooking up with someone in the office, you’re probably wondering if you’ve gone mental with all of the questions swirling around in your mind.

Am I putting my job at risk? Is this girl or guy worth the constant morning distraction and pressure to find something perfect to wear each day? How do other people handle matters of the heart at work? Does this relationship even have a chance to work? What if it backfires?

Whoa, ok, take a deep breath. I’ve been there, and I know exactly how stressed you must feel. But, it’s sort of exciting right? Sure there’s a chance it may not work out, but you’ll never know if you don’t try. Once you know for sure that your company doesn’t have a fraternizing policy, then you’ll want to do your best to pursue your feelings in the right way. Here are tips, real life stories, and stats to help you figure out your next course of action, including a love contract. Yes, a love contract.

MORE What Fifty Shades of Grey Says About Your Office Crush

In a recent survey conducted by Vault.com, 17% of women report that office romances led to long-term relationships and 20% of women have taken gone so far as to date a supervisor.

Such was the case with “Jane” who has chosen to remain anonymous while sharing her office love story.

Jane and her ex-boyfriend had been broken up for months before she realized weekends were becoming dateless and lonely.

“I decided after some whiskey shots, that I would try Match.com on Saturday night,” she said. “I was quick to set up my profile–three photos and the most basic info I could add without answering any real questions. I really just wanted to research the kinds of men that were online.”

She fell asleep only to wake up with a headache and in panic, afraid her ex would see her online. She quickly logged on with the intention of deleting her profile, and there it was: an email from her company’s CEO.

He was polite and sweet, and wished me luck in finding someone. We exchanged a few emails that day, Sunday. He told me he didn’t date coworkers, so as friends we decided to meet up for a drink that Tuesday.”

He kissed me that night and then took me out on a real date that weekend. We kept our relationship secret for about six months and finally, we talked to HR, who consulted with our lawyer and pretty soon, we were signing a ‘relationship agreement.’ We had to both advise our coworkers (for him, it was the President) and for me, it was the SVP. They were not supportive and both thought it could hurt business.

Well it’s been almost two years and we are still in love.

Curious about this so-called relationship agreement, also known as a love contract? Here’s what this document usually entails, with it’s main purpose being to protect the employers from certain risks and liabilities.

According to Beth Zoller of XpertHR, an online service that provides HR professionals with practical compliance tools, a love contract is a document signed by employees involved in a romantic relationship setting parameters for their relationship in the workplace.

By signing the love contract, the employees agree that the romantic relationship is voluntary and consensual, they will refrain from retaliation, and they will not sue the employer for sexual harassment. A love contract may also outline the employer’s expectations of what’s considered appropriate and inappropriate workplace conduct.

Though Jenelle Augustin, 25, and CEO of Jones Lifestyle Group LLC in another office romance narrative, didn’t sign a love contract, she did take a similar approach to slyly dating in the office to that of Jane.

Augustin met and began dating her husband after they were seated in neighboring cubicles.

He was humming and I told him to stop. We began talking, and approximately two weeks after that, he invited me to an event where he was performing. We started speaking regularly via email, then Google chat, then he finally asked for my number. It turned into a whirlwind romance and after courting for 2 years, we wed on September 12, 2014 and have been married almost 5 months.

During the time we worked together (three months–before I started my own business and he went into copywriting and brand consulting) we tried to keep our burgeoning relationship under wraps, as we didn’t want to become office gossip.

The key to a successful office romance is maturity in both parties. You should also discuss the trajectory of your relationship as early as reasonably possible. No one wants to become office gossip and then break up!

That final piece of advice from Augustin is exactly what tops the list of inter-office-dating tips from Irene LaCota, spokesperson for international matchmaking service It’s Just Lunch. LaCota recommends:

“Keep quiet around others. Try to keep your relationship private as long as possible, especially during the early stages when you’ve made no commitments to each other. Otherwise, coworkers will scrutinize the two of you and fuel the office rumor mill.”

MORE What Do You Do About That Office Crush?

But, LaCota says, you must communicate with each other before your relationship gets too serious and discuss the rules of the “partnership” so neither of you will misunderstand the other’s intentions and be hurt.

“As a couple, develop speaking points so you both offer the same story when someone in your office asks about the two of you. Co-develop standards for how you interact at the office.”

She says that many a relationship has been hurt because one person tries to be discreet at the office and the other person expects some displays of affection.

“For example, the guy interprets a head nod as a brushing off when all the girl was simply to do was be discreet,” says LaCota.

“Keep it professional at all times at the office and on the road. Treat each other as coworkers at the office, and not as romantic partners. No revealing emails. No kisses over the cell phone. Give each other some space. You don’t need to be together all the time. In fact, you don’t need to be together all the time at the office. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. “

As for traveling together on business? LaCota says no matter what, “do not share a room together, in fact, don’t even enter the other’s hotel room. You never know who you’re going to bump into in that hotel hallway.”

And, I can only imagine the subsequent awkward conversation you’ll be forced to have. And, that my friends, is for a separate article.

This article originally appeared on Levo.com.

TIME career

IMF Chief Christine Lagarde: Female Equality Laws Are Good For the Economy

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JOHN THYS—AFP/Getty Images International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde gives a joint press after an Eurogroup Council meeting on February 20, 2015 at EU Headquarters in Brussels. ( JOHN THYS--AFP/Getty Images)

Notes GDPs would increase dramatically if laws changed to make it easier for women to work

International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde has some good news for economies in the developing world: in one step, they can boost their GDPs up by up to 30 percent. All they have to do is let women into the workforce.

In an article posted Monday on the IMF’s blog, Lagarde discusses a new study that found that over 90% of countries worldwide have some kind of legal restrictions that keep women from working, getting loans, or owning property. Women make up 40% of the global workforce, but in some regions they’re vastly underrepresented– only 21% of women in the Middle East and North Africa work outside the home.

Lagarde says that fixing the laws that keep women from fully participating in the economy could boost GDPs– by a lot. Getting women equally represented int the workforce would amount to a 9% increase in Japan’s GDP, a 12% increase in the United Arab Emirates, and a 34% increase in Egypt. In the US, our GDP would increase by 5% if we made it easier for women to participate in the economy.

Changing the laws is only the first step– Lagarde also notes that childcare and maternity leave benefits also play a major role in whether and how women work outside the home. Currently, the US is one of few developed countries that offers no guaranteed maternity leave, and the IMF study found that in 2009, the U.S. spent only 1.2% of our GDP on family benefits– less than any other developed country. Oh great.

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