The New Rules of Work | Alexandra Cavoulacos

Summary of: The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career
By: Alexandra Cavoulacos


Embark on a journey to redefine your career path with ‘The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career’ by Alexandra Cavoulacos. In this transformative book, uncover the importance of your values in job-hunting and learn how to align your interests, skills, and values to achieve the perfect balance. From discovering the benefits of personal branding to acing your résumé, cover letter, and interviews, this guide will illuminate your path towards professional fulfillment. Additionally, explore unique networking tactics to bolster relationships and design a successful career trajectory that accommodates your ever-evolving values and aspirations.

Finding Your Values

Finding a fulfilling career involves identifying your values, and not succumbing to external pressures. Kathryn and Alex, co-founders of The Muse, shared their experiences of finding a career that aligns with their values. Traditional job searches are only useful if you have a clear idea of what you want, which is not always the case. It is essential to identify what you need to feel happy and fulfilled, whether it’s a creative outlet, the opportunity to travel, or make a positive impact in the world. Outside influences should not sway your decision. Alex chose science as a course of study at age 15 but later realized she did not enjoy lab work. Instead, she pursued a career in consultancy. Kathryn found herself in her dream job but lacked fulfillment because the pace of policy changes was too slow. By analyzing what was essential, they both found careers that align with their values, leading to the creation of The Muse.

Aligning Your Values with Your Career

Discovering the importance of matching your values to your career and how to do so through research and self-reflection.

Are you considering a career in design or any other creative field? It’s important to evaluate whether the position aligns with your values before submitting your application. To be satisfied in your work, it’s crucial to consider your interests, skills, and values together. Learn from Sarah’s experience as a literary studies graduate who initially assumed that her career in publishing would align with her expertise and interests, only to find out that it did not.

To know if your chosen career matches your values, create a grid and list down six roles or industries you are interested in, and your three most important values. Consider how each role and industry will enable you to live your values. Research is also vital in understanding what each job entails; you can check LinkedIn profiles and gain a fuller understanding through informational interviews. By understanding which role and industry aligns with your values, you’ll be ready to convey why you’re the perfect match for the position.

Crafting Your Personal Brand

The book discusses how branding is not limited to companies, but also applies to individuals, including job seekers. It suggests the exercise of requesting feedback from peers on the three qualities that make you stand out and communicating them in a compelling way to potential employers. By doing so, you can present yourself as the best fit for the job while being honest about your strengths and weaknesses. The book also highlights the importance of creating a unique brand that showcases your interests, expertise, and personality, both in-person and online. To have complete freedom over how you present yourself, the authors propose setting up a personal website. Finally, the book advises treating your professional profiles like dating profiles, with carefully curated highlights that show you at your best.

The New Rules of Networking

The traditional ways of networking are becoming a thing of the past. Social media has made it easier for professionals to connect with each other in a more informal way, which can lead to valuable relationships and career opportunities. LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman even hosts dinner parties, inviting interesting people and asking each person to invite three friends. It’s important to nurture these relationships over time as you never know when they might pay off. Building a smaller, but more targeted network can be more valuable than a large one. As most job postings are never advertised, it’s essential to bring yourself to the attention of hiring managers in companies you’re interested in. This approach worked for Elliott Bell when he messaged one of the authors on LinkedIn after hearing her speak at a conference, which eventually led to his hiring as head of marketing.

Crafting Winning Résumés and Cover Letters

Hiring managers don’t usually read cover letters, but a well-crafted one can make a difference. It is crucial to highlight relevant information in the top third of your resume and avoid repetition in your cover letter. Keeping a master document of achievements and employment history can make it easier to tailor each application. It’s also essential to provide concrete examples and back up your skills to show that you’re the best candidate for the job. Follow up after about a week, and make it memorable to give your application an extra boost.

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