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Malakye Picks: Career Advice from LinkedIn | Take A Sabbatical | Constructive Criticism

October 18, 2012

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LinkedIn Mastermind, Reid Hoffman, Has 3-Point Career Advice for You (read it on

Why Read It? The guy created LinkedIn, which forever changed recruiting - he must know something.

Three puzzle pieces combine to inform your career direction and work to define your competitive advantage - these will help decide which opportunities to pursue and will ultimately help answer the classic questions: "What should I be doing with my life?"

  • Your Assets: the first piece, what you have right now. Before dreaming about the future or making plans, you need to articulate what you already have going for you.
  • Your Aspirations and Values: the second consideration. Aspirations include your deepest wishes, ideas, goals, and vision of the future, regardless of the state of the external world or your existing asset mix.
  • The Market Realities: the realities of the world you live in is the final piece of the puzzle. Your skills, experiences, and other soft assets--no matter how special you think they are--won't give you an edge unless they meet the needs of a paying market.

"Your competitive advantage is formed by the interplay of three different, ever-changing forces: your assets, your aspirations/values, and the market realities...assessing and evaluating your competitive advantage is a lifelong process, not something you do once."

There's an opportunity in your area!
from LinkedIn

Take A Sabbatical; Get Ahead (read it on

Why Read It? Behold the power of time off.

Although it may seem paradoxical, taking significant time off work can actually help your creativity and productivity or even contribute to you developing a new career direction. Take designer Stefan Sagmeister for example. Stefan closes his New York studio every seven years for a yearlong sabbatical for hims employees "to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook." Learn from other's - see why taking a sabbatical to help find career direction could be your best career-move.

  • Know When It's Time To Skip Out: "So many people we met would tell us, ‘I wish I could travel like you guys.’ Basically you can, whatever those constraints are always appear more daunting than they actually are."
  • Set Your Budget: You're going to want to keep a tight budget.
  • Rethink Your Concept Of "Vacation": From an entreprenuer after taking a sabbatical and reporting the positive impacts: "We wanted to engage in those communities--we didn't want to have six months of a tourist experience."
  • Make Space For New Ideas: Instead of getting back into job-search mode post-sabbatical, you'll feel compelled to start something on his own
  • License To Innovate: Just the fact that you take that time off actually breaks the norm and gives you some type of inner license to continue to break more norms.

"Sabbaticals mean that you're not simply on vacation, but choosing not to work while gaining new experiences or refocusing your career. Recent studies attribute everything from a boost in employee retention and higher future productivity for those who take sabbaticals."

Constructive Criticism – How to Dish It Or Eat It in the Workplace (read it on

Why Read It? You need to learn to manage people with different personalities.

Communication in the workplace has changed - employees want feedback and to be able to discuss things with their bosses, even if it's negative. Here are a few tips and methods for giving and receiving constructive criticism.

  • Tell the person what they're doing well.
  • Tell them what they need to improve.
  • End the conversation by telling them what they're doing well again.
  • To accept criticism: ask for examples or suggestions and don't be offended if you don't exactly like what you hear.

"You need to learn how to give and accept constructive criticism. You need to learn how to separate your emotional feelings from your professional responsibilities."


Support SIMA's Stokes Me fundraising effort by joining Team Malakye or by making a one-time donation on behalf of our team (keep in mind that all donors who give over $10 will receive exclusive Stokes Me gear!).

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Along with peace of mind, SIMA is giving out prizes to teams that generate the most fund raising. There are some VERY good prizes (including a trip for two to the North Shore this December with 3 nights at the Turtle Bay Resort, click here for the list of prizes).

Any prize awarded to Team Malakye will be raffled off to those who contribute through Team Malakye. All donations will be treated with equal value for our raffling purposes, it doesn't matter if it's $1 or $100.

Jason Kanes, COO for PRJCT

There's an opportunity in your area!

Kate Schade, owner of Kate's Real Food

There's an opportunity in your area!

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