WORDS OF WISDOM: INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY & TWO JOBS

Below is an excerpt from this Sunday’s Corner Office column in the New York Times.  This week’s interview was with Noreen Beaman of Brinker Capital.  The excerpts I found especially interesting include her desire to find people with “intellectual curiosity” when hiring, a trait that must come from within, and the concept of doing or beginning to do “two jobs” in order to secure a promotion.  Enjoy and have a beautiful Monday…

How do you hire? What questions do you ask?

I actually like to see what questions you’re going to ask me. One, it tells me if you’ve prepped. Two, it tells me how interested you are. I like to know what books you’ve read. And some people don’t like to read books, and that’s O.K. But are you reading the newspaper? Magazines? Hopefully, you’re an active learner. I’m interested to know how intellectually curious you are.

In our world today, if you’re not actively learning every day, you really are not competitive. There’s too much going on. I can never know everything going on around me, so I need to know that there are people around me who are learning other things, so we create a more cohesive view.

What career advice do you give people?

One of the things I keep telling our staff — and this is something I had to do — is that you have to do two jobs before you get the next job. You have to do your job really well and start doing the next job a little bit by, say, raising your hand for a project. But you can’t just say, “I want that next job.” You need to do job No. 1 really well and then maybe you’ll get job No. 2.

So be willing to raise your hand to do something else, because people will notice. And make sure you look someone in the eye when you say hello. Pick your head up. Take a moment. Shake hands. And be a little fearless. You may not know what the next job will be, but get into an organization that you feel good about and just work hard at that first job. And don’t care about the money so much or the title; care about the experience you’re going to get.

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