It's performance review season: 3 tips on approaching self assessments

It’s the time of year when most companies are conducting their annual performance reviews, and setting budgets for the next four quarters. Self assessments have become increasingly popular, as a way to give employees a voice in the process. Almost everyone I know hates writing about themselves, and  writing a self assessment can feel especially daunting. Here are a few tips to remember when composing yours.

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How to prepare job interview take home assignments when you don't have a lot of time.

It seems like the job interview process is getting longer and longer. There are initial screenings, panel interviews, all day onsites, and take home assignments. The take home assignments can be very open ended, and it can be a challenge to create presentations that seem comprehensive. Preparing these presentations is also very time consuming when you are still at your old job, or you are talking to multiple companies. There’s some great advice out there on setting the right mindset for these assignments. I’ve developed a framework for creating thoughtful parameters for take home assignments that effectively demonstrate the necessary skillsets.

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Three things you need to know about negotiating equity compensation before joining a startup

One of the most exciting aspects of working as an early employee of a startup is potential for building a solution that has an outsized impact, and large financial reward. Employees, founders, and investors are rewarded at an exit according to their equity stake in the company. Early employees often work below market cash rates in exchange for equity. Before negotiating a equity package, it’s important to understand the basics.

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How to use active listening to make the best impression in your next meeting

If you haven’t practiced active listening before, it’s really one of the best soft skills you can learn for your professional and personal lives. Anne Loehr links active listening to emotional intelligence, and emphasizes the importance of a lifelong practice of continually improving your EQ. I love her summary of active listening: “There are five parts of communication — what’s said, what’s not said, words, tone of voice and body language. Active listening is the process of fully attending to all parts of someone’s communication.”

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Anica John
How to win friends and influence people, in the tech world

Meeting new people for the first time can be stressful in any context. Meeting new professional contact’s, and ensuring you consistently make a good impression and a meaningful connection can be a challenge. In the tech world, where everyone seem to be on constant overdrive, it’s even harder to really focus on basic human connection instead of passing transactional platitudes. I was recently reading Miriam Grobman’s Credibility Guide, a great primer on the process we all go through when we are first meeting a new person. According to Miriam, the two most important qualities we are trying to gauge in that first meeting are “Can I trust this person?” and “Can I respect this person?”

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In Sync: How to manage team morale when you are changing the direction of a project

This week, In Sync interviewed Randi Eichenbaum, Director of Product at Tradesy. As part of the Level Up 90 program for her first 90 days, Randi took on management of a brand new team. Within the first two months, she was already taking more responsibility and negotiating a promotion. We got an inside look at how she recently managed a major change in direction for a project her engineering team was working on. She walked us through the challenges of communicating the new initiative, and ensuring the team kept up morale.

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How to leverage your network to get a job in another city

Job searching is hard. It’s especially hard when you are trying to find a new job in a different city, or even a different country. I recently advised a client who was living in Indonesia but wanted to find a product management role in Europe or the Middle East. She kept applying through job portals, but she wasn’t able to lock down any interviews. This isn’t surprising, considering that 85% of jobs are filled via networking - sometimes before the job is even posted online! I personally faced this problem when I was living in NYC, but wanted to move to Silicon Valley for personal reasons. I realized that not being in the same location as my potential employers was a severe limitation, so I developed a system for my job search to overcome this challenge. Here’s how to get started.


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Anica John
How to set your compensation range for your next salary negotiation

We’ve all read a lot about the importance of negotiating a compensation package. We are taught to value ourselves and our work, and always negotiate up on an offer. But before we even get to negotiation, it’s important to really think about what compensation range would make us happy. It’s also great to be clear on our walkaway number. Here are a few ways you can gather the right information while you are determining your range. I’ve also created a compensation calculation worksheet that you can access by signing up for the Level Up resource library.

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The 5 most important questions for meeting with the CEO at your new company

So there you are, you’ve got your offer letter for that dream job! You worked so hard to find the right position at the right company, tailor your resume and cover letter, and lock up the interview process. Now, you are preparing to start in your new role and your first day will be here before you know it.

What is the absolute best thing you can do in your first week? Meet as many people as possible, and prepare for those first meetings. Think about how to make an amazing first impression, and set yourself up for a stellar working relationship.

To really do this well, you just have to remember one guiding principle: listen. You are trying to gain an understanding of what’s been happening in the organization before you got there - why is it structured the way it is, why are the processes set up a certain way, and what’s working and what’s not.


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5 Ways To Expand Your Sphere Of Influence And Exhibit Leadership By Strategically Taking On More Responsibility

Even the best of us get frustrated with our roles at times. There’s the grunt work that needs to get done whether you are CEO or the intern (ok, interns definitely get more grunt work!), and then there’s the good stuff. The good stuff for you might be collaborating with others, or achieving your flow state for hours on end.


But, for almost all of us, there comes a time when we are ready to expand our role, or focus on that one thing we are AMAZING at, love to do, and brings the most value to ourselves and the people around us. The great news is that - wherever you are in your career - you can start making that transition! The real key to getting to where you want to be is to strategically take on more of the types of projects you would like to work on.


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