When asked “What is your greatest weakness?”, do you respond with honesty or put a positive spin on a negative trait? One person offers interesting advice.
It is a question that is asked at almost every job interview and is always a tricky question no matter how prepared you are. Do you turn a negative trait into a positive one? Do you take a positive trait and flaunt it as something that causes you trouble: “I just work too hard,” or “I’m a perfectionist.” Or should we respond with honesty, admitting to the faults our potential employer will eventually discover? David Reese of Medallia believes that in a start-up environment, a roomful of smart people who cannot admit to their own shortcomings is a dangerous thing. He offered some sound advice on the right way to answer the question “what’s your greatest weakness?”
As much as we try to deny it, television plays a large part in how we define our place in the world around us. We’ve heard it all before, questions like “which Friends character are you?” “Would you say you’re more like Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte or Samantha?” However, if someone asked you to use a television character or star to identify your work and business style you might find that there aren’t many women that come to mind. If comparing yourself to Don Draper isn’t appealing, you’re likely to welcome the new reality show created to showcase female entrepreneurs and the businesses they are trying to launch. Read up on the show featuring women in business.
Are you in search of a mentor but unsure of where to find one? As Sheryl Sandberg points out in her best selling book Lean In, “guidance can come from all levels”. This policy of mentorship from peers and colleagues from a variety of different stages in their lives and careers is what has driven the success of the Fabian Women’s Network scheme. The scheme encourages women to participate in political spaces often reserved for men and does so through group mentorship and support networks. Read more about the network and its success here.
Are you seeking support for your start-up? The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards are currently accepting applications for their 2014 competition. Cartier, in association with the Women’s Forum, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school, use the competition to identify, encourage and support female entrepreneurs with their start-ups. The prizes, awarded to the best business plans, include USD$20,000 and a year of coaching and networking! Check out how to enter here, and get those plans rolling.
The battle for equality is a long one for women everywhere, including women in sport. Nicola Adams, the Olympic gold-winning boxer, shed light on some of these issues for The Guardian this week. She makes a strong and passionate case for increasing the exposure of women’s sport in popular media, noting that there has been a 50% take-up in women’s boxing in the last year alone. Read the interview with Nicola Adams.