All Articles Tagged "professional development"
Some of us operate like we have tunnel vision. You get to the office, turn on your computer, sit, work until day’s end, and go home. Repeat the following day.
Instead, take a moment every once in a while to say hello to your next door neighbor. You don’t have to talk about something every day. And hopefully, this isn’t a forced interaction where you’re bringing up the weather or what you’re eating for lunch each time. But you should take a moment to speak with the person (or people) in your vicinity about what’s happening on the job, a great book you read, or a movie you saw.
Speaking with your colleagues makes you accessible. When you’re accessible, you’re asked to participate in projects, you’re asked for your expertise and you’re invited to join in on different office activities. All of this paves the way for you to interact with people who might open doors to other opportunities, whether at the company you currently work for or with other outside interests and organizations.
Basically this is another form of networking. And as we’ve stressed here time and again, networking is an important part of the career development process.
So take a moment on your way to the water cooler to say hello to the person at the next desk over. It may be the start of something good.
A career transition can make it difficult to stay true to your personal brand. After years of building your brand around your experience and knowledge in a niche field, a career transition comes to shake up that foundation and possibly leave you starting from scratch.
Rebuilding your brand to tailor your new interests doesn’t have to require a whole new look. Here are a few ways to effectively revamp your brand and market yourself in preparation for your new career path.
When the developer of the Flappy Bird game, Dong Nguyen, stated on his Twitter feed “I cannot take this anymore” and promptly took his popular game off the market, many gamers and non-gamers alike were left wondering why. How could such a successful person self-combust in this way? However, there are many valid reasons that a person could be driven away from the things that once made him/her an overnight sensation. Sometimes it’s okay to say no in order to maintain a sense of self and sanity. In fact, here are our nine reasons why.
Does your path to success looking a little different from your counterpart’s? It can be difficult to concentrate on following your own path when the climb to the top for others may be as simple as networking or a college degree. But trying to follow in someone’s footsteps along their path to success may not be the best fit for you.
On the road to success, there are many routes. Figure out what it takes to make your career happen in your specific industry without negatively comparing yourself to others doing the same in a different way. Personalize your journey by talking to professionals in your field or paying close attention while applying to jobs. Do most of the jobs you’re looking for require years of experience or a graduate degree? Do you need to know someone to get a foothold in the industry? Taking notes without trying to mimic what you think might work will get you ahead in the way that’s right for you.
The speed bumps, road blocks and stop signs along that path are yours and yours alone, so embrace your individual journey.
Ask yourself, “Am I using Twitter efficiently?” While some use Twitter as a fun form of social media interaction and many more use it as a means of promoting a business, there is still room for those of us who fall somewhere in the middle.
Working at your 9-to-5 doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to use Twitter to give your career a nudge. One of the best things to do is begin following people within your industry: people in your upper-management team, co-workers, and even customers who patronize the company you work for. This will give you insight into the minds of those you serve as well as the people you work with each and every day.
Using WeFollow.com will help you find high-profile people in your industry to also follow. Joining topic lists for your industry is another good idea to get aware of what is going on. Join in discussions about hot or trending topics for which you have a great deal of knowledge or passion for. Pepper your discussions with hashtags to allow others to easily find you and bring you to the forefront of searches. Tweet something fresh at least twice a day to remain part of the conversations going on within your industry. By fostering your presence online you can cultivate the image of being an expert in a particular area, which will go a long way toward propelling your career.
It is a long-held belief that persistence is a key factor in making any dream a reality. And the basis of persistence is willpower.
Many people are ready to throw their dreams in the garbage at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. Being able to carry on despite opposition, from even your nearest and dearest, is what usually separates the 95 percent from the 5 percent.
The first question is: How much do you want it, really? Weak desire will naturally bring about weak results. Once you’re sure you’ve set your sights on what you truly want, you’re next step will be snapping out of mental inertia. Start by moving slowly, setting small goals that are easily achievable. Then increase your speed and the size of your goals until you’ve gained complete control over a habit of persistence.
Remember, no matter how many times you are knocked down, what counts is finally arriving at the goal or dream you’d set out to attain in the first place. Once there, no one asks how many times you fell. Instead the only words are, “Congratulations, you made it!”
From Black Enterprise
I’ve been to many events throughout my career, and in my younger days, it didn’t matter whether I made quality connections at them or not. If it seemed like a good time, I’d go.
Now, as I’m trying to upgrade my career and make more strategic boss moves, my mindset is a bit different. If I can’t truly find one good reason attending an event will help enrich my knowledge, network or future, I don’t attend. (This does not include leisure or life celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, etc.)
There are many organizations that host events under the guise of networking or professional development, but once you arrive, you find you’ve wasted a good power look and pump and probably should’ve worn a party dress or sneakers and jeans and left the business cards at home.
Who likes wasted time, especially when you thought you were in for a professionals mixer but arrived only to find very little professional networking going on? I know I don’t.
