News We Can Use: Poll Shows Importance of Networking for “No Regrets”

According a survey released this week, a vast majority (71 percent) of recent college graduates would have done something differently while in college to better prepare for the job market. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed wish they had done more networking prior to graduation; about a quarter said they should have started their job search earlier and about the same wished they had applied to more gigs.

But, whether you’re about to don a cap and gown or you’re just thinking about graduating to your next opportunity, this is absolutely news you can use to better your own career:
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Being a Good Manager: Nature or Nurture?

Recently, there was a story in The New York Times‘ business section about Google’s quest to build a better boss, an initiative called “Project Oxygen.” The wildly successful technology company, whose algorithms have changed the way we use the Internet, applied its scientific methods to analyze what makes a good manager and then mapped out a series of tenets called “The Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers.”  These commandments, which include “Have a clear vision and strategy for the team” and “Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented,” sound pretty obvious to us — but then again, we’d like to think of ourselves as good managers. Most people, in fact, are not.

In a survey by Business Insider, 41 percent of respondents said that disliking a boss was a driving force in quitting their jobs. And according to a CareerBuilder survey, the top issues managers struggle with are dealing with issues between co-workers; motivating team members; performance reviews; finding the needed resources to support the team; and creating career paths for their employees. No one said managing people was easy. For many, it’s the most challenging part of a job.

So, is Google right? Can simple analytics make a bad manager into a better one or are some people just born to lead and others aren’t? We actually think that the eight guiding principles Google has devised make a lot of sense. (Frankly, many seem like common sense — did they really need to apply deep analytics to arrive at “Be a good communicator” and “Help your employees with career development”?) But even Google admitted in the article that one of their more difficult and disliked managers showed improvement but didn’t become a great manager after following these rules.

So we’ve decided to offer up a few of our own “unscientific” tips for being a good manager that we try to ascribe to when overseeing our own staff:

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