Blog

Category: Career Advice

5 Tips for Working Smarter, Not Harder

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Efficiency, Strategy

Regardless of our background, location, or profession, there is one language that is the same, and that language is the language of progress.

Progress certainly comes from putting in the hard work, but working hard is not enough. To achieve our desired outcome, each one of us needs to find our own ways to work smarter.

Working smarter requires a combination of critical thinking, discipline, and techniques that we can employ for making continual progress.

Here are a few techniques that I find helpful:

  1. ASSESS EVERYTHING THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

There is a saying that 80% of our accomplishments come from 20% of our efforts. So what 20% of our work is the most valuable? Once we’ve identified it, focusing the lion’s share of our time and energy in that direction creates progress.

Selecting the right success indicators to drive our activities creates the tasks we can knock out first for greatest impact. Here are three fundamentals for assessing potential for success:

Click here to read the rest on FastCompany >>

7 Sentences You Shouldn’t Say to Your Boss – EVER

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Insights, Office Politics

There are certain things all bosses dread to hear. “I lost the account,” “There’s a big mistake,” and “I think the building is on fire,” would all qualify, but I’m talking about sentences that may seem innocuous to you, but can be a big deal to your boss.

Consider each of these sentences — and how you can turn them around to stay on your boss’ good side.

1 “Are you sure you want to do that…?”

You don’t want to come across as teaching your boss something he or she already knows. Tread carefully when schooling your boss on anything. If you feel you have to say something, approach the topic with the assumption that your boss may have overlooked or forgotten something — not that he doesn’t know how to do his job.

2 “Did you see what so-and-so just did? She is just so hard to work with!”

Save the interpersonal drama for your friends and family members, because your boss doesn’t want to hear about it. He certainly doesn’t want you to be a tattle-tale, and he doesn’t want to know about how much you dislike your coworkers. Unless someone you work with has made a major violation of company policy, or a big mistake in their work, keep your personal grievances, well, personal.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

7 Things You Must Do Before You Say ‘I Quit!’

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Decision Making, Your Career

Feeling trapped in your career is a lot like being trapped in a bad relationship. You’ve invested in countless years of training and climbing the corporate ladder only to leave you wondering, “How can I possibly get out now?”

And then what if you are really good at your job, where your boss loves you, you earn a six figure salary, and you’ve been promoted, but then you’re still miserable? Leaving a successful career for something more meaningful is incredibly difficult, but it can be done. It should be done, actually, because living a life without a meaningful career can put extreme stress on you, your family, and your health.

I know this all too well because I have been there. I have been an entrepreneur and my first company put me in $350,000 in debt. Despite its failure, I was able to rise above and start a new company that awarded me with enormous financial success. But even with all that money and buying my dream luxury car, something was still missing. I was 37 years old with a wife and two kids, and our new life of luxury had painted me in a corner. I needed to start over, and find a meaningful career, but I didn’t know how.

Click here to read the rest on The Huffington Post >>

It’s Never Too Late (or Early) to Set Goals

Filed under: Career Advice, Goals, ideas, Your Career

This past weekend my wife was cleaning out some boxes she had received from her parents full of school projects from elementary school. Included was a timeline she drew up in 5th grade and after inspection, she came eerily close to achieving every goal she had set out for herself over 15 years ago. She predicted her college playing and coaching career, she predicted the completion of her Master’s degree (to the exact year) and even predicted she’d one day marry a prince. Okay, maybe I made that last one up.

The point is, it is remarkable how much writing down your goals prepares you to achieve them. I write down goals every day, every week, every month, every year and have a bucket-list of lifetime goals I’m hoping to accomplish in my personal and professional life. It’s a way to say “this is where I want to be someday,” if you don’t have the roadmap, how will you ever know where you going (or when you get there?) I’ve included some of the following tips for creating a goal list. This is the year to dream big, work big and live big.

Make your goals SMART

Smart goals are defined as: specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound. Too often people make goals that sound like “lose some weight,” “workout more,” “save more money,” “get a promotion,” but none of these goals define exactly what it is going to take to get there.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

Boosting Your Credibility in the Workplace

Filed under: Best Advice, Branding, Career Advice, Goals

If you want to be successful in your workplace, you need to have a balance between credibility and competence. Getting ahead essentially means being able to show that not only are you capable of doing your job, you also have the skills to level up.

Check out these tips that are sure to give your credibility a boost:

1. Tell the Truth. Always.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott

Credibility and trust always go together. That’s because you get to establish trust by being honest and reliable. If you lie, it’s a sure thing that sooner or later, someone will find out about your deceit. Regardless if whether the lie you made was minor or major, people will already doubt you and will wonder what other things you’ve lied about.

