On crafting winning references

“…Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message…” Mark Zuckerberg If you have ever been part of a hiring committee or worked with recruitment professionals, you will understand that there is only one overarching question that weighs heavy on their minds […]

A heart-felt note to professional references

“…Anything worth doing is worth doing well…” Philip Stanhope One of the first lessons I learned after arriving in Canada as an international student is the strategic role that professional references play in shaping the career prospects and destinies of individuals. As a graduate student, I relied heavily on my professors and advisors for references […]

Some key points to consider when selecting referees

If you have not noticed, there are several things about the professional world that you won’t be taught in school. You could either pick them up by investing in yourself through development workshops, learning through mentorship, reading relevant articles (e.g., this blog!), or figuring it out the hard way. Unfortunately, many folks end up figuring […]

Etiquettes for Requesting References

“…Referrals aren’t given easily. If you don’t take the time to establish credibility, you’re not going to get the referral…” Ivan Misner As an international graduate student, I regularly asked my professors for references for a variety of reasons, including job applications, scholarships, travel awards, study permit renewal, and so on. They were all gracious in obliging […]

On references, reference checks, and credibility merry-go-rounds

“…In the end, you make your reputation and you have your success based upon credibility…” Brit Hume In my last post, I discussed the importance of professional credibility and how it is fundamental to professional success. Access to opportunities for profession growth, promotion, and connections in the market hinges largely how your others perceive your […]

Professional credibility: A vital currency for career success 

“It takes many years to build your credentials, but it only takes a moment to lose your credibility. Always choose consistency and integrity over arrogance and vanity.” ― Khayri R.R. Woulfe One of my favorite actors of all time is Denzel Washington. If you want me sold on a movie, just tell me that Mr. Washington […]

Harnessing the power of informal 360-degree appraisal for professional growth 

A few years ago, I learned about the 360-degree assessment for leaders while taking the executive leadership course at the University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business. (If you are a leader, you should check out the awesome courses at Haskayne School of Business!). It is a systematic way of gathering feedback about a leader’s […]

Getting the most out of your performance appraisals

If you are like me, you probably have expectations for career progress in your organization. Those expectations might include career promotions, salary raises, bonuses, and other relevant job perks. So, I guess you must be looking forward to a positive and satisfying outcome from your upcoming performance review meeting with your manager this year. As […]

Taking the myths out of performance appraisals

Years ago, I was at a conference in Denmark. During a conversation with a senior friend and mentor, she asked about how I was faring as an early career academic on tenure track. I shared what I considered the highlights of the job and some of my struggles. Then she asked me a simple probing […]

Taking the dread out of performance appraisals – Part 1

There are two words that spark dread in the hearts of most professionals – performance appraisal! It is a system by which organizations measure employee’s productivity against a pre-specified job responsibility. Frankly speaking, no one likes to be on the hot seat of being evaluated! However, it’s a constant reality for most of us. Newly […]