Welcoming Adam Grant to Teal & 7 Tips for Job Seekers from his Research

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May 20, 2021
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Like many of you, we’ve been Adam Grant fans for a long time. His research on motivation and meaning has helped shape how we approach our mission at Teal. We’re thrilled to welcome him formally to the Teal Team where he will serve on our Advisory Board. 

Here’s what Adam had to say, “I’m excited about Teal’s initiatives and tools for empowering people in the job search—not only to succeed, but to find meaningful work.”

We can’t wait to leverage Adam’s expertise to help more people find meaningful jobs. 

Here are 7 insights from Adam’s research that can help you in your job search:

  • People are surprisingly giving when you make it surprisingly easy for them to help you.

Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help, because we’re embarrassed or we’re afraid of looking incompetent. But everyone needs support in their job search, and most people want to assist. In order to receive help you have to get over those fears and ask for it.  If you want to improve your chances you need to make your ask specific and easy for the other person to act on. [Adam Grant, Coax generosity out of your grumpiest coworker in Fast Company]

  • Your coworkers & former colleagues are better at perceiving some parts of your personality than you are.

To understand yourself and your strengths better, get feedback from the people who have worked with you. Teal’s 360 Work Styles tool is a great way to do this. Feedback from others will help improve your self-awareness and help you better sell yourself to potential employers. [Adam Grant, People don’t actually know themselves very well in The Atlantic]

  • When considering a career change, ask yourself about the biggest motivators of meaningful work: career, community and cause.

When evaluating a new type of work look at the what, who, and why. Across the board, these tend to be what people value most over the long term. If you can connect with these 3 things, there’s a high likelihood you’ll be fulfilled at work. [Lori Goler, Janelle Gale, Brynn Harrington, Adam Grant, The 3 things employees really want: Career, community, cause in Harvard Business Review]

  • When evaluating potential jobs, keep in mind the biggest reasons people leave.

The most common reason people leave jobs is because their job wasn’t enjoyable, their strengths weren’t being utilized, and they weren’t growing in their careers. So when looking at a potential new role, think about those factors before you even start. Will you enjoy this new job, will your strengths be utilized, and will you be able to grow in your career? If not, you’re likely setting yourself up to be unhappy. [Lori Goler, Janelle Gale, Brynn Harrington, Adam Grant, Why people really quit their jobs in Harvard Business Review]

  • Networking is important, but one of the best ways to improve your network is by doing great work.

It’s true that networking can help in your career. But this obscures the opposite truth: accomplishing things helps you develop a network. There are many ways for job seekers to improve their network. Consider sharing your accomplishments in writing, social media, and interviews, as well as creating new content or interesting side projects. Grow your network through action, not just “networking”. [Adam Grant, Good news for young strivers: Networking is overrated in The New York Times]

  • Ask potential employers what they think is unique about their culture

It’s difficult to gauge a company's culture in an interview. When job seeking, ask people to tell you a story about something that happened at their organization, but wouldn’t elsewhere. Pay close attention to stories organizations tell themselves, and when stories suggest that an organization is wildly unfair, unsafe or immovable, cross it off your list. [Adam Grant, The one question you should ask about every new job in The New York Times]

  • Even while you’re searching for a job, it’s pragmatic (and fulfilling) to help others.

Research shows that even if the rewards aren't immediately apparent, contributing to the success of others pays off in the long run. Helping others is not just a noble approach, but actually pays tangible dividends by increasing our ability to learn and grow.  [Adam Grant, How to succeed professionally by helping others in The Atlantic].

Please join us in welcoming Adam to the Teal Team! You can also listen to Teal CEO Dave Fano on Adam’s podcast WorkLife where they discuss leadership and culture.

About Adam Grant

Adam Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for 7 straight years. As an organizational psychologist, he is a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meaning, and live more generous and creative lives. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers and Fortune’s 40 under 40.

​He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 5 books that have sold millions of copies and been translated into 35 languages: Give and Take, Originals, Option B, and Power Moves. His books have been named among the year’s best by Amazon, Apple, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal and praised by J.J. Abrams, Richard Branson, Bill and Melinda Gates, Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Kahneman, and Malala Yousafzai. His new book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, launches in February 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can Adam Grant's research influence my job search strategy?

Adam Grant's research emphasizes the importance of building relationships and demonstrating your unique value to potential employers. He suggests networking authentically, showcasing your adaptability, and aligning your values with those of the company. Applying these insights can differentiate you from other candidates and increase your chances of landing a job that's a good fit for you.

What role does mentorship play in job seeking, according to Adam Grant's findings?

Adam Grant's work highlights the significance of mentorship in career development. Seeking mentors who can offer guidance, feedback, and support can accelerate your job search. They can help you identify opportunities, refine your approach, and navigate the job market more effectively.

How can I apply Adam Grant's principles to improve my resume and cover letter?

Adam Grant's research suggests that you should tailor your resume and cover letter to demonstrate how your experiences and skills benefit the potential employer. Focus on what you can give, not just what you want to get. Use concrete examples that reflect your contributions and achievements, and make sure to convey your enthusiasm for the role and the company.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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