How do you know beforehand whether a networking event is worth attending? Here are three red flags to look out for:
1. It’s held at a loud, crowded bar/lounge/party space, sharing time with a “Singles Night.” Yes, this has happened to me. I’ve arrived only to hear Sean Paul blasting and see women in attire more appropriate for the club than a networking mixer.
Read more about this writer’s experience at BlackEnterprise.com.
Achieving a high-level of success isn’t easy. Going after your dreams is fraught with fears and doubts sure to trip you up along the way.
For those of us who have been working a 9-to-5 for many years but daydream about taking the leap into entrepreneurship, one barrier to that dream is the belief that you’re too old.
“I’m too old to break into that industry.”
“I’m too old to change tracks and do what I would really love to be doing.”
If you’ve ever had any of these thoughts, you may need a little help getting unstuck. Remember it is your attitude toward age that truly makes or breaks your ability to take a leap of faith. While some may feel they are too old, still others end up feeling they are too young. This belief causes them to feel they won’t be taken seriously going after their chosen dream or that they don’t have the right age to be considered a leader to their employees.
Choose to invest your time doing what you really want to do instead of thinking it’s too late or too early. Don’t bring yourself down with negative thoughts. Just make the decision to start NOW.
With the start of the New Year only a couple of weeks behind us many people are struggling to hold on to their commitments to lose weight. Statistics show that 38 percent of people in the U.S. made a weight-related resolution for 2014. However, research also shows that only about eight percent of people actually keep their resolution.
No matter if you make your weight loss commitment at the beginning of the year or any other month, you are likely to get distracted, prolonging that commitment and taking more time to reach your goal. However, this year you might want to stick to it since it might lead to more money in your pocket or that dream job you’ve been wanting.
What am I talking about? Many studies have found that there are certain stigmas associated with larger individuals in the workforce. When someone is overweight employers might assume you’re lazy and don’t have the willpower or dedication of a fit person. Employers may also draw a connection between your weight and more illness, impacting your attendance and becoming costly to the company.
Although the assumptions about being lazy or less committed may be subjective, the notion that overweight employees can cost companies more money does have some merit. A recent Gallup Poll found that full-time U.S. workers who are overweight, obese or have other chronic health problems miss 450 million more work days annually than their normal-weight or healthy colleagues. This missed work leads to about $153 million in loss productivity annually.
Being aware of these numbers alone can be enough to make a potential employer move you from candidate to reject after the in-person interview. So, if you’re just getting started on your weight loss journey there are a few things you could do the combat these presumptions.
Terry Pile, principal consultant of Career Advisors, suggests wearing clothes that are slimming and fashionable and staying away from outfits that may appear to be frumpy our outdated, since it’s important for someone who’s carrying additional pounds to have good grooming.
Pile also says to be cognizant of the companies you are targeting. You may not want to target fitness or fashion companies that will put heightened scrutiny on appearance.
Experts also suggest weaving in examples that show ambition and determination during your interview to counter stereotypes about fitness for hard work. “Emphasize how you worked hard, stayed late or worked over the weekend and how you have the endurance and energy,” says Pamela Skillings, co-founder of job coaching firm Skillful Communications.
And some experts even suggest being upfront during your interview and mention you gained a couple of pounds and that you are working to get healthier. This shows your potential employer you recognize you have an issue and that you are working to become a better person.
With more than two thirds of U.S. adults being overweight or obese according to the National Center for Health Statistics, there are many people who should strive for a healthier lifestyle. A bit a weight loss might be just what you need to give you an edge on the competition and land you a job in 2014.
Of course, this raises questions of fairness. Someone who has a few more pounds can be smart, capable, and better at the job than another thinner candidate. At what point does cross the line to discrimination? But the fact is that, upon first meeting, appearances matter.
How much weight do you think employers place on whether a person is too heavy?
Whether you are a manager looking to show the higher ups that you have the right stuff to lead on a bigger scale, or you are an entrepreneur showing the world at large that you have the right stuff to build a successful business, leadership will be a major factor in proving your point. Through Starbucks’ model of success you can learn what it takes to be an inspired leader.
In Joseph A. Michelli’s book, Leading the Starbucks Way, he gives readers a look at the different strategies Starbucks uses to create its dynamic corporate culture. Try these two tactics for giving your leadership skills a caffeinated jump start:
Personal Passion- Understand that you can’t create employee or customer loyalty without fueling passion. It’s important to really love what you’re doing. Enthusiasm is infectious. By sharing your passion for a project or your business you can pull people into sharing your mindset.
Emotional Connection- Remember you want your clients or customers experience to be about more than just the end result. Provide an emotional experience to go along with the product or service. Does the product/service also connect with a stimulating mental discussion or a retreat from a busy day? Your customers or clients want to feel that you care about them, so be sure to tap into the emotional value that your company or business provides.