All Articles Tagged "career development"
Think you’re being a leader in your career and making the decisions that are moving you steadily toward your goals? Here are a few signs that your career trajectory may need some tweaking:
Micromanagement- If you find yourself overly — and anxiously — revising or overseeing every detail of every project (whether a solo project or one with a team) then this may be a sign that you lack confidence in you leadership ability and the abilities of those who are working to complete the project with you.
Playing it safe- Beware of being too cautious and settling for work that has lower payoffs but less likelihood of failure. To get major rewards and recognition by the higher-ups you will, at times, have to take on the riskier tasks. Just be sure and knock it out the park!
Use a lifeline- If you find yourself hiding in your office because you don’t know what you’re doing and are too afraid to let others know it then you are holding yourself and your career back. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Negotiations- Be sure that you aren’t giving up important aspects of your career goals and not gaining anything as a reward. Pretty soon you’ll look up and discover you’ve negotiated your way right out of the game.
Teamwork- When working in a team remember to appreciate being surrounded by those you feel are more capable than you in certain areas. Avoid getting caught in the trap of hating someone brilliant because you don’t want them making you look bad. Keep in mind that the things you learn from them ultimately make you stronger and more efficient in your career in the long run.
We all want to remain motivated as we work toward a promising and progressive career. Creating a mission statement for your business life is an important part of creating passion and meaning for your future. A mission statement is an excellent tool to help you remember not only what you have to offer, but also why you are determined to offer it.
When creating your mission statement stay away from lofty or vague words that obscure the simple significance of what you are trying to say. What are the ultimate goals for your career? Where do you see yourself one, two, and five years from now? These questions are meant to help guide and prompt a vision for your work trajectory. Having a clear understanding of who you are and where you are looking to go in the future will help in keeping your eye on the big picture when the minutiae of the day-to-day 9-to-5 gets in the way.
You probably have one of those friends. The one who seems to know everyone, has the details on the latest industry news and is invited to apply for jobs you can’t find anywhere online. When you finally get the nerve to ask about the secret in her sauce she has a simple answer. Her mentor.
If you’ve been scouring your business card app trying to find your own but aren’t really sure what you’re doing, that’s OK. Follow these simple steps to finding and building a wonderful mentor-mentee relationship.
Finding the one
Finding a mentor is not aerospace engineering. They’re discovered in different ways. Sometimes you find them, other times they find you. If you’re in the market, the best (and simplest) path is asking for help. It’s not cheating for your cousin’s wife’s little brother hooks you up with a high-ranking official in your field. That’s using your connections, and your future mentor will probably be impressed.
Also, look into mentorship matchmaking through any organizations you’ve joined. Most will have one, or at least the resources to put you in contact with someone. And like going to your college’s career offices to find a successful alumni mentor, it’ll give you two an instant connection.
Making the first move
Unless your mentor reaches out to you for being an impressive emerging whatever, you’re going to be the cat chasing the mouse. Don’t be shy — ask her out. Offer to take your potential professional big sister (or brother) to coffee or grab an after-work meal. After long-distance inspiration? No worries, just pick up the phone or send a compelling but brief email, LinkedIn message or DM.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back right away. You found her amazing, so chances are someone else does too. You might find yourself reaching out two or three times before you’re able to really connect.
From crush to lifemate
There are all types of different mentor relationships. Some are like best friends, others just want to check in and keep you on the path to success. The terms will reveal themselves naturally and can be molded like any other friendship. You’ll probably have to put in more effort, especially at the beginning. But one of the most important things is to make the mentorship symbiotic. Don’t only call when you need advice or a reference. Send holiday cards, words of encouragement and just-because emails. Make it worth her while to keep up with you. If she likes you as a person and feels respected, she’ll be more likely to keep you in in mind.
I’m just not that into you
Unfortunately, just like old boyfriends, you and your mentor won’t always work out. Sometimes there’s no way you can make it work, or you’ve just out-grown the advice available. It’s not taboo to pare down the relationship and start over with someone new. Don’t alienate her, just be honest and make it clear why this is the best decision for you. Unless something catastrophic has happened, you can still be cordial. In some cases, you outgrow each other and the relationship will naturally morph into a friendship based on a mutual respect cultivated over the course of the years you’ve spent together.
Looking for a great place to work? Business Insider lists the 15 most desirable companies in the world to work for, ranging from the tech giant Apple to the popular pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson. At the top of the list is Google, which reigns as the most desirable company to work for in the world today. With over 71,000 people based all around the world, Google is changing the way we see the workplace.
Following Google’s footsteps on the list are Procter & Gamble and Unilever, both consumer goods companies that make various products, from personal items to ice cream. Chances are, you’ve got products made by these two companies somewhere at home.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
When the work you are doing fills you with happiness and a sense of purpose it’s easy to wake up every morning and lose track of time in the doing of it. The ease with which you give your time, take risks, and allow your creativity to flow will naturally lead to success.
