Morning Advantage: Don’t Hire My Friend

"Pssst. So I have this friend. He's looking for a job and I think he'd be perfect for our opening in sales."

Fast-forward a few weeks. You're working side-by-side with your buddy. Things are hunky-dory, yes? Maybe not. Riffing off a New York Times report on the growing number of jobs being filled by employee referrals, The Atlantic's Derek Thompson argues that the system is "both utterly predictable for companies and quietly dangerous for workers." Recommending a colleague saves big companies time and money — in all honestly, who's going to go through the hundreds of applications? And while hiring managers may be missing out on more qualified employees, they have a leg-up in finding workers who fit their company's culture.

But for Employees with a capital "E"? That's what has Thompson worried. "There are nearly 5 million Americans who have been out of work more than six months," he writes. "These wannabe-workers are more likely to suffer from depleted networks of office buddies and other professional connections." In the end, a business class that increasingly turns inward "could create a permanently poorer class of Americans whose lost productivity and reliance on government will make all of us poorer in the long run."


Ladies, I'll Handle That Portfolio (Slate)

The stereotypes go something like this: women are bad at personal finance because their connection to money is too emotional. Or that they're uncomfortable with risk. Or that they really like shopping. Thus, a lady should hire a (male) financial adviser. But Helaine Olen, in an excerpt from her new book Pound Foolish, says that these myths aren't actually true. The real underlying issue is that women, on average, "earn less and live longer." But instead of encouraging women to "lobby for changes to Social Security calculations or equal pay legislation," an entire industry has formed around convincing women to "hire someone to tell them how to manage their money." And women are dissatisfied by it: according to a Boston Consulting group survey, 70 percent of respondents "complained about subpar treatment from financial professionals."


Not an Extrovert? Don't Worry. You Can Still Become a Leader (Washington Post)

The top-performing salespeople in a study at a software company weren't the extroverts or the introverts. Those who made the most money were the "ambiverts," writes Daniel H. Pink. These people, neither extremely outward-focused nor extremely withdrawn, neither loud nor quiet, neither pushy nor meek, earned average hourly revenues of $155, beating extroverts by a healthy 24%. In fact, the salespeople who did the best of all, earning an average of $208 per hour, had scores smack in the middle of a psychological scale that measures introversion and extroversion. The vast majority of people are ambiverts, which means the vast majority of people can learn to sell, as well as to lead. Because leading is mostly a matter of selling yourself and your ideas to others. — Andy O'Connell


Please Don't Turn Me Off

No Mercy For Robots: Experiment Tests How Humans Relate To Machines (NPR)
Early Comments on Stories Affect What Later Readers Believe, and What They Say (Poynter)
The Most Sadistic Apps That Force You to Get Stuff Done (Lifehacker)

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