086 – You Can’t Avoid The Career Conversation Forever, with Jenny Blake (Author of PIVOT)
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Jenny Blake is an author, career and business strategist and international speaker who helps people organize their brain, move beyond burnout, and build sustainable, dynamic careers they love. She is the author of PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One, which recently won an award for Axiom Best Business Book in the Careers category, and Life After College. After two years at a technology start-up followed by five years at Google in Training and Career Development, Jenny moved to New York City in 2011 where she has been running her own consulting business in the years since. Jenny combines her love of technology with her superpower of simplifying complexity to help clients pivot their career or business. Her motto: if change is the only constant, let’s get better at it.
Click to Tweet: You Can’t Avoid The Career Conversation Forever – @jenny_blake on the #YourBestManager podcast with @jamesdnewman https://yourbestmanager.com/jennyblake
Jenny Blake Interview Notes:
- 2:35 Jenny Blake’s Career Path
- Jenny talks about some of the experiences that led to her passion to better equip people to have career conversations.
- 4:31 How hard was it to leave Google?
- Jenny shares why and how she made the decision to leave a dream job at a dream company
- 6:30 What are High Net-Growth Individuals?
- FOMO VS FONT (Fear of Missing Out vs Fear of Not Trying)
- 8:14 Why are career conversations so difficult and why are people afraid of them?
- There is fear on both sides, both employees, and managers
- “The reason I wrote PIVOT is to give us all language that is… judgment neutral.”
- “Employees fear that if they talk about what’s wrong or what they’re wanting more of, that they’re going to come across as having one foot out the door or being entitled, or complaining.”
- “Managers are afraid, well, ‘If I open this up, what if my employee doesn’t want to stay here? What if they’re not happy?'”
- “A lot of managers think they know how to have career conversations. They are more telling advice than doing actual coaching of facilitating the other person’s best thinking”
- The career conversation doesn’t need to be about quitting or staying
- 12:22 It’s imperative to have both career discussions and performance discussions
- Why you should not have a career discussion and a performance review at the same time.
- The career discussion doesn’t need to be about getting promoted or not getting promoted
- 20:14 “I really encourage people to try different formats. So I really enjoyed doing those as walk and talks, or coffee, or over lunch… don’t be afraid to change the setting”
- 15:32 Who was Jenny Blake’s Best Manager?
- Jenny talks about Steve Maxwell who she worked for at Google.
- “He really made such a lasting impact on me, partly because he was so great at giving and receiving feedback”
- Feedback is two way
- Feedback is positive AND constructive
- Feedback is specific
- “He also wore more of a coach hat, so he wouldn’t just tell me what to do, he would really empower me to think through problems first and solve them first.”
- 19:27 Take notes in real time so that you can share specific feedback
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier
- 21:32 Coaching – Being Solutions Driven vs Directive
- 22:32 How to you show someone that you care?
- “I think listening goes a long way”
- Understanding the whole person and not being afraid to find out what your employees really want in their career.
- 23:56 The Coaching Hat (open ended) versus The Teacher Hat (Directive)
- “Only brainstorm and do coaching when you are genuinely open to any outcome or be more explicit”
- 25:18 The power of having an invested interest in the success of others
- 22:16 Employee Engagement and the Consequences of NOT Pivoting
- “If you’re not having these conversations and allowing people to move internally or to stretch within their role to take on side projects, 10% projects, even going to training courses outside of work, then people become stuck.”
- “No high net growth individual… is going to stay put for very long in a scenario where they don’t see themselves growing”
- “Pivot is a framework for mapping what’s next, even within our existing role”
- 28:26 Pivoting through Pilots and running small experiments
- Lee Caraher and the Boomerang Principle
- 31:38 What’s Exciting Jenny Blake today?
- 33:12 The Importance of Self-Development
Additional Info, Links & Resources Mentioned:
JennyBlake.me – Hi! I’m Jenny. I love helping people organize their brain.
PivotMethod.com – PIVOT: The Only Move that Matters is Your Next One, by Jenny Blake. Get your copy of the book, templates, and check out the Pivot Podcast.
LifeAfterCollege.org – Wake up. Live Big! Love the journey.
The “What If?” Project – 30 Days. 30 Leadership Tips. 30 Baby Steps. And 30 Opportunities to Become a Better Manager… Different Kind of Manager.