Not many of us can say we are doing what we love however. Try finding the joy where you are. There are pros and cons to every job, think of the tasks you actually enjoy doing and work to master those areas. By honing in on what you do love your mood will remain improved even when doing the not-so-great bits. You’ll be surprised how far a better attitude will take you and how others (including your boss) will take note of your skilled approach to the key job functions that you have mastered.
As a professional who is managing a career, it’s important to be aware of your online reputation. Part of it is avoiding the obvious issues. Do you really need to post every single picture of your Vegas binge weekend? Today the internet acts like a lens magnifying every idiosyncrasy and mistake and preserving it for years to come. Before pushing the Enter button ask yourself if this is something you don’t mind your employer, future employer, or subordinates stumbling upon at some point in the trajectory of your career.
But it’s not just about avoiding things that make you look bad. It’s about posting things that make you look good. This is where having an up-to-date LinkedIn page, a current blog or Tumblr page (if you have those), and a trendy Pinterest page becomes critical. Having an account on these different sites means nothing if a visitor sees that you haven’t used them in ages. Make this part of your career development routine.
Alexis Davis is a tiny bit of an overachiever. She’s pursuing her college degree full-time, booking modeling and acting gigs, and she’s running Hoo-Kong, a jewelry design business she founded. We asked the multitasking entrepreneur how she keeps so many balls in the air without dropping any.
MadameNoire: Between school and Hoo-Kong, you have a lot going on. How do you manage it all and maintain a personal life?
Alexis Davis: I had to learn how to juggle and sacrifice hanging out with my friends. I didn’t get to do as much hanging out as I want[ed] because I had to make sure that I dedicated time to my business and my schoolwork.
…I juggle my personal life and Hoo-Kong by prioritizing. I don’t know how to put work aside sometimes. Sometimes it’s three, four o’clock in the morning and I’m still working and strategic planning and marketing and blah blah blah, but I try to make time for Alexis.
MN: What inspired you to start Hoo-Kong?
AD: I decided to take everyday safety pins and create everyday luxury for women. The name Hoo-Kong comes from my mom’s last name.
MN: Why safety pins?
AD: My aunt was a strong inspiration for my pin designs. She was making them like over 20 years ago… [A]ll the safety pin designs that I have seen have been very simple. So I said ‘Why not take them and turn it up a notch?’ I didn’t want to do something that was common. I didn’t want to use metals or some silvers that other jewelry designers were using. I wanted to also… keep the cost down, and see if I could be elaborate on the beading.
MN: What was the process of starting Hoo-Kong?
AD: Google became my best friend researching how to incorporate a business. I found ways that you can incorporate a business online which is a little bit less expensive… [I also had to figure out where] I could buy my beads wholesale. I had to get my tax ID number. I thought that it was just as simple as contacting these businesses and saying ‘Hey! I’m a business!’ but it wasn’t.
I had to get my website up. I couldn’t afford to pay a website developer so I had to learn the ins and outs of building a website… Finding a great distributor for my packaging, and going up to these places in New Jersey and sitting down, having meetings with the packaging companies and really being strategic [about] how I want it to look, what I want it to say. Getting my logo done. Making sure all of my jewelry was [copyrighted]. There [were] a lot of legalities that went behind everything.
It’s not just pretty. It’s not making jewelry and putting it out there on the website and putting it on Etsy. I had to make sure that my stuff was right from the ins and outs, [especially the] Terms and Conditions.
MN: What’s the payoff to doing all this juggling?
AD: People’s reaction to my jewelry and how much they love it and the packaging. I expected that people were gonna like it, and that some people may not have liked it. But to know that I have built new relationships with people I never knew before, that [is] one of the most exciting parts.
MN: When you’re done with school, will you seek a full-time job, or are you planning on putting more energy into Hoo-Kong?
AD: More energy into Hoo-Kong. I don’t even know if I could put any more energy. I put so much, but yeah Hoo-Kong is my baby and I have to ride with that. For personal satisfaction, I have to complete college, but this is my work life. Hoo-Kong.
The ball is in your court now. You have done the work and applied to various job openings. Now, more than one company is vying for your services.
How do you decide which job offer is the right one for you? Here are a few determining factors to consider before making the decision on which job to take.
Administrative assistants do much of the unappreciated grunt work and have a hard time moving up within the company. Performing the clerical duties, secretaries or admins are often perceived as the gatekeepers of the office. With a 12 percent growth of administrative jobs between the years 2010 to 2020, interested and qualified candidates have a good chance of getting their foot at the door at any number of companies.
Being an admin could be the pit stop to your next big gig in the company. If you’re a great admin, you could someday make a great exec. Here are some tips to move on up beyond administrative assistant.
Time and time again, we hear about the importance of attending college in order to land a nice-paying job in hopes of living the good life. While it’s true that having a degree (especially an advanced one) can and will open many doors of opportunities, we also have to consider those who make the choice not to attend a college or university.
Maybe finances are too tight to pay out of pocket for higher education? Or maybe the college thing just isn’t for you? There are still many options a person can take who does not graduate with a college degree. We have already heard about jobs that pay a nice salary to those with a two-year degree. Now it’s time to look at some that don’t require a bachelor’s degree.