About Claire Topalian

Claire Topalian is a writer, non-profit Communications professional, and advocate for diversity in business. She currently leads Communications and the Startup Women initiative at UP Global, an international non-profit that builds startup communities through educational programs and events. You can follow her on Twitter @clairetopalian.

Taking on the job hunt like a fantasy football draft

football-players-feet-and-helmetsWith fantasy football drafts in full gear, it’s easy to see a few parallels between the research-based, tactical processes of drafting a great team and landing a dream job. Below are a few tips to maximize your job search that also translate into tactics for fantasy football.

Organize your leads and look to eliminate risk

For those putting together fantasy football teams, it is wise to avoid big risks and unpredictable behaviors and players. Similarly, when researching and setting a plan for your job hunt, be sure to organize your job prospects into categories – making sure that a certain amount of your options are considered “low-risk.” Include prospects for an impressive, big-name company, but don’t commit to this end when it comes to the job search. Ultimately, knowing your strengths and the ideal job for you should eliminate most risk. If you are truly seeking the job you want most and would be the best fit, you shouldn’t find yourself risking too much in the process – or it might be time to re-evaluate.
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Pulling a “LeBron”: How to know if it’s time to return to a former employer

lbj-cavDespite the validation of two championships and an “innovative coach who highlighted him with his system,” LeBron James recently concluded that it was time to “come home” to Cleveland. LeBron’s decision to return to Cleveland was spurred by an internal, sentimental contemplation that is not often seen in big-money decisions in pro sports. As the recent Sports Illustrated article puts it, “…despite all his success, he means more where he was than where he is.” LeBron’s decision to return to Cleveland may be a choice rooted in the world of sports – but the decision is a professional one nonetheless, and serves as a reminder that it is possible, and not uncommon, to return to a former employer. Knowing when to make that choice takes a great deal of consideration, thought, and it is wise to consider the following elements:

Weigh your priorities – not the priorities of others.

For many, career path decisions will continue to become more and more rooted in personal factors. For LeBron, the decision to return to Cleveland was largely personal. For those considering returning to a former employer, it is not unprofessional nor is it unwise to pay attention to your inner negotiator. Often, making the sentimental or “gut” choice can yield positive results; following your intuition typically aligns with your passion, and when following a job for passion, you are likely to excel.
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