Keep in mind that it’s impossible to lie and be counted as credible. Hence, make it a point to always tell the truth. This isn’t easy and it may not make you popular among those who do this but remember, you can never go wrong with telling the truth.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

Put Your Game Face On

Filed under: ambition, Best Advice, Career Advice, Good Habits

How often have you been sitting in a meeting and silently disagreed with an idea, yet everyone seemed to know what you were thinking?

 

Most likely, your body language gave you away. A very powerful medium of communication, body cues such as a slight frown or poor eye contact can tell people worlds about what we think or feel. As a leader, you’ve got to be aware of the power behind these messages and zero in on what your body cues might be disclosing to others. You might be surprised to discover the degree to which they’re impacting your ability to relate to others, build relationships, and lead effectively. Build awareness around this behavior and take steps to address anything that might be undermining your true intentions, building communication barriers, or reflecting other emotions, such as fear, that could sabotage your ability to lead.

Many people aren’t fully aware of what their non-verbal habits are, how they regularly affect others, and the extent to which they do make an impact. But in business, it’s really important to understand how non-verbal communication is just as, if not more, impactful as verbal communication. One of the most widely cited studies on the importance of verbal versus nonverbal messages shows that up to55% of communication effectiveness is visual in the form of facial expressions and body language in general. Body language doesn’t lie and can make or break what and how well you communicate to others.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

The Top 6 Tech Skills You Need in 2015

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Goals, Technology

We’re not big on setting resolutions only in January at Pluralsight. We believe it’s important to strive for excellence year-round, rather than just once a year. That said, there’s value in using the year’s starter months to reassess your current skill sets and identify areas for improvement, growth, and learning.

Technology is one area that no one in any industry can afford to grow complacent about–tech is changing so quickly that skills you mastered last year may already be outdated. In such a quickly evolving industry, information decays at a rate of 30 percent a year, according to Research in Labor Economics, rendering nearly a third of last year’s tech-related knowledge irrelevant.

But don’t panic–there’s a solution. Staying up-to-date with emergent technologies and trends–as well as the skills needed to master them–will help you offset the lightning-fast pace of skills disruption and keep you ahead of the curve. Continuous learning is the key to maintaining an ongoing competitive advantage, both for individuals and organizations.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

9 Ways Your Colleagues Are Holding You Back–And 3 Ways to Stop Them

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Decision Making, Distractions

Sometimes it really isn’t your fault. People around you are keeping you from achieving success. Here is how to recognize them and fix the situation fast.

It’s true that people are responsible for their own experience, but others do have a role to play. The people around you may be giving and caring, but only to a certain point of self-sacrifice. At some level their own preservation and comfort will take priority and that may very well be at your expense.

The workplace doesn’t have to be completely adversarial. But you do need to be aware of those in your world, and watch for ways that they can interrupt your trajectory. If you mishandle the situation, the damage can be large and sustained. If you are alert to the issues and navigate them well, you can find ways to create a win-win for all involved.

Here are nine ways your colleagues can disrupt your journey and some tips for how you can resolve the conflict.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

How to Deliver Bad News Like a Pro

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Goals, Good Habits, Uncategorized

As a leader, you need to be able to share both good news and bad news effectively. Unfortunately, sharing bad news about an employee’s performance is a major part of running a successful company. If you aren’t comfortable telling someone why you’re pulling them off a project, why they aren’t getting a raise this year, or why their position is being eliminated, the conversation will not go well.

You can’t allow under-performance to linger without getting the employee to supply an explanation and work on making a turnaround. Similarly, you can’t inform an employee that you’ve decided not to give him a raise just by not giving it to him. If you’re the type of CEO who lets things lie or can’t be direct, your team will not respect you as a leader. There’s no room to be meek–you need to make a decision and explain it effectively.

“You need to have the right energy going into something like this. If you’re coming from a place of frustration–which can happen, we’re only human–it will not be a constructive conversation,” Betty Thompson, chief personnel officer at Booz Allen Hamilton, tells Harvard Business Review. “You have to think: ‘What’s the best way for this person to hear the message?'”

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

5 Ways Resilient People Use Failure To Their Advantage

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Insights, Personality

While some people become frozen with fear or immobilized by their emotions, resilient people have a remarkable ability to tolerate distress. They face hard times – professional and personal – with determination to do their best and confidence they’ll be able to handle whatever life throws their way.

Whether they get passed up for a promotion, or they fail to close a deal, resilient people don’t give up on their goals. They view each failure as an opportunity to sharpen their skills and become better. Here are the five strategies resilient people use to bounce back after failure:

Click here to read the rest on Forbes >>